Elly is six weeks old now. Parenting two? Totally a harder adjustment for me than entering parenthood for the first time. There's a few reasons for that. The cleft palate certainly threw us for a loop. Judah being the particular age he is is also probably a bit harder than timing it a little bit differently could have been. Living far from everything and only having one car makes it rough because any outing, meeting, or doctor's appointment takes quite a bit of preparation and interferes with nap times, feedings, etc.
So, since I was kind of way-in-over-my-head, and also because I long for time with my family, we extended our Thanksgiving plans and got to spend nearly two weeks in Colorado staying with my parents, sister, and brother. It was AMAZING. So good. It was a huge relief for me and I left with renewed energy and enthusiasm.
At six weeks in I feel a little more sorted out. Yeah, I'm up in the middle of the night a couple of times, and yes, it's still sort of crazy juggling everything, but I'm a little more organized and emotionally stable about it. There's a few things that really overwhelm me if I'm not careful. One is a little odd. Judah is a touchy feely kid and I actually find that really hard. He may be a crazy energetic kid, but he centers his crazy around the focal point of mom. He likes to play either on or next to me. If he's next to me, he has his full body pressed up against my leg or side or wherever he can get. He climbs all over us, gets in our faces, follows us like a shadow from room to room, and generally needs lots of touch. I, on the other hand, am not touchy feely.... at all.
I've found that I feel really stifled by this when it's combined with newborn feedings and constantly needing to hold Elly. And then, once I feel stifled and overwhelmed I have a much shorter patience level and am far more likely to be a mean mommy. So... I'm learning and trying to be intentional about giving Judah lots of touch and love, but also getting some space.
Mess. I am also totally overwhelmed by mess. This is sort of ridiculous because a small house with two children is constant mess, and it is unreasonable to expect it to be otherwise. I find, though, that I have to have some order, I just have to, for my own sanity. So, I've followed a Pinterest pin's advice and added a household job or two to my calendar for each day of the week. Yesterday I was supposed to vacuum. Today was dust. Some things are every day, including dishes, but having the schedule helps me pace myself so that I don't try to clean everything all the time and end up totally wiped out.
I'm going through Jennie Allen's study, Stuck. One of the early questions was something along the lines of what is life-giving in our daily lives. I thought about that for ages and since a lot of things that I love aren't possible in this stage of life, I asked Isaac to help me regularly do one thing. A few times a week I'm getting out and going on a walk. This is time alone, which is awesome. I listen to music and just the outdoors, peace, and music becomes a time of worship and a real spiritual renewal. And it's exercise too, because I walk three miles, and I've just started running some of it too now that it's been six weeks since birth. This practice hits three "life giving" things at once and I come back refreshed and renewed and so much more able to handle chaos!