That First Moment You’re Alone with ALL of Your Kids

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That first moment it was just me, alone, with my toddler and newborn…

Everyone who has kids has that moment. And you remember that moment vividly, for better or worse. That first moment you were alone, with all your kids, after adding a new one to the bunch (or starting your bunch for the very first time!). Maybe your husband took off work for a bit, maybe you had family come into town, maybe you are lucky and have family live nearby. But you will have that moment when it is suddenly “You” vs. “All of Them.” When it’s “You” vs. “Keep the tiniest one alive and unscathed.” When it’s “You” vs. “Keep the toddler entertained and away from plastic balls, bats, or anything that could be thrown into the newborn rocker.” When it’s “You” vs. “NO, DON’T TOUCH THAT” again. When it’s “You” vs. “I don’t even care anymore. Do whatever you want.”

Two weeks ago we welcomed our beautiful, tiny, miracle baby into our family. My husband was lucky to be off work for a week, and I was lucky to have my mother-in-law stay for two weeks. And before you roll your eyes, I really was lucky. She may dress my kids in mismatched outfits and rearrange my kitchen every time she stays, but we have one of those rare relationships where I can walk around the house with my boob hanging out {and a baby attached to it} and no one bats an eye.

But my husband went away for a while for work after those first 7 days, and we all said “bye-bye” to Nana today. And I drove home from the airport, alone, for the first time, with my toddler crying and reaching out for Nana and my newborn crying and reaching out for more milk. And my first thought was, “Holy crap. What were we thinking?!?!” And then I started crying and reaching out for Nana too!

I felt so overwhelmed by what this new life would look like as I drove away from the airport. I’m still not recovered enough to lift my 30 lb sack of toddler cuteness onto the changing table or into the tub. I’m not yet confident enough in mine and my newborn human’s ability to breastfeed to go out anywhere if I think he might get hungry. And how the heck am I supposed to transport a sneaky, runaway toddler and an infant car seat across the parking lot to make it safely into the store?

Not to mention all the germs we’ll encounter in the process; what if one gets sick? It’s hard enough to take care of one sick kid when he’s an only child, but what about two? Or if they’re both sick at the same time?? My husband is frequently gone for long periods for work and I don’t have family anywhere in the state of Oklahoma. So, I’m all my boys have most of the time. If I can’t meet their needs, who will? The rising pressure was settling onto my shoulders and into my mind.

As I managed the interchange of I-44 and I-235 I kept thinking about all the well-meaning, but exceptionally rude comments I got while pregnant: “Wow! Looks like you’ll have your hands full! Are you sure you’re ready for this??” No, actually I’m not. But there’s no turning back now, so thanks for the vote of confidence! Every ounce of my being wanted to shrivel-up and succumb to the pressure and anxiety I was suddenly feeling, and I’m sure all those postpartum hormones had ample contribution. Had I not been driving, I would have put both boys to bed and found a deep, dark hole to curl-up into.

And then I suddenly listened to the song that was playing on the radio:

You may feel alone
But you’re not on your own

If He can hold the world He can hold this moment
Not a field or flower escapes His notice
Oh-Oh, even the sparrow
Know-ohs He holds tomorrow

“Sparrows” by Jason Gray 

I was overcome as the truth of those words hit me. I’m not on my own. I may be the only responsible care-taker in my household right now, but I have a remarkable community that has already stepped up to bring us meals, mow our lawn, and bring me coffee and adult conversations. All I have to do is ask, and I know a large handful of beautiful women (and their husbands if I need a handy-man or heavy lifting done) will flock to my aid in a heartbeat.

The pressure brought fear and isolating self-sustainability. But the truth brought a powerful reminder: I’m only alone when I choose to be.

Have I continued to have “Me” vs. “The Lego Godzilla and the Colicy Newborn” moments? Most assuredly. But it feels less weighty and not as crushing when I remember it truly does take a village, and my village rocks.

So, if you’re in my shoes today mama, remember: you may feel alone, but you’re not on your own. 

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“Me” vs. “No, you can’t trade your phone for Brother’s puppy paci” …and then… “Me” vs. “DON’T STEAL BROTHER’S PACI! NOT YOURS!”

 

Need help finding YOUR village? Check out a list of our local playgroups here. Want to know more about why it’s so important to have a mom community? Read this

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