I See You

Part of the reason I had the confidence to have a third baby was because I have witnessed other moms I admire do so with grace, hustle, and joy. Other moms make it all look possible and I need that visual reminder because there is a sisterhood within motherhood. I can always relate, even when we don’t parent the same—the love we feel for our kids is the same.  

I have never understood mom-shaming as a phenomenon. To me, I am equally as inspired by those moms doing the one-armed-toddler-drag through Costco as I am when I see a Zen-Mama on the playground announcing that one more minute really did mean one more minute; because I’ve done both. I’ve been both. Whether you had a natural child birth or your toddler just took their first poop in the potty, in my book, moms everywhere deserve a daily parade.  

Sometimes we feel unseen; like we are being buried behind the scenes packing lunch boxes that come back full of crusts and carrots or suddenly postpartum it is all about the baby and you feel selfish for thinking, “But I’m here too.” Other times we would prefer not to be so exposed, like when both kids announce at dinner with my in-laws, “this is disgusting” since we taught them basic table manners, but forgot about their lack of filter. I guess I should be grateful they didn’t mention the word “vagina” at the dinner table, since that’s been the topic of conversation in our household lately. Small victories, I suppose.

I will show you my missteps if you show me yours and then we can truly witness each other for what we are; imperfect. While I alone am the mother to my children, when you see me and I see you, it makes me feel like we are in this together.

Photo Credit: Fit4Mom Davis

Photo Credit: Fit4Mom Davis

The New Normal

And just like that, I have 3 daughters. It’s taken a minute, but we are all starting to adjust to our new normal as a family of 5. My older two, which I now affectionately call “the big girls” have taken to their baby like a dream and our only problems arise when they want to put their little faces 2 cm from hers —but unfortunately this puts Josephine directly in the snot-splash-zone during kissing and sneezes.

I was completely prepared for an onslaught of jealousy and behavior regressions, but what I wasn’t prepared for was the big girls giddy with anticipation at every diaper change as to whether Josephine had gone #1 or #2 and how perfectly ordinary they consider it for their baby to spend countless hours a day drinking milk from what Maddie calls mommy’s “boogies” (she can say boobies, she just chooses not to).

Here are some glimpses into my new normal:

  1. If my van or a room is too quiet, my bigger fear is not that someone is up to something, it’s because I’ve accidentally misplaced one of my children.

  2. Loading up my minivan in the torrential rain with all the kids, besides looking like I’m starring in a Honda Odyssey commercial, also makes me feel like I’m on an extreme Japanese game show where I am dodging water while lifting 80 pounds worth of tiny humans as I’m playing Tetris with car seats and groceries.

  3. There is three times as much eating going on in our house as sleeping; someone is always eating and someone is always awake.

  4. Now when my husband has the big girls and I just have only the baby, it makes me feel like I’m on a mini vacation.

  5. The new volume of my life is permanently set to teenage-girls-at-a-boy-band concert level loud with emotions equally as strong.

Our new normal may look a lot like unfolded laundry left on the stairs, standing, one-handed meals, and blurry tutus in motion; but to me it looks like happiness.


This is Real Life

Nobody knows just how real motherhood can be more than a mom with young children about to give birth. Despite my perpetual fog, these moments have not been lost on me the past week. These beautiful, humorous, and soul-screaming little nuggets encompass all the rawness of this life I have chosen.

Last week was filled with rain and I had hoped that the barometric pressure would help kickstart labor, but instead brought back the re-emergence of morning sickness, heartburn, and a pelvic pain that can only be described as a bowling ball clanging constantly against bone. My oldest has had a fever on and off for the past few days, so she’s been sleeping later than usual and Maddie spends the mornings following me around like a puppy missing her true owner, but settling for the companionship of a less fun squeak toy. As I am said unfun squeak toy, she gets to sit beside me while I start my morning spitting out spit-up while internally chanting, this is the last time, this is the last one. I’m not sure if you’ve ever been questioned about the contents and consistency of your throw up, but it definitely adds another layer to have a curious witness to your misery.

One afternoon while getting my girls from preschool, after successfully navigating the landmines of pick-up that include but are not limited to: just one more art project, I forgot my lunch box, I can’t find my shoes, and I need to hug my friend one last time—we were all buckled safely in our magical, cozy minivan when Charlotte announced that she needed to use the bathroom. The rain was pelting down heavily on the windshield and I quickly reviewed our options in this condition. Luckily, being a seasoned mom at this point we never go anywhere without a travel potty so I proceeded to place the potty next to the car in the parking lot while holding the umbrella over my squatting child like she was Princess Charlotte of Cambridge. This was ineffective at keeping me dry, but at least we didn’t have to start from square one with both kids back in the classroom. Charlotte began crying because drops were somehow pelting her in the eye and so I channeled my inner yogi and managed what could only be described as the birthing position in the rain, 39 weeks pregnant, holding an umbrella over my daughter while wiping her tush, as she held up her dress and Maddie serenaded us with A Whole New World. This is real life.

The hormones of pregnancy, especially in the end are no joke. I unabashedly cried at the park while Madeleine snuggled in my lap when I realized that she will only be my littlest baby for a limited time. Recently, after my trip to the doctor’s office, the only other place I spend more time these days than the bathroom, I picked up my girls from my moms and Charlotte’s fever had returned, so I tucked her into a blanket in the back seat. I was watching them carefully in the rearview and Charlotte extended her blanket so it draped lovingly across Madeleine and I noticed their eyes meet and fill with the compassion and tenderness that can only be expressed through the unspoken language of siblings and soon there will be one more adoring look to add in the mix. So while the spit-up, storm, and the squatting undeniably stink, it is absolutely nothing when compared to the sisterhood.


*this blog was written two weeks ago and am now 40 weeks and 4 days… but who’s counting.