I am often asked, ‘How do you do it?’ ‘How do you juggle all three kids?’ ‘How do you sleep?’ ‘How do you do anything for yourself?’ Well, I’m gonna tell ya.
I just do what I have to do. No secret answer there! Listen–everybody does what they have to do.
I was surprised with my first pregnancy. I had two options. Either to have the baby or not to have the baby. So, I made a choice. It was hard being pregnant because I was sick for three months and I had just started school and I was still bartending. It is no fun puking in a toilet at the bar you work at! Especially when you’re sober! I had to push through it all and I didn’t know how I was going to finish school (esthetician school) sometimes. How did I do it? I just did. I’ve had a lifelong fear of dying while giving birth, (I think I saw a movie when I was young where that happened and it has stuck with me ever since.) and I had to face that fear. How did I ever do that? I just did. I was hoping to have a natural birth with my first child, and I did. How? Because I asked for the medicine too late! But, I did it and I lived to tell about it.
Life was hard with a baby. Working, school, baby daddy, child, dog, cat, house, laundry, dishes, meals….this was all work! Where did my TV time go? Where did my sleep time go? What about going out? I’m a super social girl and that was a huge hill to tackle. I had a hard time adjusting and I didn’t really embrace the role of motherhood until 7 months had passed. I know that’s a long time, but I had a lot of changes I had to make within myself. When you have kids, you learn so much more about yourself. You are forced to either adapt and be a good parent or you don’t adapt and you remain a selfish human being. The choice is yours. It’s not always easy. I can testify to that! I could write a book about all of this, but I won’t.
Time passed and we wanted to have a sibling for our baby. ONE! One baby. One person. We said that in the next year we would see what happens. Well, if you know me, I can be pretty impatient. Apparently I am to the core of my being! I got pregnant immediately. And because I am an overachiever, I produced two beings! (I know that argument could be used on Lance’s end but it’s MY blog!) Wowsers! Two humans growing inside of me. I never thought I would be able to do that. And to deliver them…..how did I do that?! (And I survived!) I just did. The body is an AMAZING machine.
Fast forwarding to present day, it has been a HARD journey. You don’t know unless you have something to compare it to. Looking back to when I just had Max, that was a walk in the park! No problem! I still had so much freedom with one child. But at the time, I felt so tired, so inexperienced and had only my childless life to compare it to. So, when you add two more BABIES to the mix, it is just plain CRAZY. Trying to care for a newborn is a full time job, and when there are two, you just double everything that you’re doing. As they get older, you think it’s going to get easier, but it doesn’t. One milestone becomes another and there are new hurdles to overcome. I hear it will get easier when the twins reach age 3. Having a toddler on top of the twins makes it even more challenging. Oh, that’s another book.
The point is that you can do whatever you have to do to take care of business. Organization is huge and having a partner who is involved and hands on is a lifesaver. I can’t speak on being a single parent, but I do know that it is tough stuff. Major props to the single parents who are taking care of their kids. Lance and I have a calendar in our kitchen and we get together once a week and discuss the plans for the week. We write EVERYTHING on it, so that we know exactly what we have to fit in. Exercising was a major priority for me in the beginning so that was part of the schedule. It’s easy to cut gym time out, but it is so important for your physical and mental health. Make it a priority and don’t put yourself on the back burner! It will manifest itself in different ways, but in negative ways. Whether it’s overeating, being angry, or being unproductive=low self esteem. Make your health a priority always.
Life is all about ebbs and flows, and patience is required. In my life, I feel I need extra patience because my schedule is all about one thing. And it’s not me. I realize that I will get more freedom as the kids get older, but for now, I have to do whatever I have to do to take care of them. I can’t be too upset if I miss a couple days at the gym here and there. I will get more time to do things outside of the house when they are a little more independent. I set goals and work on them over time instead of getting immediate results. It’s all part of the process. And it works out.
Ultimately, it’s all about trial and error and working on things when you can. Make a list of things you want to accomplish and see what can fit into your schedule. Lists have become my friend. Be patient and remember that things take time. Respect phases of life and that things are temporary. Just because you have no time for anything else besides your baby, or family now doesn’t mean that some time won’t open up in a month or two. You do the best you can in the situation that you have. Being negative is very draining and only puts you into a deeper, more miserable place. It took me some time to truly understand that. I often think of the big picture and how I can take small steps towards achieving that which i envision. Small steps turn into big leaps!! Try to enjoy what you have, you will often realize that you are more blessed than you think.
The twinnies are turning 18 months soon and Max is 3. It’s bittersweet to watch them grow although I enjoy the new milestones so much. How will I deal with them going to school? Or when they become teenagers? Or when they have to have the sex talk?!!!! I’m not quite sure but I know I just will.