( picture from the summer archive)
This week I delivered a meal to a mom new to having 3 kids. It brought me back to that transition time in my own life. It seems like that was decades ago. But really, it was just one and one half year ago.
I remember dropping Zane off at preschool one morning with Evan at my side. He had the desire to scramble into the room and be part of the train table group. This desire was so strong that I knew it would be a huge battle leaving me with bruises should I allow him to indulge even if for a moment. So I held his massive body on my hip, snuck a reluctant and not-yet-diagnosed Zane in through the door. One of the teacher's helpers identified me as being Mormon somehow, like her, so she thought that meant I would want to talk to her at length about the 'do you know this or that Mormon family?' game or my personal favorite 'are you related to The Fullers that live in town X, Y, or Z?'
Let's not forget, Sylvia was growing strong and steady in my tummy at this point, so my spine was cracking from the weight of both children held up at once. While this woman wanted to chit chat about things I did not care about. It was Evan's time to nap, so I had to race back home and get him what we both needed. Rest for both of us.
I remember one day doing the Evan juggle and having to head out next to a doctor's appointment for a routine check on the baby. That day the school psychologist caught me in the hallway dropping Zane off. The man was impossible to get in touch with, so this was a golden opportunity! He wanted to introduce me to the speech pathologist that would be evaluating Zane and it gave me a chance to finally meet one of the people at the school I had been needing to meet to undersand Zane's needs better and get him the support he needed.
I made an instant decision in that hallway to take care of that situation while the opportunity presented itself.
When I got into the car and buckled Evan in my eyes flooded with tears. Evan missed his nap. I missed my doctor's appointment to check on Sylvia. All three of my kids had an important need at the same time. I made the decision I felt was best at that time with the information I had, however, it meant two of my three kids had to be put last. And that broke my heart in half. It was the first time I realized this was my new life: tending to the needs of three important people. The realization set in that this would be such a heavy job, at times, to make decisions on behalf of all of them every day.
Mostly. I cried because I didn't want to make the wrong choice. Like...... ever! I had a new person to juggle in the game of guessing what's best for everyone at any given time and that game scared me. I could use many more doses of confidence in motherhood, but I do realize my motherly instinct is usually kicking in gear when I need it most. Experience is also helping me fine tune and adjust rapidly.
A wise friend gave me excellent advice recently that I remind myself of when I start to get strung out about doing it wrong. She told me it's okay if it's not perfect. Motherhood. It's okay if you don't do it perfectly! The times you don't do it exactly as you wished, learn from it, but let it go. Don't beat yourself up about it or dwell on it. It's okay to be imperfect.
Today when Zane was late for school for the second time ever (amazing considering who his mother is!) I felt myself going to that place of frustration for my lack of time management skills. But I remembered it's okay to not be perfect sometimes. Tomorrow he will be on time! I knew where I slacked in the morning and how to do it better tomorrow. I drove off without it being that big of a deal and had a great morning. If I had not remembered my friend's advice I might have cried and held on to the guilt and disappoitnment in myself for hours. But that would not have done anyone any good at all.
Hooray for wise friends!