Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Snapshots Part 2: Random pictures and thoughts

Friends, I won't lie. This motherhood thing is tough. Just when I feel like I have a handle on balancing the kids' needs with my needs, just when I start to feel like I don't need to rely on Netflix and my iPhone to make it through the day with any semblance of sanity, my kids just laugh and say, "Just kidding! We're changing everything--again!" It can be very discouraging sometimes. Especially on mornings like this:

This was 8:47 a.m. on Monday morning, folks. 8:47 a.m., and the kids were already whiny and grouchy. It pretty much went on for most of the day.
Finding 20 minutes to myself to go through a quick yoga podcast doesn't sound too hard, right? Well, this is pretty much what happens when I try. So much for my relaxing "savasana" pose.

I'm not sure how much difference my few-and-far-between yoga practices make for my body, but apparently I'm doing it enough for Noah to catch on. He says, "o-ga" whenever I pull out my yoga mat, and knows how to find and turn on the podcasts on my phone. He even tries to copy me sometimes. 
I know this picture is super blurry, but seriously, can this be any cuter? I might have to get him a yoga mat of his own--he always wants to share with me when I try and use it. 
A friend gave us some free passes to the Discovery Gateway center, and the whole family had a blast watching Noah go from one area to the next! 
The car was his favorite!

I've been trying to think of ways to make our days run smoother. With these two young'uns being so--well--little, each day requires constant adjustment and flexibility, which is something I am not very good at most of the time. I am always looking for great ideas and tips to help us have happy days, days that fill everyone's cup. My kids need attention, love, laughter, and good nutrition. I need exercise, showers, time to read and play the piano, and a house that is not on the verge of disaster all the time. Of course it's a give and take thing, but finding that balance is hard. Here are some things that I am either currently implementing or going to implement very soon:
  • quiet time instead of naptime for Noah (so far it's working great! hallelujah!)
  • a daily story time (we need more books, though!)
  •  exercise in the morning before the kids are awake.
  • storing meals in the freezer
  •  keeping up with chores by doing a little bit each day, rather than taking a huge chunk of time every once in a while
  • doing more house-stuff and me-stuff in the morning, while focusing more on the kids in the afternoon. The kids are more self-entertaining right after breakfast. At least, it seems that way. It could totally change tomorrow. Flexibility, right?
  • more books, less Netflix
  • going to bed earlier

Sometimes, I worry that I don't do enough for my kids. I don't give them enough experiences, I don't read enough books to them, I don't take them outside enough. It's May, and Noah hasn't even been out to play in his sandbox yet. I can count the times he's played with play dough and finger-painted on one hand.

When I think of this, I start feeling like I ought to start planning glorious projects and experience-packed schedules. But then I see their smiles, their exuberance, their love for life. It is so easy to make them smile! A tickle, a silly song is all it takes, and they're happy. I have to remind myself that what Noah and Bethany need most is a safe, peaceful, happy home, a place of growth, exploration, and hugs. They need a mom who recognizes their needs any time of day, and has the energy necessary to respond. In order for this to happen, we need simple activities and easy schedules right now. We're ok with that.
I want to fix these faces in my mind forever. I want to enjoy my kids without worrying too much about things that don't really matter.

They matter. So much. I can't imagine life without them.

I want to remember this time, these tender days of early motherhood. I want to remember that it is really hard to be a young mom. I also want to remember that it is rewarding beyond belief. I want to remember these days so much that, halfway through writing this post, I held a very squirmy Bethany and typed with one hand, desperate to preserve the feelings in my heart. 

Today I read a poem by William Blake that touched me:

When the voices of children are heard on the green,
And laughing is heard on the hill,
My heart is at rest within my breast,
And everything else is still.
(Nurse's song, st. 1)
I love those words. I let myself stress too often over transient things, I become overwhelmed too easily by silly problems. I hope I can learn to let my heart rest more, let myself bask more in Noah and Bethany's joy as I watch my children grow and play each day.