i thought this is what better looked like

this week found my husband at scout camp...again. luckily my sister sarah was in town and stayed for 2 days and 2 nights with our little family. we spent the majority of the time laughing and talking and taking care of kids. she was constantly in awe of rodney's full grown man farts and i kept asking her kid advice (she's taught 1st grade for 7 years now).

after about 12 hours though of full on time with me, she asked, " are you doing?"  i responded with the cheery, "good! so much better!". to this she squinched up her face and said, "really?"  and that's when it hit me like a ton of bricks, yes i am doing so very much better than 4 weeks ago. but to my sister, who knows my ups and downs and in and outs, i'm not doing so hot.

and my pride gets the best of me when i write this. i should be fine! i should be happy! i should baking and cooking and sewing skirts for the girls and writing thoughtful thank you notes with my spare time!  i feel so ungrateful writing down that it's "hard" to have 4 kids. i can't even count on my hands all the loved ones we know who would kill to be expecting or have even one child. and here i am...complaining.  but you know what? it is hard right now. and that's that. there's no amount of changing anything that i can deny that this post partum period is hard for me this time around. after phoebe was a walk in the park! i felt great! 3 kids was easy!

today my sister danna called, "so, how are you doing?!"  and i answered, "i'm great! well...(long pause) as long as nothing goes wrong, i'm great".  so basically, i'm not great. because who has perfect kids and a clean house and it all together?

when i read other blogs, i feel like she has it together, and her, and her, and her.

but not me. nope. no togetherness going on over here. i'm one not-hot mess right now. because it's hard to get used to a new life. yes, a new life. my old life? goodbye! see ya later! i have to rewrite how i do everything now. when i wake up in the morning, remembering to brush my teeth to what and when i can eat breakfast. when to exercise. when to talk to friends. when to watch a movie with husband. what clothes i can wear. what clothes look good on my new body (read: absolutely ginormous chest and bread dough tummy). how to take care of each of my kids. it's all different.

and the crappy part is i'm so tired i can't even begin to figure it all out. i mean, i even sent in rodney's birth announcement to our local paper and wrote the date, weight and length wrong. i wrote the wrong birth date for crying out loud! holy sleep it kills me.

and this is where my mom's wisdom comes in: 12 WEEKS.  after every baby she says, "give yourself 12 least".  12 weeks to feel almost, maybe close to normal. 12 weeks to feel a little sane. 12 weeks to have at least one clean countertop in the house. 12 weeks before not hiding from the kids in the bathroom with a book  (a classic move i learned from mi madre). and i have to listen to this advice, and not what the media tells me. i'm going to ignore that 12 weeks is 3 months! and it's ok to not have it together for 3 months. no, i don't have to be runway model ready in 8 weeks (pshaw!) or hosting dinner parties at our house or traveling on a summer vacation. (summer vacation! what a novelty!).

nope, none of that.  i am stuck here at 6 weeks, hoping, praying, praying! that in 6 weeks the bags under my eyes will be packed for a wee bit smaller vacation and that i'll be able to put together an outfit that doesn't look like i got dressed in the dark, in a dress barn, in 1994. don't even get me started on my hair. it's got to get better right?

one can only hope.


Danna Banana said...

Good work saying it out loud. It's just an attack of unrealistic expectations. 6 more weeks and lot of apologizing..wink!

Laurie Smith said...

I love your honesty! I promise, no one has it together - no matter how hard they try to appear so to world. This is a hard lesson I have been learning the last few years - I'm not Miss Perfect - and I really can't do it all - even though everyone around me seems to be doing it all and with perfectly curled hair. Let the laundry go. Don't clean a thing. And don't even worry about it. You're doing a great job!

angela michelle said...

I agree with your mom! 12 weeks to *begin* getting it together. But avoiding those unrealistic expectations is easier said than done.

Jamie said...

Oh wow, this brings all of those newborn days right to the front of my memory.

The part about the bags under your eyes reminds me of the sweet talk Elder Holland gave a few years ago entitled, "Because She is a Mother." It is a favorite of mine. It's always good to re-read it at times like this.

You are doing A LOT right now. I can't believe you have 4 kids! Just you wait, in a few months the rest of us in the blogosphere are going to be saying "Why is Annie so on top of it? For heavens sakes she has FOUR kids! Why can't I be more like her?"

In the meantime, I love your candid take on things. You are a great writer. That's another thing...when you are so tired, how can you even organize your thoughts in such an articulate way? Impressive.

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