I had all three of my children pretty much back-to-back-to-back. Each time my husband and I found out we were expecting, we dreamily envisioned our little stair-step kiddos developing close knit friendships, and we were excited that our children would all be close in age.
What I did not envision, however, was how tricky those early days of keeping up with a toddler (or toddlers) and a newborn would be. If I’m being totally transparent, many days I tiredly powered through.
Juggling my time between a toddler who still legitimately required constant supervision all while attending to the needs of a newborn baby was complicated. My toddler still needed me to change his diaper, get him water, and play blocks, however, at the exact same moment, my newborn needed me to change his diaper, change his clothes, nurse him, and rock him to sleep.
Meeting all the demands of the tiny army that I had created was TOUGH, not to mention exhausting. There were many days when my patience was basically running as thin as my new post-partum hair.
I think part of the reason the difficulties of those tricky early years of motherhood snuck up on me is because it’s a kind of secret in a way. It’s something that is rarely spoken of.
On social media we are shown beautiful pictures of older toddlers lovingly caressing their new squishy-faced baby brother or sister. However, what those pictures don’t show is that minutes before that precious picture was snapped the baby spit up on the couch, the two kids spent the morning wearing nothing but diapers, and the toddler still hasn’t quite mastered the concept of being gentle to a baby.
I frequently found myself discouraged wondering why I couldn’t manage to do it all when other moms made it look so easy. And then I instantly felt guilty for my shortcomings and for not being able to keep up with all the things.
Now that my youngest child has turned three we are officially on the “other side”. We have crossed the bridge out of crazy town, and have exited out of the difficult phase of life with tiny littles. Do I regret having my littles so close in age? No, not one bit. I look back on those memories, and that was a very precious and rewarding time in my life.
However, just because I have amazing memories doesn’t change what a challenging chapter it was at times. As much as I honestly miss my children’s previous stages, I would be lying if I didn’t say I feel a slight relief knowing that we have transitioned into a more peaceful and less tired and demanding place in life.
So, to the mama of littles who is deep in the trenches surrounded by the pitter patter of little feet and baby cries, it’s okay to feel like some days you are struggling. Don’t be discouraged because I guarantee you it gets less exhausting. I can almost promise you that one day you will wake up and realize that motherhood has suddenly become slightly easier, slightly lighter.
Life with multiple littles can be oh so hard on us mamas. Yes, it’s a rewarding and beautiful time. But it’s okay if it feels hard too.
As much as newborn snuggles are amazing, one day your baby will sleep through the night. Sooner or later you will realize that you now only have ONE child in diapers. One morning you will wake up and drink a warm cup of coffee. The toddler who seemed too rough and the newborn that seemed too little to play, will eventually become inseparable buddies. Believe it or not, one day you will take your herd of people into Target and everyone will keep their crap together.
But until then, sweet tired mama, I see you. I know how tiring these days are. As adorable as tiny toddlers are, it’s okay to give yourself permission to long for the days when things are a little less complicated. And mostly, it’s okay to bring in your village and let others in on the secret that sometimes parenting two (or three) littles is a tough, yet rewarding, job.