We’re three months in to three kids, four and under.
That big “3” is a flagged milestone for me, because in the past, I’ve always struggled right here. At three months, the adrenaline is gone, life insists on hitting the gas again, and I’m kinda sorta just running alongside with my shirt stuck in the door. That’s three months. Breathless while yelling, “We’re doing it! We’re doing it!”
A few things have made life a tad easier, and the transition significantly smoother. My life would have been much easier if I’d figured this out before the third time around:
Paper or plastic. I’m not environmentally considerate when I’m in new mom mode, just to be clear. My sanity trumps the planet for a couple of months. We go all paper plates, and even put them where the real dishes are. Plastic utensils. No dishes. Maybe no food sometimes, too.
I’ll plant some trees in a few years.
Alone time. Naptime has been a real bust lately. My boys have been sharing a room for five months, so one is always a displaced wanderer while the little one naps-but-not-really, and it’s driving me crazy. I’ve realized that rest time is just as much for me as it is for them.
Should you choose to forgo your individual rooms for naptime, please know that Mommy will lose her mind and throw away all the toys with batteries.
I just need about 30 or 45 quiet minutes to myself. I have to sit down…without someone climbing on me, FOR THE LOVE. Instead of frustration from failed attempts to keep my boys contained in individual rooms, I do rest time backwards: I am in MY room. I leave the door open, and from there I can see them in our loft as I let them watch too much TV, but it’s a game changer.
One clean room. That’s it. Just one. Clean as an adjective, or clean as a verb, it doesn’t matter; not happening. It’s borderline impossible to have a clean home, or even just CLEAN a home, with little boy shadows that are four and two. For my sanity, I’ve let it go. It drives me a tiiiiny bit less crazy if there is just ONE room in the house that’s clean, even if it’s the guest bathroom.
(Today, I made my bed, then grabbed socks from my dresser. I sat back on the bed to put them on, and a little, annoyed voice asked me to please get off of his nest. In that .82 seconds it took me to grab socks, my sheets and pillows were silently wrapped up in what looked like a weird tangle of spaghetti noodles.
I mean, nest.
Soooo, copy and paste that scenario with the rest of my house.)
Hire someone to clean the house. Sell your soul if you have to, or your kidney. You only need one of those.
Eat. Sounds stupid. I get busy darting around to semi-time sensitive matters: feeding a baby, investigating silence, saving a kitchen pot from flying over the wall (“to the moon”), keeping someone from climbing on the fridge, naptime, pulling my children out of the washing machine. (That was also today. You know, it’s really just been a rough day.) I don’t even think to eat because, wait, is that a bath running?!
Hold on. I have to eat, though. I’m so much happier and have much more energy when I eat. ‘Cause humans need food, you know? I have quick snacks to grab on the go, and pre-made protein shakes have been lifesavers.
Hell must be pretty close to freezing over if I, Ashton, have to remind myself to eat.
Friends. I have to get out and see civilization. Meeting friends for an outing makes me so happy, even if I get there with bent sunglasses and sweats.
Text your husband a LOT around 3:30 as a distress signal. I don’t know. It just makes me feel better. It is a W I L D time at my house, but it’s hilarious and brings so many laughs. Every day is a new adventure and very entertaining…until about 3:30. At that late afternoon point, I’d say we’re doing a little better than just “surviving,” but a solid belly flop down from “thriving.” When I text Brian, “Hey babe, so what time you think you’ll be home? Home for dinner?” he knows it’s cryptic MAYDAYYYY. Does he always respond to my flares? No. Maybe he’s working. Maybe he’s ignoring me. Either way, that’s when I return to cleaning up red Popsicle to the beat of the Paw Patrol theme song.
Have a general “IDK IDGAF LOL” attitude. (Mom, don’t look those up.) Just don’t care. We safe? Fed? At least have undies on? Great. I’ve heard several people mention, “This, too, shall pass.” I kind of hate that. I KNOW it will pass, and I’m not sure if I’ll want it to. I don’t want to ride out this season of life like I’m huddled in a storm cellar. I LOVE having young kids at home! It’s exhausting and crazy, but I want to embrace it! Not sweating the small stuff sure helps enjoy it, cupboards full of paper plates and all.