Last night our almost-6 month little man woke up ready to party at 11 pm. Husband had just gotten home from a 10+ hour day of work. I was feeding our 3 week little man so it was up to Daddy, like it constantly has been, to care for and comfort our first born.
Essential oils, gripe water, 6 ounces of milk, yoga ball bounces, and two+ hours later our first born was out cold in Daddy's arms and the two of them crawled into bed sometime after 1 am.
I pray so hard during these moments. I beg Jesus to give Loren strength, ounce by ounce, as his exhausted body and mind perpetually bounces to soothe our precious little one. I ask Jesus over and over again to help our little man fall asleep. I ask Him to give us ideas as to what he needs and why is he awake and what do we do and how do we serve him?
It's not a rare thing for my eyes to well with tears. As the ice cream server at Cloudy City confirmed with our pal Seth last night as I teared up over gluten free waffle cones: I have a lot of emotions. And that is no exaggeration.
Recently a lot of people have been encouraging me that it's okay that being a mom is hard and it's okay to not like it.. I often don't know how I feel about these comments. Because being a mama has been the very best thing for my soul. It is hard, like a lot of things are hard. But I am not sitting around grieving the fact I am a mama. I have wanted this, we fought for this, and it is a gift and I am grateful, even when it isn't glamorous. But I will share that there are certain aspects to my particular and current mama journey that are of utmost difficulty.
Due to the nature of having two babies at two different developmental stages, we need a lot of help. And we have had help. The help has been mind blowing. My sister and mom, our friends, my friends' moms, my friend's aunt, people I've met on Facebook who became friends through the beauty of donated breastmilk for our first born... I mean community has built itself around us in ways I am honored to witness and be a part of.
But my word is it hard on my heart. My heart is constantly breaking into fragments while being blessed while experiencing joy and cracking wide open with love. Other women are wearing/carrying/comforting/feeding/snuggling/putting down for naps/caring for my sweet first born (almost 6 months) while I am doing the never ending cycle of feeding and changing my newborn 3 week infant. I have never struggled with jealousy so much. Don't get me wrong: I love the cycle of caring for infants. It seems spoiled, living this life as a mama. But the reality that I am not enough has never set in so deeply.
It's this dance of being enough in the sense that I believe fully we were made to do this thing of raising these sweet boys so close in age, while acknowledging that we are not actually enough at all..and only Jesus makes us enough. Only with His constant presence of I Am With You can I bring any confidence to the table of being these boys' mamas. Because I am not enough. I can't serve them both with one hundred percent of myself, and even if I could give all of myself, I am still not enough. The prayer that my first born's attachment to me isn't all screwed up is perpetual in my heart; the prayer that our second born doesn't feel less than because he never had Just Us is a thing I'm sure all mama's pray when a second is added.
I created a Facebook group for mamas of Almost/Artificial/Virtual Twins / Twiblings. I needed some mamas who have gone before me to tell me that I'm not a horrible mama for accepting help and allowing other women to essentially join me in being my sons' mama. Because that is what this feels like: it feels like I have had to rip out parts of my heart and allow other women to share this precious, so wanted, so longed for position of being their mama. It hurts. It's hard. One of those mamas said to me, "Things will always slip through the cracks. Hopefully they are small things. But know that God is in the cracks too." She encouraged me that God wouldn't haven't given us these kids if He wouldn't provide a way for us to do it well. She blessed me with the permission to grieve what I need to grieve surrounding many things, one of them being the impossibility to care perfectly for infants that are at two different developmental stages.
Don't get me wrong: These days are filled with a lot more joy than grief or sadness or pain. These days are overflowing with laughter and giggles and a deeper sense of gratitude than I have had in a long time. These days are wholly undeserved and I am soaking them in, because though it is difficult and painful to choose between two crying babies, soon I will look back and miss these late night rocking chair snuggles. I already miss them. I already cry over these boys becoming toddlers. It's silliness I am sure. "I don't want to be 100 years old," (have you seen that video...? If not this is awkward). And I am sure that when they become toddlers and then kids and then teens and then young adults, I will have many more reasons to give thanks. They may not want to be snuggled all night long, but there will hopefully be other heart-filling adventures.