In the trenches kind of motherhood

I'm doing the best I can...

I find myself repeating this mantra often these past few weeks.

I think I have extra high standards of myself when it comes to motherhood- so, it's safe to say that the past couple of weeks with an almost two year old and a newborn have been kicking my booty. No, let me clarify: the past few weeks with an almost two year old have been kicking my booty. The newborn is great. In fact, give me all the newborns... forever...  Okay, maybe not.

Sitting on the bathroom tile floor, six-week old in arms attached to the breast in between fussy cries because we missed his perfect sleep window... Almost 2 year old splashing in the bath but throwing a fit because I won't let her drink the soapy water out of the toy cup. The day is over and it has been a long one. The kitchen is a wreck and I didn't make a real dinner for Andrew who may or may not be coming home from work any time soon.

Abram holds off just long enough for me to get Bonnie dressed for bed. The 3 of us sit on her bedroom floor. Abram back to the breast and Bonnie taking far too long to pick 2 bed time books. I read in between upset newborn cries (that are not the norm whatsoever) when the reason for his unrest clicks. I had two coffees today and the caffeine must be too much for his poor little body. I try to laugh at myself because such irony that the thing I turned to that day to get through is just making things worse. Hello added mom guilt.

I speed through the books and am nearly finished, ready to sing a goodnight song and put Bonnie in her bed when the doorbell rings. Not just once. Over and over and over again...

Mama frustrated, baby crying, Bonnie intrigued and excited (& now fully awake/energized), we go to the door and find Andrew. His hands are full, his face frustrated. Apparently he's been outside trying to get in for ten minutes and I locked him out. Yes, that's right, I remember locking the dead bolts as Bonnie was trying to get out earlier in the evening. He's obviously had a long day (his shifts start at 5am). I couldn't hear my phone ringing or the knocking over the baby's cries.

We've all had a long day. Andrew takes over Bonnie duty and I complete a proper bedtime routine for our darling newborn.

As I sit and rock the babe, I reflect on the day and just tell myself, 'I did the best I could'. Though I felt as though the majority of the day was spent disciplining a testy toddler, this is Motherhood. This is down & dirty, in the trenches kind of motherhood. The tough days will pay off. The consistency we are trying to instill will pay off. At least this is what I keep telling myself.

And so at 6:30 in the morning, here I am at Starbucks. Baby asleep next to me. Toddler and hubby hopefully still asleep at home. It's his day off and this is typically what we do. I escape for some early me-time. I'm getting editing done and enjoying my coffee while observing the comings and goings of other customers. They know my drink here and that makes me smile while at the same time makes me feel slightly embarrassed. I suppose I come far too often!

I've been reflecting and reminding myself of the following verse as I think it relates very well to these tough days in motherhood:

22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
    his mercies never come to an end;
23 they are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.    Lamentations 3:22-23

The love I have for my children reflects and resembles the love of Christ. It never ceases. Each new morning brings a new day and a new start. Just as my babies need constant reminders that I love and adore them, in my most frustrated moments, I need the same reminder. Because, he is faithful. His mercies never come to an end; His love is steadfast. 

I pray this of myself. I pray that through the hard days, my love remains steadfast and my patience plentiful.

Hang in there mamas! The work we do is so very important....