They’re a Baby Until They Aren’t

They have a bottle, until they don’t. They fall asleep in your arms, until they don’t. They use a pacifier, until they don’t. They wear diapers, until they don’t. They hold your hand, until they don’t. They’re babies, until they aren’t.

I’m really struggling with this. This whole “growing up” thing. This whole “last baby” thing. I used to wonder what people meant when they asked me “are you a mess that Rowen is turning 1 already?” It used to confuse me. I didn’t understand why I would be upset about that. Until now. Until my LAST baby turned 1. Until my last baby is no longer considered a baby.

This new stage of life has become a constant heart and mind battle. I want another baby, but I don’t want 3. More often than not I am silently starring at both of my children. Trying to burn their current features in my brain. Trying to pause their size and personalities by using mind power and prayer. Time goes too fast, it really does; it wasn’t until recently that I really started to believe this. Yes, I’ve heard it over and over and I probably said it just as much as the next parent. But really, it wasn’t until this last week that it really started to hit me. Thinking about taking away Rylan’s bottle just seemed too hard. Because Rylan’s last bottle, is my last bottle. Because for the first time in a little over 3 years, we can rid our house of bottles. This doesn’t feel exciting to me, this doesn’t feel like a relief-instead it makes me think back to the first time I held each child, each time I looked down at them with the wonder of who they were going to be someday. It makes me scroll through my photos and videos and block out the rest of the world, get lost in those moments of life as a new parent, life with a brand new baby. It makes me look at that new mom with envy in my eyes, with the urge to tell her to soak it all in. It makes me want to hug that seasoned mom who is preparing to drop her child off at their first day of kindergarten. It makes me want to spend EVERY. LAST. SECOND. with my children. Because if these last 3 years have gone this fast, I can’t imagine how fast the next 15 will go.

Today, Rylan drank his morning milk out of a sippy cup. He drank it all. Without using the word “ba ba”, without even a small sliver of sadness and without the sense of missing something. I watched each swallow he made, PRAYING he would stop and ask for a bottle. But he didn’t. And this right here is what pulls way too hard at my heart strings. When will I know that the last time is going to be the last time for anything? Because, they have a bottle, until they don’t. They fall asleep in your arms, until they don’t. They use a pacifier, until they don’t. They wear diapers, until they don’t. They hold your hand, until they don’t. They’re babies, until they aren’t.

Losing Myself in Motherhood

“Everything has changed and yet I’m more me than I’ve ever been”- Iain Thomas.

YES! Hands opened up to the skies! This quote says it all. If you were to ask me over 3 years ago if I would ever lose myself, I would have given you my RBF. Something changes you when you realize the importance and trust God has in you to give you the responsibility to raise a human being-his creation.

From the moment I became a mother, I lived and breathed my child- quite possibly in an unhealthy sort of way. Everything was about my child. My google searches were no longer about how to straighten my second toe or how to grow my hair faster, but about what green poop meant and how to still make money without leaving my child for more than 1 minute. It would be 2pm before I realized I didn’t eat all day and it would be 6 days before I realized I hadn’t pooped all week. All I thought about was her. Before I became a mom, I would go to bed at 8pm..and when I realized that meant less time spent with my child, I moved my bedtime to a much later time because I couldn’t stand a minute without her in my arms.

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I lost myself.

After 14 weeks on maternity leave, I had to go back to teaching. I was a mess. What used to be my dream job, became hours of staring at a clock just waiting for the moment I could go pick up my baby. The nights that she went to bed early, I would cry-I would cry for the lack of time I got to spend with her. Who my husband once knew, disappeared; at one point he told me our home felt as if someone had died..but little did he know, losing those hours in the day with my baby, killed a piece of me.

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Like I said, I lost myself. 

After praying and taking a leap of faith, I decided to join my mom in her daycare so I didn’t have to lose another second with my child- doing a job I told myself I would never do.

Like I said, I lost myself. 

My second came along-and so did the real meaning of losing myself. With 5 months of a colic child, my identity was so blurred, I was unrecognizable to myself. I went through the day with the main goal of getting to 7pm. I had no purpose each day, other than the purpose to survive and keep the littles alive. I wished the days away and prayed that time would speed up and that this child, who I barely knew, would grow out of this stage and into the child I imagined. It eventually happened, but during that time..

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I lost myself. 

When you lose yourself, you find yourself. And that’s exactly what I did. Don’t get me wrong, I have always been a happy mother. But it became my only identity. I could tell myself I was a good mom, but what I couldn’t say was that I was a good wife. Because during that time I only knew how to be one thing. My husband never complained, it’s as if he expected it. It’s as if he knew in his heart I not only lost myself but that I was also more Britt than he had ever known. Because the crazy silly side of me, shined brighter than he had ever seen it. The smile across my face grew so big my cheeks would hurt by bedtime. I couldn’t watch a commercial about a baby or a mother without bursting into tears. I no longer could watch the news because it broke me up, and those sad Instagram accounts about sick children, had to be unfollowed for me to stay sane.

You see, motherhood changes you. It can make you feel content and insane all at the same time. It can make you question everything you ever thought to be true. It can make you a mess of happy tears and a mess of sad tears in the matter of a minute. But do you want to know what is so special about motherhood? Your children don’t see the insane side of you, they don’t see the survival mode you might be in, they don’t see the mom who lost herself. They see you as you, because after all, to them you didn’t lose yourself, no, to them, you’re everything they’ve ever needed. 

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About Britt

Guess what? I finally found the time to start my blog! While doing so, my 1 year old ate a fluorescent yellow highlighter.. total #parentingwin. You’ll read a lot about my #parentingwins, I’m sure. Anyways, I decided to make my first post as more of an introduction. My name is Brittany but I’ve always gone by Britt. I’m a wife to a man who works harder than anyone I know and I’m a mom to 2 beautiful toddlers and one amazing fur child. I was a Jr. High Special Education teacher for a couple of years before I decided to join my mom in her preschool/daycare so that I no longer had to be away from my children. I have patience till I don’t, then I turn to God… and a glass of wine.

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I enjoy writing, I enjoy being real, and I enjoy being open. When I decided I wanted to start a blog, I wasn’t sure what direction I wanted to go in.. so I prayed for direction and will continue to do so with each post I create. I overshare, I overpost, but if my stories and if my honesty and sometimes humiliating posts can make even just 1 person smile or feel better about themselves, then I know in my heart that my over sharing is worth it. I don’t live a perfect life. I don’t have a perfectly clean house. I don’t have perfectly behaved children. I don’t have the perfect marriage. I don’t always say the right thing, I don’t always feel the right thing. My promise to you is this-my writing will be real. My words will be raw. My feelings will show. My guard will be down. And my heart will be open.