Just in case you thought my real life was anything like these tiny squares, I give you: this is 4 months.
J has been an incredibly easy baby, from labor to delivery to him being *here*. But 4 months happened and his needs have grown tenfold.
The other day I spent THREE HOURS like this, people. Over 180 minutes. More than ten thousand eight hundred seconds. Bouncing side to side and back and forth, in a very particular pattern.
J had to be swaddled, on his back, in my arms. While I was bouncing on my giant exercise ball (never once used for it’s intended purpose, although fantastic for labor and the newborn phase). With my boob perfectly resting in just the right spot on his chin. Nursing until he filled his belly and then released his grip once satiated and asleep.
Our house was (is) a mess, my breakfast (lactation smoothie) sitting abandoned behind me, dirty hair and desperately in need of a shower (and 5 minutes without someone touching me) – and at the brink of tears.
For goodness sake, I was too absent minded (read: lazy) to even take the sticker from our movers off the stability ball, and I’m pretty sure you can see the remnants of my snowflake crafting for J’s 4 month photo on the carpet next to the couch that I forgot to clean up.
The truth is, this is who I am most days.
Not a put together human who has her act together. Not a mom who can juggle working from home, kids, etc. I’m just a crazy person trying to maintain some semblance of calm while attempting to figure it all out. Counting down the hours until bedtime and the kids are asleep, and then that first delicious sip of a crisp, cold Gin & Tonic or bold red wine.
And you better believe I VSCO and heavily edited the you-know-what out of this picture to make it look light and airy and “fit my feed”. Because I’m stuck on the couch under a 4 month old cluster feeding little dude who won’t have anything to do with anyone but me.
It’s not that I intentionally leave out these hard days, these rough moments from my feed. It’s more so that I’m trying to focus on the good. The sweet moments that I want to remember, rather than the brink-of-tears moments that remind me of my feelings of helplessness.
Will these be moments I look back on with fondness?
Even though right now I feel anything but towards them? Was it this hard with H? If so, maybe my memory was trying to protect me and blocked it all out. Because the amount of time I’ve spent questioning every decision I’ve ever made up to this point for the past week is exhausting. As is the lack of sleep. And the constant cluster feeding. And the constant need to be held.
I think it’s really easy to forget about the need to share the hard things, because we all want people to know how awesome being a mom / parent can be. But I also think it’s really important to address the not so great stuff so that people know it’s normal. Because when I was pregnant, no one talked about it – no one told me about the nitty gritty. They just painted this beautiful picture of what motherhood would look like and how I would feel so full of love and happiness all the time, and that’s not the case at all.
Yes, the days may be long and the years may be short, but these long days AND NIGHTS are no joke. They will test your every patience. Every fiber of your being.
So here’s to YOU mama, holding it together even when it gets rough. And even if you’re not, you’re still a part of this club of crazy. Because nothing is ever as perfect as we sometimes portray on Instagram, but its refreshing to let the “real” out every once in a while.