I officially went back to work full time today. As I type this, I’m 7 hours into my 11 hour shift and, so far, feeling pretty good about my stats.
I got 100% of my kids fed, dressed, and out the door this morning by 8:10 for preschool drop off. Then, this afternoon, I got 100% of them home, fed, and down for their afternoon naps. (Although, my numbers look more like 66% if you want to look at the exact number who are willing sleep in their respective beds.)
Additionally, we’ve only had 2.5 toddler meltdowns, 1 pair of pants peed through, and 1 smashed tupperware container (which found itself too close to an angry foot during one of the aforementioned meltdowns).
Things are going remarkably well.
Before Sawyer was born, I got a mixed bag of reviews as to how hard it was going to be. Some warned me that going from two to three kids was the hardest transition of any, while others suggested that it was really no big deal.
The answer according to my one month of experience with three? Bringing a new baby home is hard regardless of all outside circumstances.
You can sugar coat it with phrases like, “I’m just soaking in all those newborn snuggles¹” or “I wish they would stay this small forever²,” but it’s still hard. It takes time to catch your bearings–to find yourself again.
And I’m filled to the brim with gratefulness that I didn’t have to regain my balance alone. That I have had a village of people around us, near and far, willing to offer support and generosity and encouragement.
For the last four weeks, our refrigerator has been overflowing with meals we did not buy or make. A few of those meals even came from people I had never met before they showed up on my doorstep with arms full (a story for another day, I suppose).
And then there are the postal deliveries. The cards and packages that show up on your front step unannounced, reminding you that someone, somewhere is thinking of you. A village that transcends zip codes is a beautiful thing.
And there are also the prayers. The people, who I know, have been silently interceding for us. We felt, and continue to feel, the answers to those prayers.
And if that’s not enough, then you have the people who are willing to live in your house for weeks at a time and do all the things you shouldn’t have to do when you stay at someone else’s house–wake up early, clean bathrooms, do laundry. Between my mom and Jake’s parents, our house was the cleanest it’s ever been.
It’s not anymore, of course. But it was.
I have been reminded throughout this past month of the beauty of the village and the ridiculousness of the notion that we could do this child rearing thing alone.
I don’t have any particularly deep thoughts on the matter. Rather, as I look back on the complete upheaval our life has undergone in the last four weeks, I mostly just feel grateful.
I feel the village.
My stats aren’t always going to stay this high. I narrowly escaped a meltdown this morning that would have been equal to 3 normal toddler tantrums. I won’t always be so lucky.
But I will always have the village. Near or far, I’m thankful God has placed so many supportive people in my corner.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got an afternoon of meetings to attend to. As I understand it, The Land of Make Believe is voting on some new playground equipment and my own two toddlers are going to have prepared some snack time proposals.
It’s a good gig, this one.
¹ See: My kid makes me hold him all night, and I’ll go crazy if I don’t find some silver lining. (Thankfully, we’re on the other side of this one.)
² See: I’m actually kind of ready for month two.