My day started at 7am. Well actually that's a lie... my day never really started because the day before never really ended. Or the day before that, or the day before that. As I enter each sleepless night and then spill into the daytime, everything kind of blends together.
But for all intensive purposes, my day started at 7am.
It was my first full day with both Little C (22 months old) and P-Nut (5 weeks old). We were going to be visited by a dear friend of mine and her 20 month old daughter.
I had t-minus two and a half hours to prepare my house, my toddler, my newborn and myself for their arrival. I managed to tidy up the place, get the toddler fed, get the newborn nursed, get us all dressed and even had my teeth brushed and the crust wiped from my eyes before she knocked on my door.
Our visit was spent running after the toddlers with me mostly reprimanding mine as he would not share any of his toys with his little friend. I dealt with screaming, and repetitive bad behavior and did my best to not lose my shit in front of my friend.
While all of this was happening Miss P-Nut would not go down for a nap or be placed down for even a second with out crying. I attempted to nurse her but then I wasn't free to chase after C and was just yelling at him from a chair. Not productive. So I gave her a pumped bottle and we moved on.
In order to get P-Nut calmed down after her bottle I put her in the Moby Wrap and suggested that we take a walk outside so that there were no toys for C to be territorial over and we could all get some fresh air.
Even outside C still would not play nice with our visitor so we headed back home. There was screaming over snack options. There was fighting over who got to ride on the scooter and who got to ride on the busy bee. P-Nut was wailing and the entire time and I was mortified.
I was embarrassed for my son's behavior and I was really stressed out that I couldn't get P-Nut to calm down. I also started to get engorged since I didn't breastfeed earlier. I was a mess. It felt like my friend and her daughter had spent half the day with us but all of this happened within an hour and a half!
Toward the end of our "visit," if you can even call it that since we barely were able to catch up, Little C was still being a booger and P-Nut was wailing from her crib. I'm sure I looked as mortified as I felt and as I went to hug my friend she looked me straight in the eyes and said...
"You're doing a great job."
Man, did I need to hear that. As I spend each day wondering if I'm doing anything right, trying to cater to my toddler's needs and my baby's needs simultaneously. It feels too often that I'm some how failing or that I'm just a hamster on a wheel running, running, running.
My friend's comment put air back in my lungs. Brought my shoulders back down to their place and not tensed up by my ears. Those five simple words gave me confidence and drive to keep on keeping on.
So, to all the moms out there, you're doing a great job. Never forget it.
Thank you, K for being such a good friend. For not passing judgement, but instead providing encouragement and solidarity when I needed it the most. Your friendship means the world to me and you are also a wonderful mother.