The Best (and worst) of Times

The room was dark. My beloved dog Wiley laid at my feet. I fed my sweet four-month-old son.

And I cried. Okay, I bawled my eyes out.

I can’t explain why. TLP Cover

Emotion catches up with me in moments like these, but I honestly never see it coming. I think it’s because no one really prepares you for what happens after you have a baby. Worse than that, no one really prepares you for after you have a second baby.

Because you love them both. You want to be the best you can be for them both. But sometimes that isn’t always possible. Like this week, when I broke down more than I came together to parent my beloved boys. They are 16 months apart and I would be a very (VERY) rich person if I’d listened to all the people who told me I’d have my hands full.

They. Were. Right.

My struggle isn’t with that. It’s with the logistics. When both boys are having a rough day, there’s almost nothing I can do. One hates being in the car and one loves it. One wants to be held, they both want to be held. It’s just the way the (not-so-normal) cookie crumbles.

My struggle is with my heart. I love them both. And they both need me. 100 percent of the time, they both need me.

What an amazing gift.

Yet, at the same time, I kind of resent them both for keeping me from properly tending to the other.

It’s like the little one knows I’m having fun with my older one and starts screaming. Every. Single. Time.

My mom said it once (or about a million times). This. This right here is the best and worst of times. They somehow manage to live in perfect harmony. Such is life.

So today I stand proud. Today, as the room was dark and my dear dog Wiley laid at my feet, I looked up to heaven and I said thank you.

Thank you for the toddler tantrums and the hugs that follow. Thank you for the moment when both of my boys stop crying about heaven knows what at the exact same time. Thank you for moments. They happen throughout each and every day. The moments that make the struggle worth it.

Like today, when my 20-month-old son kept hugging me for no apparent reason. Or when my four-month-old son kept smiling at the mere sight of me. These are the moments to remember. These are the best of the worst of times.

The Mom Life: From the Ground Up

The mom life. From the ground up, it’s complicated. It’s messy. Worst of all, it’s unpredictable. Yet the most important lesson I learn each day is that I have so much more to discover. So much more to learn.

Like how to survive life as a working mother with two boys under the age of two. How to balance priorities, earn a good living and find time to stop and notice the little things. TLF photo

I was reminded of this that fateful day, a day that will forever live on in my heart. It was an awful day. Truly, it was one for the record books. I had been up several times consoling my teething one-year-old son the night before. Then I had watched in horror as the house morphed into something that would evoke nightmares in the minds of nannies and maids everywhere.

Canned goods from the pantry were scattered in (literally) ever room of the house. I was covered in some sort of baby food goop and smelled faintly of a diaper I’d changed hours prior. Glass had been shattered all over the floor. The garbage had been tipped on its side. And I had a moment.

I thought to myself about how life used to be before all of this. There were manicures and pedicures and expensive lunches on the company credit card. There were suits and there was happy hour. Life before kids was just as different as everyone said it would be. And I missed it.

That’s when it happened. I grabbed my son in an attempt to find something (anything) to occupy him for a few minutes while I could clean up and he grabbed my glasses and threw them on a floor with a crash I thought for sure would break them. I picked them up, shocked to find everything was still in one piece, put them back on, and resumed operation tidy up.

It wasn’t until much (much) later that day I noticed how dirty my glasses were. I could barely see through them, if I’m being honest. I took them off, taking a long look at those tiny little fingerprints from earlier and, without a second thought, put them right back on.

The mom life. From the ground up, it’s complicated. It’s messy. Best of all, it’s unpredictable. Sure, I miss the days when everything seemed easier. I miss the manicures and pedicures and suits and happy hour. But I’m a mom now. And that means I have tiny little fingerprints on my heart that can’t ever be washed away.