Thirty eight. The number of days that have passed since my last visit here to the blog. And I miss it–oh, do I miss it! But life has left little room for screen time these days, and I shouldn’t complain. Tomorrow our Eloise will be ten weeks old. Ten! I might as well be staring down her first birthday it’s so surreal. I feel like we’ve been in a vacuum, all of us, and Eloise is brand new and part of the furniture at the same time.
Nearly as much as we were attached pre-birth, E is still attached in every possible way. Unlike her brother, who was ready (and happier) to be in his own bed at four weeks, Eloise is still rooming in with us nightly. What’s more, she wants to be held. Held, held, held. Night and day. In and out of weeks. At every possible moment. I can’t blame her, being so little and all. In a way, it’s nice to be so needed and wanted by our little girl. I adore her. And it’s endearing and cuddly and beautiful and sweet, but sometimes, it’s just plain hard, too. Thing is: I know this is going to pass. One day, I’ll wake up and she’ll hardly need me at all. This will all feel like it was ages ago, and I’ll wish I could throw thing into reverse to be so connected to my baby girl again.
So. Our days have had some modifications. And I’ve had to recalculate my expectations–especially of myself and my capacity on most levels. Turns out I can only get so much done with one hand free. It also turns out that one hand free has become kind of a bonus. Like right now. It may take twice as long, but I can blog with one hand free. Excellent. I’ve discovered I can also brush my teeth, make meals (oh so very slowly), snuggle with Henry, make the bed, play with cars, and if I have absolutely have to, use the bathroom. So long as I can bounce or cradle or nurse a baby at the same time, we’re good to go.
I always envisioned being this expert baby-wearer who whipped up amazing meals and played with my kids and cleaned the whole house and managed a job–all while comforting the littlest of the family, hands free. Between two babies, I’ve tried and returned three wraps, given up on two slings, and decided the Ergo is only a true friend once we’re past the “infant insert” stage. Turns out I’m way more successful at baby carrying…building great upper arm strength while testing my neck, shoulders, patience and stamina for amazing lengths of time (and particularly between the hours of 8pm and 2am). Yes. I imagined something very different. But I wouldn’t trade our kiddos or this baby time for anything else, regardless.
Some days I wonder if I’m crazy for attempting to do things like keep up with cloth diapering or make handmade Halloween costumes for the kiddos in this one-handed season. Doing so means keeping wild hours and getting unbelievably crafty with my time management and juggling skills. It has also meant accepting help when it’s offered, coming to very real terms with imperfection, and learning way more about extending grace to myself and to others.
Am I the poster girl for having it all together as of late? Nope. Not really at all. But my family is well-loved, and Eloise is fed and comforted around the clock. And there’s still time to laugh with Henry and to celebrate motherhood and to sneak in a really quick shower, so for now, it’s good enough. My margins are smaller, but my heart feels bigger. I have room where I make it, which has caused me to get really real most days and to prioritize what matters most. For this reason, I’m back here typing one handed, so years from now I can remember what this time in our lives felt like. And for the same reason there are dishes in the sink and the diapers are waiting…Henry’s Sid the Science Kid wig is nearly crocheted on the table next to me, the baby is in my lap cooing, thank you notes are piling up to express all of the beauty, the thoughtfulness, the gratitude for so many offered extra hands…