Matilda has reached my favorite age. She's 9-months.
I love this stage. Crawling and exploring. Babbling and growling. Sleeping better (still not consistently through the night). Snuggling and pushing me away. Playing with her sister. Pulling her sister's hair. Yanking on my leg as I get ready in the morning. Waving and showing me how big she is ..."so big!" Smiling with her crooked smile, sticking out her tongue and generally being the most sweet-tempered and happy baby on the planet.
I'm smitten. 100% in love. Can't live without this baby girl Matilda.
And yet we got off to such a rough start. Postpartum depression was a beast and I am so grateful that I have come out of it so successfully. It breaks my heart to think I had such horrible thoughts about being a mother in those early weeks. I hurts me to think that I wasn't ever sure I was ready for another child in my life. I know that it was all part of my journey. I feel a bit like the phoenix. I went up in flames and have emerged from the ashes. All of the fear and anxiety I felt has seemed to melt away. It's such a great feeling.
In fact, I think I'm getting the hang of this thing. Being a mom of two. Being a successful career woman. Being a wife, friend, sister, daughter and community member.
The other night I wrote in my journal that I felt like I could do it all. I left the house clean in the morning. I even put a load of laundry in the wash. I packed a healthy lunch and had my workout clothes ready. I had a great day at work. I went to the gym after work. I cooked dinner. I bathed and put the girls to bed. I cleaned the house before bed and I even crossed a bunch of items off my to-do list. Bam! I kicked ass. Look at me as I multitask! I can do anything.
This is the lie that I have to tell myself. I can do anything. I can do this. I can balance this life.
The reality is so different. Most days I wake up grumpy. I miss the days of waking on my own time.
I'm snippy with Millie. She never eats what I want her to eat. She fights me to get dressed. Because she wants to only wear her princess clothes.
I can't stand doing her hair - and when I do it, it usually looks pretty sub-par. I usually am running late for work because Matilda is clinging to me and crying. Or she's sticking her hands in the toilet, or has made a mess with the toilet paper. I dutifully pack my workout clothes the night before and still manage to leave them home at least once a week. At work I feel overwhelmed and sometimes incapable of raising the money that needs to be raised. I either feel completely overwhelmed and wishing I could stay late to catch up, or I feel unmotivated because of the size of my tasks. It's daunting at time. Many days I don't feel like working out, so I don't. I end up feeding Millie mac-n-cheese for dinner and ask Seth to get me Cafe Rio. I put the girls to bed, clean up the house a bit and then end up watching TV for an hour before crawling into bed. And I usually have a glass of wine.
This is my reality most days. Chaos. The feeling of being completely snowed under with my life. The feeling of never doing anything well. I'm a crappy worker. A mean mom. A horrible wife. I don't do anything in my life particularly well.
These are also lies that I tell myself.
My truth is somewhere in-between. I may not be the best mom, but I'm doing the best I can. My girls are happy and healthy.
They love their mom and I love them more than I can even comprehend. The highlight of my day is seeing them when I come in the door at night. Wrestling with them on the ground. Dancing with them in the kitchen.
My house is probably cleaner than the average house even though it feels like a complete disaster to me.
My marriage is just fine. It's far from perfect. It lacks romance but it's comfortable and warm. And we sit downstairs and listen to Lionel Richie together and sing and laugh so hard we cry. We still manage to go out a few times a month. Even if we are exhausted with friends by 9:30pm.
I know I am good at my job. I love what I do and I am happy to work each day. Which is more than I think most people can say.
I can do all this and still plan ridiculous birthday parties. I can do all of this and still make mason-jar salads for the week in an effort to eat healthy. I can do all of this and still find time to meet good friend's for dinner. I can do all of this and still put together a bunco group, just so we momma's have an excuse to get out of the house once a month.
I can do these things because I have an incredible partner. A man who never walks through the door at the end of a 12-14 hour day and sits down. He hits the ground running with me until we collapse at 8pm. I can do these things because we have an amazing nanny. A nanny who takes such care of my girls and helps me with things around the house. I can do these things because I have grandparents that let me drop the girls off so I can run errands on weekends when Seth is working. I can do all of these things because I have a job that is understanding and flexible with me.
Life is all a balancing act. And while I feel mostly off-kilter and like I am hanging on for dear life, I sure know how to lie to myself.
I've got this in the bag people.