The Other Side
I feel like I am officially moving out of this baby/toddler phase with my 4th (diapers, strollers, schedules, crazy tantrums, etc.) I had 4 kids in 5 years, and it was a pretty insane period - lots of emotions, hormones, crying (theirs and mine), but the good stuff too!
I know hindsight is always 20/20 but looking back I have learned so much. If you’re in the thick of it now, know that you will get to the other side. There are a few things, in particular, that I would have told myself when I was in the middle of it all...
- Everything (almost*) is a phase. Some things are innate in your kids’ personalities, but the sleepless nights, insane tantrums and overwhelming feelings will pass.
- No two pregnancies or kids are the same. Lean into your kids’ personalities (they are all different - don't compare them).
- Treat your kids fairly, not equally. If you have multiple kids, they will need different things from you at various stages. Don’t feel guilty if you are giving more to one than another at a particular point in time.
- Google is not a reliable source (and neither are the opinions of anyone other than your pediatrician).
- You may not find your village right away (and your village could be one amazing person). Move on from any negative mom energy or groups. You will quickly learn who supports you and who doesn’t.
- There is no "right way" or "one way" - there is only your way and what works for you and your family. Period.
- Some days you will feel like you are killing it and other days you will feel like the worst parent ... it goes with the territory.
- Don't be a hero. You can do it all but why would you? Take help from family and friends when they offer. It doesn’t make you a failure, it makes you human.
In those messy, chaotic years, you will cry a lot. Your nipples will hurt. Your hair will fall out. You will wear a diaper. Your body will change. But you will eventually start to feel more like yourself again as your priorities shift. Until then, just remember that through the thick of it all, it’s temporary. Slowly, but surely, you will resurface as a better, stronger version than you ever knew you were capable of.