Last week I had started a draft for this blog post with a working title of “Happy Place.” Except a lot’s happened between now and then. As I laid awake after a much needed cry fest last night, the only thing I could think of was that it was time for me to “get real.” Too often we feel the pressures of putting on that happy face, even though we know well and good we are holding back tears or anxieties that eventually come to a head when we’re least expecting it. Last night was one of those times. I was preparing to give my son a bath just like any other night, but this night he insisted on having a “boo boo” that was going to hurt if he put his foot in the water. Oh dear. So for a solid five minutes (felt like 30) I tried every bribe in the book, until tears ensued and dad walked in asking buddy what’s wrong. To which I went off on a lightening speed explanation on why I’m so frustrated after trying to negotiate with a toddler for ten minutes, which results in said dad backing out of the bathroom slowly, very slowly.
We made it through bath time unscathed, barely, but I just couldn’t let it go. But what was it that I couldn’t let go of? Was it the fact that every time I can’t successfully communicate with my toddler it makes me feel like my thousands of dollars in student loans for that communication studies degree was a waste? Amusing thought, but no. As I laid down in bed and muttered “good night” to Grant, that’s when it hit me. I was scared. Scared that I was losing control. Not of my toddler, cuz seriously, the only person in control of a toddler – is a toddler. I was scared of losing control of this mom life that I had finally adjusted to and truly was in my “happy place” – all to have it thrown out the window three months from now with the arrival of a certain little lady. I don’t think it’s any coincidence that this all happened just days before rounding out my six months of pregnancy. Or, the fact that we took Garrett to see Boss Baby earlier in the day (do I need to say spoiler alert for a kids movie? Ok, “spoiler alert”) – it’s the story of a sweet kid who loves being an only child and gets blindsided by the news of his parents having another baby. It shows them doing all the things they used to do with him, but now with the baby instead (p.s., the song “Blackbird” is officially ruined for me). Um, yeah, *trigger warning* much?
So as I start to whimper, my hubs realizes I’m crying and asks what’s wrong in the sweet and caring way he always does. I of course shrug my shoulders a few times, until I finally admit just how bad I feel for Garrett and for losing my patience with him. He reassures me that I’m not the only mom that happens to, and tells me not to worry about it because Garrett had completely forgotten it already. He’s right, he’s always right damnit. But for some reason, I couldn’t stop the tears from flowing. I finally choked out that I was now afraid of how having this baby was going to change everything. He paused for a few seconds, and said “Right, but it will be a good change.” My husband may be a man of few words, but they’re the right words I always need to hear. He went on to tell me that he knows how much I love Garrett and how much he is the center of my world these days, and that sometimes it would be good for me to just let him do his thing without me needing to be there at his every beck and call. Yep, you guessed it. Right again. So a funny thing happened. The very next day I did just that. I decided to just let Garrett “be” and do whatever he wanted without me having to “mom so hard” as Grant endearingly calls it. I did the dishes, about seven loads of laundry, organized my closet and Grant’s, and the icing on the cake – took a freaking shower! All the while, Garrett used his imagination to play with his hot wheels, make music in his room, brush his teeth all by himself, and climb up onto the kitchen counter to steal candy (ok that last one I wasn’t crazy about, but I commended him for his ingenuity).
Now, as I sit down to reflect on all of it, I am finally starting to feel at peace. At peace that while nothing can prepare you for what it will be like bringing another child into this world – I know without a doubt that our little family will be more blessed than I can even imagine. At peace that it’s ok if I feel scared right now and questioning if I will be able to handle all that comes with the territory of a baby and a toddler in the house. I can’t think of a better support system than the one I have in my husband and family surrounding us, who would drop everything just to be there when I need them. So here goes nothing, or should I say everything…
photo cred: Marlo Carroll Photography
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