Leading up to the birth of my newborn son, I spent more time than I'd like to admit fretting about how I would adjust to parenting two children. How could I possibly maintain my commitment to attachment parenting with an infant while simultaneously meeting the ever-changing needs of my high-energy three year old? How could I keep my daughter occupied and engaged in the early days when my son would need to be nursed and held around the clock, without relying too heavily on the TV? How would I have any energy left to ensure that my own needs are met after meeting the needs of my children?
My anxiety reached its peak as my husband's full-time return to work last week drew near. On top of the fears I'd cultivated during pregnancy, I would now have to figure out how to parent both children while recovering from a surgical birth!
After a few deep breathes (okay, and a few crying jags) I realized that I could go into this new beginning with stress and anxiety over meeting some standards of parenting perfection that existed only in my mind, or I could see it as an opportunity for a fresh start. While it's only been a few days, by relaxing my standards, I have been able to celebrate small successes rather than berate myself for small failures.
If we've spent the day having fun, does it really matter if we don't change out of our pajamas? If everyone has been bed, does it matter if one of those meals was a box of Macaroni and Cheese and a can of peas? If everyone has been kept safe and warm, does it matter if I don't get a shower until after my husband gets home? If the diapers get clean, does it matter if the rest of the laundry (and let's not even talk about the dishes) pile up for a few days, If everyone's basic needs, including my own, are met with love and care, does it matter if I'm not perfect?
Ultimately, no, it does not.
This transition to parenting two children is just the first of many transitions in this new chapter of my life. If I can embrace this new beginning as an opportunity to be gentle with myself and my family as we adjust to the realities of our new family size, the growing pains will be fewer and easier to manage. As I grow into my expanded role as a mother, and as I heal and recover from birth, there will be more days that we get dressed in real clothes, more days that every meal is home cooked, and more days that the laundry (and dishes) gets done. In the mean time, I will cherish this time with my children, knowing that I'm doing the best I can, and that my best, while not perfect, is certainly good enough.
Thank you for visiting the Simply Living Blog Carnival cohosted by Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children, Laura at Authentic Parenting, Jennifer at True Confessions of a Real Mommy, and Joella at Fine and Fair. Read about how others are incorporating simple living into their lives via new beginnings. We hope you will join us next month, as the Simply Living Blog Carnival focuses on Clearing the Clutter!
- Using Special Time to Simply Connect - Amber at Heart Wanderings begins to focus on simply connecting with each of her children for a few minutes of Special Time each day. A deeper connection and sense of joy, softening of emotional outbursts, and less sibling rivalry have resulted from this practice.
- Redefining Simplicity - Living within our needs - Survivor from Surviving Mexico talks about how moving from a first-world country to a third world country has changed her family's perception of simplicity. Adapting to this new life has not been easy, but can be done with an attitude of gratitude.
- Changes - Sustainable mom writes about how she is bringing back a beat to a rhythm that has been falling apart.
- Listening to my Kids - Christy at Eco Journey In The Burbs is seeking peace and freedom after over-scheduling her daughters.
- Thankful to Begin Again - Mercedes @ Project Procastinot learns a lesson from her twins.
- Changes for a New Year - Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children is concentrating on making small changes this year in an effort to make better habits.
- Parenting Two: A Fresh Start - Joella at Fine and Fair embraces the transition as her family grows as a new beginning by being gentle with herself and realistic with her expectations.
- Finding Balance - At Authentic Parenting, Laura looks at where she's gotten fighting depression and spiraling to a more harmonious life.