With Two Kids, Perfection is Gone, but Life is Better. (June 3, 2012)
Wow! Another two months have flown by and I still haven’t posted. I could tell you that I have been busy – busy with the kids, the house work, going back to work etc., but let’s just use the phrase we all love so much and move on, “I have two kids!” Alexa is doing amazing and big sister Carmella has been a “big help” to us. Carmella, binky fiend that she is, is determined to make Alexa one too. Every time Alexa cries Carmella’s solution is binky, binky, binky!
On May 6th, also my dad’s 60th birthday and he graciously let us borrow his day, we had Alexa’s christening and Carmella’s 2nd birthday party. Alexa wore the same dress as Carmella and was joined by her godparents Jenna and Brian. Back at the birthday/christening celebration, Grandpa scored some points with the kids by bringing along one of his friends, a foster baby great horned owl that was in his care. The kids had a blast, and it is probably something the owl will never forget either as he makes his way back into the wild ;).
During these first few months of Alexa’s life, Bill and I have also been reminded of the joys of newborns. Changing them 15+ times a day, getting up all hours of the night – though when you are nursing daddy gets a free pass, and not being able to go out for an extended period of time because without fail they will need to eat and be changed.
The nights (and days) of when they cry and no matter how many things you try they just aren’t happy are forgotten as soon as you get an unintentional hug from them or see them sleeping peacefully in your arms with the occasional smile brushing across their face followed sometimes by a laugh. At that point you forget the hard times, the stress in your life and bask in the feeling of gratefulness for your bundle of joy.
I am lucky to be able to have taken advantage of maternity leave, but 12 weeks never feels like enough. During leave Carmella got to spend some quality mommy time and seems to have picked up some habits including wanting to go clothes shopping, shoe shopping, and of course to Starbucks to get mommy’s decaf mocha and Carmella’s chocolate donut. Not to mention that she can’t leave the house without her purse. She is truly a mini me – sorry daddy!
I also got to meet and learn the personality of my sweet baby girl Alexa. While she may be better about going to sleep at bedtime, I don’t think she will have any trouble standing up to her big sister. She is getting big so fast – on her way to 9 month clothes already based on her height – and for those of you that know us we don’t have height on either side. This is also her first night in the crib!! While she looks so tiny in the big, huge crib, it is also the most peaceful she has slept. She is so long that the bassinette just isn’t practical and she seems to love her new bed. We also mastered our first out to eat experience with both of the girls with no issues! Carmella was in heaven as she loves going out to eat and Alexa decided to sleep through the entire meal.
Carmella’s big trip into the city.
Now that the twelve weeks is over I am back at work again. For a nursing mom this is never easy but we take our pumps to work with us and do what needs to be done. As is the reality for most families, we have two working parents. The bills for college are easily going to be hundreds of thousands potentially by the time they go and we want to give them every advantage possible. Carmella has started learning the value of money by feeding her piggy bank and learning about what things cost. While she may want to constantly go shopping for clothes, shoes and toys, she also told me that she has to get a job to make some money so I think she is starting to understand that in order to get what you want you have to work for it. Step two is teaching her that life isn’t all about money, working or possessions and that the most important thing is family and being happy.
One lesson I am working on for myself is learning that nothing is perfect and you need to live in today instead of living for the future all of the time. I am also learning on how to let go of perfection. Ok, so not let go of perfection but how to change my perception of perfection.
The reality of having to budget my time at home by maximizing the time with my hubby and the girls means that sometimes the house is not always as neat as it should be, the laundry isn’t always folded right away and the dishes – well nothing bad is going to happen if the dishes sit in the sink overnight either. Please don’t get me wrong, I am not advocating chaos or a messy house, but I am learning that perfect is sometimes just having dinner with the girls, getting them through tubby time and then snuggling down for the night in our PJ’s watching Carmella put on a show or introducing Alexa to a new toy. And with this new perfect comes a sense of extreme happiness and the realization of how lucky I am to have the life that I do.
A book that has been very interesting and eye opening is Good Enough is the New Perfect by Becky Gillespie and Hollee Temple. It explains well the concept of perfect and shows that perfection varies by person and situation, because you may not think you have things perfect, you need to step back and see what it is you do have, and you will be surprised at just how perfect that is.