“More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.” (Romans 5:3-4)
In 2009, I gave birth to my first son. He was breastfed until he was 6 months old. The old adage that one can’t get pregnant when breastfeeding is not true because when he turned 4 months old, I discovered I was pregnant. In 2010, I gave birth to my second son. The old adage continued to be disproved … because when he turned 7 months old, I discovered I was pregnant again with my third son.
Busy? Yes, but busy does not adequately describe the last 4 years of my life. There were times that sleep, eating, and showers could not be found in my vocabulary. Conversations were a blur and full of interruptions from crying, smelly babies. Indeed, food in my hair is a blessing compared to what was on my jeans and shirt in those days. To leave the house took over an hour each time and five trips back inside. Bottles were the extent of my fine china. My big black waste bin was filled every week with diapers alone.
When I left the house, it was always with three large backpacks full of diapers, wipes, bottles, sippy cups, clothes, extra clothes, pajamas, toys, medicine, clothes for mommy and more. It always amazed me that there were very few times I can say that I did not forget something. People constantly returned the items that I had left behind at church, at work, and at family visits. In fact, it became a running joke about what I have forgotten this time.
There were times I couldn’t handle it. Like the day my kids played with flour and food coloring. It was a most welcome 15 minutes of peace. I was sure that they were fine. They were fine. It was my kitchen that was not.
The walls, crib and tub have all — at one time or another — been decorated with poop. Pee, throw-up and blood has covered every surface of my house (but thankfully not all at once!) and Lysol has literally become my absolute best friend. Those Swiffer commercials with women dancing while Swiffer-ing? That was me with my Lysol. BFF’s all the way.
The best way I can describe this time in my life is by calling it the fog of motherhood. Maybe you have been, or have witnessed, a mom in this fog. You’ll definitely know it when you see it. A Mom’s fog is thick and sometimes very little light shines through. I would really like to say that during these moments, I would just pick up my Bible and pray to God for assurance. But I didn’t. Instead, I just kept pushing through it.
People would constantly tell me “This too shall pass” or “You’re going to miss this someday.” I can tell you that those two phrases are the most terrible thing to say to a mom experiencing fog. Neither offers encouragement. Neither are words that will ever be believed by the mom. At times, I thought it was just me.
But today, I witnessed a mom in this fog. Her little ones have both been sick and she has had very little sleep. Her husband is busy at work so she is basically on her own with her precious bundles. Today, I told her that this too shall pass. I laughed when she glared at me with eyes like daggers. It was at that moment that I realized those moments for me HAD passed. I was out of the fog. I no longer function like a zombie.
In fact, now, I find myself laughing joyfully throughout my day. There are still tough moments but nothing like the years of having three children 2 and under. Those years were tough. Those years WILL NOT BE MISSED! With that said, I am very thankful for facebook because at any time, I can go back and relive the happy moments between my statuses and uploaded pictures.
I survived, I told that mom, and so will you. It isn’t easy, and I know that with the next stage I will have new challenges to face. But for right now … in this moment in time … I can honestly say that I survived! Or maybe, more importantly, my children did.