My Sullen Dreading

This afternoon brought the Mikkelsons by, bringing with them a bounty of baby wipes and froggy-print wearables for Henry and a bright spot to an otherwise greyish type of day for me.

I've been in a bit of a glum mood today. Not depressed...just...possessing a sullen dreading. See, I have only 2 days left of Bill being home, being here, being my second pair of hands, my shoulder on which to cry those postpartum tears, that trusty voice of reason and comfort that I rely so heavily on during those turbulent days that follow bringing home a baby. That right-hand man ready to offer me a hug or a glass of water or a diaper. My roller-coaster buddy.  Then he's back to school/work and I am left to figure out this 2-hands-3-kids thing without those other two hands that I rely so heavily on.

One of my nurses at the hospital told me that she had also had 3 children, 3 and under. She smiled at me, knowingly, and said, "I remember. There were days when we were all sitting on the kitchen floor, crying. But I survived! And so will you."

Forget meals and a shower - my ambitions aren't so high. I just have real concerns about not being able to use the bathroom until my mom gets home from work around 5. Do bladders explode? Does a person die from an exploded bladder?

I know that I can do it. 3 kids - psh! I'm Stepper the Mighty! It's just that - well - I know that even though I really do know that I will be able to do it and we'll all survive and I'll find my rhythm and etc. - I also know that the biggest reason I know I'll be able to do it is because I have no choice. I can be amazingly adaptable when no choice is involved.

I have to let Bill get back to his responsibilities - he has been more than heroic giving me ALL of his time this past week and a half - and I have to step up to mine.

Those who have traversed the Postpartum Waters know that this is a difficult thing to conceive of when you are so. dead. tired.

And so today my heart has been heavy with foreboding anticipation. So when the Mikkelsons arrived with their genuine smiles of genuine friendship, it was a much needed and much appreciated distraction. A breath of fresh air. A drawn curtain in a dark room.

Rischelle and her daughters sat on the couch taking turns with Henry and we shared stories and watched our 3 year-old boys play. Oh, how I needed that visit! Rischelle with her calm confidence buoyed up my own, and her declarations of adoration for Henry warmed me head to toe.

Not to mention the free-style yard romping enjoyed by Wyatt and his friend Kale (being outside does a 3-year-old boy's soul an awful lot of good, I'm learning). And the attention and play time that Daphne received from Annika and Hadley made this mother's heart soar with gratitude (the attention she's received from me this week has been weary and often interrupted). And the calm and careful snuggling that little Henry received from Victoria - graceful and capable, just like her mother.

They left too soon, but left my spirits much improved. And as they left, Risch reminded me once again that they live only 5 minutes away, and Wyatt and Daphne were welcome anytime.

A few of my good friends have also offered to play with my older kids to provide them with some much needed attention and me with a break.

And so I am taking courage and hoisting up my (still elastic) waistband. Yes, the next little bit is going to be difficult, exhausting, and trying. But also exaulting. And I have people standing in my corner, rooting me on. That is no small thing.

And should I find myself and my children all crying on the kitchen floor on some sorry afternoon, help is only a phone call away!

Thanks, guys.


nik said...

I too had 3 kids age 3 and under and while it is difficult, you will survive!!! Just don't plan on going anywhere alone with them all for a long time. oh and I learned the hard way to take the baby with me in the bathroom so the other two don't have access to him whilst you are busy!!

Jeff and Ari said...

We are all only a phone call away ... and I am hoping you call!! We would love the chance to give you a break ... and a chance to snuggle your sweet Henry!

craftyashley said...

Another survivor of 3, 3 and under here. As long as you know you have support and people at the ready to help, you can do it.

I usually dashed to the bathroom when the older two were in their highchairs eating breakfast/lunch/dinner and the baby was in a bouncer/swing/packnplay. If everyone's strapped down, the likelihood of shenanigans decreases dramatically.

I was also a big fan of car rides. Strap 'em in a carseat, give 'em a lapful of books, and then rock out to some of your favorite CD's...