Last weekend was full—in the best way.
On Friday night, a high schooler who lives across the street babysat the girls while Eric and I went to the opera. We dressed up, met up with friends, had a fancy schmancy drink and enjoyed the Portland Opera’s The Magic Flute. We hadn’t been to the opera—something I truly love—since last Valentine’s Day.
On Saturday we met up with a friend and his kids for a round of disc golf and swimming in the river at Milo McIver Park. Then we went to my brother’s house, where we played corn hole and let Peeper plant cucumber and lettuce seedlings. To round out the day, friends and their baby came to our house for dinner.
Finally, on Mother’s Day, we drove up Mt. Hood for a hike along the Salmon River.
On the drive back home, I reflected on the packed and truly fulfilling weekend. It struck me that we never could have pulled off all those activities—some planned, some impromptu—just a few months ago.
A path to better days
Raising two kids was hard, and the transition was ugly. We had to adjust to the needs of a newborn, but this time around, we also catered to a preschooler’s schedule and complex feelings. Many days I despaired that I’d never figure out how to balance it all. It always seemed as if everyone’s needs conflicted. Kiwi would need to breastfeed, Peeper would have to use the potty, Finn would need to be walked, and I would realize I hadn’t showered/brushed my teeth/changed out of my pajamas/eaten anything.
We were a mess.
Kiwi’s difficult first months made everything harder. We struggled to get her silent reflux under control. She wouldn’t sleep. Sometimes she’d cry inconsolably.
I cried inconsolably, too. I felt as if I were failing every single day. I couldn’t meet anyone’s needs, I thought. I wanted to be a better mother, but I saw no path to better days. It felt as if I’d always be stuck in the quagmire of no sleep, no relief and no hope.
I wish I could share the photos of our weekend with that mom. See, I’d say, look at everyone smiling.
See, I’d say, your children are thriving.
See, I’d say, you are already walking the path toward better days.