Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Third Time Around...

Today has been a day filled with memories. Awesome memories have flooded into my mind throughout the entire day.

Memories of when I just had one sweet baby. To memories of expanding our little family to two kids.

It wasn't that long ago that JP was an only child, and yet in some instances it seems to have been an eternity.

Parenting the first time around was difficult, in that I did not know what I was doing. JP and I spent our days sleeping in, playing, rarely napping, and typically working at the Ole Giftshop. Once I got 'brave' enough we ventured out looking for buddies for JP. My bravery came in the form of my love of photography. I took pictures of JP with other kids at the pumpkin patch and then mailed copies to some of the moms. I put myself out there hoping 'a fish would bite'. Alana was my first mommy friend and many play dates followed. It was good times.

Parenting the second time around was just down right fun. Although it was fun, I had not found my confidence in my parenting. What I had found was 'my people' and they all had kids almost the exact same age as my two. Our days were filled with preschool, gymnastics, kindermusik, MOPS, play dates, lunch dates, girls nights out, etc. We threw each other adorable baby showers for our 2nd babies. We spent countless hours sitting in play lands outnumbered 2:1 kids to moms. All the firstborns played biddy sports together and we dined as families afterwards. It was like living in Disney World 24 hours a day.

Parenting the third time around has been hard. I absolutely love it, but it is hard. How do I explain this? As a mom of 4 I am now finally confident in myself as a parent. I feel knowledgeable, while still in the learning seat. But while I am confident, I still have moments where I feel alone in this stage of parenting. Those are tough moments, probably because of what an awesome close community that was going on when I was parenting the second time. You just can't beat being in the trenches with gals in the exact same situation as yourself.

You see now everyone has school aged children and along with homework comes after school activities. The big kids schedule throws a kink in the ability to just go play all day with friends because in order for toddlers to be happy being dragged from one practice to the next they need naps...Good naps.

It is hard when you have school aged kids and toddlers. But there is nothing greater than hearing 2 year olds calling for their 9 year old brother, or having a tea party with their 6 year old sister. So while I may feel alone in the trenches at times, my heart is so very full with my FOUR beautiful children.


Alana said...

LOVE this post. Lots of great memories. Thanks for putting yourself out there all those years ago. And you are never alone in the trenches. We may not be in the exact same trench anymore, but we can always hop over for a visit! Love ya.

Shelley said...

I totally understand this. There have been so many times since Austin was born that I felt this...lonely. Then he started school last year, and I had just a little "me" time, and I finally felt slightly normal again. I do miss those fun days when AJ and Annie were sitting in their carseats on the mops tables!

Janelle said...

Totally get this! Reading a page out of my own story!

Cindy said...

Jennifer, I so totally get it. If you ever want to be adventerous and come play with Elizabeth and us on one morning we would love it. Do not ever worry I am too busy, that is being a mom of 4...I will always try to make it work and most of the time I am sure it will.