There are those days that the baby won’t nap, no matter what routine or rock/cradle/swing contraption you’ve tried, and you’ve spent every last dime of energy and money of hopes and dreams on a swing and a down payment’s worth of batteries. These are the days the laundry remains undone, much like your sanity. There is dust and there is chaos and there are the older women, the ones with older children, perfect houses and orderly lives saying these are the best days, and you wonder if they’ve remembered their early motherhood days correctly. There are those days, sometimes the same day, those days that the toddler wets the bed, a mess of emotion and shame and all sorts of confused as the new baby has distributed her life and everything she’s come to know about her place in the family, and all you can do is cry with her, hug her, assure her that it’s all ok and that life in this family is messy, full of accidents, slips and trips, but also full of a love and grace that we can’t define, only believe in.
There are those days. Lots of those kinds of days, in abundance, overflowing.
Then there are those other days, the ones with sun shining brightly while it rains, the days life seems all together perfect and manageable, downright sunny: the day the baby (or you, but you’re not so sure who’s really in charge) finally figures out a nap schedule. The day the toddler gives you a hug so hard you can scarcely breathe or hold back the happy tears. The day it all goes right and you, somehow, and you can get to the nagging to-do list that includes more laundry than you know what to do with. In that moment you realize you both simultaneously love it and long for it, all the while mourning for anyone, really, who misses out on what special kind of joy having a family is.