One to Two

I'm not very good at talking about hard things, it's much easier to say, I love this and I love that, because there is so much to love and it's fun to talk about stuff that you find joy in.
But at the same time, I have a friend who did a blog post on her feelings about becoming a mom of two and how hard it was and that was so comforting to me to hear that it's okay to have a hard time with something that you love so much at the same time.
And I want to remember what it was like right now and how hard it was so that I can one day see how much I've grown and how it was so worth going through this hard time to get to the times ahead.

So here goes, these past few weeks of being the mom of these two beautiful children has been really hard.

And I expected it to be that way, so it wasn't a surprise, but just because I expected it doesn't mean it was any easier.
And I think the most frustrating thing about it has been that I am not the mom I want to be right now, which means my kids aren't getting the mom that they deserve.

There were too many times these past couple of weeks where Fenton was crying and Ella was getting into trouble (because the poor girl just wants her Momma's attention for one minute) and I would use a harsh voice to tell her, "No! No! No! Ella! Why would you do that?!"
And a few minutes later I'd hear her repeat "No! No! No!" in imitation of my harsh voice towards her and oh my gosh, my heart would break!
She shouldn't be getting that from her mom.
And there are too many times when I am trying to help Ella finish up her lunch and get cleaned up and poor little Fenton is over on the couch crying and crying and screaming because the poor little boy is starving and has been waiting for so long for his mom to come feed him and finally he just couldn't take it anymore and broke into upset tears.
I spend the entire day trying to make sure that both kids are taken care of and fed and changed and getting attention and learning and yet it seems like there is always at least one of them that's upset, no matter how hard I've tried.
And then there's poor Adam who must wonder where the girl he married has disappeared to (although he never once complains, only praises and is endlessly understanding, which almost makes it worse because that boy deserves so much more than a crazed girl who gets impatient with his children and speaks to them harshly).

I have messed up so much recently, I feel so frazzled with trying to juggle both kids it's spread out to the rest of my life and everything I do.

We were 40 minutes late to church this last week, and I wasn't the least bit surprised because that pretty much sums up how frazzled I feel in the rest of my life.
Last week I had gone 4 days without a shower, and I felt so gross but there was no way I was going to get a shower on my own.
It was on that day that a beautiful and wonderful friend of mine came knocking on my door and told me that she was there to hold my baby while I went upstairs and took a shower.
Friends like that are golden.
To just come when you didn't even call but they know you probably need help (and are just too proud to ask for it) and to not even care that your house is a chaotic mess.
And I think part of the problem is that I wake up each morning (after far too few hours of sleep due to a certain little sweet newborn) and look at the day as a challenge rather than an adventure.
A challenge is a problem or a difficulty and it is your goal to just get through it by whatever means possible and to stand triumphant on the other side.
Just get through this day with two kids to have it over with so that it is one less day of having two kids under the age of two.
Clearly, that approach is a problem.
An adventure is more about the process than the destination.
It's about enjoying things as you go along, laughing at the spilled milk and the dirty hand prints (that are bound to cover your entire home by the end of the day) and finding opportunities to enjoy every moment with these two sweet kiddos because you are never going to have these days again.


I wrote everything above about a week ago but was too scared to post it because it's hard to admit that I was failing. 
But since that week I've been trying to live everyday as if it's an adventure instead of a challenge and it's made all the difference in the world.
I think the moment that made me realize how much my mindset had changed was this morning when Ella came into my room where I was getting dressed and she said, "Nanny" (nasty), which is how she refers to dirty diapers and pointed down the hall. 
I followed her to where she was leading me and found at the bottom of the stairs a poopy diaper that she had opened up and dug into (not the most pleasant image, sorry for the visual!).
I looked at her hands and sure enough she was guilty.
But I didn't feel super upset, I just felt calm as I washed her hands and kind of laughed inside because I think it must be a rite of passage for a toddler to play in poop at least once, right?
I went down and cleaned the diaper and Ella brought me a couple of things that she had smeared poop on and we cleaned them up and that was that and it wasn't until later that I realized that if that had happened the week before I would have been using that harsh voice again and felt really upset and that probably would have ruined the whole day, but it didn't this time.
I was laughing about it instead and I was so glad that my daughter wasn't afraid to tell me when she got into a bit of a mess and would show me where she had spread the mess.
That's kind of a gross example, sorry! 
But it really opened my eyes to the progress we've made in one week.
To laugh at the hard things instead of get upset about them makes all the difference.
And I am trying to remember that as we embark on a new adventure everyday.
I am still completely not on top of things, we are late to everything and I never respond to texts or emails in a timely manner and I am always behind and the house looks insane but that's okay because I'm becoming more of the mom I want to be and that's all that matters right now.
And in case you were wondering, having two kids is amazing!
It takes much more work and it certainly is harder, but the best things always take the most sacrifice.
I can't even put into words why it's all worth it, but it is.
Seeing how much Ella loves her brother and having two little people with their own unique personalities and sweet spirits, I seriously look at them and am in awe that I get to be these two kiddos' mom.
Adam and I sometimes get to talking about the two of them and just break into tears because we just love them so much it's crazy.
So here's to countless adventures ahead!


  1. I totally needed this Annie!! I don't even have a second little one yet, but I have been feeling this way all week!! Thanks for writing it :)

    1. Oh my goodness, I'm so glad that it was helpful! I miss seeing you guys in our ward and watching Maeli so that I can get an idea of where Ella will be in just a few months since they are just several months apart!

  2. Oh, Annie, you are too sweet! I think as mommas we have all have the tendency to be hard on ourselves. You're doing amazing! And Ella is still so young! For us, the past 2 weeks in the NICU have been super hard with McKenzie...the poor girl has been so neglected (I think she's an iPad addict). I'm hoping that their age difference makes the transition a little easier (on us) when he finally comes home, because she'll be in school all day starting in the fall. Anyhow, laughing is definitely the best approach. =) A day at a time.

    1. I can't even imagine having a baby in the NICU, especially for that long, you poor momma! McKenzie seems like she's going to be such an incredible sister! She seems like she's at the perfect age to kind of understand what's going on with a new sibling. I can't wait to hear how she adapts to him being at home!

  3. I'm so glad that you found comfort in my post! and honestly, i've had to many moms reach out and tell me they went through the same thing. you are a fabulous momma, and your darlings are so sweet. do your best to keep seeing the good.. hang in there, i promise it gets easier!

    1. *that should say '*so many moms' :)

    2. Thank you so much, Whitney! I seriously love being able to read your blog and see where my kids will be in 3 months and how they might be interacting with each other and to hear how you're dealing with it. And it's so nice to know that it gets easier!

  4. I must say... as hard as it is/seems/can be... day by day is all you can do! Don't worry so much about what you haven't done... think instead of the things that you have done! Hang in there... it's worth every second! Our first 2 were 18 months apart... then #2 and #3 were 22 months apart... and #3 and #4 were 4 years 4 months apart. The last was hard because we had been outta diapers for a year or so; no diaper bag at all... but well worth each and every minute of the blessings we have we our family.

    1. That is just what I wanted to hear because we had our kids this close in age because we thought in the long run, when they're older, we will be so glad they're so close, so it's good to hear from someone whose kids are older that it's worth everything it takes!

    2. Just realized that you had replied; our kids are pretty close friends. Two of our daughters live in the same home and are considering buying a duplex together! Our oldest (a boy) and our first daughter are still great friends too. People used to think that they were twins as they grew. Now they are having kids of their own! ;)

  5. I cried reading this, remembering how it feels. I am so glad you wrote it all down, the good and the bad. With this third pregnancy, I feel like I have been going through all of this all over again. Today happened to be one of those "harsh voice days", and this post was a great reminder for me. Thanks Annie! You are a fabulous Mom.

  6. PS. I just found this astounding quote, and the moment I read it I thought of you and this post. So, I had to share it with you...

    "There is no way to be a perfect mother, and a million to be a good one." -Jill Churchill

    1. I had no idea you were pregnant, Emily! Oh my gosh, how exciting! Just yesterday I was thinking about how we got to come see you guys in the hospital when Samuel was born and now he's getting a second sibling! And I love that quote, thank you so much for sharing it, Emily!

  7. Just read this tonight. Beautiful post. I will pray for you. I wish could relate more directly, but alas, children are yet in my future. I'm so glad that you are learning so many wonderful things through motherhood. I am excited to start the journey someday too, even though it will be so hard. I love you Annie!

    1. Thank you so much, wonderful Laura! I love you!