Life After Birth: Accepting the Mess
Basically anytime after you give birth to your first child can be considered life after birth, right? You slowly get used to being a parent and continually adjust to each new phase and change in your parenting career as your child grows. But, life RIGHT after birth...now that is where the whirlwind of parenting really seems to be the craziest.
Whether it is baby one or baby four, bringing a newborn into the world and caring for them just really fills your time. Newborns only truly need a few key things, but they sure need a lot of it; milk, diaper changes, sleep, and love as they transition into life in the world. It never ceases to amaze me how much time can be filled by just doing those four things over and over again throughout the day.
I had my first daughter in 2015, and just had my second at the beginning of August! Of course, I went through all of the newborn stuff with my first, but it has almost been three years, so I knew that jumping back into newborn life would be a big pill to swallow again, especially with a very busy toddler around.
While my husband was home from work for the first few days, the house continued to be cleaned and tidied up because he's a gem of a man. The first day he went back to work for the whole day, it only took about an hour in the morning for the entire main floor of our place to look like an absolute wreck. I was seriously amazed at how effortlessly the mess had been made and how I kept not getting everything cleaned up and put away like I usually did. Boy did it stress me out!
One day, my husband came home from work and the house was an absolute disaster. Our newborn had basically been crying all day, so I literally hadn't put her down once, and our toddler was still not quite sure why I was suddenly giving love to this new human in the house. I was in tears and a very emotional mess when he walked through the door. I explained that I was feeling inadequate because I "wasn't getting anything done." He laughed and told me that I was caring for our daughters, and asked why that didn't count for anything. I didn't have a good answer for him.
It is so easy to look at the messes around the house and forget about all the good you have done for your kids. Isn't it annoying how easy it is to overlook all of the good you have done and focus on the dirty dishes or the beds covered in the clean but wrinkled laundry? Since that day, my husband has been great at helping me remember that the mess can be cleaned later if it needs to be!
When I accept and ignore the mess, I have so much more fun loving on and playing with my girls! Caring for the newborn and myself postpartum still takes just as much time, and my toddler is just as busy and attention-seeking as always. BUT, when the messes aren't my first priority, the attention-seeking, love-needing children become the light in my day rather than the things that are keeping me from crossing petty chores off of my to-do list.Featured Image PC: @cieraleavitt
Written by: Alyssa Liston