i decided back in december that i wasn't making any resolutions this year. if i've learned anything it's that introducing a new baby to our family is resolution enough for both me and our family. and in light of that i wanted to be respectful of the fact that 2016 would just be a big transition year for our family and that it was okay just to focus on finding our new normal, meeting everyones needs, and making sure we felt good about how we spent our days. there will be a time for trying new recipes, doing big things, taking vacations, and finding more time for myself but i know that this year is not that. survival with a big helping of grace is my goal for this year and i hope that i find a way to remember that every day. i love staying at home with my kids, i love being a mother, and i love our family but i could definitely find some more grace for everyone in our family as we go throughout our days, and especially when this next baby joins us. adding ellie to our family was not a cakewalk. it was really, really hard. she was a hard baby and basically took every ounce of my attention which meant that at the end of the day i felt guilty for not spending enough time with avery, for our messy house, for feeding us grilled cheese for dinner (again), for counting the minutes to bedtime, and for having zero energy and time left for me and charlie at the end of the day.
i'm mentally preparing for the same situation this time around, while hoping for a slightly easier going baby, too. but i'm hoping that if it is just as hard (or harder) this time, that i remember that it's okay. that these times will pass and that what matters is not what we accomplished at the end of the day but that we all treated each other well and that everyone goes to bed feeling loved.
so, i'm making 2016 about "grace" and hoping to grant everyone a big slice of it.
... grace for the messes that avery leaves all over the house. she has a habit of playing with all the things, all the time, in all the rooms. but she's playing, she's learning, she's occupying herself, and she's learning to clean up after herself.
... grace for the two year old that needs to be held at the most inconvenient times, and gets frustrated at me and at her sister, and at herself. she's two. she's learning. she needs a hug, and a tissue, and for me to sit for a minute and read her a book.
... grace for the two year old, again, when she cannot sleep. she's not a good sleeper. she's never been a good sleeper. one day she will sleep. i must remember that this is hard for her, too.
... grace for myself. i need some time to myself. not much, but a walk in the mornings, a hot shower, and a cup of tea (or soon beer!) at night make me much more able to take care of everyone else.
... grace for the dog because he's a puppy for goodness sake and he's going to chew things and he needs exercise and he's learning and trying, too.
... grace for the times when it seems like avery and ellie cannot play well together for even 30 seconds. they're both learning and figuring out how to play with each other, what is acceptable and what isn't, and how to stand up for themselves. it's a process and sometimes it's a messy one.
... grace for my husband. he works hard. he needs time for himself, too. and he is a great dad. i am so glad he's the one holding my hand at the end of the day. and we both could use some time together, without the kids, whether it's brunch or a fire after the kids have gone to bed or falling asleep while watching modern family.
... grace during those morning hours when everyone is crying and upset because they're hungry and whiny and not happy with whatever breakfast is being served. it will all get better once they eat and i get some coffee.
... grace for the messes that will inevitably pile up: the dishes in the sink, the bathrooms that need cleaning, and the laundry piles that seem impossible to fold at times. they do drive me crazy but they also mean that i was spending my time taking care of the people that matter most. the messes are worth it. and they will all get cleaned up eventually.
... grace for the newborn baby that is coming soon and will probably cry for no reason, want to be fed 12-14 times a day, have a hard time sleeping, be woken up by our loud house, need a million diaper changes, and steal countless hours of sleep from us. because it's a newborn, you know. and really, we are the luckiest to be adding a new person to our family who we get to learn about and teach things and watch grow up. and we know just how fast that time flies, even when there is a lot of crying involved.
so here's to 2016. i'm hoping it's filled with lots of hugs, "i love yous", and spontaneous kisses. i hope that my kids know how much i love them and how much they love each other at the end of each day. i hope that we read lots of books, play outside a lot, grow a tiny garden, make messes and learn more about each other. and i hope we remember every day just how lucky we are.