Stay Curious.
Dig Deeper.
Nurture What Matters.
Be BoldHeart.
Enjoy Your Life.

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The BoldHeartMama desires to enjoy living out the choices that she’s made for herself and for her family. She is a relentless learner: curious, inquisitive, and open to the possibilities of her life and of the human condition. She understands that there isn't one right way—she asks questions that dig deeper to make sense of it all and to find her own path.

She pays attention to and nurtures whatever it is she really cares about, letting go of the rest (for now) knowing she can't do and be everything all at once. She embraces her imperfections in favor of "good enough"—her imperfect self, her imperfect home, her imperfect mothering, her imperfect desires—and she never stops evolving as a woman and mother. She is a BoldHeart, authentic and true to herself.

The BoldHeartMama knows there is only this one life and she's all in. She is present and engaged and making things happen. Her intuition is her guide. She seeks to be inspired and relies on her creativity and her resourcefulness to solve the big and little challenges that she and her family face together as they navigate their relationships and their world.

The BoldHeartMama is willing to take calculated risks to make her biggest dreams come true. She is living out her BoldHeart in the moment, making small moves and taking little steps that add up, and she's cultivating a good life for herself and her family in the process. Read More!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Lessons in love: learning to mother two

I'm guest posting today at Navigating the Mothership!

As multitasking typically goes these days, I was perched precariously off the edge of our couch nursing while, with one hand, I emphatically tapped out my lessons learned so far with two under two in response to one of Laura's posts. When the page changed suddenly and my comments were lost, I couldn't muster the energy to retype it all so I closed my lap top and carried on. Soon after, Laura asked if I might be interested in guest blogging for her as she anticipated the transition of baby Oliver's arrival, she noted that I could pick any topic and I knew precisely from where I wanted to pick up.



We found out we were pregnant with our second baby when our firstborn was just 14 months old. At the time, our planning seemed ideal. Andy and I had made it through our first year of parenthood intact. We were filled to our brims with pride and love for Roscoe whose mobility and new found independence gave the impression that with each day that passed our baby was on the brink of toddlerhood. I reveled in his growth, but I hadn't hardly forgotten the sweet intensity of mothering a newborn, or the joy of giving birth.

The thrill of having created another life was soon followed by first trimester exhaustion and an overwhelming feeling that this was going to be tougher the second time around. With little over a twelve month turnaround the physical burden was greater and presented much earlier in the pregnancy. In addition to the very real demands of gestation, I also had to contend with the equally real demands of an active and passionate toddler.

I had planned to give birth at home so we were floored when, at 32 weeks 6 days, my water broke unexpectedly. No longer a candidate for homebirth, we drove to the nearest hospital where Merritt was born the following evening at exactly 33 weeks. Roscoe was 19 months old at the time.

You can catch up on Merritt's birth and subsequent NICU stay, and our emotional struggles in the weeks that followed here. It was a rough start for our new family of four but the good news is that seasons change and I've learned a few things in the last four months.

Adjust your expectations
I'll admit that parenting two kids has, at its worst, left me feeling inadequate and imperfect. It's hard, if not impossible, to meet everyone's needs all of the time. Being a good parent has less to do with meeting 100% of our kids' wants and needs 100% of the time, and more to do with our ability to be intentional in the way that we choose to parent with love and respect for them as individuals and as valued and contributing members of our family unit. The ideals that we aspire to rarely exist in real life and our kids are more forgiving than we realize. I try to be confident in my role as a mother, and cut myself slack where I can. I often reflect on this quote from Steady Mom: It's not that we aren't going to blow it. It's what you do with it afterwards.

Learn to be more flexible
The way things were before the baby arrived is practically a moot point. Mothering more than one child necessitates that some things will have to give. For us, we've always made sleep a priority in our house and taken care to consistently honor Roscoe's nap and nighttime sleep routines. Since he was very young, he's fallen asleep and taken all of his naps at home, in his own bed. Once Merritt was born, Roscoe's nap time became a time of stress and struggle because I could no longer devote an hour of uninterrupted time to play, read stories, and then lay with Roscoe until he fell asleep. Without fail, Merritt needed to eat, or Merritt needed to be held, and Roscoe made it clear that if little brother was anywhere in his vicinity there would be no napping! I held strong to the idea that this routine was just so important for him and that it was my job to find a way to make it work. Meanwhile, I felt terrible that predictably, every day things weren't working out. In the end, I had to let go of these conventions and be okay to plan the morning so that he fell asleep in the car on the way home from errands, or in the stroller as we walked around the neighborhood. When naps became predictable again, I regained a sense of control and relaxed knowing that the bottom lines were being met--he was getting the rest he needed and I was able to reclaim a short break in the day. Every family has their seemingly non-negotiable aspects of routine, and it can be helpful to be open to making compromises that work.

2 comments :

  1. Jacqueline, you are very special woman, wife and mother.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks Judy, that's so nice to hear. :)

    ReplyDelete

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