I considered myself a messy person for most of my life. I've had times when I couldn't even see the floor in my bedroom for over two months. And, yes, it has always driven my husband insane. But I realized very quickly that my messiness before my kids could be considered borderline OCD clean in comparison to what my life is like AFTER having my kids. Especially during that first year of their life. As I like to reiterate to my husband, however, our family motto has always been "Love Is All You Need." Well, maybe someone to help me clean too...and...WaterWipes...and a professional organizer...and a life coach....and a really good nanny...and someone who's really good at mani/pedis.
Ok so maybe Love isn't ALLLL you need - but it's pretty darn close. Read on to see how my first year with Felicity can tell you why...
My pregnancy with Felicity was really difficult. My readers are well aware of the fact that I spent weeks in bed with pneumonia, morning sickness, and every other kind of sickness you could possibly get. I look healthy in the picture down below, right? WRONG - this was ONE of the only times I wasn't coughing up my lungs and my photographer just happened to catch it. I'm smiling because I finally could breath and I'm holding my tummy because I was trying to calm the baby down from my abhorrent hacking.
But when I had Felicity, my life was totally changed. Of course, not being sick for the first time in nine months didn't hurt, but I finally had the daughter I always wanted. I could teach her how to braids, or read Harry Potter books to her. I could lay in bed, look at her precious little fingers and know that, one day, she will be playing the piano, or a sax, or a bassoon because I taught her it. I looked at her, and I saw me. I wanted to give everything to her that I never had, and make her feel all the ways that I never could about life, love, family and fulfilling her own dreams.
Heck that first week was a complete joy. All she did was eat, sleep, and poop. Which, as you may know, was COMPLETELY different from my experience with our son Rhys - who never stopped crying because of colic. I remember we always called her the "easy baby," or the "angel child." She really was. Just look at her...
But after that first week - oohhh boy did reality hit. Yes, it was great to have Tall Dad home from work for a little bit - but, he eventually had to go back. Not only that, I wasn't left with just tiny little Felicity. I had a big, growing, attention needing, and loud boy named Rhys who required to be fed, put to naps, taken out for entertainment, and be read to when he needed comfort. I couldn't just take naps with my baby like before because I had another being I was in charge of.
I was tired, I was over worked, I was constantly dehydrated from running around after my toddler AND breastfeeding my baby. I didn't have time for baths, home made meals, social events, or even keeping my own hygiene in order.
I may or may not have smelled like those grungy people you see at Hemp Fest, my house was a disaster, I was eating delivery pizza or Chinese nearly every night, my son may have worn the same outfit sometimes for over 3 or four days, and he may have had dirt caked on his hands from playing in the backyard 4 days prior.
But hey, it's ok.
Life is messy, and I pride myself in knowing that my love and the love from our tiny family is all our baby needs. Not clean laundry, a sparkling house, or the perfect Leave It To Beaver setting that every soon-to-be mother thinks they'll have, but quickly learns that Pinterest is a liar, and that most bloggers put out the best version of themselves to make everyone think they have it under control.
This picture is an example of our messy life when Felicity was a newborn. I thought I would have a beautiful photo with my newborn babe, but instead I had dirty laundry, and an uncooperative baby.
Honestly, this video from WaterWipes is a perfect example of the back and forth you experience as a mom in the first year of your baby's life.
It's true that everything goes by so quickly. We've now had Felicity for just under a year and half and she's already signing, walking, talking, singing, running, and being a total diva whenever she so chooses.
Like when I had my son, I NEVER thought Felicity would grow up. It always felt like she was going to perpetually be a baby who would require my boob for food, to be changed at her beckoning call, and a little Elmo by her side as she sleeps.
But now she eats cake, makes messes everywhere which requires more WaterWipes to be hauled around with me in my giant mom bag, and, darn it, when she wants to watch The Little Einsteins she needs it NOW!
Yes, life with one kid was tough. It was hard. But, adding another? Man - there really aren't words to describe how physically and mentally exhausting it can be. And not just with you, but also with your partner too. There's no relaxing. There's no breaks. There's no spot in your house, even if you had a cleaner come in, that isn't a mess.
I mean, look at this picture - I was at a fancy polo event for Felicity's birthday.
And what's that on my shoulder?
Probably spit-up cake.
But I look at the newest picture below - it was taken just a few days ago, and while my house and my kids may be a giant disaster of a mess - I really do think that Love Is All You Need. Goodness, here's my son walking with Felicity, carrying Toothless the dragon on a beautiful fall Rhode Island Day and there is literally nothing but love emanating from this moment. It's cliche to say - but cliches are cliches for a reason - but it's times like the one captured below that make everything worth it.
And don't think that babies are the only ones who need wipes either - my son is a total mess in EVERYTHING he gets into - so I am sure to keep them close to him at all times.
That's why I always have on hand a generous stock of WaterWipes. They are a chemical free baby wipe - which only contains 2 ingredients - 99.9% pure Irish water, and 0.1% grapefruit seed extract. I love the wipes because they are incredibly durable and effective - and are safe for my babies. They have been my wipe of choice the past two years, and I love them so much that I've blogged about them several times, and have even given out packs to my friends. You can't get a better wipe than these!
So that pretty much sums up my life with my baby from day one to day three-sixty-five. Kids are hard - they're stress balls - they're rough on the psyche and the body every single day. They never stop. They never take a break. They push and push, and just when you're at your lowest, they push you even further.
But, dear Lord, I love them with such a passion. Even when on our messiest days. Especially when they come in with muddy shoes, ruin my freshly cleaned kitchen floor, toss around the laundry I just spent folding for over an hour, and refuse to get any food actually IN their mouths.
It's all ok. I swear. Because Love Is All You Need.
Now I just have to go explain to Tall Dad why I'm still not entirely sure what color our floor is in our bedroom, and why that doesn't entirely matter because - well - you already know :)
Orrrr - I could just get a mani/pedi.
I'm just happy I don't have to deal with spit-up cake anymore....
Yes. All You Need Is Love.
Talk soon, friends!