Follow The Leader.

I've been meaning to write this up every since I posted the photo below on Instagram.

If there’s anything I’ve learned from parenthood, it’s that there’s always something to learn.

Plans. Control. Balance. Sometimes, they don’t exist.

With Bubba being a preemie, we had everything planned and ready for Liv by the time I was 6 months pregnant. I even put it in my head to develop good habits before Liv came so we’d have one less thing to worry about as we start a new chapter: parenting two children. Yep.. I thought I was so ready. Boy, did I get a slice of humble pie.

I loved my children from the moment they existed. I loved them before I ever met them. I loved them when I saw their beautiful faces. I love them.. entirely and completely. Watching them grow. Nurturing them. Everything.

What I couldn’t admit to anyone was that the past two years were the hardest years of my life. It’s not that I was ashamed.. but I don’t think I could admit it to myself. I felt like a failure. Some days, I still do.

Liv came home and I didn’t know how to separate myself for two children. One was needier than the other, but both still needed me. Luckily, my husband had a lot of flexibility and summer was about to begin for my son. He switched his schedule around so that he could pick Bubba up from school. He made sure the house was clean. He did the grocery shopping. He took care of us.. through and through.

With Olivia, it was like experiencing parenthood for the very first time. The demands, the lack of sleep, the not really knowing what you are doing anymore (even after one child). I broke down.. A lot. Between my husband and I, we couldn’t seem to get everything we needed to do done.

Aside from immediate family, I asked our family and friends to wait a few weeks before making home visits to meet Liv and I’m glad I did. I needed that space to get to know our new dynamic. I wanted to experience our new family. Just us.

Liv melts our hearts. She adds something special to our family. Her character and her quirks. Now that she's a little over two, that time really did fly by. I’ve loved every minute of her, but I can’t really say I completely miss the newborn days. Age two is a piece of cake compared to then.

Having a routine and having specific roles/responsibilities has helped. My husbands takes care of this while I take care of that. We've also added on bigger responsibilities for Bubba. He's responsible for folding his clothes, cleaning up after himself (and sometimes after his sister), and washing a few dishes. We tell him that as a member of our family, we all have responsibilities that keep the home functioning. When everyone does their part, it helps maintain balance. Olivia doesn't mind the clean up game either.. so long as you sing the clean up song.

One major thing we'd like to set up is having a weekly/monthly menu planned so we can prepare accordingly. Our system is no where near full-proof yet and we aren’t always consistent. But we're working on it! We give and we take where we can. 

While my Instagram is full of "pretty pictures", I don't care to portray a "super mom" facade. The simple fact is.. I just like the pretty pictures. There's an app for it.

We don't need to do it all (there's nothing wrong with being able to too). Everyone has their own definition of what's best for them and their families.

Everything doesn't always get done in this house. The dishes pile. The laundry doesn't get washed and/or folded. Olivia has had a knack for throwing everything everywhere these days. A housekeeper does the real cleaning in my home every other week. My husband forgets stuff he said he'd do. And there are times when I'm a hot mess. I can be my own worst critic. I'm trying to let go and do some of the following for once (which is pretty tough for my OCD/detail-oriented/aka anal self).

As long as my kids are happy and as long as they know they are loved.. That's enough. I don't need to be super mom.. I just need to be a good one.