The Difficult Emotions of Your Final Baby

My third and final baby is just about to celebrate his half birthday and on one hand I can't believe that he is already six months and on the other, time could not go fast enough.  You hear from everyone, "Slow down, savor every moment, you blink and they will be off to college..."  As a mother of three whose oldest is seven I know first hand how fast time flies but honestly there are so many days where it couldn't go slower.

When I was pregnant with our third we knew this was our final baby no matter a boy or a girl.  But because of a hard pregnancy I just wanted to get through it.  I wasn't enjoying it even though I knew it would be the last time I would feel baby kicks from the inside or the last time I would bond with a baby even before seeing them.  I wanted to savor it but if I'm being totally honest I just wasn't.  So instead, during the pregnancy I kept telling myself that when he arrived I was going to savor it all because he was going to be the last.  If I couldn't enjoy the final pregnancy then I would sure as heck enjoy all the moments of a new baby.  I wanted to soak in the multiple hours of nursing, savor the baby snuggles, and not rush the milestones.

Fast forward to six months later and I am completely emotionally drained, a huge pool of guilt and questioning myself as a mother.  Everyone said the third baby would be so easy because they just have to go with the flow.  Everyone also said that boys were so much easier than girls.  Those have been the two biggest lies I've ever heard, lol!  Jackson was difficult from birth.  Between a stay in the NICU for jaundice, acid reflux, torticollis, and inflammation of the intestines he's had a rough start.  For the first four months of his life we were at a doctor's office almost every single day. (By the way we are no closer to answers today.)  On top of a few medical difficulties for Jack Jack we've come to the conclusion that a ton of it is his personality.  He wants your complete and undivided attention 24/7 and he gets bored super easy and super fast.  He didn't get the memo that he's the third baby and has to be easy going.  Instead he thinks he's the only child of a stay at home mama that doesn't have to work or take care of other human beings.  I spend most of my day listening to him scream because I either can't console him or I just am not able to hold and entertain him.  Luckily for me he's pretty good when we're out and about however it makes me look crazy because I'm always complaining how hard he is but everyone is always saying how sweet he is and what a good baby he is.  I've even had family members tell me they thought I was nuts until they spent several hours with him at home.  

I'm a reminding myself 1,985,657 times a day to take a breath and enjoy this season because one day you will miss it but I can't imagine really missing it.  Listening to a screaming baby most of the day while also acting as the referee to two small girls while managing a household while working from home is just almost more than I can take.

Since I am so emotionally drained by the crying (baby) and the fighting (girls) I've become so much less of a mother than what I want.  My fuse is so short and I spend way too much time yelling.  I fear that I am ruining my girls and all I've ever wanted was to create a beautiful childhood for them.  I've worked so hard to create amazing memories and experiences for them but I wonder if they will be washed away by all the time I was so emotionally exhausted and too quick to anger.

I hear things my girls say and I feel like such a failure.  I've heard numerous times, "I'm having a terrible day." Or, "I'm so bad."  I only have myself to blame that they would feel like bad people.  I never want them to feel that way.  They may behave poorly but I have some of the best human beings as children.  My girls are extremely empathic, kind, friendly, caring and loving.  Anytime I hear a negative statement like these I always try and make them feel better and explain that their behavior disappoints me or makes me angry but that they are wonderful and good people.  But in the end I wonder if this is enough.  My heart is broken by how I feel.  I feel so guilty for not enjoying this time more.  I feel so guilty for being tired and quick to yell.  I feel guilty that I don't want to play all the time with my girls.  I feel guilty for.....the list is long.

And even though this season seems so hard I can't imagine how hard it will be will they are older and real problems exist like girls being mean to each other or getting their heart broken or not getting into the college they dreamt about.  I have to give myself a little perspective every day so that I can get through these days but I just wanted to share how hard this is because I know that other mamas are feeling the same way.  It's not easy to say you feel like you are falling short but I want others to know that it's okay to be honest and that we're not perfect.  If you're feeling less than ____ please know that we can help and support each other.  It takes a village to be a mom and a tribe to be a woman.

I just know that everyday I have to get up, dress up and show up and it will all work out.  I have to keep my heart on Christ and seek guidance from friends and family and in the end all will be well.  I will try my best and I'm working on accepting that trying my best is good enough; that I don't have to be perfect.  I am promising to myself to change my focus and look at the positive in all these difficulties.  I surely don't want to look back and say I missed out on the most precious years of their lives.

If you too are in a really difficult season of life just know that you are not alone.  God bless all the mamas.

....and oh by the way I have to finish now because I have a screaming baby in his crib that is up one hour before nap is over.

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