i see it in the eyes of shoppers at the grocery, who watch me juggling my toddler, cumbersome infant carrier, cart, diaper bag, and stash of grocery totes with a mixture of concern, pity, and relief that they're not walking in my snowy boots.
i see it in the eyes of congregants at my church as i carry both children back from the communion rail, having just wrestled dylan away from the choir chancel with james strapped to my chest.
i am in over my head. there's no disguising it.
it's been almost three months of parenting two kids, but i don't feel any better established. if anything, i feel more scattered and disorganized.
it takes a full hour to get all three of us dressed and out the door in the morning, and that's only if i skip my shower and james' spit up doesn't require multiple costume changes and no one needs a last minute new diaper and it hasn't snowed, requiring shoveling and scraping just to leave the driveway. and that doesn't include time factored in for feeding dylan or nursing james.
in fact, by the time i'm actually ready to get out the door, it's usually time to feed/diaper/change him all over again.
i don't mean to complain. i'd just hoped to be falling into a better system or something by now. plenty of people have more than two kids and manage their families with the kind of grace and calm i can only dream of.
what is their secret? am i missing a page in the manual that explains how to manage the chaos of life with little ones?
on one hand, i suppose, there's a certain liberation in acknowledging yes, i am in over my head. it's almost the american way to walk around pretending we have it all together, but if you took one look at me, you'd know that isn't an option. it's kind of impossible to carry two babes through a snowy parking lot with poise and grace.
today, i am ok. but please keep asking, because sometimes i'm barely hanging by a thread and need to know i'm not alone.
thank you for holding the door for us.
thank you for helping us with our coats.
thank you for picking up whatever it is i dropped this time.
thank you for being patient. God knows i'm trying to be patient, too.