parenthood right now

Right now parenthood involves lots of conversations about Daniel Tiger and many rounds of hiding under a blanket and saying, "Where am I?"

Parenthood is reading books and transitioning out of board books and into legitimate picture books.

Parenthood is baking cookies together and sharing the beaters. It's negotiating how many more bites to eat and enduring meltdowns when dessert is a mere two bites out of reach.

Parenthood is trying to teach toilet autonomy and the concept of privacy. It's cheering over correctly pulled on underwear and conceding when it comes to picking out what shirt to wear.

Parenthood right now is also in a specific phase of motherhood, when while being the dinner negotiator I'm also growing a new babe, a phase of continuous multitasking.

This part of motherhood is in its final weeks, and means an increasingly achy body. It means having to be so many things I don't feel I have the energy for. It means simultaneous and overwhelming physical and mental exhaustion.

Right now parenthood is full of apprehension about how our family will change when we go from three to four, uncertainty about how I'll adjust, and concern over how my relationship with my sweet boy will evolve.

Parenthood is full of hefty doses of tears and belly laughs, usually all on the same day. It's cuddles and hugs, discipline and instruction. It's full of prayers, spoken and silent and sometimes desperately cried.

Right now parenthood makes me feel inadequate and empowered. It's full of contradictions that fall into place, even though I won't ever understand how. It's full of mistakes and triumphs, grace and growth. It's beautiful and messy and I wouldn't go back and choose any other life.


clearing the table

The past couple of weeks have been weird for me. I've felt noticeably off. And there's no surefire reason for any of it, just a million little contributions: high creative energy clashing with low physical energy, my body turning the "uncomfortable" level up to the red zone, wacky hormones, a messy home, plus my grandpa's funeral on top of all of that.

Everything was building and I could feel these factors all coming to a head. The disjointedness of my mind manifested itself in my surroundings, and the tidiness and cleanliness of my home atrophied swiftly.

Last weekend I still hadn't replaced the dirty, crumb-laden tablecloth I'd had on for Asher's birthday two weeks earlier, and All the Things were accumulating on it. I hadn't really been making meals, and whenever we did sit down to eat, I'd just shove the junk piles off to the side. Sure this was seemingly a low-maintenance approach to living, but it definitely wasn't easy on my mind or soul. Everything felt so cluttered and out of place.

So on Labor Day (after an emotional and frustrating maternity shopping excursion), I took a deep breath and tackled our kitchen table. I put away items, threw away mail, and took armfuls of stuff upstairs to place in their rightful spots. I took off that dirty tablecloth and threw it in the wash. The birthday banner came down, and I wiped the chalkboard blank. And I started over.

After some thoughtful searching on Pinterest and Goodreads, I settled on an autumn-themed chalkboard design and went to work, slowly and thoughtfully drawing and lettering. Then I pulled out a new tablecloth and bought out some fall decorations. In about 90 seconds I gathered the vase, flowers, ceramic pumpkin, and metal bird, and let it all be.

All week this small space has been a mental haven for me. It's given me space to breathe and has served as a reminder that yes, I may be out of control of many things--including much of my physical comfort--but I can take care of my home. And I've learned that when I take care of my home to make it pretty and pleasing, I'm really taking care of my soul.
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