Y’all… my girls are the literal cutest. I can’t even deal with how much I love them.

But… I’m like REALLY tired. Ya feel?

I’ve been struggling to feel inspired, encouraging, or inviting lately but I think I just need a nap. I mean… even to write this I’m hiding in the bathroom. The toddler is going to find me soon. I can feel it.

Between breastfeeding, juggling a business + full time ministry, all of the bazillion “that’s a really good idea” things I dive into I’m just really stretched. If I’m honest (and I promise you I am) I need a break. (or a hot tub. I’d settle for a hot tub.)

But, if you are in any way relating to how I’m feeling I thought I’d put together some practical advice. Afterall, I’ve had two kids for all of 4 months- so, I’m an expert now.

So, if you’re interested in what this new mom of two has learned these last few months then keep reading to hear my tips on how to survive a toddler + infant and live to tell the tale.

# 1 – Listen to the advice and then and then vent to a friend.

Girl, I know. I know you don’t want your mom + them telling you all the things they think you should be doing (or how you aren’t doing things right). I feel the sensational words + moments of fury ready to burst out of you. It’s real. And you are right for feeling it.

I’m kiiiiiiiding! (All you mom-advice-givers, we love you). But, Mama, you’re doing fantastic and most people don’t see the moments you sacrifice to feel your families with love (and clean clothes). They don’t see the endless crying from the baby with colic and how that breaks you to pieces. They don’t see the toddler struggling to understand their new role and complicated emotions. They don’t see the fear of messing up in your eyes or the moments you spend feeling like you’ve spent another day failing. They don’t even see the smiles from your sweet new one or the moments that, somehow, your oldest will come and give you the tightest bear hug + say how much they love you.

But they can’t help it. They just look at you with your bags under your eyes and spit up covered shirt + think, “Yea… she could really use some more self doubt and insecurity today.”

They just don’t see it. So smile… nod at them.. and then carry on. Call the friend + you guys roll your eyes together. And then you keep being the Mama- because you were made for this.

#2 Take a Break

You could punch me. I know. I could punch me too.

What stupid advice, right?? But then, nope! If you’re anything like me you work really hard to make sure every person has a full love tank. That the kids are (mostly) well-nourished and that your husband feels like a priority while at the same time making sure he knows his well being is important.

Hunty, so is yours (read:ours). We’ve got to get out and do something that builds us up. Not to the grocery store or to run that quick errand that’ll only take a second. I’m talking about something that’s selfish. Something that reminds you that you are a woman and not just a mama + wife.

Being who we are to our family is a precious, PRECIOUS gift. There is nothing better! But, take it from me- we will fall apart if we don’t keep ourselves together.

So, check in with yourself sometimes. Give yourself something that doesn’t benefit a single other person on the planet. You know why?? Because that will positively benefit every single person on the planet.

#3 Cry a little

Or a lot.

This season isn’t easy. We are doing the best + hardest work out there. The juggle between caring for others + growing ourselves is exhausting and makes for long days that are never long enough.

Between hormones, unrealistic expectations (from ourselves), battling the overwhelming fear that comes with parenting, and trying to build ourselves up spiritually- a good cry can be refreshing.

This past week my big girl asked me to play with her + I said yes. Her response was, “Mama!! You not say no?! Oh, thank you for saying yes!”

I cried. One, because apparently I’ve said no so much recently that she didn’t expect a yes. Two, because my yes meant the world to her.

Whatever the reason- let it out girl! It’ll help!

I really only have those three tips. But, maybe that’s all our schedules + mental energy can take in right now!

Just know this- you are seen and so very appreciated. I’m with you in this season. Even if you read this blog in 6 years and I have a 9 year old + 6 year old (oh man! now I’m crying), I’m with you!

I’m praying for you Mama! You’ve got a friend in me! Don’t give into the lies that say you can’t do this. You were made for your family- just what they need in fact. Don’t lose sight of the big picture; this too shall pass. Don’t let it pass by without you soaking in every detail.

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