Saturday, October 10, 2009

It's true what they say...."this too shall pass"

*We've had a very busy day today so I didn't get a chance to finish the blog post I've been working on so I'm gonna post an oldie but goodie, from last year....

I was talking on the phone yesterday with a good friend of mine. She has 3 kids, including a 5-month old baby. We were talking about how difficult it is to juggle the kids, keep the house clean, stay organized...all the things that are expected of us as mothers. She's feeling overwhelmed, scattered, disorganized...we've all been there. She asked me how I manage with 4 kids and I didn't know what to say. We all just do the best we can do, praying that it's enough to keep us going. I wished so much that I could reach through the phone and give her a big hug. My heart ached as I listened to her describe her life and how overwhelming it is right now, mostly because I understood it wholeheartedly. As we ended our conversation, I said "remember....this too shall pass".

I never used to believe that saying. It's hard to imagine the light at the end of the tunnel when you're in the midst of the struggle. I heard that phrase from experienced mothers the most when Cole and Bella were newborns and I quickly realized I was in over my head as a first-time mother to twins. At that time, I couldn't imagine things ever getting better....or easier, for that matter. But eventually, as time went on, things did become somewhat easier. Not easier in the sense that parenting was a breeze all of a sudden but easier in the sense that I was now more confident in my mothering skills. There came a time where one of them would cry and I would know exactly what they needed. I was finally starting to understand what everyone meant by "this too shall pass".

Then came Garrett and Landon and my whole world was thrown upside down all over again. Just as I did when I was pregnant with Cole and Bella, I had a perception of what it would be like when Garrett and Landon entered the world and became part of our family. Then reality hit....and it hit me hard....right smack in the face. There were times when I would have it out with God...."I love each of my children and I'm so happy that You have blessed us but couldn't You have just sent us one child at a time, instead of in pairs?"

In an old journal I used to keep, at the time, I wrote this:

"I feel ashamed to admit that I've been feeling very depressed and overwhelmed with everything in my life right now. I guess I had forgotten that around month 4 the babies are more aware of their surroundings and they don't need as much sleep anymore....lots of new milestones are being met yet they're frustrated still by the many things they cannot do. We've definitely hit that stage and there are times where I feel like I'm gonna drop to the ground in complete exhaustion.

From sun-up to sun-down, it's go-go-go.....and then of course getting up 1-2 times each night with either one or both babies or Cole or Bella had started taking its toll on me....so for the last few days I've been feeling depressed and I've been crying a lot over little tiny things....

Yesterday, I cried while switching the clothes from the washer to the dryer, just knowing that when it's all dry I'll have to find time to fold it and put it away....and this was after I had finally just folded and put away 3 other loads of laundry.

Last night, after all the kids were asleep, I took one look at the family room and the kitchen, which I had already cleaned 3 times earlier in the day, and saw the huge mess and broke down into tears....

I feel like I can't keep up and that's just on the good days. There are days where I say "screw this" and let the house fall to pieces and I don't sweat the mess...but then there are days where my head is so fuzzy that I just want peace and calmness and it's hard to get that when the house is completely messy and disorganized, after I've already cleaned it 3 times earlier that day."

If someone had said "this too shall pass" to me at that time, I might have laughed. I might have cried. But God knows, I wouldn't have found any comfort in hearing that little phrase. I had felt like I was just coming up for air and then sucked back under the water again, over and over. When was it supposed to pass? Was it ever going to get better? Easier?

At this point in time, I understand it completely. When you're in the trenches and you feel like you'll never see your way out, believe it or not, you will. It won't happen in the blink of an eye because nothing comes easy in life. There are no shortcuts, there are no ways around it. You just simply have to pass through it and once you're on the other side, that's when you get it. Not that it ever really gets easier....different, yes.....easier, no. No one ever said parenting is easy but for each stage of difficulty, you soon realize that you've survived yet another milestone, whether it be the colic, the teething, or the middle of the night feedings.

I finally believed "this too shall pass" one night awhile back when I had been up for an hour in the middle of the night rocking Landon back to sleep, as he had started experiencing separation anxiety. The only thing that got me through that stage was knowing it was temporary, that it would pass....I repeatedly muttered to myself "this too shall pass, this too shall pass". And it did.

I have no idea what's in store for me with the next stage of parenting, as is the same with my friend. Neither of us could possibly know what will happen next week, next month, or even next year.

But the one thing I do know is that if we believe "this too shall pass", somehow the good times will far outweight the tough times.



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41 comments:

twinmama said...

Remember this post...still a good one and always timely.

You know, I remember the sleep deprivation and it was hard. Yet, know if someone wakes up in the middle of the night, I am so grateful to cuddle with them and rock them back to sleep. We just don't get to do that anymore.

They grow up after all.

MamaHen Em said...

It's funny how hard it was (is) and it does pass. It changes into other hard stuff that also eventually passes. I kept journals with both my kids until they reached age five and sometimes it makes me cry just re-reading it. Being a mom is hard work - at every stage. BUT it is also so very, very rewarding. Great post!

Corrie Howe said...

My twin bothers are in their 40s and one has his one set of twins...three weeks old.

My mom had four under the age of five when my dad got sent to Vietnam and while his father was in the last stages of cancer and she was earning her college degree.

It does pass...I promise and you'll not remember these times as much as the good times.

kyslp said...

I may have me friend read this tomorrow am. (The one I'm visiting.) She only has one but they are having a very difficult time right now. Thank goodness it does pass.

Alicia said...

I think this os the first "serious" post I have read from you.

Loved it!!!!

Of course, I love your humor too!

Twincerely,Olga said...

That is the absolute truth! Thanks for writing about that!! Great post!

Buckeroomama said...

That's the mantra that has kept me going... I really take comfort in knowing that however bad things might be, "this too shall pass." :)

Kelly said...

I really needed to hear that. My daddy used to tell me "This too shall pass" all the time, and he's not here to say it anymore. Thank you!

blueviolet said...

Thank heavens that it's true. There are times when we'd all just give up we knew it wouldn't pass.

yonca said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
yonca said...

Beautiful post Helene. I needed to hear that too this morning. "This too shall pass"
Thank you!!!

Mrs Garrett: The Facts of a Football Life said...

That was a great post. I remember being so sick with my first one - I lost my voice from no sleep and crying because I didn't have a clue what to do. Then with number 2 thinking when the exact same thing was happening - this is okay - it is just a phase - just hold on there and it will be over soon. It is so much easier when you know and believe 'this shall pass'. Thanks so much for the reminder!

Eva Gallant said...

That was a wonderful post. I'm sure it brings encouragement to other young mothers!

Tami said...

You are one awesome mommy! Missed you girlie!!

Mighty M said...

What a great post - I often need this reminder for myself too, especially right now when we are battling illness! Happy Sunday!

Flory said...

My twins are three now, and I find that I don't cry as much as I did when their were around 5 to 9 months.

I did a lot of praying then too. Now I just need to get through potty training. I find that there are more laughable moments with this milestone. :)

Lee the Hot Flash Queen said...

I think every stage of parenting is a This too shall pass stage! I am wondering when this stage shall pass!

shortmama said...

Such a great reminder for all moms that with the bad times comes triple the good times.

Mimi and Tilly said...

I love this post Helene. I don't have children, but am living with some difficult life situations at the moment. Today particularly has been a bit of a doozy. To come online and read "This too shall pass" was very timely! Thanks for dropping by and leaving a lovely comment. Hope you're having a good day. Sending smiles.

Christina said...

Thanks for picking this one...I needed it today.

Just Playin' said...

We've all been there...no matter how many kids. You do a great job! It's all good!
Sandra

Shelby at DoubleUpBooks.com - The Twins and Multiples Bookstore said...

This brought tears to my eyes. "This too shall pass" was something that my beloved nana would say all the time to comfort me and my sisters. It became her famous quote whenever something went wrong. The other saying that I like is "It's all just a matter of time." As in "it's all just a matter of time before..."

Thanks for the memories.

~Paisley's Mommy~ said...

Thank you so much for writing this post. It couldn't have come at a better time! I really needed a little encouragement, as I have been feeling overwhelmed beyond belief lately! Hope you had a great weekend!

Check out my blog, I nominated you for an award :)

Michelle said...

Very well said. There have definitely been many overwhelming moments as a parent. Each stage has new challenges and rewards. I love the saying, "this too shall pass." Two of my three kids are sick right now. I am going to be saying that to myself when I am up with them tonight!

Twins Squared said...

I read this last night in the middle of the night - Reagan was crying but I was waiting to see if she would quit and it just gave me the recharge I needed to get through the night. I'm going to send this on to a friend who is really needing this right now. And my mom always says that too - so true!

Sara @ Domestically Challenged said...

You obviously have wisdom beyond your years of parenting. Thank you for sharing it, because sometimes? We all can use a reminder.

Heather Kephart said...

A masterpiece! I can distinctly remember each phase of new motherhood coming in and going out. How I wish I knew at the time in the throes of complete exhaustion that two days later the world would be completely different.

The Crazy Baby Mama said...

poignant post.

i try to remind myself of this mantra every day -- and, in so doing, i try to remember to cherish each g'd awful moment, because one day i will MISS this.

Heather said...

I wouldn't make it if this stage didn't pass! It sounds like your kids have become a little easier, or at least older and can understand more.

Melissa B. said...

Thanks for sharing this oldie, but goodie! And it's true...motherhood gets easier with age. Pretty soon you're gonna be looking back on these years a little wistfully, I promise!

Mother of Multiples said...

Helene- Very well said and I am glad you were there for that friend. Your journal entry is what I too go through along with many other mothers I am sure. I always tell my husband that the reason I want things picked up because it is my world or "office" per say. I have soem of the same feelings and thank you for touching on them. I have been gone from your site for awhile but the craziness of school has taken over. Good to be back

Brooke said...

glad you reposted for those of us who didn't see it the first time around.

the inlaws are coming for a visit this week - so i needed this!

McVal said...

How did you know that I needed to hear that today?
Great post!

Jessica said...

Truer words were never spoken. It took me almost a year before it really became tattooed on my mental landscape and it's a lifesaver.

I've only got one baby and I've nearly lost my mind on several occasions. How you've done it with two sets of twins is beyond my grasp!

Six Feet Under Blog said...

That is a saying that we must remember to get us through things.

Mayhem and Moxie said...

I don't think I actually read this post when it was originally posted. So glad that you thought to publish it again.

As always, your words convey the very thoughts inside my head. It is almost uncanny. :)

-Francesca

Valerie said...

Believe it or not, I'm sometimes sad that "this too shall pass" b/c being an IVF mommy means that it probably won't ever happen again!!! LOL

Valerie said...

I forgot...the whole reason I dropped by was to thank you for your comment on my Laura Ingalls post and to tell you that I was laughing hysterically when I read that you didn't realize Laura Ingalls was a REAL person!!! Aaaah, thank you Hollywood! Too funny, you silly goose. Perhaps you knew that, but all those sets of twins stole some of your memories!!!

jungletwins said...

Awesome post- very glad you did a sweet repeat :) My favorite part is "There are no shortcuts, there are no ways around it. You just simply have to pass through it and once you're on the other side, that's when you get it." Sooooo true. I have a feeling I'll be quoting you to every new, completely overwhelmed Mom I meet from now on.

P.S. Thanks so much for your comment on my last post- so glad you brought the discussion back to what the post was actually about :)

Nichay said...

And then there are times when God sends a mommy through a blog a message. THANK YOU for posting this. SOOOOO needed to hear that.

Tiffany said...

Wow, thank you for posting this. So glad to know I am not alone. I too want to cry while I am switching over laundry. Hehe.

I figure that if the children are alive when my husband gets home at the end of the day, I've done my job.

----Roseanne Barr



 
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