Making It Out Of The Fog

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Making It Out Of The FogAll three of our children celebrated birthdays within the last three weeks; our oldest turned the big four and the twins turned two. With another year around the sun passing, I am reflecting on the first two years of my twins’ lives and this reflection has revealed several things about myself.

I don’t remember a lot about the first year with the twins, but I do remember an ER visit, my daughter Audrey throwing up for two months, Covid, croup, strep, exhaustion, survival and STRESS. I remember being so excited when my son William could hold his own bottle because I was one step closer to things getting easier. I remember when we were finally able to suck their noses out, and when Audrey stopped regurgitating her bottle, sleep training and then sleeping through the night — again, things were starting to get easier.

What I don’t remember however, is our oldest as a two-year-old.

Now that the twins are hitting the terrible twos, I can’t remember much about what our oldest was like. Family members tell us that she was a typical two-year-old, but I don’t remember much, other than that she potty trained and watched a lot of TV the first few months after the twins came. I remember wanting to do things with her, but that we couldn’t because I couldn’t do it all. Part of me regrets putting her in front of the TV so much, but the other half of me says “She won’t remember; you were just trying to survive.”

What I have come to realize about myself during that time is that I was very much on edge until the twins were about 18 months.

They say it takes about a year for you to start feeling back to normal (whatever normal is) after having a baby. For me, it was like a switch flipped and I began feeling more like myself: less stressed, more relaxed and able to enjoy time with the kids more. I never had postpartum anxiety or depression, but I can see that I was high-strung and very strict about the routine in order to survive. I was very focused on self-preservation and making it through the day, and I didn’t connect with a lot of my friends like I should have. I was living in a high stress environment, exhausted, with constantly needy children, and we were just trying to make it to nap time. I could never really enjoy the different stages the kids went through. I felt alone most days. Things I did were based on what was best for myself and what would make it easier for me. I sleep trained and kept to a schedule because I knew that I would be the one that had to deal with TWO sleep-deprived babies and it was the only way to stay somewhat sane. There were several times during the first 18 months where I thought, “People must think I’m the crazy lady” because of all the things I did.

I know there were several times in which I did not react well to circumstances or responded to someone in a snappy tone, but I couldn’t see that at the time. I know that my reaction in those moments was a culmination of everything going on at home. I wish I had been able to see at the time how things were affecting me and other areas of my life. I should have sought out more help from others, but I couldn’t see that I needed it. At the same time, I wish that those around me would have pulled me aside if they had concerns and said “Hey, I’m seeing this and that in you. Is everything ok? Do you need help?”

I can see that I am definitely in a better place now. I feel like I am able to breathe, not be as rigid, and am able to actually take in and enjoy all the things. I still need to grow in patience and I get selfish when I just want to enjoy some adult time without kids, but I know this too shall pass and there will be a time for everything. 

Being self-focused at times is not bad, especially when it’s caring for your family, but when you are treading in deep water just trying to stay afloat, you can’t always see what is going on and the self-focus is blinding you to things. Sometimes you need a friend to step in with an outside perspective to care for you and bring things back into view.

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Hi, my name is Kimberly and I am a new stay at home mom. I am a nomad of sorts. Born in Arkansas to a military family of five children, I was speaking German by the age of 4. I have lived in Germany, England, and the United States and have traveled to countless other countries. In 2006 I moved to Providence, Rhode Island in order to attend Johnson & Wales University where I received a Bachelor's degree in Food Service Management, an Associate's in Culinary Arts, and an Associate's in Baking and Pastry Arts. So you could say that I'm a foodie.  After college I worked in Collegiate Ministry for many years and loved every second of it. I would do it again in a heartbeat if given the chance today. I met my husband, Wade, in 2011 through Collegiate Ministry but we didn't start dating until 2015. Our entire relationship was long distance and we saw each other a total of 10 times before our wedding. After our wedding in 2016, I moved to Chattanooga where my husband is an associate pastor and I can say that this move was one of the hardest things I had ever done. After two years of marriage we welcomed our daughter into the world this past October. She is a joy, loves to smile, and has turned our world upside down. If I'm not in the kitchen baking or cooking, you can find me outside enjoying nature. 

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