It’s funny how good things always happen when you least expect it. It usually happens when you are dreading something. Like if you really are too tired to go out and meet a friend and then it turns out to be the best night with the best conversation and you come home feeling refreshed. You think to yourself, why on earth did I dread that? Or maybe it happens when you plan something last minute. I had a spur of the moment birthday party for my daughter last year and with a week’s notice, it turned out to be one of those incredibly fun parties for the kids and the adults. We still talk about it today. Maybe it happens when you don’t put too much emphasis on anything. Or maybe it is the luck of the draw?! Or maybe just maybe, it is when something comes out of you that is authentic and true; maybe it is when others see the best of you…
My heart has changed. My 3rd baby did it to me. She wasn’t what I expected. I expected chaos. I expected to feel overwhelmed. But, I’m not. I haven’t been. I won’t be. She did that to me. She came to us to make us remember how to slow down. She came to us cooing and smiling and so ready and willing to jump into this family, full force. She made me remember what it is like to stop rushing. She taught me how to feel content in the everyday, nursing and snuggling and holding. SLOWING DOWN! Life can get so crazy. We are always trying to do this and that, signing up our kids in this sport or that event. We are falling behind on paperwork. But, when she cries, I pick her up, not because I have time to do it, but because that trumps all the paperwork piled on my table. My other two kids are a little older (almost 6 and 4) so they are more independent also. No diapers. They sit at the table and eat and get dressed on their own. They play together for hours. They run in the sprinklers and the baby and I watch, silently…happily. They come downstairs with nightgowns on and slippers and I feel like I can cry tears of gratitude.
I wasn’t expecting this. I wasn’t dreading it, but I just didn’t know. How could I?
I didn’t know how lucky she is, to get the best of me. And I didn’t know how lucky I was, to become what she needs so easily. Maybe it is the support I have?! I have a wonderful babysitter who does almost all of the crazy school pick-ups and drop offs. (life saver). And of course I have a saint of a mom who runs toward the war zone with arms outstretched and immediately makes my house new again and makes me feel whole again. She finds joy in helping me dig myself out of the piles of laundry and crusty floors. She sleeps over for a few days at a time and wakes up with coffee in her hand and an empty hamper. But more than that, she gives me mental support. Just by being here, she brings us all peace. She is what I hope to be for my 3 daughters, everything they need and more.
Whatever the formula, whatever the reason, I’m just happy with what has transpired. This baby has come and brought me calm. I absolutely have felt crazy and chaotic numerous times, flipping a pancake with a baby hanging in the Bjorn and/or chasing a naked 3 year old down the hall with a screaming baby on the floor, BUT, it is my heart that remains steady and calm.
After multiple people have told me, “The 3rd baby will break you!” I’m happy to say that the opposite has happened. She has put me back together.
Sometimes the best things happen when you least expect them. Sometimes, something or someone will come into your life at the right time to make you realize who you are. I have never tried to hide myself. But I can honestly say that she has made me a better mother.
Thank goodness for her. She has come with kissable cheeks and sweet love and given me the best gift, the best of me.
~Noreen Heffernan,Writer, MA in Public and Corporate Communications, Certified in PR Writer, Growing Ladies