We had three babies in four-and-a-half years. And a few years ago, I began to write through the stuff that I do (or try to do) to enjoy the day-to-day life with a houseful of tinies. Three years later, it remains one of the most popular series of posts I've ever done at my blog. And now it's an e-book.
The book isn't about "advice" or making a one-size-fits-all version of motherhood. It certainly isn't about heaping more guilt or or unattainable standards on anyone. Mothering is very, very hard work. It's constant. It's tiring. I've found that mothering tinies exposed the parts of my heart that I could keep politely hidden from general society. It could break me in the morning, but by evening, I would feel like I've never been more fulfilled or happy in my life.
It can also be monotonous (that’s something not too many people will tell you – me? I’ll tell you.) And do you have any idea how many loads of laundry a family of five can generate? (Hint: EPIC AMOUNTS OF LAUNDRY.)
But the truth is: I enjoy mothering. I enjoy it a lot. In fact, I love this which surprised me. Even the daily quotidian rhythms of it are good, good, good.
I even enjoyed those years when I couldn't leave the house without someone sympathetically commenting "Wow, your hands are full."
Not because I have it all figured out and do things right all of the time (I don’t).
Not because I’m the best mother in the world (I’m not).
Not because my tinies are absolutely perfect and the gold standard of childhood (they’re not - trust me).
And not because every day is filled with rainbow-and-unicorns-and-cupcakes (I wish).
No, the reason I enjoy mothering tinies on the day-to-day grind is mainly because I do this stuff. And it helps me.
I call them Practices because that’s what us Christians have often called spiritual disciplines, but really they’re just things I do over and over again, kneading them like yeast into my life. Everyone has their own "practices." Most of mine come from my own parents but then I picked up a few others from books or friends or mentors. And my practices may not work for you and your family. After all, this is just what worked for me, right then, in that season.
As my tinies grow up, my practices shift and change and evolve, as they should. Your own practices will do that, too.