Having two kids younger than 3 can be draining. Pretty much someone always needs something. A cup of juice. A bottle. A diaper change. A trip to the bathroom. A snack. A nap. People told me having two was much, much different than one. And I thought I had prepared. I organized my grocery list better. I planned when I would run errands around baby feeding times and clustered stops together so I could be more efficient.
But I didn't really know to prepare for the emotional drain.
I'm not complaining. I wouldn't trade my life for anything. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else with anyone else.
Every day is not easy though.
Yet every day I am reminded that I'm making a long-term investment in two people. These little people are going to become teen-agers and then adults. And I (along with my husband) will have been responsible for shaping their childhood. We're responsible for making decisions that will affect their futures, both where they are and who they are.
No wonder it's not easy.
And every day when I'm filling sippy cups and bottles I get to hear a sweet 2 1/2-year-old voice initiate "I love you" and give me unsolicited kisses. She even thanks me for washing her clothes and her favorite blanket.
We've taught her to say "please" and "thank you," to hold my hand when we're walking through a parking lot and to be gentle with her brother. And lately I've been noticing all the things I taught her that I didn't realize I was teaching her: She likes cabinet doors to be closed. She puts things back where they belong. And she likes to be covered with a blanket while she sits on the couch to watch a movie.
Last night I was sitting on the couch feeding Ben (who is 8 weeks old today!) when Cate sat close to me feeding her baby. I asked Greg to take a picture because I wanted to remember the moment. I want to remember because I know they aren't going to be this little very long. I want to remember because I realize the importance of parenting when my daughter wants to be like me. I want to remember these days.
Even though they aren't always easy.