Scrolling back through the blog it dawned on me that the last (only) one of these updates I did was when Sybil was one-month-old. It’s also dawned on me that many of my most recent posts have started off with me saying something along the lines of ‘I started writing this post but then put it down because…’ which partly made me chuckle because (1) that’s sort of how I’m starting this post too and (2) it serves as a reminder of the enormity of all that I am carrying, of all that I have been carrying for so long. As a woman and mother, I have incredibly high expectations of myself – unattainably high expectations. I wouldn’t have them of anyone else because I can see how nonsensical and unkind they are, yet I reflexively put this monstrous load on my own plate. I can temporarily remove myself and discuss it here now, but the painful reality is that this pattern is self-destructive. It might seem as though I am getting distracted from what I intend this post to be about – a light-hearted check-in with my youngest babe – but the truth is that all of this is very much enmeshed with my reality of mothering three. As Sybil is my third daughter, I found the act of mothering her relatively easy (as opposed to the anxiety-inducing unknown of mothering your first baby) however the adjustment between two to three really shook me. My stress and burnout was a considerable presence in our lives for around six months – it came to a head about five months after Sybil was born and lasted until I was able to figure out a way to cope, which was a further few months after that. That isn’t to say that the past sixteen months have only been hard. They have also been filled with immense joy. For the first time I feel as though our family is complete and there is a deep sense of comfort in that. Sybil has been an easy baby with a sweet, thoughtful personality, however with each passing day it becomes more clear that she’s going to give all of us a run for our money. Sybil Mae is no shrinking violet. She’s funny – she knows it – and feisty with a painfully mighty little scream, and she’s very effective at communicating her feelings.
In short, life with three is perpetual chaos and I’m continuously working on finding the joy in that.
Today, on the day that I write this, Poppy said “Babble’s cheeks were made for smooching” and Lulah said “Oooooh Babble. I’m here, Babble” in two totally unrelated and heart-bursting moments. These three girls fight like cats and dogs sometimes but they really are the sweetest and most caring sisters. And yes, we call her “Babble”.