We have a little community park within walking distance of our house, and one of our favorite things to do is stroll there and swing. All my girls LOVE to swing. There aren’t baby swings at this park, so I unbuckle their stroller straps, wrap my arms around their little squishy bellies (one at a time, people, I ain’t that crazy) and swing and say “Weeeeee!” so loudly it’s probably annoying. One day last week was one of these days, and it just happened to be the last day of school for our community. There were lots of littles running around the playground, sliding, jumping, and getting on and off the swings. It was a busy day at the playground.
I started our usual park routine: I positioned my triple stroller facing me, to the side of the swing set. Then I started taking Remi out of the stroller (we go Remi, then Ruthie, then Rylee because Ry will scream when you put her back in). I swang with each of my girls, we had fun, Rylee didn’t want to leave so she screamed her way out of the park … just your typical day-at-the-park stuff.
But later that evening, I was thinking about our day and I suddenly got a visual of Ruthie, in the “joey” seat of our stroller, watching Remi and me swing. She had a content look on her face, but it made me sad. There was my baby girl, just sitting. By herself. Watching kids run and play, watching her mom and another baby swing. Not being held or played with, not being strolled round, not being the number one, center of her momma’s world. This was a perfect moment for mom guilt to take control.
Immediately, I began obsessing over how other “NORMAL” moms don’t have to deal with that. Other “NORMAL” babies get plenty of attention and never are left by themselves. Other “NORMAL” moms never feel like they aren’t enough and can give their babies’ plenty of attention whenever, however they want.
False. So, so false.
Normal moms? What even IS a normal mom?? I don’t know of anyone who would claim to be that person. The truth is, EVERY mom deals with these feelings of guilt, no matter how many children or babies she has. And the truth is, God gifted me these three babies, and even though I am never fully enough for them, He gives me the strength and wisdom to be their mommy. And I would never change a single thing, EVER.
Yet, there I was — consumed with guilt and worrying that my Ru is going to end up with some kind of emotional disorder, instead of remembering and trusting that Ruthie is a wonderfully made, carefully created little girl. She is designed fully unique and fully triplet, and for a purpose.
It didn’t surprise God that I had triplets. “Whoa, wasn’t expecting that one!!”
No. He had it all planned out, even before I was pregnant. He is going to use the whole triplet thing to their good, to mold them into the women He designed them to be.
My own mom reminded me of this over the phone that night. She was also quick to point out a positive amidst all my negativity (moms are good like that):
Because of Ruthie’s triplet status, she has to share Mommy. And toys. And books. And bedtime snuggles. And bath time play. And special “firsts.” And through all this, character might be built. It might actually be a good thing she’s not the absolute center of my world. God is using these situations to grow her into the woman He designed her to be, and to teach her the things He wants her to know. Now I just need to learn to trust Him in that!
So I just want to encourage other moms who struggle with MCMG. Maybe you’re about to have your second child and are worried about how it will affect your first. Maybe you’re a fellow mom of multiples, or maybe you just have several kids and deal with these feelings daily. Remember, Mama, it’s a good thing for our kids to share us! (And other things.) Let’s look for the good instead of letting the guilt win. And as I swing with one baby at a time, I’ll savor that moment, know my other babies are ok, and trust the Lord is molding their hearts, even as they sit in the stroller waiting for their turn.