Happy Birthday, Grayson James

Grayson James.. my second baby. When you are pregnant with your second, you wonder how you will ever be able to love another tiny human the way you love your first born. Then they hand you that sweet baby, and you instantly get it. Being a mother is amazing. I love each of my three babies so much, and have a unique relationship with each. Each baby stole a piece of my heart, and each little personality makes me melt differently from the others.

I had Kaia to myself for three and a half years. I was nervous to have another baby! Grayson’s original due date was December 24th, Christmas Eve. He was, and always will be, our favorite Christmas gift!

Kaia loved on her baby brother from the second she met him. I remember being so anxious for her to meet Grayson!

Grayson’s almost-Irish-twin, Reece, would come one year later. At times, I felt guilty about Grayson’s first year. I was absolutely exhausted about 100% of the time, and the year flew by!

I try hard to have a special relationship with each of my children, and while I am spread thin a lot of the days, I am so thankful they have each other. My grandmother told my mom, “the greatest gift you can give a child is a sibling.” She had EIGHT babies.. that is extremely generous, Gram! (Please do not take offense if you decided one baby was the perfect fit for your family, or if you are unable to have more babies. Families are perfect, big, small or full of fur babies!)

(Pictured above: Grayson and baby Reece)
I totally get what my grandmother meant now. I am so incredibly grateful for my three babies. I love that they have one another. I seriously melt when they light up just seeing one another. Life is expensive as a family of five; child care costs, groceries, seasonal clothes for each growth spurt.. it adds up. But living on a budget and purchasing off-brand items is such a minor sacrifice. We have far too much to be grateful for over here!

Gray is so important to our family! He is our loudest of the three, very sensitive (in a great way) and cautious. He is learning so much, and his little voice is the sweetest ever (when he is not screaming!)

Grayson James, your little face, squishy cheeks and absolutely gorgeous eyes are so incredibly precious to me. You are such a beautiful little person, inside and out.

I won’t wish for you stay little forever, because I know you are meant to do great things!

I will just keep chasing you around with a camera, snapping these sweet pictures, so I can always remember just how fun these days really are. Time is only going to move quicker with each passing year.. I’m just trying to soak it all in.

“yah sometimes this ol’ life will leave you wishin’.. that you had five more minutes..”

I loved reminiscing tonight, as the hours pass and my baby boy turns TWO! Thanks for looking back with me.

Jess. xo

You think one baby is difficult, wait until you have three.

“You think one baby is difficult, wait until you have three!” Have you heard this before? I know I have, and it is a topic I recently chatted about with a friend. I am so fortunate that I am surrounded by family, friends and co-workers who are positive and supportive of me as a woman and a mother. I try to take the involuntary advice most of us parents receive lightly. Now that I am a working mother of three, I definitely overthink a little less. There simply is not enough time to mull over each and every parenting decision I make within a day.

So I overthink a little less.. but life today is not more difficult, or easier, than life was when I only had my daughter.

I was actually completely overwhelmed when I had my first baby, my sweet Kaia Grace. I struggled with anxiety as a new parent. I was also in an unhealthy marriage, where we were not very supportive of one another. Everyone told me, “oh, it goes so fast.” Yet, the days felt so long. Time moved so slowly for me. I felt like I sat and watched her, just waiting for the milestones to happen before my eyes. I was tired. I questioned my decisions constantly. I felt an overall lack of confidence. Are you thinking, “hmm, this sounds like postpartum depression?” I thought so too. I decided to take care of my mental health, and began working with a therapist. A lot of my anxiety was situational, but the postpartum hormones were definitely not helping the situation. I am proud of myself for identifying my struggles, and overcoming some serious insecurities.

Life is a crazy blur from this point in my story until now.. a divorce, healing, a marriage and two pregnancies. Okay, now I get it.. time really does fly! Now my days are filled with happiness and family time. I can feel the joy, be in the moment, and have let go of the constant fear.

My postpartum experiences were much different with my sons. My husband and I make a great team, and we tackle every parenting challenge together. After my second was born I heard, “If you can handle two, you can handle five!” And after my third was born, “You going for the fourth? What’s one more?” I’m here to tell you this; whether you have one baby, two or three, parenting is extremely challenging! I believe that when you add another living, breathing human being to your family, you are going to face new challenges. Babies simply demand constant care, which is difficult. Every time your family expands, so do your challenges; but it does not mean the challenges you faced before are less significant.

Adjusting to parenthood was challenging for me with my first born. I love her so much it hurts, but it was still a huge learning experience for me. Learning to share time and attention when my second was born became a new challenge for our family. When our third was born, we had to learn how to share time, attention and supervision between three small children. We almost function in a constant ‘damage control’ mode.

I love being a parent. Kaia, Grayson and Reece are my angels. My husband and I work hard to provide the best life possible for them. Their unique personalities have each stolen a piece of my heart. I will always want the best for them. I will always strive to be more patient and present. I am simply doing the best I can.. and I’m pretty proud of how far I have come on this motherhood journey.

Whether you have one, two or ten kids… know that your efforts as a parent are so meaningful. Do not beat yourself up if you feel overwhelmed at times, or often. Just keep doing the best you can!

.. and remember, timeĀ really does go so quickly.
Time is Love,

Jess. xo