We Are Surviving, Not Thriving

When we brought home our Fitz from the hospital, our firstborn son had turned 3 earlier that week. My mom had boys two years apart, and several people I know had aimed for that two-year age gap. So I thought we would have it made in the shade with a three year age gap.

As with most stuff in my parenting journey, I thought wrong.

Managing schedules for a toddler and a newborn is just not easy. I can almost hear the audible laugh of those reading this who have done it before. It just is not easy. And if it was easy for you, you probably shouldn’t tell anyone about it.

When Fitz was about 2 months old at Christmas time, someone asked us how it was going — you know how has the two kid thing been?

Me to anyone and everyone: “We are surviving, not thriving.”

And I meant that. We were all alive and fed and relatively happy. And by “we,” I mean my husband and me, too. We were making it — we were surviving.

As some of my friends have added to their families, several of them have given me my own words right back to me.

“Yeah, you weren’t kidding when you said you were surviving but not thriving.”

I am probably not the first to tell you that there is so much pressure on mamas to do everything right. We are supposed to breastfeed and work and keep a clean house and wear natural deodorant and cook with organic produce and be more laid back and keep our kids free from germs.

We suffocate under some pretty unrealistic expectations.

I suffocate under some really unrealistic expectations.

So, even now, when my kiddos are a little sturdier and even sometimes slightly self-sufficient at ages 4 and 1 — we are often still surviving and not thriving.

At the end of the day, we cannot create the perfect lives for them no matter how hard we try. So if we can keep these little humans alive and fed and as healthy and happy as we possibly can, we are doing our jobs.

One day our babies will maybe even cure cancer, solve world peace, and save the world. As they look over their shoulders, they will maybe even say,

“Thanks for surviving Mom, because now I am THRIVING!

And P.S. I still don’t eat broccoli!”

Rebecca Autin
Rebecca is an attorney by day and a toddler wrangler by night. She is a product of divorced parents and grew up in both Thibodaux and Franklin, Louisiana. Rebecca attended Loyola University of New Orleans and Southern University Law Center. Rebecca married her high school bestie in 2012. Quinton and Rebecca went through months of infertility before giving birth to Maxwell Lincoln in 2015. In 2016, they were surprised by a baby boy due in June 2017. But, in February 2017, they suffered with incompetent cervix and delivered sweet Theodore Paul too soon. In October 2018, after an incredibly difficult pregnancy, a cerclage, and a whole bunch of bedrest, Fitzgerald Joseph was born -- a happy, healthy, and perfect rainbow. If you can't find Rebecca, you can summon her with pot of freshly brewed coffee or look for her in Target or behind the kitchen island where she is hiding from her kids with a very generous pour of red.


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