Friday, December 12, 2008

It's Been a Week...

since she left.
I know that it is unheard of to have your mother or mother in law stay with you longer than two weeks after having a baby. Two weeks for some of you might even feel like a long time. My mom was here with us for 3 months. You read correctly, 3 months. Some of you are shaking your heads in disbelief, "How lucky. 3 months with my mom's help? How wonderful would that be? Think of all the things I could accomplish with extra hands around. Not to mention the rest I could get." Some of you are shaking your heads in disbelief, "I would go crazy with my mom living with us for more than a week let alone 3 months? There is no way we would be able to function with that individual living with us." Having my mom with us for the the past few weeks has been the greatest gift and blessing, for all of us.
I started this semester of school late August, a few weeks before the baby was to be born. (I know. I went to grad school the semester I had a baby. Some call me crazy, others driven. I am not sure what I call myself; May of 09 I will call myself accomplished, but now I am not really sure where I fall. Somewhere in between crazy and driven for sure...) The weeks previous to her birth I had asked a girlfriend to watch Gunnar for me. (Thanks so much for the help Joanna!)
Our original plan was for Jaren to be home early on Tuesdays so I could take off for school. His supervisor at work told him that we were going to need to make other arrangements, that he wouldn't be able to be home by the time I needed him. Argghhhh! Who could I ask to watch a tremendously busy 3 year old and a new born baby? I started to panic and feel extremely anxious. The majority of my girlfriends had just had babies themselves. Even if they hadn't, asking them to watch my newborn made me feel uncomfortable. Not that they aren't good, nurturing women, but I didn't want to burden them with my children. Two weeks into the semester I had a huge realization: I needed help with my kids so I could get through this semester. After class one night, I called home:
"Mom, I need help."
"What's wrong? Are you ok? Are Gunnar, Jaren, the baby all ok? What is happening?"
By this time my dad was on the line. My parents are two of the most compassionate, generous, and kind individuals I know. They have always been some of my best examples of charity and understanding; I love them so much. They are good people who love serving their family and friends. Their hearts are full of love for my sister and me and now our respective families as well.
I love this picture. It is totally out of focus and not sharp at all but I loved the moment.
I explained to my parents what was happening and the bind we were in. I told them we needed some help and wanted to know if Mom would be willing to stay with us a bit longer than the "2 weeks after a baby" norm. They told me they needed to check their calendars, but felt it would be something they could make happen for us. Before hanging up the phone my mom said, "Kamee, I don't think there is going to be a problem with this at all." After I heard that it felt like the greatest burden had been lifted; I knew she was going to be able to stay with us the extended time to help with the baby and my grad work.
She left last Friday. We all miss her. Gunnar asks where she is and when she will be back. Larkin became so used to her that she would calm down almost instantly when Mom held her. Jaren and I both commented the other day that our house feels empty. We loved having her because the house felt so full of so many things: support, comfort, help, assurance, encouragement, and mostly love.
I am doing just fine on my own with the two littles. I mean, I can't live with my mom forever right? It was such a gift to have her close for that extended period of time. Time I will remember and hold dear forever.
Look at Larkee's smile in this one. She was always all smiles for my mom.
Mom, Thank you so much for being here. For making the sacrifices you did to leave your life and Dad for that time to be with us. I am so grateful for everything you did: meals, tending the kids so I could study/attend class, the laundry, staying up with Larkin when she was so sick or crying so hard so I could get some rest, making me laugh when I felt completely deflated and hopeless, nursing me when I was sick, giving me a break to get my toes done or have some quiet alone time, and for loving me and my family so unconditionally. I am a better mother and person because of your influence and example.
Gunnar was playing us a sad goodbye song with his harmonica.
Dad, Thank you for sharing her for so long; we know that was a sacrifice on your part as well. I am so appreciative Dad of your humble nature and tender heart. I have always admired how you willingly put your family first over yourself. You are a good man with a soft spirit. I was so happy when you came for your visits. We all miss you too. Gunnar can't wait for Papa to come back so he has someone to play pirates with.
Mom, you earned this semester's master's degree as much as I did. ;) I love you both so much. Thank you so much for all you did for me and my little family the past few months.
Not sharp either. but can you get over those cheeks?
Baby 3, if there is one, can you stay for a year? ;)
Can't wait to see you in a few weeks for Christmas!! xoxo Kam


Bethany said...

Oh how lucky for you!! I find myself somewhere in the middle...I talk to my mom numerous times a day and would LOVE the extra help quite often, but we also have our own routine, our own life, and adding an adult into that for an extended amount of time would be challenging!

I am so glad it all worked out as it did!

Julia said...

Whenever we have a baby, I DREAM of a situation like this. For one because I live so far away from my Mom now [ :( ] but also because I will definitely be working full time immediately afterwards. I can only hope to have an experience like yours. What an awesome gift, Kamee!

Fedden Family said...

Ohh...this made me cry. It reminded me of my mom and how she stayed for a month when I had my second because I was struggling so bad. What would we do without our moms? Thanks for sharing your thoughts...they hit close to home a lot:)

Reb said...

Kam, that was beautiful and just what I needed before I go to bed with little sleep ahead. You have such a way with words and expressing feelings. I love your parents too! I'm totally crying. Love you! Bec

From Russia With Love said...

I loved the photos. So tender!! Your mom looks so 'Grandmotherly', and of course, she is. I love your folks too -- so grateful for the help and sacrifice they gave to bless your family (my family). I'll bet she has had some pangs of lonesome longings now she has gone -- can't help but miss those beautiful children. Love, Mom Nuzman

~love said...

so, so sweet. i'm totally crying, too! what wonderful parents you have....but i could have figured that! =)

Jennifer P. said...

SO beautiful Kamee. I tell ya--my mom died 3 months before my baby James was born and that was THE hardest after-baby time I've ever had. I got through it with what I can only describe as divine help, but there really is no substitute for a mom. I'm preaching to the choir here, I know :). How blessed are Gunnare and Larkin to have such a devoted Grandma!

And I'm among those who call you driven!

Love to you,

Jen Fields said...

LOVE these pictures of your mom (and dad) with your darling kids. How wonderful to have her there for so long. Been thinking about you and wondering how you are doing. We need to catch up this winter ;)