Settling in with a push and a pull


It’s official. We are settling in.

girl on seesaw

Everyone said it would happen. Everyone said it would take a few weeks. And I believed. Sort of. But mostly I fretted and stressed and worried. Mostly I saw very complicated days of a newborn and a three-year-old both screaming on the way to school each morning while I tried hard to not cry with them.

But last week? Last week her tears were fewer, her screams subsided into whimpers. And our afternoons were full of school stories.

We raise our hands when we are done dinner now. Because that is what they do at school. And we push in chairs. And we sing all kinds of songs I have never heard before.

girl on swing

And then, at ballet class this week, she led the train into the classroom. Let me say that again. My girl. My quiet little girl who could barely see the train through her river of tears just two weeks ago, led the train of little girls in pastel and tutus into the classroom with her head held high and her smile reflected in the mirror in front of her.

This is progress. Pure, beautiful progress. We’re not through the woods yet but I can see the sun shining up ahead and I know we will make it.

And yet, still, my tears have not stopped. When I dropped her off at school, tear free, on Friday, I still felt tears welling as I drove away.

I know, I know, can’t I ever just relax and be happy? Smile! She is doing it! We are doing it! Honestly, can I blame these daily tears on pregnancy hormones?

But this push and pull of motherhood gets me every time. The bittersweet of pride and happiness like I’ve never felt before mixed with sadness and heartache – all from watching her confidently begin her march along her own path.

girl climbing spider web

At its most simple, this is motherhood. Gentle pushing when you want to pull. Pulling in when they just want to push. Looking frantically for the balance between the two but finding that it isn’t really there at all. And marveling that somehow, as we continue to grow into this role called motherhood, we instinctively recognize the pushing moments from the pulling ones.

Yes, we are settling in. And it is bittersweet and beautiful and scary and amazing.

And I have a feeling my tears won’t stop flowing for a while. And there is nothing wrong with that.



  1. Cry if you need to cry! Yes! The hormones, Yes! The lack of sleep and yes! the push and pull. It’s all a wonder and part of the beutiful mayhem of those early, early years. xo
    Ilene recently posted..How to Be Kick Ass on The FlyMy Profile

    • I keep reminding myself that I am in this ‘small children’ phase of life. And you just helped me realize that crying (from babies and parents alike) is a key part of this season 🙂

  2. Pretty normal feelings, I think! I get the exact same tears whenever I see P. push her limits and succeed – or change without me being the one to shape the change. But it’s fun to see her become independent, too, or at least that’s what I tell myself.
    Christa the BabbyMama recently posted..When ‘Why Don’t You Take It Easy?’ Is a Hurtful QuestionMy Profile

  3. I like how you said “looking frantically for the balance that isn’t really there at all.” I understand that. A lot. One thousand times a day I find and lose my balance. Which makes me wonder, as you said, is there one at all?
    Sarah @sundayspill recently posted..the sunday spill–about shifting and sucking up the bunniesMy Profile

  4. This was so beautifully put. You’ve totally captured the essence of that push and pull we all feel. I loved it!

    I’m so happy your daughter is settling in with school and ballet. My son is like your daughter, and it’s always so hard for me to stop worrying. Even when he’s thriving I tend to hold on to my anxiety waiting for the next situation. It’s funny, but I don’t do that at all with my daughter who is more outgoing and more go-with-the-flow. That’s just the way it is, I guess. 🙂 –Lisa
    The Dose of Reality recently posted..Math Doesn’t Lie After AllMy Profile

    • I know what you mean about just waiting for the next thing. I think I’ll be that way with my girl for a while. Yes, I do think it’s just the way it goes 🙂

  5. Oh yes the pushing and pulling and the forever illusive balance between the two. I LOVE this. (And am happy to hear that you are settling in. Wonderful!)
    christine recently posted..On HappinessMy Profile

  6. I just read through all of the posts I’ve missed while be offline lately. Oh my goodness, you are going through so many changes and they will all be challenging but they are also so worth it and will take up little pieces of your heart and stay there all kinds of cozy! It is a beautiful thing how life keeps growing and going. Let your mama heart soak it all in and let your eyes fill with tears too. It’s all good because it is all out of love.
    Happy to be back and caught up with you! xo
    Kristen recently posted..Sisters With PrideMy Profile

    • This comment warms my heart and makes me smile so wide. 🙂 Thank you, friend, these are just the reminders I needed to slow down and enjoy this crazy special time.

  7. You’re going to get comfortable momming these two, feeling balanced, tackling challenges, watching your oldest grow. You’ll get into routines, and battles fought today will fade and disappear.

    But along the way, there will be days, and events, and single moments, that will make you cry, and it’s best not to try and identify it or describe it or definitely make excuses for it.

    When my oldest didn’t get a starring role in a school play, she accepted a smaller part. I watched her the entire production of “Alice In Wonderland.” She acted as if the play depended on her staying in character 100 percent.

    Afterward, I cried. I just had so much pride in the pride she took in her role, and to see her so happy, I guess it was too much. I’m sure it wasn’t one of my more manly public moments, but I won’t make a single excuse.

    You write beautifully about your journey.
    Eli@coachdaddy recently posted..5 for Friday: Things teachers have said to me I’ll never forgetMy Profile

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