Fake it til you make it. This is a biggie. When I’m super exhausted and want to crawl back into bed, I put on real, presentable clothes instead of yoga pants and a t-shirt. Because let's face it, napping when they nap isn't really going to happen. So instead, I put together my best self to tackle the longest of days.
I belted out all of the lyrics along with Marcus Mumford. And it felt so good to feel like myself. Chrissy Roussel. Not “Lucy’s mom,” or “Molly’s mom,” or “the lady with the six girls including surprise triplet girls.” And it was wonderful, all of it—the singing, the dancing, the being present in that moment and feeling the music.
I heard her steady voice: "you're a good mom," she said. "You're trying so hard." Her words flooded my heart and made it surge. My noticer was noticing me, her mom, and not in the typical way of--you are my mom and that's a given--but as a person who was really trying her hardest.
I’m here to tell you—you need to read this every holiday. Let it go. Let the idea of a perfect, shareable photo go.
28. Screw you, bead kits.
You know the moments—those beautiful, tiny, unexpected moments where you step back and you see your children with new, clear eyes. Those moments where life, albeit briefly, can’t get any better and see your kids for the beautiful little people they are (or can be, in these moments).
You know there are things you imagine for your life, and then things that you could never in your wildest dreams imagine happening. This—wanting and buying an oversized conversion van—falls in the latter category, along with having six kids in six years, including triplets.
12. It means that “coming home day” actually involves going back to the hospital to pick up your baby when she finally leaves the NICU.
We were in the middle of meat section at Costco when Lucy declared “it smelled like Grandpa.” Which was rather bizarre because, first of all, we were in Costco. Second of all, Lucy was only six when my dad died—did she remember what he smelled like? What did she think he smelled like? As I bent down to pepper her with questions—I smelled it. The familiar scent of Skin Bracer aftershave. It was the same after shave my dad had worn for decades.
5. Make yourself known, stand out from the crowd, and ask for what you want. This is a biggie. You’ve got to speak up and stand out from the crowd—make yourself known.
2. You can do some serious multitasking while you’re in line. Chat with a friend. Amazon Prime that birthday present for Susie’s party on Saturday. Pluck your brows.
9. Love is texting that you’re at the store, what do we need. And waiting while I send you an enormous list of must-haves, including wine, wipes, milk, bananas, and eggs, and a million other things.
7:25 a.m. Now crossing in to very late territory. Announce to Seth I have to go, and all babies cling to my legs like static-y socks. Try to peel them off. Still crying. They were happy earlier, do they know I’m leaving? What is going on? Babies don’t cry.
While the days at home can be long (sometimes unsufferably long, yes), the soundtracks in my head are now much more upbeat. They’re cheery and bright theme songs. I hear The Good Life by One Republic. We all got our stories but please tell me what there is to complain about… Oh this has gotta be the good life This has gotta be the good life This could really be a good life, good life.
And then, when everyone gathers for birthday cake and starts singing happy birthday, I’ll wait for that moment I always wait for. That moment—when everyone is singing happy birthday, and my daughter looks around and sees everyone smiling at her, loving her.