Just Be

The other day, I briefly reflected on our new stage in parenthood. Two mobile babies have changed a lot of things in our 968 sq. ft. of space. The bathroom is their favorite place to venture. Therefore, the safety lock was installed on the potty and now makes a wonderful conversation piece with our guests!

I was going to bypass doing another post until Five on Friday seeing that I am typing beside a pile of clothes that have yet to be folded, the dishwasher needs to be unloaded, and there is a floor full of toys beneath my feet. Also, another addition to my long to-do list is writing a letter to our apartment complex about our lovely neighbors stringing blue lights around the perimeter of their door. We have a blue light special going on at 4360 apparently, y’all.

Andrew and I are getting away for the weekend, and my parents are coming to stay with the girls. So, you can see that I have a to-do list as long as the Mile-High swinging bridge that we will be crossing this weekend at Grandfather Mountain. Here’s the thing: it’s been approximately the same to-do list since Monday.

There have been a few things that I have crossed off here and there, but I have yet to accomplish the majority of set tasks. And, I have one day. It wasn’t that long ago when I could write a to-do list and could cross everything off in one quick afternoon. Again. I have been working on this list for three days. I think the solution is pretty simple for a mom of twins, I need a nanny or a housekeeper. Just kidding! But seriously. I wouldn’t send a housekeeper hiking if they showed up on my front doorstep. I would give them a huge hug and lead them straight to our bathroom that seems to have been rejected for the past month.

Needless to say, this month has been a struggle. In five days, it will be one year from the day I was admitted to Chapel Hill and our journey began. I would be misleading to tell you that I am not scared for the days ahead. The emotions I will face as we celebrate the girls’ 1st birthday, and this year being able to see them on their actual birthday. The overwhelming joy of being able to celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas at home with them this year. On December 2nd, being able to hold my sweet Amelia as we rejoice in a healthy heart. On December 14th, being able to drop Leah off in the church nursery instead of hearing a doctor tell us they are running tests for bacterial meningitis. On December 23rd, being able to take the girls to see Santa Claus instead of untangling their wires so he could gently hold them in the NICU. There are many days ahead of us that are going to be hard, but we are so incredibly blessed because they are going to be here with us.

In our NICU journey, there are two families we became friends with that have to live life without their babies today. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about those two mothers. I remind myself how blessed I am to have a to-do list I fail everyday to complete. In the time I should be spending folding clothes, unloading dishes, cleaning, or dusting, I am singing songs. I am playing peek-a-boo. I am changing diapers. I am reading books. I am constantly hiding things and keeping their paths clear. I am watching my step. I am making bottles. I am fixing them something to eat. I am kissing boo boos when they fall down. I am snuggling. I am strolling. I am capturing the moments. I am being a mother.

Subconsciously, I have wondered if I am enough for the past year. If I did enough to care for my babies in the womb. If I did enough to care for my babies in the NICU. If I did enough, even when I wasn’t able to supply the nutrition they needed myself. If I am doing enough now. And then, I think about my dear friends and the other mothers whose babies have been taken from them too early. They ache for even the opportunity to be enough.

So, today we are enough. Our babies don’t need an immaculate house to learn, grow, and live. They only need a home. They only need nourishment, comfort, and lots of love. They don’t need every toy that Fisher-Price manufactures, or every children’s book that Barnes and Nobles has on sale. They don’t have to have the Perfect Pinterest birthday bash. It’s okay to have a messy house. It’s okay.

This week, I have taken away one important lesson from the in-between of our day to day “routine”. Our babies only want us. They desire to be noticed, and yearn for our attention. Mommas– it’s time to forget the distractions and the to-do lists and just be with our babies. We owe it to all the mothers who can’t do that today.

Cross of one thing: just be.

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Mary Kate

7 thoughts on “Just Be

  1. Aunt Ashley says:

    “Everything happens for a reason. Letting go of controlling your life and surrendering to the fact that it doesn’t matter how you plan it, it doesn’t matter how you envision it, without even knowing it sometimes life has a way of finding you and exactly what you need or exactly who you need.” Remember these words you wrote in your letter to Matt 8/17/12? You wrote this as he was leaving for college and as we, your paternal family, were leaving Wallace after Daddy’s death and funeral that week to return to our homes and lives. It is natural and healthy to be revisiting this time last year. It was stressful, scary, uncertain and wonderful because God’s hand was guiding you, Andrew, Leah, Amelia and all the people who entered your lives in Chapel Hill that week and supported you in many ways the next four months. That time one year ago brought us to where we are today, rejoicing in these two little lives that have and are bringing us boundless joy and as well as relishing watching you and Andrew care for, provide for and love and shape them. You are doing a wonderful job. Have a great weekend away and be safe traveling. Looking forward as always to seeing you in a few weeks as we celebrate the awesome gifts we were given last November 11 (and tearing into Uncle Matt’s 10-layer chocolate cake as we celebrate his 21st birthday!).

    Much love.

  2. Amber says:

    Amen and amen to that! Us cancer mamas feel the same way. None of us know what tomorrow holds and every day we have with our loved ones is a pure gift of grace that none of us has earned or deserves. Every day we drop everything “just be” with our kiddos is a tribute to those we have lost so very young.

    • marykwhite says:

      I am SO glad that you replied to this post! I have just spent about an hour going through your blog and reading about your journey. Oh my goodness. Tears just poured as I read Julia’s story. What an incredible testimony she is to those around her and who have shared in your writing over the years. Are y’all located near Winston? We live in Raleigh. My husband’s family is from Greensboro, and I went to UNCG. My college roommate now works at Baptist!

  3. carlywillson says:

    Thank you for writing this post. As a mother of 13 month old twins, I can relate 100% to the never-ending to do list. Not sure why this brings tears to my eyes, but reading this also helps put life into perspective after waiting to be a mother for 3 years. So I just wanted to say thank you.

  4. mikaeya says:

    Hi there! I just stumbled across your blog after reading your story on Twin Talk. What beautiful girls you have! My husband and I are also bless with twin girls, 13 months old. I feel your sense of being overwhelmed but grateful beyond words all at the same time. Trying to enjoy the little things can be tough some days but when you do it makes the days so much more enjoyable! My favorite thing to do at the end of the day once the girls are asleep is review photos in my phone from the day and reflect back on how wonderful it all is. Keep up the good work momma!

    • marykwhite says:

      Hi there! Thank you so much for your sweet words. You are too kind! That is an awesome idea as a way to reflect on your day. Ever since the girls were born the my phone is constantly reminding me that I am almost out of storage! I take WAY too many pictures of them on a day to day basis! We are strong, Momma! You keep up the good work too! Your girls are precious!

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