They don’t say how hard it will be.

The days are long, but the years are short.

How often do new moms, or mom of young kids hear that?

What you don’t hear is sometimes just how hard it is.

Today was a hard day. And the mom guilt is real. Today is a day I wished away. I counted down the minutes until bedtime because today was just too much. Too hard.

My oldest, just over 3.5 is in that questions about everything phase. The why phase. And each question is asked about 10 times. I love that he learns through repetition and examples but I can only answer the same thing so many times.

My 2 year old is sweet, and into everything. Mischievous. And in that stage where a simple no, you may not have 17 snacks you need to eat dinner, equals a meltdown.

Then my sweet little newborn. He needs me for everything. And he has two older brothers who need me too. I can’t spend an hour to get him settled down for each nap, or let him nap in my arms all day everyday. They need me too. He’s constantly needing something. He needs to eat. He needs to sleep. He didn’t get enough sleep so he’s overtired and screaming. He seems to have a dairy intolerance. He is just hard right now. This stage is hard.

It seems like each one, in their own way, needs me, and all of me. And yet I’m only to give just under 1/3 of myself to them.

I spend most of my day saying, wait, I can’t hold you now, I’m holding your brother.

Your brother is crying now, you’ll have to wait.

I’m sorry, I can’t do that while I do this.

All day. Everyday.

I know today was just one day and tomorrow is a new day. A new chance for me to be more for them. The confusion and guilt between wishing time would freeze, and fast-forward a few years is immense.

Kindness goes a long way

“Have courage and be kind.” – Cinderella (2015)

That is one of my favorite quotes and it comes from the live action remake of Cinderella.

This is a time of year when kindness, love and friendship should be cherished and abundant. Not to focus on gifts, money, the stress of travel, over commitments, frustration and impatience.

Life hasn’t been easy lately, adjusting to a third human in our home and figuring out this three kids under the age of four thing.

I still feel like the new girl, in our new home, at a new base.

Everything seems new. And hard.

Really hard.

I won’t lie, these three boys are more than I could have ever hoped for, but it is definitely a struggle. Lots of tantrums, nursing sessions, tears, toy throwing, refusing to eat, all the ins and outs of young children, plus stubborn teething toddlers and newborns. Each day, while a blessing, can feel like an uphill battle.

While I haven’t quite found my tribe, my people, my community here yet – I had two moments in the last couple weeks that reminded me how a simple act of kindness can change someone’s day.

I’d braved a trip to the commissary with all 3 kids in tow. My bigger two were in the cart (bless this commissary for having the shopping carts with the car/wheels for two kids attached to it – not sure how I’d survive otherwise!). But they were fighting. And had Go Go Gadget arms and were grabbing everything.

And the littlest was securely and snuggly cuddled up in my Boba wrap.

As we were getting to the checkout, fighting continued between the older two and I had to do some stern mothering. Which the resulted in toddler tears which woke the baby who proceeded to scream bloody murder through the last aisle, all the way to the check out.

He was loud.

I was totally embarrassed. I know kids cry, but we looked lot the chaos train rolling into the station.

The cashier in my lane, her bagger and the cashier in the next lane over who didn’t have a customer all came over, unloaded my cart and got me out of there quick as can be. The bagger chatted and played with the bigger boys while bagging the groceries, while I did an insane mommy dance and butt pat to try and get the little one to settle down long enough to get out of there.

They didn’t have to do it, they didn’t even ask if I needed help. The saw a mom with 3 kids acting like lunatics and did what they could to make my life just a bit easier. It wasn’t a big thing but I sure was grateful.

Today, we ventured to the exchange. Toddler running out of diapers, I needed out of the house, husband needed a few items and I DESPERATELY needed some coffee. I’d bribed the older two with a cake pop and with one on each hand on and one strapped to my chest we got my coffee, two cake pops and headed to get a cart.

But I made a mistake. And long story short my Peppermint Mocha ended up all over the floor of the exchange.

Beyond completely embarrassed, again, looking at the one little vice that was going to help me power through the rest of the day all over the floor had me nearly ready to boo hoo (I’d been up for 10 hours already and it was about 4 hours until bedtime…)

There had been several Australian service members inside the Bux when I’d gone in and out and had a great view of this minor catastrophe from the window. The next thing I know one of them came out with stack of napkins and very kindly said something along the lines of, he has 1 kiddo at home, I’m doing great being out with my 3 and he’d clean it up not to worry. He asked what I was drinking and next thing I know I have a new Peppermint Mocha in my hand.

He stopped to say hello to my boys, ask them their names and briefly tell me about his little kiddo he had at home and to wish us a good day.

My oldest, who had been asking a million questions on repeat about why my coffee was on the floor, stopped and said. Why did he bring you a coffee mama?

To be kind, sweetie. Just to be kind to another person.

In this season of life, and the time of year, everyone could use just a little bit more kindness.

Happy Holidays from our family to yours. Spread a little love, joy and kindness.