Built in bestie

I always wanted children “one day”. I always prayed that it was in the cards for me.

I knew I wanted to create a big, close knit family similar to my own. I have one brother, and 2 sisters. I am the second youngest aka the dreaded middle child. We are all 4 or more years apart so we didn’t get to partake in certain experiences like going to school together or having same age friends. Our tight knit bond came a little later in life when we realized how we were all molded different yet the same under one roof.

My brother who is 4 years older than I am, never wanted to hang out with me. I mean come on, what 16 year old boy wants his 12 year old sister hanging around? Usually the time we spent together consisted of fighting over Doritos and him screaming my name at the top of his lungs so I’d bolt into the room fearing horror, just so he could ask me to hand him the remote or turn off the light.

My little sister and I are 8 years apart so she was basically my living doll. Make up, dress up, hair styling, the works! We did share a love for gymnastics so we were on the same traveling performance team. She and I probably spent the most time together in our childhood, even given the age gap. Now we have a quintessential sister relationship. She steals my clothes, I roast her for my entertainment, we silently mouth off on each other and she still tells on me.

My oldest sister and I are also 8 years apart. She went to college across the country when I was 8 years old so I usually hang that "abandonment" over her head for collateral when necessary. She took care of me, watched over us while my mom worked and went to school. She acted as a second mother. She still does. Now she’s become my best friend and confidant who can relate to me on levels no one else can. We share our experiences in marriage, motherhood, and womanhood.

The beauty of having siblings is the "Built-in-bestie" that comes along with it.

Now we’re all older and all four of us are married, thankfully to incredible people. We truly are best friends. I never really maintained friendships throughout my life for multiple reasons: one being that we relocated a lot and the other being that I had my siblings. I have a core group of friends that I can call anytime day or night, and a ride or die bestie that knows all my dirt and would surely help me get rid of the evidence—-shout out to you Ms. Hardy!!—- but it’s the bond that we share as siblings that feels the most secure and steadfast.

This is a gift I am so glad I get to give to my daughter, TylerMarie.

Yup, that’s right! She’s going to be a BIG SISTER!

Shawn and Joey Livingston expecting

Of course I want to write “and we were THRILLED from the second we found out!” (especially running the risk my babies will read this one day.)

But I’ll be frank, when I found out I was pregnant again I wasn’t exactly bursting with excitement.

I was more shell shocked thinking about how tired I was going to be for the next few years. We will have a 2 year old and a newborn. A 3 year old and a 5 year old! A 13 year old and a 15 year old!?!? My mind is still a bit blown thinking of how I’m going to handle two toddlers simultaneously, let alone two teenagers.

The one thing that keeps me feeling positive about this blessing is the fact that Tyler gets to have a sibling, a "built in bestie", a sister.

My heart was set on having a boy because I figured if I had a boy I could be done having babies. Well, God has other plans for us. It makes my heart warm knowing Tyler will have someone close in age to grow up with, to go to school with, to gripe about her parents with, to share/steal clothes from, to roast and be roasted, and hallelujah for hand me downs!! But more importantly to share secrets with, to protect one another in ways our parents may not be able to, to share heartbreak with, to share triumph with, to always have someone to cheer for, and always know that someone has your back no matter what. This is the joy of a sibling and I’m so grateful to be able to give my daughter that joy that will last a lifetime.

Now I just have to deal with the pregnancy part...

I will be writing a lot more of this soon…but after successfully surviving the first tri-mester, this is my short list on commandments:

1.Thou shall know what’s coming.

A lot of moms say the second time around is harder than the 1st. Everything hurts more and earlier on. Although I do feel better than I did during my first pregnancy, I think that’s more so due to the fact that I now know what to expect. I know that constipation, and a weak stomach due to the strong sense of smell are all normal. I know that crying over commercials, having anxiety, and being hyper sensitive are all expected when you’re baking up a whole human with her own set of hormones to tackle one day. I also am better equipped to deal with the physical changes my body is going to go through so I probably won’t be sobbing (as hard) when my boobs and my belly meet again.

2.Thou shall do yoga.

Literally, just do it. At least try it. I’m a huge advocate for prenatal yoga because of the wonders it did for my first delivery, and my mental stability so that’s going to be my “go to” for body and mind.

Speaking of mind....

3. Thou Shall not forget your mental health.

So many moms forget about this. It’s directly connected to your physical health and vital to daily function. Talk to a therapist, talk to other moms, call your Mama (this is my go-to), join a community of women that you can cry to, gripe to, and run to for understanding.

I am focusing more on self care this pregnancy because it’s already hard enough being pregnant, but being pregnant and having an 18 month old running circles around you has it’s own set of challenges.

4. Thou shall need Jesus.

Okay obviously this one isn’t for everyone but can be: Whatever your source of faith is whether it is the universe, the solar system, Buddah, Jesus, or whatever you choose, it is a beautiful time to read up on it. I get this fulfillment from a daily devotional book made especially for mom’s called “Pressing Pause” by Karen Ehman & Ruth Schwenk. Of course I’ll do a review on it soon but I thought I’d drop it in for anyone seeking that good “fuel your spirit” book.

pressing pause ruth schwenk

So that’s where we’re at in this moment. Trying to stay positive, reminding myself that women do this with harsher circumstances all day everyday, and thanking God for the circumstances he’s blessed me with even on the days it just plain sucks. I’m looking forward to the future but trying to stay present and take things one day at a time.

Which reminds me…

Someone asked me the other day what my “Mothering Style” is.

I wasn’t sure what this meant so they elaborated “Are you strict?” “Are you a liberal mother?” “Do you rule with an iron fist?”

I said “Oh ok I see, my mothering style is SURVIVAL. Doing what I gotta do to make sure their basic needs are covered as well as mine, praying they grow up to be decent human beings, and putting the rest in Gods hands, all while maintaining my sanity.”

Boom, motherhood.

(Okay now time to show the belly! But don’t forget to read below these pics ;)

Mommas!! I’d love to hear your feedback on going from one child to two, or two to three.

What was the rose and thorn of that experience for you? I assume my "thorn" will be my fatigue for the next few years, but my "rose" will be the joy of watching my girls become best friends.

I’d love to hear your "Rose and Thorn" in the comments section below!

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Joey Livingston19 Comments