A Dare

So, I haven’t really written in awhile, about how life is as a mother of two UNDER TWO. And that is mostly because, as a mother of two under two, I have  ZERO time to do so. Which, I am sure you might have expected.

I am, by no means, some type of domestic goddess. In fact, I am quite the opposite. I hate dirty dishes, but if I use my muffin pan to make the delicious and healthy oatmeal cups (for which, the liners will not work) for my daughter so that she doesn’t have to eat crap food for breakfast, I will pretend not to see the muffin pan sitting in the sink for days and use the excuse that “it needs to soak” to avoid scrubbing the shit out of it. I do assloads of laundry but frequently leave clean clothes in baskets until I can no longer stand to look at them. I sweep 471 times per day but can never seem to get everything. And I routinely bribe my husband with anything I can think of to scrub the bathtub because I fucking hate doing it.

When and if my kids take naps at the same time, I prefer to spend that hour (USUALLY LESS) watching the reality TV on my DVR and playing Candy Crush. Because, we all have our guilty pleasures. And while I wish I could say that I bust my ass during that time, I would be lying. Because it rarely happens and Mama needs her Mob Wives fix. And I won’t apologize. Because, as chaotic as I knew all of this “mother of two” shit was going to be, I HAD NO IDEA what I was getting myself into.

I have a friend who was pregnant with her second child when I was pregnant with L. Her kids are about 17 or 18 months apart. I always marvel at her because, though we share a bunch of frustrated, “WHY WON’T THESE FUCKING KIDS SLEEP” texts (DAILY), she seems to handle it all so much better than I feel I do. I mean, it could just be that I am more willing to say things like, “Seriously. My kids are being assholes and they are trying to kill me” or “If they don’t STOP THIS RIGHT NOW, I am making them sleep in the yard”. It just seems to me that, through the frustration, she finds grace. And I find myself wanting to bang my head against hard things.

Being a SAHM is completely ridiculous. I mean, there are moments that I am SO grateful for. Like, when the kids interact with each other and I get to catch what seems like this private, brother-sister moment. Or when L says something really awesome like the other day when she said, “Hot mess!” when I was trying to scrub syrup off of her chin. I am grateful that, in her, I can see so much of myself. She speaks with my inflection (and hopefully doesn’t start integrating my HORRIBLE language! FUUUUUCK, I have to stop swearing so much!) and it is all because I am the one she hears the most. And that is pretty awesome. Dangerous. But totally awesome. I would say that about 85% of the time, I really enjoy my time with my kids. But that other 15% makes me want to run screaming from my house and never come back. I don’t know if it is okay to admit that. But screw it. There it is. If my bosses in the workforce ever worked me like this, I would have stabbed them in the neck with my staple remover. But, you know…my little slavedrivers are the loves of my life. So, that’s like, a get out of jail free card. Lucky them.

I am more patient than I have ever been (although, my husband might tell you differently, but what does he know about anything? He gets to leave the house without two tiny people hanging on him.) and I am mostly happy with the decision I have made to become this person. Mostly. I miss interacting with people who can utter at least four-word sentences (we’re so close!) and drinking coffee while it is still hot. I miss lunch breaks. I even sometimes miss waking up to an alarm and not an infant demanding food. (I never thought I would say that I miss my alarm. Seriously. Who says shit like that?)

But this shit is hard. I am exhausted and am currently nursing L back to health from strep throat and dealing with Baby O’s third round of teething. I am averaging 3 solid hours of sleep per night and eating frozen food while I make 17 different dishes for L who is entering the terrible twos. I drink entirely too much coffee and spend entirely too little time with my husband. (who is currently out of town for work for two weeks. Just in time for the strep and teething. Lucky bastard.) I haven’t painted my toenails in weeks and my hair desperately needs a trim. I need to lose the last ten pounds I gained during my last pregnancy (plus about 30 more) and I need to take better care of my skin. But the kids. Oh my god, the kids. They are so much fun and so adorable and so time consuming that I barely remember that these things are…well…things.

It is a balancing act. And I am working on it.

So, there you go, internet. Go ahead, have two kids in the span of 13 months. I dare you!

To Work, Or Not to Work

Yo Gabba Gabba!

Yo Gabba Gabba! (Photo credit: Faceless Librarian)

I’ve been thinking a lot about going back to work.

Not because I am not enjoying being puked on and yelled at by tiny people all day or anything. And not because I don’t love “Yo Gabba Gabba” or waking up in the middle of the night with L to play. Or doing 37 daily loads of laundry. Because these things are fine. And the baby snuggles make all of that totally worth it.

Honestly, though, I think that, with MB working the schedule that he currently is, we’re just stretching ourselves too thin. We would both like to go back to school as soon as possible and we would like to have a lot more time to spend together and with the kids as a family. But right now, there just isn’t any time. I see MB for no more than one hour per night (usually at around 9 PM) and then one day per week, he is off. (And that doesn’t happen EVERY week.) So, that ONE DAY, we have to squeeze in all of the chores that we haven’t gotten to during the week, any family time we want to have, fun things with the kids, any alone time we might get, sleeping, and visiting with other members of the family. I don’t know if anyone told you, internet, but days only contain 24 hours. And that’s not a whole lot of hours for all that stuff. Considering that I haven’t yet figured out how to do anything else while also sleeping. (Which, seriously, you guys, would be amazeballs and I would be SUCH A ROCKSTAR if I could learn how to do that.) MB gets to spend so little time with the kids and I know that it is killing him to miss all the fun stuff that they are learning to do every day. But it is stressful on me too. And I am sure those of you who are SAHMs can agree that this job is super hard in and of itself. And I am sure that you will also agree that having a partner, even just in the evenings and on weekends doesn’t relieve all of the stress of the day, but it helps Mommy to be sane. And that, my friends, is important. Because if Mommy is wearing a straight-jacket, who is going to make the mac and cheese?

MB’s job is demanding. The pay is pretty good. But it is hardly worth having to sacrifice our time as a family to have a few extra dollars that we don’t have time to spend. It has been really hard on all of us.  But I really don’t know what the solution is at this point.

I am really not at all interested in putting my kids in daycare. In fact, I am super opposed to it. Not because all daycares are bad or scary or whatever, but because of my own experience in childhood. I have almost ZERO memories of hanging out with either of my parents when I was small. I remember my grandparents. And my uncle. And a daycare. And it wasn’t a bad childhood and that is not at all what I am saying. I just want my kids to have memories of…you know…ME. Playing with them. Taking them to the zoo. Playing hopscotch on the driveway. Not doing all of those things solely with other people. I want to be the one they remember. Or, I at least want to play a larger role than my parents did in my early years. (This was not their fault. My dad was in culinary school in New York and my mom was working full-time for next to nothing to keep us fed…) And I wouldn’t even mind so much if I was a close second to their dad. Because, obvs, that is equally important.

So, I am back on the hunt for a job. Ideally, one of us will work and the other will stay home with the kids and go to school. And I guess, what it comes down to, is that whichever one of us can make the most money will work, and the other will stay home and possibly work part-time if need be. I just don’t want to settle for some job that sucks all of the life out of me and leaves nothing for my littles. Because I am doing everything for them. I don’t want them to have memories of an overworked, miserable lady. And I don’t want MB to be that guy either. In a perfect world, I would be working from home, MB would work part-time and stay home with the kids while taking some classes on-line and we could just…SPEND SOME EFFING TIME TOGETHER. Hell, I’ve almost forgotten what he looks like.

Send us some good juju, internet. We just have to figure it all out. I just want my family. Together.

 

Elvis was Booked This Year

Elvis-impersonator-martin-fox-01-1-

Elvis-impersonator-martin-fox-01-1- (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So, internet, one year ago yesterday, MB and I got married. In Vegas. With an Elvis impersonator. Yep.

I can hardly believe that we have been married for a whole year. Not to say that this year has been particularly easy. Because it has been a total mindfuck. Right after we got married (L was 5 months old), we found out we were expecting ANOTHER baby. Then we moved into a house, had a baby boy, MB changed jobs, I had to learn how to be a mother of two (still working on this one) and we have had to combat a LOT of hard shit. With MB working more at this new place, he is gone more than he is present. He misses things that the kids do every day. He missed the first time L gave a kiss (which was the cutest thing ever), the first time Baby O laughed, and COUNTLESS things already in the two months that he has been working this new schedule. And it is heartbreaking for him. And for me.

And our relationship is sometimes strained. He goes to work, day in, day out and makes money so that I can stay home and be driven completely mad by raise the kids so that we don’t have to send them to daycare. (Daycare totally terrifies me. And I am not judging those of you who don’t have a choice in sending your kids there, I am just lucky enough, because of my husband, that I can be here with them myself.) Sometimes I feel resentful that he gets to leave the house and see adults and have conversations that don’t involve babbling or made-up words.  Sometimes, I get angry that I am here all alone with no support from him. And I am sure that sometimes he resents me for being able to stay home with the kids and be there with them while they learn and grow and discover. Because I know that has to sting.

But I am wrong in being resentful. And I do check myself when I feel that way. Because I appreciate him. For every single thing he does for me. For us. He makes this life possible and I love him infinitely. And I am so lucky. Sometimes I need to remind myself of that.

On our anniversary, we saw each other for about two hours when he got home from work before he passed out from exhaustion on the loveseat. I always regret not having the time to say the things to him that I think about when I have time to think about our relationship. And my gratitude. We get lost in a sea of to-do lists and last minute chores and taking the trash out before we forget. And our anniversary was no different.

He came home with a bottle of wine, a card, and flowers. After working a 13 hour day and not having had lunch. After sweating in the hot sun. All for us. All for me.

And I just love him, internet.

I have never met anyone so kind and gracious and generous and loving. IN. MY. LIFE. And he has made this life possible for me. And I am eternally grateful. Even if I rarely can find the time to say it.

He never has time to read this blog. And I am writing as a reminder to myself that he is amazing. And I am one lucky gal.

(Happy ONE YEAR, MB. I hope you read this sometime when you aren’t busy making our family work and know that you are my everything. I love you.)

Mourning the Lady Parts

There was really never any question, after I found out I was pregnant again, that Baby O would be our last child. I was never really sure I wanted to have kids until I had Baby L, so when a second was coming, I knew I was done. At my first OB/GYN appointment during this pregnancy, I was already asking about birth control for after Baby O was born. Because, you know, if you are keeping score, BOTH of my pregnancies were accidental and I was on the pill when I got pregnant this last time, so I was pretty sure the pill wasn’t going to prevent Captain Super Sperm from getting me knocked up again. But I wasn’t sold on the IUD method because I just didn’t want some weird object floating around in there. And I didn’t want something so invasive as a tubal ligation. (Mostly because I am a total wuss and, up until I had my kids, had had almost NO medical issues in my life. Seriously, I had an x-ray once.) But I wanted the permanence of a tubal ligation. You know, without the incision. Gross.

At my first OB/GYN appointment, there was a poster on the wall advertising Essure so I asked about it. Seriously? Permanent? Yes. In-Office procedure? Awesome. No incision? SOLD. So, I had decided at 14 weeks that I was getting this shit taken CARE of. With a QUICKNESS, you guys.

So, yesterday, I had my “counseling” appointment. Which basically means that I watched a video of women and doctors and some women doctors talk about their experiences with it and how awesome it is. And then I signed a consent form.  There is a waiting period of 30 days before I can have the procedure done. Because, you know, I might change my mind and decide I want another kid. (HA! If I ever say anything like that, internet, please remind me how long it has been since I have slept or eaten a meal while it was hot. Or while sitting.) So, now we wait.

What I didn’t expect was that I feel sort of like I am having to mourn the loss and/or use of my lady parts. I mean, first of all, I never really wanted to use them. And they are definitely USED at this point. And I don’t want to use them again. But it is sort of sad to think about. I never really thought about how much of a privilege it is to be ABLE to have children. Even if you don’t want them and don’t plan to have them, you have the POWER to create life. I mean, how amazing is that? I still don’t want to have another baby, you guys, it is just a crazy thought that I won’t be ABLE to.

I’m not going to change my mind. Because even if I did go absolutely batshit crazy and decide that more kids was a good idea, I wouldn’t do it. MB and I had our boy and our girl and we are absolutely elated to have completed our family and so QUICKLY! (This might have worked out for us. It seems doable. Hard, but we got this. In your FACE, universe!) Really, this is the only way to go. It is this or Captain Super Sperm over here will have to just stay away from me until I am all old and stuff. Because, I don’t even trust a vasectomy at this point. My husband is no joke.

Hateful

Family is weird. And when you have one of your own, and your primary focus is your kids, some of the family dynamics with “outside the home” members of the family change. This is important to note because, this week, my Father-in-Law has been visiting.  He called, a couple of weeks ago, to wish MB a happy birthday and then informed him that he would be coming to our house for a week. No dates set-in-stone. Just a generic, “after the 19th” kind of notice.

I was not thrilled.

When you first have a baby, as many of you know, things change a lot. Your sleep changes. WHERE you sleep might change. Your meal times change. Even WHAT you eat changes because, if you are in a similar situation to mine, you don’t really have so much time to think about feeding your own face when you are spending so much of your time concerned about feeding tiny faces. Things are chaotic. They are unscheduled and they are completely unpredictable. And if you are anything like me, being in a situation like this would be enough to leave you bald and hiding under your bed in the fetal position by the end of a regular day. Because the anxiety. Oh, the anxiety. Its a heinous bitch. And it can turn ME into a heinous bitch too.

It takes any mother (parents, really) a minute to adjust to a newborn. And their neediness. And the lack of normacly. Because. Well. Welcome to your new normal, new parents. Gone are the days of free time. For us, gone are the days of dinners before 8pm or watching a television show uninterrupted. Or sleeping together in the same bed. Gone. At least for now. Because we’re still figuring this “parents of two” thing out. And we are doing damn well if you ask me.

But then, when you get an uninvited houseguest who sleeps on the couch in the middle of the day and cuts watermelon (and you HATE the smell/taste/idea of watermelon)  in your kitchen and leaves it sitting there for hours while you nearly vomit because of the smell (which you can do nothing about, because you are busy wrangling a 14 month old and feeding a newborn and cooking dinner and washing dishes and sweeping up today’s lunch from under the high chair…you get the point), you might tend to spin a little (more) out of control. You know, if you have control issues/a hefty anxiety problem. And that, my internet friends, has been this week for me. I’m tired and stressed and ready for a serious break. But I’m a parent. And breaks don’t exist.

My FIL isn’t a bad person, if you ask me, although, I know some people who would disagree. He has done some things that he regrets to the people that he loves and spends most of his time with them trying to make them understand that he loves them. But also making them feel guilty that HE lives several states away from them. Yes, you read that right. Because he moved away after being a not-so-great person to them and now wants all of them to feel guilty that they aren’t where he is. Sometimes, there is even crying. And I used to feel bad. But then I started getting to know him. And hearing stories about the kinds of things that happened when he was “not-so-good” and I don’t feel bad anymore. In fact, I am annoyed. But I bite my tongue because I love my husband. I have bitten my tongue so much this week that it is currently hanging by a little muscly tongue thread.

Last night, I was talking to my sister-in-law about being a parent. And I told her that, before I had Baby O, I was genuinely worried that I wouldn’t be able to love him as much as I love Baby L. This, I have heard from other moms with more than one child, is a very real fear. And very common. I mean, you give birth to someone, right? And they are your everything. They give you the motivation to be BETTER. And they expand your capacity for love and they fill up your WHOLE heart. Because that’s what happens when you have a child. And then you are faced with having another one. One that you haven’t met yet. And you wonder, “how will my heart expand enough for this new little one to fit in there with the first one?” Because it seems impossible to love ANOTHER person the way you love your first. But then you do. You just DO.

Anyway, I was talking to my SIL about this and FIL says with a snide roll of his eyes, “Well, that’s hateful.”

And, in my head, I said: “Well, I didn’t try and smother either of my kids with a pillow, did I? So, I guess you would know better than me about hateful.”

In real life, I said, “Well, I guess YOU wouldn’t understand, seeing as you’ve never carried a person in your BODY for months and months…”

“Well, I never had a problem loving my kids”, he says to me.

And in my head, I said, “Sure, if by loving your kids, you mean locking them outside and making them pick weeds in the hundred degree heat for hours on end.”

In real life, I said, “You couldn’t possibly understand any of it anyway.” And I walked out of the room.

MB and my SIL did back me up, because they GET it. It is a process. But I could have gone to prison last night, internet. PRISON.

I can show him hateful. I really can. I am REALLY good at hateful. I did it for years as a teenager. I got this. But I’m biting my tongue. Because he is leaving today. And after he is gone, my life can go back to a degree of chaos that doesn’t make it necessary for my husband to hide all the knives.

(Just FYI, I don’t know that the above things actually happened. I mean, I can only imagine that they did, because they were told to me BY his kids. But…I wasn’t there. I just thought I should say that.)

Emotional Cliff Jumping

I have definitely reached “that point” in pregnancy where it is more annoying and exhausting than anything else. This is the part where you almost totally forget that you are doing a beautiful thing by baking this human being. Because you are so tired, achy, ornery and generally pissed off that it is all you can do not to stab random people while waiting in line at the grocery store, you know, because they are wearing bad shoes or a Billy Ray Cyrus tee shirt. Am I feeling a little illogical? Possibly. Unreasonable? Could be. But I am so CLOSE…yet so far away, people. And I just want to feel normal again. And I just want to sleep. For, like, more than 3 hours. (And yes, I am aware that I am about to have a baby and that this is a total pipe dream. Don’t remind me, okay?)

Up to this point, I have been really proud of myself. Because I have had very few incidents of psychosis. I have felt good. I have smiled, even when I wanted to hide in my bed for two days and eat ice cream. And I haven’t threatened to punch anyone in the throat. (Except at my Sprinkle. And then it was just my best friend’s wife. Because she kept talking about my having twins next time. Insinuating that there would be a “next time” to speak of. So she totally deserved throat punch threats. At least I didn’t actually DO it. But I like her. SO…)

And then the last few days, I have felt like I was drowning. Like, I felt overcome with all of this insane, pregnant lady anxiety and emotion. And I just couldn’t hang. All of that optimism I have been gloating about flew right out the window and I started, not only dreading having two tiny people to chase around and keep alive, but really hating everything about being a stay-at-home-mom. I started feeling lonely. And scared. And irritated at my husband for continuing to get me knocked up and not even being apologetic about it. And then expecting me to handle it with some sort of superhuman ease. (Which I thought I was totally capable of, until now.) I have been tired. And cranky. And close to tears at almost every moment. And I just wanted someone to take my precious Baby L for the day and let me marinate in this idea that I can DO this and I won’t fail. Because I need some assurance. I need some REAL PROOF that I am not going to fall flat on my face. But there isn’t anyone to take that precious baby for the day so I can marinate. There isn’t any “time out” for me at 8 months along. And MB, well, he just doesn’t get it. Because he feels stress too. But he doesn’t understand THIS stress. THIS kind of stress is reserved solely for the mother-to-be. And it is a shitty place to hang out alone. I am back at that place where I don’t want him to get to do ANYTHING that I can’t do. I don’t want him to smoke a cigarette. Or have a beer. Or hang out with his friends. I am jealous of his lack of fetus. Because I am huge and miserable and have two months left before I can have my body back. But even then, internet, things will never be the same. And that’s my fear. And he just doesn’t get it. And that pisses me off. And then I feel awful.

How will I make it through 4am feedings and spitting up and leaky boobs? I mean, I made it through the first time, and no one died. But I JUST DID THIS. And I am quite happy not having to wear giant pads in my bra. And not smelling like baby puke. And being asleep (most of the time) at 4 am. (Even if there is a small child wrapped around my face.) I was growing to like the fact that my little one is rolling around and readying herself to walk. And saying things that sound more like words than crazy baby babble. And now I am starting from scratch. And holy shitballs, how terrifying is that?

I know that this is all probably just some hormonal cliffjump I have just taken. And I am sure the parachute will open soon enough and I will coast through the rest of the way and then I will give birth to this meatloaf and love him and care less and less about breast pads and baby puke. But in the meantime, can I just get a nap? And some ice cream?

Solution? Or Bigger Dilemma?

If you’re wondering where Baby L and I have been hiding out, we found a place to rent and have been busy moving! I have to say, I don’t love moving. I don’t love packing. Or unpacking. And not knowing where my shit is. But I AM a fan of sleeping in my own house. Without being awoken by a screeching five-year old who doesn’t want to wear a jacket to kindergarten. So all this disarray? Totally worth it, you guys.

Unfortunately, we currently (but hopefully very temporarily) are without a washer and dryer, a microwave, and a fridge. Yes. A fucking fridge. It is broken and I am hungry 137% of the time because I am 6 months pregnant. So that is pretty awesome. I mean totally NOT awesome.

But, again, no screeching five-year-old.

I can dig it.

Tonight will be our second night in the new house and it will officially be the first night ever that Baby L will not be sleeping in the same room with me. With the exception of our wedding night. And let me tell you, ladies and gents, I am freaking.theFuck.OUT. I know I have bitched a bit about sleeping with my kid. But you know what Internet? Whatever! I am going to miss snuggling with my baby furnace. What about my husband, you ask? What about snuggling with that guy? Eh. He’s a good smuggler and all that…but he’s not my baby!!

I don’t really know if I can do this, you guys. Seriously.