Life is freakin hard lately. Being a mom is the hardest job I have ever done in my life. I am trying so hard to juggle my life and I can’t seem to get ahold of it. I feel so overwhelmed with everything and I feel like a big failure. I miss my first-born- just her and I and I miss Hudson because I never got that alone time with him like I did with Jules. Poor Hudson is always in the shadow of Jules. I have to put him down to chase her…and because he’s too heavy. I just want to cuddle him on my chest and let him nurse and eat all day long, but he’s almost 1 and now he’s not a baby. This makes me sad. And now my toddler is almost 3 and she’s not a baby anymore. My heart actually hurts. I miss my own kids, but somehow I feel like I need a break. How the hell does that happen?
Early dismissals are so hard for me. Most teachers love early dismissals, but I can’t stand them because our daycare closes when school closes, which means that I have to pick up the kids RIGHT before nap time. And for some reason, my kids don’t want to nap with me EVER. Well, a few days ago, Jules was a walking nightmare- hitting, blowing her nose, tantrumming, not sleeping, cranky, etc. We finally brought her to the doctor and sure enough, after almost a whole year of not getting any ear infections, she had a double ear infection. Her tubes are on their way out and she gets an ear infection. Poor thing has been up multiple times at night (see my bad mom post) in the past few days. Finally, we got antibiotic steroid ear drops. Okay, 1 down, 2 to go. Hudson woke up this morning with his eyes crusted all the way shut. I asked Howie to keep him home from daycare because I can’t keep taking sick days- never mind being late to work every single day. But no, the husband has too much going on and can’t keep Hudson home. But I will be the one who keeps getting texts from daycare to come pick him up because he can hardly open his eyes. And being a teacher…you just get it. If one of my students came in with his eyes looking like Hudson’s I would wonder the same damn thing. 5 minutes after he dropped the kids off, I got a text saying they can’t take him out of his car seat because he could give the other kids pink eye. Great, so my baby is still in his car seat crying with his eyes crusted shut. Howie had an appointment at noon and I was getting out of work at 1225. Husbands just don’t get it. He eventually picked him up after tantrumming himself and brought him to my work. Poor thing was a mess. I brought him to doctor and sure enough, double ear infection (his first) and conjunctivitis. My poor babies.
Meanwhile, when I picked Jules up at daycare, she is having a tantrum because she didn’t want to put her shoes on to get to the car, so I brought her to the car without shoes. Well, that was a big mistake. Now I have 2 sick babes who are off their schedule and not napping while I drive around and Jules is crying/singing at the top of her lungs and Hudson just wants to sleep. This is where I just want to snuggle Hudson and give him all my attention because he’s so sick. And then my heart wants to hold Jules and tell her I love her so much and she has all my attention. But then I am so mad at her for screaming. Oh my heart. My brain hurts too.
On top of it all, Howie is sick and our furnace is just casually smoking. And Juliana is hitting. Like full on hitting her cousin and brother in the head for attention. I am a behavior specialist but I don’t know what the hell to do for my toddler. Poor thing wants Daddy all the time and usually misbehaves only with me. She is bombing out of dance and not wanting to leave daycare. She tantrums for hours because she is so strong-willed, like Daddy. And now both kids are sick. Most moms get a break because their kids nap or go to bed early, but NOT MINE…ever.
When Jules hit Noah, her cousin, I snapped. I usually snap at 3am, but it was broad daylight and I just lost it. I start crying and I picked her up and put her in her room and shut the door. I felt like she wasn’t safe to even be near anyone because she was so impulsive and dying for any type of attention, positive or negative. I felt like a big failure and like I lost control of my kid. The boys were fine, but God forbid we weren’t there to intervene. What if she really hurt someone? I felt embarrassed and even though Renee is my sister-in-law/best friend, I felt a weird sense of embarrassment and guilt. I just kept thinking, wow, at least your kid is calm and gentle and not all over the place. Wow, at least your kid loves you. Wow, at least you only have one kid. I went back out in the living room shaking and crying and cursing Howie and the snow storm and my life. I kept validating that I am so blessed and lucky, but in that moment I felt depressed and sad and tired and done.
I had her come out and try to apologize, but I don’t even know if it was the right thing to do. That consequence is attached to the behavior, but does it have any meaning for her? Probably not. But what am I supposed to do if she’s hitting other kids? Remove her from the desired area, but she won’t stay in a time out or another suggested area. She will run around laughing or maybe hit again, because we are paying attention to her even if it’s the reprimanding that is reinforcing to her. Here I am again feeling sad and missing my first born so terribly. Where did my baby go? My innocent little curious baby. She’s flying through her terrible two’s into the threenage years and then she will never want me anymore. Having two kids can suck big time, but it can also be amazing. It feels like mine are twins because they are both at tough ages- terrible twos and 11 months and cruising/into everything. I can do it and I want to do it, but don’t ever expect me to be on time or plans anything.
After she apologized and we praised, she hit them again and I actually almost left my house. Before judging me, remember I only slept maybe 10 hours in the past 3 days and everyone in my family is sick except for me. Renee calmed me down and I had to take a few deep breaths and get myself together, but I came around and surrendered. This is my life and even though it is chaotic, messy, and overwhelming, it is also full, happy, exciting, and beautiful. There will be ups and downs and chasing around, but I know someday I will look back and pray for these times back. This will be the easy part.
Between my jacked shoulder (from Hudson sleeping in my armpit), early dismissals and snow days, ZERO sleep, Hudson falling off the bed this morning- DON’T ASK, constantly rushing, sick babies and husband, intense toddler tantrums, and no breaks, it’s no wonder I suck at my job and feel like a bad mom. It is totally normal to get stuck in the storm of life and want to cry and scream. We are all entitled to feeling like this, but we are also equipped to get it back together with the help from our friends, family, and wine. For me, let me run a few miles, take a hot bath, drink some wine, and eat some dark chocolate. Boom, recharged and feeling great.
Dear soon to be mom or can’t wait to be a mom,
Don’t take your time for granted. Go to the grocery store alone and realize that this will end up being a vacation for you someday. Be with your significant other and put away ALL technology and just BE with them. Soak in those quiet and intimate moments. Sleep. Go to dinner and breathe. You don’t have to rush back to pick up your kids- we call this the calm before the storm. Embrace your calm and do things- lots of things. Do them together and do them alone. Go shopping and go to the gym. Go to dinner and do whatever you want. YOUR time is so precious and you forget that once you have kids. But also know that you will be the best mom ever and even though times get hard, that LOVE you have is even harder. I love my kids so damn hard it actually feels like my heart is going to explode out of my chest. I live for my kids and I can’t even remember what my life was like without them. I do know that I took time for granted. Just know that having children is one of the greatest loves in the world. People will say things like- oh you will never sleep again. This is the calm before the storm. Oh, just wait. You’re life with change forever. And while all those things are true, they aren’t negative. Your life will change but that goes without saying when you have kids. Yes, it is the calm before the storm, but the storm isn’t bad- it’s the storm of change, adjustment and unconditional love. You won’t sleep as good as you used to- maybe. But most likely you won’t sleep great the first year or two, but eventually they sleep and you will be so proud.
As a mom, you need to be able to feel every emotion and accept it. If you want to feel sad, feel sad. If you want to feel happy, feel happy. If you want to feel done, feel done. Lean on others to help and support you. You got this mama, I promise. God chose you to be there mama. These feelings are totally normal so give yourself a break, feel the emotions you need to feel, accept it, write about it, talk about it, and then get it together and embrace it all.
Dear Juliana, Hudson, and Howie,
You’re with it ALL.