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The trenches of toddlerhood

Dear mama who thinks she’s going crazy,

I’m in the trenches. I thought I was before and I know there’s more to come, but God I’m in the trenches. We have hit the terrible twos head on and four is not so fantastic. Between still nursing my 2 year old and trying to get him off, to him trying to jump out of the grocery cart, to the 2 of them fighting- pinching- biting (more him), to her demanding her needs or feeling like I’m herding cats just to get her to eat, it’s like a goddamn circus on drugs. I’m not even at work and my kids are in daycare all day (wrote 2 blogs about it and how I’m done feeling guilty)… yup point made. This is insane and I feel like I’ve gone crazy. I’m usually the one to go grocery shopping with them. #weliveintarget. And when it rains we are stuck inside- it’s usually me with them and being a teacher you’d think I could come up with some fun stuff, but nope. We try to paint and Hudson licks it. We try to watch Blippi and Hudson is biting Jules. We try to take a bath and there’s no room for one of them and then they are both crying. It’s like I have twins, but worse. Don’t get me wrong, I have good times. More good than hard, but oh so many hard moments where I need to tap out but I can’t. Yes, I’m thoroughly enjoying my summer laying in my pool and running errands kidless but the time is short and when I pick them up, it’s usually a must that they each break down… like completely crumble and burn. Jules is crying because she’s tired, Hudson is rip roaring ready to ride his bike and see daddy. I go from 0-100 and it’s on the daily. The two of them together is lethal lately and I’m tired. I feel like a failure because they both need me so bad- I feel like I neglect each of them. And don’t even get me started at nighttime. Howie works every other 2 days, which in retrospect isn’t a lot, but those nights or days he isn’t home, especially the weekends with no daycare, I want to cry. I feel like my energy can’t handle 12+ hours and one doesn’t nap. Both are restless, need stimulation 24/7, hardly want to eat unless it’s a cake pop from Starbucks #myfault, or gummies, and usually want to do something different than each other. Juliana is easier in a sense, but when her attitude turns on, watch out world. Give me this. I want this. And then she gets lazy and pees her pants, like full blown pee down her leg doesn’t give a shiz. What the?!! How do I handle that?! While trying to keep Hudson from drinking someone’s drink from the trash?

At bedtime, he wants to nurse, she wants me to lay with her. I’ll be honest, I can’t even read to them anymore. It takes us 10 hours to get them to sleep and sometimes it’s even worse when Howie’s here because of my stupid expectations I have of him. #Sorrybabe. Our routine after daycare is to play outside weather permitting, gymnastics on Wednesday’s (and when I’m alone and bring Hudson- God bless everyone around me), fight them both to eat dinner and they almost always refuse to sit down (I sound like a horrible mom), maybe take a walk or take baths, then snack then teeth and bed. Hudson usually throws his food or spits it because this is all new and fun now- gets a reaction of course, Jules only eats pasta and that’s only sometimes, mac n cheese, but she threw it up once and won’t forget that, never any veggies no matter how many stories I tell her, sometimes a cheeseburger plain, and maybe eggs with cheese. Hudson will only eat pasta or eggs lately. I’m that healthy mom that will get McDonald’s just so they can eat, but even that Hudson tries to feed our dog the nuggets. If they both sit and eat, it’s a miracle.

And I feel so incredibly guilty because I can’t focus all my attention on one kid. I miss my first born. I want to be able to teach her things and do fun teacher things like letter hunts and reading books. I want to give her my all. Then I miss Hudson and I want to work on his talking and sit and read books for hours. I want to do it all. Damn expectations and guilt. But they love me and they need ME- real me. Not fake me. Not Pinterest mom me or teacher me. Me- hot mess express cry laugh dance yell makes mistakes gets them Starbucks cake pops and McDonald’s let them stay up late me.

Believe it or not for a while we were on a streak that being out with them was when they were the best behaved. I hate the word behave with toddlers because I keep reminding myself they are merely navigating this world and their emotions and testing boundaries. But for the love of God now they argue and pinch and one wants to be in the cart and the other wants to jump out. It’s embarrassing now when I’m alone because I look like I’ve lost all control. I maxed out my returns at target because I don’t try anything on, I usually lose the receipt or anything I buy Jules she doesn’t want anymore or her shoes hurt her feet. I think I’ve returned 3 pairs of shoes and 2 life jackets within a month. My parents live far and I don’t have nanny. It’s my job to be with my kids and I feel like I suck at it. They are at such tough ages, but God I know I’m going to miss this with every ounce of me.

The kisses, the spontaneous I love you’s and you’re my best friend, the random people coming up to me telling me my kids are beautiful, you’re lucky or wow they are so well behaved (hahahaha), the midnight cuddles, the demanding of icy water before bed, the innocence, the kitchen dance parties, the family workouts, the unconditional love they have for me even when I yell, the fact that they both want me so much…

Life is hard right now no doubt about it. And I’m writing this blog on a bad night. We had gymnastics in the hot and humid gym and I was alone, chasing Hudson, trying to take pictures of Jules and when I turn around for one second he’s either drinking a strangers coffee from the trash or took off. We resorted to McDonald’s with our no money and went to target because I was so scared to go home and be alone with 2 cranky toddlers. What the hell was I thinking going out?! Target was a nightmare until we saw a man installing lights in the ceiling. Ah, thank you God. I got to look for a bathing suit top for t-minus 2 minutes then we had to follow him. I ended up with a bathing suit top, veggie fries and dish soap. How selfish am I that I went there looking for stuff for me? Well, karma got me because I swear I thought we were gonna get kicked out but then they realized that I’m the mom that lives there and I’m their biggest fan aka I have a red card and give them all my money.

They ate McDonald’s in the car while I was fasting which made me moodier, although I can’t even eat certain foods anymore without feeling like crap #heydairyallergy. We got home and I’m not sure if Hudson is teething but we was insane tonight- fist in his mouth, drooling, asking for boob (I’m that mom now and I’m not a hippie), and throwing his nuggets at our dog. Bath time was fun but getting them to bed was hard. Hudson is a great sleeper- slept through the night from the womb, begs for his crib, but he was amped up tonight and didn’t go to bed til 930. Jules is my stubborn love muffin. Refuses to put on her pull up, refuses to use the bathroom at night, demands her icy water, wants me to put a towel on her even if it’s laying right next to her…tonight was a hot mess. And at 930, everyone was asleep. I am trying to wean so I told Hudson no more boob, so we just cuddled. He grabbed my face and kissed me. These hot mess nights… they are worth every ounce of stress. Juliana randomly says to me, “I love you Mommy. You’re a good mommy.” This was after tonight- on the hottest mess night. Many more to come, but my God I love these 2 with every ounce of me. They need me so much and it’s hard as one person to be able to give them all of you.

Dear tired mama, you got this. We got this. This won’t last forever.

Love,

Tired stressed out too many expectations hot mess burnt out need a nanny pancake boob love my life mama

1 thought on “The trenches of toddlerhood”

  1. Your post made me remember the happy times I had with my mother while we were rummaging through my childhood photos, before leaving home for college this year! And your baby is as cute as a button! Good going! 🙂

    Like

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