Sunday, October 7, 2012

And 10 things I DON'T love...

My last post was about all the things I LOVE about mothering my girls.  But let's be honest, not every day is sunshine and roses.  Lest anyone think I am overly cheerful and positive ALL the time, here are some things that I could honestly do without.

Disclaimer: the "bad" parts make the good parts seem all the more precious and wonderful.  So they too, are worth it.  It's all part of the experience, even if I don't like it at the time.  I decided to limit myself to only TEN things this time.  I decided this first; because even when it's an easy list, a list of 25 takes a LONG time and second; because when it comes down to it, the positive far outweighs the negative, and the numbers need to reflect that.

So here we go again...

Both the baby and the toddler ones.  Luckily they seem to be staggering their really tough phases.  Right now Reagan is in a generally happy baby stage and Madison is in a much more...let's call it EMOTIONAL stage.  Otherwise known as being 2.  It seems like she is melting down and having a tantrum at least once a day, if not more.  She gets over it, she's fine, and most of the time, she's happy too, but those tantrums - and trying to stay calm during them - just make my eye twitch.

The baby ones are no fun either.  The other night Reagan screamed for 35 minutes before falling asleep.  Not because I was leaving her alone in her crib (she goes down alone with no protesting most nights).  She screamed just as loud when I was rocking her.  Overtired?  Gassy?  Growing pains?  No idea.  It ended as quickly as it came on, but that meltdown was NOT fun.

2. Bodily fluids
Pee, poop, vomit, spit-up, drool, you name it, I've had it in my hands and on my clothes.  I've scrubbed these things out of sheets, clothes, carseats, bedding and rugs.

For Madison's first 6-8 months I think I was perpetually covered in spit up.  I had no idea one baby could produce THAT much.  Her clothes that she handed down to Reagan are SO stained.  I felt so bad when I pulled them down from the attic.

Reagan didn't spit up (except when being held by her godmother - she STILL spits up when she's with her) but she was the blowout diaper queen.  No details, but let's just say she left her mark on those clothes as well.

And now that we're potty training...oh my. 

3. Public bad behavior
Meltdowns at home are one thing, but melting down in public makes me cringe.  There are many times I am out with both girls on my own, trying to juggle a bag, an infant carrier and a toddler, and Madison will decide that she doesn't want to move and will do that toddler resistance move where they fight you with all their might or drop down on the floor.  Or Reagan will start REALLY crying in line at Target because I timed the trip wrong and she's tired or hungry.  And I'd LOVE to leave, but we really need more Tri-Vi-Sol or Fantastik or whatever, and it's not easy to find ANOTHER time to go out and get those errands done.

Even at friends' houses, you just feel so the worst mother in the world, when your kid is just melting down and you're trying to showcase your crisis management skills.  You know, calm, loving, instantly effective...but the child isn't cooperating.  I will NEVER judge any woman who has a publicly melting child or one who is begging or disobeying.  I've been there.

4. Body that is not your own
After a long pregnancy with Madison, I was delightfully surprised to realize that nursing melted every pound and inch of my baby weight off.  Combine that with the fact that most playdates were walks, and I was back to my old self, even though I was still eating as if I were pregnant.

I did NOT experience that with Reagan.  Someone insinuated to me recently that I looked like I was expecting number three...and I'm not.  My body is still crying "new mom!" 

Pregnancy itself is a giving over of your body to someone else, but I expected that.  Sure I missed my wine or coffee or sushi (oh, wonderful sushi...that I missed so much both times), but it had an expiration date.  That didn't make it easier when presented with things I was supposed to avoid, but it was there.

But nursing means your body still isn't completely your own, and I'm dedicated to doing it for as long as Reagan chooses to, so I've got at LEAST a few months left.  Now that she isn't a newborn, I can time things where I don't need to become a teetotaler, and I definitely have plenty of caffeine.  And thank goodness neither girl required a true change in my diet, but my body still isn't my own.  My OB told me that women will either lose the baby shape quickly while nursing, or they'll hold onto some excess weight until they wean, and with the second, it's usually the latter.  And honestly, I'm anxious for non nursing bras again!

This bravado bra is actually pretty cute.  Mine are not cute.  I need cute again...without paying through the nose.

5. Loss of spontaneity
No spontaneous weekend day trips, dinners out, or diner breakfasts.  Everything needs to be planned in advance and worked into the girls' schedule.  We weren't exactly crazy, spontaneous people before children, but occasionally we'd decide to have dinner out, or to make a drive to the outlets, or call some friends to watch football on a Sunday, and we can't do that without advance planning now.  It's not awful, but I do miss it.

Heck, I can't even be spontaneous in my errands!  It needs to be when the girls are awake, fed, changed and happy - OR scheduled when I can leave them home.  Running out for stamps or milk or whatever takes on another challenge when you have two small children.  There are some times when I really wish I could leave them in the car in the 30 seconds it will take me to pick up the dry cleaning, but I can't/won't do it.  Tragic?  No.  Kind of annoying?  Yup.

6. The mommy wars
Ugh, the darn mommy wars.  I won't get into it, because that's a post all its own, but I HATE the division moms create among each other.  Feeding, diapering, working, discipline, sleeping, whatever.  I HATE the conflict over all of them.  And I hate that I end up reading comments or getting sucked into discussion.  I don't like conflict.  I hate fighting.  I'm a live and let live girl.  Enough said.  (For now).

7. Feelings of inadequacy
I don't know a mom who doesn't have these feelings from time to time.  They aren't doing enough.  Their kid isn't behaving well enough, walking, talking, eating enough.  Intellectually, most of the time, I know I'm doing the best I can, and that's enough.  But emotionally, I have a lot of quilt that I'm not good enough and I'm somehow failing my girls.

If there is any mom who NEVER feels this way, I want her secret.  Because I'm a classic overachiever (wannabee) and I don't like feeling inadequate.

I am NOT supermom.

8. It's "on the job" learning from a boss who can't talk
I have felt SO guilty from time to time when I realize why one of the girls is upset...and it's something I could have fixed if they had told me...but they can't so I HAVE to guess.  Madison speaks very well for her age, but when she's upset it is STILL hard to decipher exactly what she needs to be better.  The other day she was crying and crying saying "I need two, I need two!".  I FINALLY figured out that her mouth hurt from her cutting molars and she wanted a chewable Tylenol.  10 minutes after I figured that out she was asleep.  I've done the same with Reagan.  I don't want to instantly guess they need medication, but sometimes Mother's Bliss (gripe water ) is TRULY Mother's Bliss.  She can't tell me her tummy hurts, or she's bored, or she's frustrated, or her teeth (which STILL have not cut) are bugging her.  So I have to try and figure it out. 

Nectar of the GODS!

9. The off days
Oh, the off days.  Just when you think you've got a handle on your current situation, someone is horribly off for the day.  We'll be in a great routine, and then Reagan won't nap.  Or Madison just has a day when she's in a bad mood, so she won't eat, and acts bratty to her sister, and fights naps, and tantrums unmercifully.  Then I start second guessing.  Are they sick?  Changing their schedule?  Going into a new phase?

I really, really, really hate the off days.  And when both girls have one at once...oh my.

10. How fast time really does fly
Awwww....I cheated.  This is a love/hate.  I love to see them grow, become more independent and pass through the tough stages.  But every time I wish away a day that's hard, I've wished away a day of their childhood.  These past two years have flown by already.  Reagan isn't my tiny squishy newborn anymore, and Madison isn't a baby...she's a little girl!  I might not love every moment, but I don't want to miss any either.

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