“The natural state of motherhood is unselfishness. When you become a mother, you are no longer the center of your own universe. You relinquish that position to your children.”
It’s 10 a.m. on a Wednesday morning and I’m already on my second cup of coffee as my two babies take a nap (we’ve been up since Daddy left for work at 6 a.m.). In this first month of motherhood with two under 2 and my new life as a stay-at-home mom, I’ve quickly learned how much flexibility and patience it takes to get through a day.
Mommy’s Got 99 Problems, But Her Kids Aren’t One
Going to the bathroom… Much like teacher bladder, mommy bladder is REAL! This Mommy is seriously driving that struggle bus! The only difference is that when I was a teacher, I actually knew what time I could go to the bathroom and just had to plan my breaks around my class’ schedule. As a mom, I’m not sure how long my kiddos will sleep for or how long Bryan can entertain himself before he starts screaming (loud enough to wake his sister up)! There have been days where I won’t realize until after my husband has come home from work that I haven’t gone to the bathroom all day (that can’t be good)!
Showers… I have never appreciated them more than I have now (granted I wasn’t allowed to take showers the first 4 weeks postpartum- check out my last post “Exhausted…Postpartum Recovery”– and I’ve only been starting this week)! It’s the only time I have some quiet to myself- not even complete quiet…I always hear Bryan screaming in the background because I’ve left him in his crib. I’ve had to scream from the shower to calm him down! “You’re fine buddy! Just give Mommy 5 minutes!” Or I’ve had to reach my hand out of the shower to bounce Kennedy in her bouncer when she starts to make noise so that she continues to sleep and I can finish my shower (all of this is happening when Tory’s gone at work- I’m not waking up, if I’m asleep, at 4 or 5 a.m. just to shower before he leaves). Having my hair dried and straightened when Tory isn’t home? HA! Forget it! There’s not enough time for that!
8 STRAIGHT hours of sleep… HA! That’s hilarious! I’m a big fan of naps and coffee now! Just when we finally got Bryan to sleep through the night, enter Kennedy into our lives. Now, as soon as she cries, there are times when she’ll wake up Bryan too! She’s not sleeping at night either! Last night, I was up from 12:30 a.m. until 5 a.m. with her! She was fed, burped and changed… Why wasn’t she sleeping? Who knows! As soon as I set her down in her bassinet she’d started crying! So I tried her swing downstairs, I tried her crib in the other room (maybe the mattress in the bassinet was too thin), I tried walking back and forth while rocking her. Every time I looked down at her, those grayish blue eyes (yes, she might have gotten her Daddy’s blue eyes!! YAY!) would be staring right back at me!
Clean house… I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been told to keep a clean house everyday. That’s not exactly on the top of my list of priorities. I would rather be spending my time playing with my kids when they’re up, teaching them new words, letters, numbers and colors than cleaning up every mess they make or constantly picking up toys. The best I’ve done is kept up with laundry. Even before we had 2 kids, the most I swept and wiped down the countertops was once a week if not every two weeks. Life with a kid happens so quickly, I don’t want to spend most of it cleaning up! I read this article the other day on Love What Matters and I completely agree with everything this mom had to say about being a stay-at-home mom.
Work and School… Thank goodness I’m only working part-time and I’m somewhere that doesn’t mind me completing some of those hours from home! I’ve worked it out to where I’m going in one day for a 12-hour day, another day for 4 hours and the rest of the week I’m finishing the other 9 hours from home. I’ve been trying to study to transfer my Texas teaching certificate to Michigan, but have you tried studying with a 17-month-old? Bryan gets into everything! I can’t take my eyes off him without him reaching for my laptop or climbing up on the dining room bench to get to my flashcards. Throw in a 1-month-old who will cry just as I’m about to settle down with a stack of cards to look through… Needless to say, my studying hasn’t gotten that far.
Disney Jr. reruns and Finding Nemo… I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched the same episodes for Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Mickey and the Roadster Racers, Puppy Dog Pals, Elena of Avalor, Sophia the First, Doc McStuffins and Muppet Babies… Does Bryan get tired of it? Nope! He watches each show like he’s never seen the episode before. Oh and don’t even get me started on Finding Nemo! There have been days when we’ll watch that movie 5 times! I know the movie backwards and forwards now. Thank goodness we have Finding Dory now so I can at least change it out. But try changing it to another movie… he won’t have it! All hell will break loose! Disney Jr. changed their morning lineup this week and it’s been the old school shows like Little Einsteins, Handy Manny and shows I remember watching…Bryan hasn’t been the happiest (try teaching a toddler to be flexible…HA! You’re killing me Disney!). He’s been getting into more things around the house instead.
Mommy’s Got Ninja Skills
My reaction time in the past month has doubled! If it’s not one thing it’s another and there’s absolutely no time or ability to be slow! If I’m even half a second off my game, disaster will strike!
In my case, the disaster is my 17-month-old getting into something he shouldn’t, putting something in his mouth he shouldn’t, or about to hit his little sister because he’s playing too rough or he’s trying to climb onto my lap while I’m holding her.
I’ve had to lunge across the room while holding Kennedy to catch her backpack from falling onto Bryan because he decided to pull the strap off the shelf (yet I couldn’t prevent a can of peaches falling on my head the other day). I’ve had to sneak up on him just to put food in his mouth because he’s gotten so picky about what he wants to eat (boy, you’re 17-months-old! You can be picky when you start paying the bills- that’s what his Daddy always says)! This morning, it was me pushing the brew button on my Keurig before I placed my coffee cup under it (what mess that would’ve been)!
I used to be such a heavy sleeper, but after we had Bryan the smallest movement he made I would spring up from bed to check on him. Now with two, it’s like my Mommy radar is on even higher alert! When they sleep longer than they usually do, I’m still up just to check on them to make sure they’re okay (Kennedy slept for 4 hours one night and I still had to get up at the 2 hour mark just to make sure she was still breathing).
Bryan will make a slight movement in his sleep and I’m able to tell the difference between whether or not he’s looking for paci that’s dropped out of his mouth or he wants a baba without him fully waking up.
They Call Me Mommy
I wouldn’t trade anything in the world for the time I’m getting to spend with my babies. Don’t get me wrong, I do miss being a teacher as my friends and old students start school again, but I love every second I’m able to be home instead.
There are days when I’m not entirely sure if I’m able to make it or if I’m doing all that I can for Bryan and Kennedy. There are moments when I have to remind myself that regardless of what others are telling me I should be doing or what I’m doing wrong, at the end of the day, I’m just doing the best I can to provide a good life for them.
I live for those moments. Those moments that may seem small to everyone else, but to their Mommy it means the world! Like this morning when Kennedy was crying in her crib and before I could get up from my work, Bryan had reached for her baba on the table and tried to feed it to her. It’s moments like that, not captured on camera (although I wish it was), that will always be one of the best memories I carry of my time with my babies.
Being Bryan and Kennedy’s Mommy is the best “job” or title I’ve ever held. It’s by far the most rewarding and I know that throughout the years as I watch them grow, there will be even more moments that make me so proud of them.
“Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live.”