The Other Woman

I’ve talked about the man in my home- but I neglected to inform you of the other woman.
I can’t stand her.
She’s moody and irritable, her patience is slim to none and she’s often disheveled.
How did we ever let her in here? Get. Her. Out.
Oh, wait. That’s a mirror.20160824_155801
Surprise, the other woman is me.
As new mothers, and I say new mothers as in mothers of new babies regardless of how many they’ve had before, we take on a lot and so much is required of us.
If you’re breastfeeding, it’s midnight meals.
If you’re formula feeding… it’s midnight meals.
Then you’re on-call every 3-5 hours during the day. Add in another munchkin or two and it’s easy to see how you’d forget to eat lunch or shower at 3pm instead of 8am.
Ahh, but the other side of the sword is that there is no place else you’d rather be than with your babies. That’s why so many women cherish maternity leave. Though it’s hard it’s so very worth it.
“Why don’t you let your husband help?”
Umm, I do- there is no way I could do most of this without backup. I can’t imagine how single parents survive. BUT some days, Little Bear just wants mommy. Apparently, this is normal and part of her development, thanks BabyCenter email. That doesn’t make it any less busy, or tiring.
“We can come help if you need us to.”
I appreciate it, really I do, but sometimes I just need those few moments when she falls asleep to sit quietly, can’t do that if I’m also entertaining.
“You don’t have to entertain.”
No, but my Mama raised me right, I’m not going to just disappear and leave you to fend for yourself in my well-lived-in home.
It’s cool-really, I’ve got this. Please don’t think I’m neglecting you or think I don’t want your help. I promise, when I need it, I’ll ask.

When Bubba was tiny, we went through the Mommy-Only phase. With him, it ended up being Stranger-Avoidance combined with Mommy-Only. I had arms like a woodsman from carrying him all the time. Then, one weekend, it switched. Just like a lightswitch, click, he wanted Daddy. Mommy-Only, was over.

I know that time is coming again and it’s probably coming faster than I want it to, selfishly. But come, it will. Until then, this other woman will have to continue to navigate through these first few months. I’m hoping she’ll pull it together a little.  She’ll continue to find random patches of baby drool on her shoulders and prefer yoga pants to buttons and zippers. Will it kill her to throw on some eyeliner and mascara, if only to make herself feel better, I doubt it. Slowly but surely, I’m sure she’ll find her way out- and into a stronger and more confident Mommy- until then, we’ll coexist. At least Little Bear is sleeping through the night now.

Be Great,
M

Does Costco Sell Patience?

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Thank goodness yesterday, is yesterday.
I’m up early today, getting some things accomplished.
It’s amazing how different things seem when everyone is sleeping. I’d like to say that I will be making this ‘getting-up-early’ thing a new trend, but let’s be honest. Mommy likes her sleep. What little of it I get right now.
I can tell you that after yesterday, I slept like a rock for about 4 hours straight. Quite sure the imprint of my head is permanently encased in my pillow. I may not have slept long, but man did I need to recharge after yesterday.
Why? You ask. Well, I’ll let you in on a little secret.

Yesterday, was a hard day.

Yup- I said it. It was hard. Not out of the ordinary for routine, nothing really new or different, not horrible or terrible, just a hard day. and that’s okay.

Little Bear had a checkup at the doctors the day before. (She’s healthy and robust to say the least. Girl likes her meals.) This means that she had a few shots (my mommy-heart aches on shot days. The how-could-you tears. Dagger.) So she’s been a little cranky and extra snuggly, but nothing we can’t handle. Bubba, is Bubba. A two-year-old going on ten, with interests that change with the tides. Again, par for the course. BUT I will tell you, when the time is ripe and the stars don’t quite align, it makes for a hard day. Add to it some self-imposed deadlines and measures of worth and BOOM!
My patience was running a little low to start. Between the usual lack of sleep, cranky/snuggly infant and Bubba’s latest YouTube obsession not loading- times were ripe for a meltdown.
Guess what- there was a meltdown.
Guess who experienced the meltdown… Me. I held it together all day and thought I was doing a good job, especially for not being able to understand my sweet cherub’s stomping feet and sobbing diatribe about the wrong “Ryan’s Toy Review” several times that day. The straw that essentially broke me down was, get this, the laundry. For some reason I felt it had to be folded. Right then. With both kids awake. Upstairs away from the majority of our favorite toys.
“What in the heck, woman? WHAT were you thinking?” I know, right? That’s when I felt the turn.

I think as Mommys we sometimes put too much pressure on ourselves to get it done.
Did the laundry need to be folded right then? Nope, definitely not.
Did I have to empty the dishwasher before Daddy got home. Nope, totally could have happened when reinforcements arrived.
When the second cavalry came charging in from work (bringing dinner, mind you), boy did he have a surprise waiting for him. Three-minutes in, Bubba was melting down over not being able to adequately communicate the type of cup he wanted his smoothie in, Little Bear was crabbing and there I stood, tears running down my cheeks, over a smoothie-cup-meltdown.
“I’ve got this.” He said “Go take a moment and collect yourself.”
I felt defeated. Why couldn’t I just make it through the next couple hours and then let myself relax? Why was I upset now? Oh, that’s right, because I pushed myself too hard and ran myself too thin over too short a time trying to get it all done. All in time for a fictitious deadline I imposed upon myself. Superwoman, I am not. But a Good Mom, I am, I need to remember that part. If the laundry gets folded after the kids go to bed, so be it. If the dishwasher gets emptied while Daddy play trains, that’s cool too. If Costco comes out with a giant vat of patience in the next couple years, I’m investing.
For now, yesterday is yesterday, the sun is up another day and somebody wants Chocolate Muffins & Fries for breakfast. Not going to happen Bubba, but we can compromise. It’s okay.

 

Be Great,
M