Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Note(s) to self

I've learned a lot in the last month-- about both parenting and life in general.  Most of it, I probably already knew, but didn't want to/ choose to acknowledge it until recently.  The thing is, when you have to tend to a couple of small children while carrying around a bowling ball in your abdomen, you really have to adjust your standards/ expectations/ perception of reality... whether you want to or not.

So I'm forcing myself to take a little mental note; things that I really need to accept as truths-- at least for the next year or so (but more likely for the next 10-20 years... and then probably the rest of my life, because at that point, I'll just be old and exhausted).

1) I am always going to be tired and never have enough time in the day.

Why I keep setting my alarm for 5:45 am every day expecting to pop up and cheerfully get my to-do list done while everyone else is still sleeping, I will never know.  Morning after morning, I consistently hit the snooze button 12 times or so, until my kids come in and wake me up themselves. So tonight, maybe, could I just be honest with myself for once and not set the alarm and feel ok about the fact that my bulging leg veins might just need a little bit more rest?

2) Everything is a phase-- both good and bad.

You know when your kid is hitting you in the face because you had the audacity to make him get in his car seat and your friend tries to make you feel better by reminding you that it's just a phase? Well, I'm sorry to be the one to tell you; that goes for the good parts, too, my friend.  When your kids are finally both in a good stretch where they are sleeping through the night and not giving you a hard time going to bed-- it's only a matter of time before someone starts having nightmares or they realize that they can throw books at each other once you leave the room or slurp all the water out of their sippy cups to use as super soakers on each other.  And they will wait until you have, or are about to have, a brand spankin new baby before they enter this new phase... just to keep things interesting.

On another note, Brendan entered the "terrible twos" phase at exactly age 13 months and still hasn't come out of it (over a year and a half later).  Not a fan of "phases."

3)  Pre-assembled furniture is worth its weight in gold.

With new babies and new bedroom arrangements comes a torturous amount of work for the hubby-- assembling new furniture, hanging curtain rods, swapping out cribs for toddler beds and toddler beds for twins... I don't know about anyone else, but when Matt sees one of those massive cardboard box shipments leaned up against our house, he kind of looks like his head might explode. After 6 years of marriage, I've finally learned that it is worth a truck ride to go pick up a piece of furniture that doesn't require 4 hours of your time and 12 pages of instructions to put together.

4)   Painting is for school and this is why God didn't give me girls.

We have a special crafts box that sits on the very top shelf of our playroom-- so high that I need a step stool to get to it.  We pull it out maybe once a year.  Yesterday, I was gently reminded of why it sits on that top shelf, untouched for so long.  Niall asked me if they could paint outside after Brendan woke up from his nap, and it actually, for one second, sounded like a pretty good idea to me.  Until they started painting the deck and the chairs and the bricks that are part of MY HOUSE and everything except the 47 feet of paper that I put in front of them.  I just hope my neighbors didn't see/ hear me when I threw a stage 5 temper tantrum and started chucking their paints into the garbage can while screaming "NEVER AGAIN!!! YOU CAN PAINT AT SCHOOL AND THAT'S IT... FOREVER!!!"

5)  A work out is a work out.  Tomato / Tomaato.

I truly believe that pushing a stroller with a 2 1/2 yr old and 4 1/2 year old in it, while carrying a human being in your stomach has to count as the full hour strenuous work outs I used to participate in--  even if that walk is only 15 minutes and I am drinking a pumpkin spice latte while doing it. Well maybe I don't believe that, but I am just going to keep telling myself that.

6)  There is no shame in candy bribing.

I try to use real consequences and reasonable privileges whenever possible... but there are times when you could hand a kid 1 hershey kiss to get some cooperation and it would save you 30 minutes of headaches and crying (for both you and the kid).  In those times, I say give the kid a hershey kiss and call it a day.  And then pat yourself on the back for taking the opportunity to make your life just a little bit easier.

7)  If you are pregnant and have other small children, you really HAVE to put your feet up.

I know everyone hates when people say this to them-- How are you supposed to put your feet up when you have to cook, clean and raise a bunch of kids at the same time?  I have no idea, but I do know that by 7pm, my legs feel like they are going to fall off and if I have to chase 1 more person to get them in the bath tub, I am going to turn into redneck beat-down mom who threatens to give her kiddos a good whoopin at the count of 3.  This is why I have decided (as of 10 minutes ago) to retreat to the couch for a good 15 minute feet-up break after dinner... which will probably end up being 2 minutes of peace and 13 minutes of being jumped on and hit in the face with pillows.  But hey, it's worth a shot.

8)  I will never stop being freaked out by a baby fist or foot jutting out of my stomach.  

You would think by the third time around, I would barely notice the little guy swimming around in there... but I still wince and squirm like someone catching a glimpse of a centipede sitting on their pillow every time this baby suddenly rams his appendages out of my belly.  And for some reason, I keep thinking that if I gently pat my stomach and tell him to calm down a little, that he will be willing and/or capable of listening. Really, what would make me think that this kid would follow my instructions anyway-- don't I have 2 other kids who completely debunk that theory?

9)  Worrying doesn't solve anything.

Everyone who knows me knows that I am completely freaked out about having a third c-section.  My first 2 births didn't go so well, despite my best efforts to have them naturally.  So this time I am scheduled to have a c-section, which is completely new and scary to me.  Naturally, I've been researching all of the risks and things that can go wrong with the third c-section because that's the best thing you can do for yourself when you have to have a procedure that is completely out of your control-- scare yourself to death.  But today, I woke up for the first time feeling really excited that meeting this baby is really just around the corner.  I want to focus on how nice it will be to know that I will only have to wait 15 minutes until I can see and hold this baby, as opposed to 40 hours of wasted labor the first time (and 24 hours the second time).  From now on, I am going to really try to commit to only thinking happy thoughts about this new little guy who we will get to meet so soon!

10)  For all of the times I've lost my patience and wanted to pull my hair out recently, being lucky enough to hang with these little hooligans all day is totally worth it.

1 comment:

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