Poop. Poop. Poopoopoop. My life is currently centered around someone else’s poop.
Whose poop? My son’s poop. He has pretty much never, ever pooped anywhere except within the confines of his own diaper/pull-up/big boy underwear.
So, yeah. Poop.
This is all very dramatic. It has caused fights between my husband and I, even. We’ve been to the doctor. I have begged, cried, yelled and pleaded.
Still no poop. Well, not in the potty at least.
Did you know there is some special potty training guide selling for almost $100 just to download? There is a special place in hell for the person profiting off of parental misery like that.
In this life, however, I’m sure that person is living high off the hog. Because poop. Dear, God. I’m pretty much willing to do anything to make the poop talk stop.
Our best bedtime transitions happen when my husband steps in. That’s because by the time bedtime comes around, I am done. Oh, so done.
There is some kind of rule that states that kids can’t go to sleep without putting up a fuss first. Since my husband hasn’t been with them all day, he is somewhat less ragey when that happens.
Teamwork! It works. But also, shout out to me for not murdering my children on the many nights that I’ve had to go it alone /
My children changed me, and it has been absolutely for the better.
When I got home from the hospital after giving birth to my son, i cried and cried. I was so terrified. So hormonal. So bad at breastfeeding.
Everything got strange. This tiny person was unavoidably here all the time. Nothing that I’d done before worked the same way that it did after I had my babies. I was forced to change, and for a long time, changing hurt.
To make it in this strange, sleep-deprived land, i had to give up what was comfortable and familiar. I changed the way I kept house, the way I viewed my work life, and finally the way I viewed myself.
What would I be without my children? How would I know that I can learn to do almost anything? That practice can be hard and frustrating but so necessary? That i don’t owe anyone an explanation? That my words are strong enough to stand by themselves?
I am so happy that I’ve been able to go on this incredible ride. I’m so happy for the opportunity to get to know them and to get to know me.
I have been thinking a lot about my firstborn baby, my little Cam, lately. I am not ready to talk about why just yet but, I’ll just say that he is his own little unique person and I struggle to understand the best ways to be his mom sometimes. I’ve posted this poem over at my other blog, but I want to post it here, too.
there is no difference in the anger that bubbles in your small chest
and what burns like fire in mine.
We are the same
awash in emotion
and I’m in charge
so I should know better.
I worry a lot about your soul
Where it came from
and how to keep it pure.
I am trying so hard to keep my hands away from you,
to end the way our souls have been broken.
What a different word we’d live in, maybe,
if there was some other way
if pain wasn’t bragged on
if we’d look somewhere else.
your grandmother is wrong.
Your mother is wrong.
This maze we fall into is confounding.
I think people can sense when you aren’t too steady with your own power. Especially kids. Kids depend on their instincts to learn. They are still figuring out how to maneuver through the world. They don’t have a bunch of experience to draw from, but they have the sense they were born with. So, If you aren’t secure in the role of mommy, they are the first to sniff that insecurity out. Then run wild over you. Kids can be pretty ruthless.
I’d much rather be nice. I actually shrink away from any kind of conflict. Even with adults, I over-think. I worry I’m being too harsh or hurting feelings.
So when it’s time to administer a time-out, I’m just as stressed out as my kids are. I hate hearing them cry and scream. It makes everything inside me bunch up and stand on end. I just want us to hug and have awesome times! Why’d you have to harsh our buzz by hitting your brother, Grace?!
But I know I have to soldier through it so that they learn what is and isn’t acceptable. I do it now so that hopefully I won’t have to deal with worse behavior when they are bigger.
So, no, Cam and Grace won’t like me all the time. Actually, I can pretty much guarantee that they will be pissed at me at some point during each and every day. And that’s fine. We’ll be friends when they are 30. They’ll be able to drink by then anyway.
Today, I’m feeling the weight of all the things I’m not perfect at.
See, despite never having been perfect and understanding that I’ll never be perfect, I still harbor these impossible expectations for myself.
So, I’m just going to put this out there for myself: my house doesn’t have to be perfectly clean, my kids don’t have to be perfectly well-behaved. Dinner doesn’t have to be perfectly planned and perfectly prepared. Hell, this post doesn’t have to be perfectly written.
Whew. That feels better.
I make myself rest during the day. When I first started doing this whole stay at home mom thing, I thought that since I wasn’t leaving the house and collecting a paycheck, I wasn’t doing real work. So I felt compelled to do something all the time. No naps or rest for me! Productivity! Cleaning! Cooking! Educational activities!
That didn’t end well.
So now I take short breaks. I even allow myself to nap with the kids. What I’m doing isn’t what I went to school for, it doesn’t have an office, but it most definitely is work. Sometimes it can be very physical. Other times it’s all mental. But it’s work.
I have a tendency to be hard on myself, to get frustrated with myself. I have to make a very concerted effort to give myself a bit of kindness.
Talking to my mom this morning, she reminded me that I’m allowed to make mistakes. I am allowed to care for myself. I am allowed to be happy.