9.22.2012

A New Mother of Two


What I've learned so far with two kids: NOTHING gets done.

It's been seven weeks since Levi was born and I became a mother of two and I just want to state here and now that I am tired.  No, exhausted is a better word.  This is hard.  It's been nearly two months since I've had a full nights sleep; more if I count those last weeks of pregnancy.  I'm not sure I even know how to sleep without waking up several times in the night anymore.  Levi is starting to sleep in slightly longer stretches, so there is a light at the end of this tunnel, but I still crave a nap.  I once complained to Bron, "I haven't gotten a nap all week!" and he laughed.  It sounded ridiculous, but I was serious!  And I bet any other mother would probably sympathize.  

Is it gross that my boys have only been getting a bath twice a week?  It's about all I can manage to fit in: when the baby's hair is starting to look greasy and Jed is looking pretty pathetic.  (Of course, a bath becomes top priority when there's poop or mud or both involved.)  And if my boys only get bathed twice a week, then it's okay if I only shower twice a week too, right?  Oh, I wish that were true!

When it comes to keeping the house clean I'm learning to keep my expectations low.  Apparently, they're not low enough!  My goal this week was to do the laundry, vacuum the popcorn kernels in the den, clean the bathrooms, and mostly keep up with the kitchen.  (I'm OCD about my kitchen if you didn't know already.)  Well, the laundry took three days to wash and fold and put away, the popcorn kernels are still sitting in the carpet, just one bathroom got cleaned, and the kitchen went unswept for three days--if you knew the messes Jed makes at meal times it might make you cringe--but it looks decent now.  And dinner?  Don't ask about my feeble attempts at meals.  I'm learning that some days are meant to be productive days: Jed is in a cooperative happy mood and both boys nap at the same time.  Other days, I'm learning to accept that playing outside, going for walks, and play dough are the only items on the agenda for the day because fighting it just makes everyone miserable.

Bron asked why we stay-at-home-moms stress out so much about a clean house.  Perhaps I should mellow out a bit, that's true.  But on the other hand, my sole job is to care for my babies, my husband, and our home.  Our home is my work space and it works best when it's clean and uncluttered.  It doesn't help that half of my job gets in the way of the other half!    

I don't think I would have survived these last weeks without my neighbor, Amy.  She's an angel friend.  Amy cleaned my kitchen and babysat Jed when I was just too plain tired or my arms were full with a newborn baby.  She also tells me it's okay that my boys were only bathed twice this week, that my hair is in a pony tail again, and that it looks like a tornado ran through my house.  Maybe we're a bad influence on each other?  Or maybe it's just a reality check: no mother has it all together all the time.  It's just nice to know that I'm not alone in my everyday struggles as a mother.

I have new admiration for mothers of multiple children.  Thanks, Mom!  How did you do it? 

Perhaps this is what motherhood is all about: learning selflessness and patience, learning to be flexible, learning balance, learning to find joy in the simple little things everyday.  I love my boys, I really do.  Nothing makes me happier than to see them happy.  I can't get enough of Jed's silliness and smiles.  If I could, I'd cuddle my baby all day and through the night.  

I think things will get better with time.  I hope so.  I think I'm still in survival mode.  Someday the daily schedules of play and work and eat and sleep will work themselves out on their own.  And someday I may get a handle on how to balance my new life.

Until then... wish me luck! 


P.S.  Perhaps I should have been doing something productive instead of writing all this out, but I needed to put my thoughts to "paper".  It helps. 

9 comments:

  1. Oh girl! If I lived any closer I would SOOO help baby sit so you could take a nap! And I think baths twice a week is great hahaha they don't NEED to be spotless (or am I just saying that because I'VE only showered twice this week???) I'm the same way about certain parts of my apartment needing to be clean, or I will go completely bonkers hahaha

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  2. I'll be in the same boat in just 3 months. I'm a little afraid of how upside down our home will turn when baby girl comes. I'm the same way about trying to keep a clean house- I struggle with just one child! I'm sure you're doing great. Hang in there, things will get better. They always do. (Now if I could just remind myself of that come December...)

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  3. It's good to know that I'm not the only one going crazy because my to-do list is not getting done and my house is rarely clean! Thanks for sharing! Some of the best advice I ever got was that our kids aren't going to remember how spotless our house was, but they are going to remember how much time we spent with them.

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    1. That is excellent advice, Teri. I think I'll always remember that too. Thank you.

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  4. Sounds just about right! I think everything you are feeling/going through is totally normal. Thing will get easier once you start getting some more sleep. Sleep always makes everything easier to deal with. Wish I was closer to help you out!

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  5. So true! I think you are on to something about this being the way that things are just supposed to be. I always have my hair in a pony tail. My house gets mopped once a week. My kids get bathed usually 3x a week. I hate the days that I have to shower, because I feel like I get nothing else done all morning. Right now I am sitting in our toy room/office that looks like a tornado has been through it, a tornado named Grady. Reddic has been my worst sleeper. He still wakes up at least once a night. It's not so bad though, because we have been on this schedule for a long time now. It will get a whole lot easier though once Levi gets older and has more of a schedule. I promise!

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  6. You're doing great, Jessie. In a perfect world your house would be spotless while you cooked perfect gourmet meals everynight all the while your kids would be perfect angels and never poop their pants, never get dirty, or make messes. The mess just shows you did something more important with your time. That's what I keep telling myself anyway. Soon the kids will be older and can be your cleaning slaves anyway. And no judgement on not taking showers. In medieval times they only took a bath once in their lifetime....so it could be worse ;)

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  7. I have many moments of crap, when did the kids bathe last!! Honestly I've never been great at housekeeping but now that we're at 5 and 3 I am finally able to keep some semblance of order! You are doing great im sure. I had an eye ipening moment awhile back when things were just a huge mess and I think we had Spaghettios for dinner and Eli just looked at me and said he loved his home and I was the best mommy!...that is what truly matters.

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