Skip to main content

Days like yesterday

Picture taken by Simple Soul Photography
Hawaii July 2009
 When I think about the word "motherhood," I envision a woman wearing a beautiful house dress, dinner in the oven, children riding bikes out front. I see nightly bubble baths, ironed polo shirts, silhouette pictures of children, knee-high socks, and silk bows. At the center of the warm buzzing environment of the home is a woman who knows what she's doing and can get a stain out of anything.

And then there is me. Days like yesterday exhaust me. Both of the babies are teething. They don't want to nap at their normal time, which makes them so tired in the evening that they scream until bedtime. Their appetites come and go. (People always tell me when I say this, "Well, it's not like they are going to starve themselves!" I know. But can I tell you how frustrating it is when I know they are crying because they are hungry and yet the refuse to eat? It is very difficult to comfort two hungry babies.) What is even more work than teething babies? One three-year old. Yesterday was a long, long, long day.

During my pregnancy, I called a good friend of mine to talk to her about what it was like to bring home a baby when you have an older child. Bringing home your first is a totally different experience. While you do adapt the baby to the rhythm of your home, it is easy to fall back on baby's schedule when everything goes wrong. She said the one thing she wished someone had to told her is how frustrating your first can be when you bring home your second, simply because they are a demand on your time when you are trying to take care of an infant. Having children different ages means they have different needs, different things they find interesting. D understands when I tell him to "wait" or "I will be there in a minute," but when I'm sitting with his brothers for hours or am distracted because they are fussing, he tends to lose patience and find ways to get me to pay attention to him. Bring on the mayhem.

Picture taken by Simple Soul Photography
Hawaii July 2009
 With all the boys, there have been easier phases and harder phases. Now that we have babies in the home, the hardest time we have with D is teaching him how to play with his brothers. He wants to carry them or move them, especially when they are crawling after his toys. He figured out baby gates shortly after he was a year old, climbing over the pressure gates when he couldn't open them, meaning that now-- even when his brothers are gated in a space-- he opens the gate to join them. I constantly need to know where all the boys are and what they are doing (removing choking hazards, that they are playing safely with each other, and that the babies can't escape). With the babies, some things have been harder simply because there are two of them, like teething. Teething isn't easy with one baby; teething two is definitely not easy. C and O cut their first four teeth at the same time and were miserable at the same time, making for long evenings of bouncing two babies in my lap. O cut his next two teeth a few days before C cut two teeth, which meant as soon as O felt better, C started fussing. The only nice thing about that was that I could carry the upset baby around and let the other two kids play. Downside? Ten days of interrupted sleep for Momma.

It is really hard not to expect my three-year old to understand that his brothers are infants and that he just needs to play gentle with them, instead of having to remind him over, and over, and over again. It is really hard not to expect him to use an inside voice when his brothers are napping, instead of whining outside their door, "I want to go for a walk. I want to go to the park. I want to eat. I want to watch a movie. I want to draw with chalk. I want to stay home. I want to go out." (When whining, do they just say everything they can think of?) It is really hard not to feel frustrated when the babies start crying when they should be napping. It is really hard not to feel frustrated when absolutely nothing is getting done, when a baby screams through an entire lunch date, when your three-year old sits down in the store and whines he wants to go home and you just arrived, when hungry babies refuse to eat, when you are repeating the same thing again and again.

Sometimes, there are days like yesterday. And sometimes, days like yesterday are the new phase. At lunch today, I talked to some friends of ours about my frustrations. Their boys all teenagers now, he says, "You need to enjoy it now because it goes so fast." I know he's right. I've blogged about it a couple times. But I've only had three years fly by with my kids. How will I feel when ten years fly by? I'll miss these days when kisses make boo-boos feel better, even if they do still hurt some (as D says). I'll miss when I'm sitting on the floor snuggling my boys and D turns his little face to me, "You have all your boys, Momma!" And teething or not, C and O are at the age where so many new things happen at once. Any day C will be taking his first steps and I can't wait to hear their first words.

Motherhood may not be glamorous. Some days I want to pull my hair out. It is important to focus on those little things that make everything else worthwhile. As for the image of "motherhood" I see in my mind, that really just is not how our family operates. Maybe we like stains.

Getting the boys ready for bed.
North Carolina March 2012


Popular posts from this blog

I love my stroller

I get stopped all the time when I go out. I don't mind that people want to wave at my babies or ask D if he is a "big help" or throw their hands up in mock distress and say, "I don't know how you do it." Sometimes, yes, I would rather run in and out of a store, but, honestly, even if people weren't stopping me, would that really happen heading out with three kids? I've gotten used to the "you have your hands full" conversations, but one thing I never tire of talking about is my stroller. People stop me all the time to comment on my stroller, either to tell me that they wish they had that stroller back when their kids were young or to find out what it is and where to get it.

Let me start at the beginning. When D was an infant we had two different Chicco strollers, the travel system and the Chicco $40 umbrella stroller. Neither was that exceptional, but they both served their purpose. When we found out we were having twins, I begin doing ma…

Baby products

 After a year with twins, we have been through our share with baby products. I try everything that comes my way or that fits in our budget. Here is what has worked well for us and some things that haven't.

1. Graco Pack'N'Play
Before the babies were mobile, this was their go-to place while we were home. We knew where they were and that they were safe from a very "helpful" older brother. For travel, we used them as cribs. Now that they are a year, they are a great way to keep them contained when we play outside with D or if we are doing a less-friendly baby activity, such as a Legos. We love our Pack'N'Play.

2. Bright Stars Play Yard
Major thumbs down. My parents have a Graco Pack'N'Play at their house and we have a Graco Pack'N'Play. We bought a Bright Stars Play Yard because it was cheaper than buying another Graco Pack'N'Play-- big mistake. It looks nice, but it is a total pain to fold, coming from someone who has spent a lot of…

The Silent Service

Back to life with my husband on submarines.

I've been posting about our STA-21 journey for a couple years now, since I started this blog. And now we are here-- our household goods have arrived, we are settled in a new house in a new state, and we are at our new duty station.

It was brought to my attention a little while ago when a civilian friend of mine-- a friend who's husband is not in the military-- that when I say we are "back on submarines," people don't have any idea what that means. (Or for that matter what STA-21 and duty stations and PCS-ing mean.)

So for everyone who is curious, welcome to Kimber's Navy Family.

What does it mean to be married to a submariner?

Submarines are called the silent service. They run secret, classified missions and operate undetected in the waters. As such, they have stringent operations security (OPSEC) measures. The exact dates they leave and come home are classified. Where they go is classified. What they do is classif…