Nanny Plus One

I’ve mentioned before that I have the most amazing woman that watches the twinadoes, AMAZING.  She brings her now 12 year old daughter with her, and has for the past few years.  She also has a son that is the same age as the twinadoes but has brought him only, and that was after apologizing for even asking.  When we transitioned from the person before the Twinado Whisperer I had a few people approach me offering their childcare services.  Some were quite qualified but were pass on due to one fact.  They had a plus one, meaning they would need to bring their infant child with them.

I get that women (and men) want to stay home with their young children and will do what they can in order to make that happen.  This luxury is not lost on me, I know how truly lucky I am.  However, I also know how much work, time and effort goes into taking care of an infant and to me, that meant my children were not getting the same quality of care.  Oh I’m sure this will strike a nerve in many a mother and probably some non mothers for that matter, and I say feel free to hire a childcare provider with a young one in tow.

The Twinado Whisperer’s daughter was a help to her mom, she did not need a diaper change, feeding, holding, etc… she was independent, able to do for herself and offer a hand if her mom needed it (which she really didn’t because she is AMAZING!!).  The twinadoes love both of them and look forward to their visits, this to me is priceless.

Am I insensitive to caregivers with young children, maybe so, but when it comes to the care of my children I will do what I need to in order to feel comfortable.  I’m just curious as to what others think on this, and what age child would you be ok with having come along?

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Separating the Twinadoes

Thing 1 and Thing 2 have been together from their very, and I mean VERY, beginning.  When we brought them home we had a little twin sleeper that had two side by side compartments but they preferred to be in one together.  We only set up one nursery and figured we would separate them when we changed their cribs to toddler beds.  That idea was met with tears and “no!!”.  So we shelved the idea of separating them and decided to wait until they were ready and asked for it.

Well I think that time is coming.  Thing 2 has been mentioning she wants “her own space”.  I told her when we move we will set up their rooms so they each have one, she liked that idea.  Of course it was followed with “but Oliver and I can share each other’s room when we sleep, right?”.  So I think it will still be a transition and there will still be some room sharing at bedtime, but complete room sharing is coming to an end.

This makes me a little sad.  My little babies are just not babies anymore, haven’t been for a while.  They are growing up and becoming so very independent.  It’s exciting to see this, but also a little hard on my mom heart.  I totally get it when women with adult kids still try to mother them, I think it’s something that just never leaves us.  Even those of us that are not effortless mothers.  They are our babies no matter what.

I’ll take this next stage in stride.  I’ll have a little private cry after I finish setting up their individual rooms, then take comfort that they are doing what they should be doing…growing up.

Being A Mom Is Tough

On several occasions I’ve mentioned the issues Mr. Housewife and I had trying to have children.  There’s no way anyone could say my twinadoes were not planned or wanted.  When we had not one but two babies I was in complete shock and so incredibly happy, there would be two people in this world that called me Mom.  But now that I’ve said the obligatory precursor to any complaints about motherhood I’m going to get real honest.  For me, motherhood is freaking tough and at times sucks.  Yup, I said it.  There are times in the day when all I want to do is run and lock myself in a room and turn up the television so I can’t hear their yelling and noise.  I don’t live for taking my kids to the park or endless jump places.  My head still bobs and weaves to avoid sticky gross hands coming at my face.  And that patience everyone said I would get when I had them, uh, still waiting for that to show up.

There are some women I know that just ooze maternal goop out of every pore of their body, I am envious.  I want that, really I do.  They make being a mom look so effortless.  Oh I know they have their moments, I’m not completely off my rocker, but it just seems like their moments are less frequent than mine.  It’s like they were seriously born to be mothers, (and yes, I know technically that is what we are born to become) to be these wondrous nurturers of the world.  How in the hell did I miss that gene?

I’ve always known that I wasn’t the kind of woman that had this strong maternal instinct.  When people would have babies or bring them around, while everyone else was squealing in delight over this tiny person I was standing in the peripheral hoping they wouldn’t ask me to hold it.  No, I didn’t like holding babies, still don’t.  Now don’t get me wrong, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on my babies, I was attached to those two little lovey lovies like Superglue.  I was very reluctant to hand them over to people, and when I did they were a very selective few.  But when those few were around I was more than happy to hand them off and get a break.

Nor was I the type that thought every baby was adorable, not even close.  I’ve never told a mom that her child was hideous (I do have some tact), but I’ve thought it.  Those maternal women see adorable faces in every baby they see, and look at them with such glazed eyes.  Uuuugghhh….

I really have to work at being a mom.  And some days I have to remind myself that I can survive this and actually enjoy it.  Having two kids at once is tough, sometimes I wish I could also know what it’s like to have just one baby that needed my time.  To be able to focus on just one little person, and take a little extra time and savor the mundane.  With my two, it has always been a race.  Race to get them both fed so one doesn’t complain that the other has something they don’t.  A race to get them both dressed.  The unending fights because they can’t agree on anything and then don’t want to wait their turn so you race to satiate them both.

My wish and hope is that in the end my kids look back and see that I tried to do my best, even though compared to those maternal monsters I looked as though I was a fish out of water.  Daily I struggle to make sure the twinadoes know I love and care for them.  Though I know there are days when they think I’m the mean mom that is here to squash their fun with rules and structure.  I may not be the mom that is always rolling all over the floor with her kids, spends hours and hours making sheet forts or playing never ending Shoots and Ladders but I am the mom that will make you wish you had jumped in front of a bus rather than face my wrath if you hurt my kids.  The bus would be a much quicker end than what I would give you.

So to all you maternal goddesses that look at those of us that are not as maternally blessed with those judging eyes, knock it off and cut us some slack.  Go spend that time shooting out another kid you’ll no doubt have great ease in mothering or bake a casserole or something.  Me?  I’m going to go force myself to sit and watch Horton for the 307th time because the twinadoes love it.

And Then He Turned Four

Four years ago I met my little boy

So tiny and fragile, he brought so much joy

When I first saw you I couldn’t believe

This child of mine looked nothing like me!

These days you are wild and sometimes quite gross

Burping and farting and picking your nose

My constant companion, always by my side

Your spot on my lap you won’t be denied

Bubbatrees and trucks there is never enough

Your expanding collection you love so much

So sensitive and sweet but oh what a temper

He will give you a what for that you will always remember

I love you my little Oliver, my little butternut squash

Your soft little hands and our early morning talks

So thankful am I for the title of your mother

It was given to me, only me, and no other

I’m A Mom…

I’m a mom, not a superhero, nor a magician, no mystical powers here… But, I’m a mom and that trumps all of that.  No magic to help me, just the talents I bring to the table.  Do I sometimes fail, hell yes, do I have great successes, an even bigger hell yes!!!  My twinadoes are a product of our environment and my hubs and I take full responsibility for that fact, so we do what we can to make sure we unleash some decent humans upon the earth.  Right now, well… we acknowledge they are works in progress, but they are only three.

Mom is my favorite title I own, and I know how incredibly lucky I am to have it.  I suffered through infertility, but my story had a happy ending, which is not always the case.  That being said, I’m not perfect.  I get frustrated every single day, my patience is not always at it’s peak, and there are times when I just want to lock myself in a room…without the twinadoes.  Would I like to be happy on the ball never lose patience want to be around my kids 100% of the time mom, in theory, yes.  But I’m not.  And that’s ok.

On my Facebook page I had posted a link to one of my posts about Costco and how it can be a challenge to navigate with the twinadoes.  The response I got from one person really got to me.  She had mentioned how she suffered from infertility and would love to be having the issue of taking kids to the store and dealing with their meltdowns.  My first reaction was to bag my blog and Facebook, heck no did I want to put myself out there and get a negative response.  Then I took a breath and realized it’s ok to get feedback like that.  I survived, and kept going.  But it was just the slap that someone would be negative about me getting frustrated with the twinadoes and our trip to Costco, meaning my mothering skills, that made me realize I’m human and I know darn well I’m not the only one.

I will completely own my shortcomings with being a mom.  I know all I can do is to try again, learn from every incident, and keep trying to do my best.  Motherhood isn’t a competition, but I think a lot of the times it kind of becomes one.  How can we each one-up the other and show how we are better moms.  I did five activities today when you only did 4.  You feed your kids packaged cookies when mine only get organic fresh baked no sugar, gluten free treats.  My answer to that?  Whoopdieflippidydoo!!!  For me, the competition is over.  My main concern are those two wild twinadoes that I have been entrusted to raise, nurture and love.  No longer will I give a crap that you are doing more things, or your kid can count to 100 in seven different languages and mine just turned three and are not potty trained (we are working on it…).

I’m a mom.  My job is to do the best I can and be more concerned with what my children need and want.  So the next time I catch you glaring at me in the line because my kid is having a fit after I said no to candy, I’m going to glare right back at you with my “bring it bitch” look.  However, when I see you next week with the roles reversed, I’ll give you a smile and the “we’ve all been there” look.

And Then They Turned Three…

Where has the time gone?  How many of us have said that on our children’s birthdays?  I know I’m not the first person to say it, nor am I the last, but man oh man it doesn’t make it any easier.  Looking at the twinadoes running around like little kids rather than my babies is tough, damn tough.  Each milestone is met with cheers and lots of “good job”, but I would be lying if I wasn’t a little sniffly on the inside.  I’m sure a big part is the fact that these are my only babies, there will never be any more.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m totally good with that, but it just means that every first I’ll never have again with any other child so this is my one shot.

kid coats

This doesn’t seem like an exciting picture, but it’s one I thought for many years I would never get to take.  For four years my husband and I tried to get pregnant without success.  Every month was another disappointment.  Eventually, I think my brain just stopped giving a crap, or at least it had me fooled enough to feel that way.  Every month I knew what was coming, one line, there would be no two lines for this gal…. The night before my appointment for my pregnancy test after our second attempt at IVF I decided to take a home test so my mind would be better able to handle the news I just knew I was going to be receiving.  Afterall, I was going to be at work when the call would come so I didn’t want to have some kind of mini meltdown and then have to get it together to finish the day (who the heck schedules one of these tests before work…yeesh, what was I thinking).

Shock!!! What is this I’m seeing?  This can’t be correct, this test must be faulty!!!  Two lines?  Two freaking lines!!!!  I don’t think I’ve ever flown down the stairs quicker than I did that night.  All I could repeat was “oh my gosh, two lines!!!”  Could I possibly be pregnant?  Now the waiting for the test was no longer one of dread but of anticipation.  I couldn’t wait for the results now!!  So first thing in the morning I went in and had my blood drawn, they told me they would have the results in a few hours and would give me a call.  Then it hit me, what if the test I took the night before was wrong, what if this was just some cruel joke?  I went back in and asked them to email me rather than call, I figured it would be an easier blow to read it rather than hear the words “I’m so sorry, you’re not pregnant”.  That was a sentence I’d heard enough times.

By lunch I was about to go crazy, no email, no call, nothing.  What did this mean?  Well, I was going to find out.  I emailed my nurse to ask if they had the results.  She emailed me back almost instantly starting with “you didn’t receive my email?”.  The next sentence brought me to tears, like ridiculous tears.  “Congratulations!!!  You are pregnant!!!”.  OMG!!!  I was finally going to be a mom!!!!  The past four years of pokes, tests, “sorry, we can try again next cycle” just faded away.

I think about the journey every birthday, and how lucky I am to be celebrating MY children’s birthdays.  Mine, all mine!!!

twins noface

So bring on Red Robin and every other obnoxious kid friendly restaurant that I previously avoided like the plague.

inkonwall

Screw perfectly painted walls…Sharpie abstracts are the new wall art.

garbage stickers

And look at my garbage can.  I dare you to find such a beautiful piece on Etsy or Pinterest…

Yes, life has changed, for the better (for the most part).  There’s no going back, only forward, forward holding the softest two pairs of hands I’ve ever felt in my life.

Happy 3rd Birthday Thing 1 and Thing 2!!!

The Uninspired Mother

Compared to the moms that have their kids in ten zillion classes, programs and activities, I’m pretty much the uninspired mother.  I’m thankful that I met Poison Ivy, she’s like this supermom that is always doing something with her kids.  She can tell you every park within a twenty mile radius, every McDonalds, zoo hours, the toddler schedule at Jump Planet…I think you see the point I’m making.  Me, I have to look this stuff up.  I don’t drive a minivan, a fact she likes to mention EVERY time we have a play date.  She goes on and on about what a perfect vehicle it is when you have kids.  Still not getting one… SUV says kid friendly all over it!!!

I know I’m not a bad mom, just uninspired.  I’m thankful for a fenced backyard that’s big enough for my kids to run crazy, trees for them to play jungle animal, and dirt and rocks.  We go to the park, but I tend to go to the same ones.  And now that the twinadoes are older, I am brave enough to take them to places that have organized activities (tried it once when they were about 18 months, once was all it took…).  Their latest activity, tumbling, was not a hit.  Maybe the woman leading the class should have read the description before coming in…. tumbling is not walking in a line and watching her do a stupid puppet show.  You know it’s bad when one of your kids gets up in the middle of it, puts on his shoes and says “mama we go home”.  It is comical to watch this woman trying to get a bunch of two and three year olds to line up quietly and follow her in a circle, none are participating, rather, they are all running crazy screaming doing their own thing.  Catch a clue lady, you bore them!!!

I would be doing more with them, if there were two of me!!  My kids are very different from each other and they don’t do the same things.  And since I can’t be in two places at once, this poses a challenge a lot of the time.  Take swimming, they both love it, but my daredevil daughter doesn’t realize that she can’t swim and that the life jacket can only do so much.  My son, he’s more timid and needs you to constantly hold him in the water.  That just doesn’t equal “doable” in my reality.  So we take them swimming when my hubs can come and we can do one parent per child.  As they get older our opportunities will grow, as they have been the past two and a half years. But until then, I’ll continue to be the uninspired mother.  I’ll do what I can with my twinadoes while still keeping my sanity.  I’ll continue to be thankful for large backyard toys, mud and of course Poison Ivy and her two kids, Batman and Robin.