Thursday, November 8, 2012

The glory of motherhood

There is no training for motherhood. At no time previous to becoming a mother has any woman met with the daily, usually minute-by-minute demands that will fall upon her once she is holding that first baby in her arms. From the first minute of life, there are demands: milk, mostly, but the list grows as they get older and as the number of children in the house multiply.

Having a 3-year old and a 1-year old, the typical demands of Mommy these days are usually for snack, drink and butt-wiping. Also, Mommy must intervene to referee fights and regulate TV, computer, etc.  Mommy must help one with a puzzle while coloring a picture with the other. She must dance to If You're Happy and You Know It while simultaneously giving kisses to 11 different stuffed animals. From the minute the first one wakes up (around 6 a.m.) to the last second before the second one falls asleep (around 8 p.m.), and all the middle of the night requests for Mommy as well, she is on call.

Pregnancy hormones (and the fact that this third one has also already started making demands from the womb -- more food, less food, a different food, and a pee break every 30 minutes) have caused me to be a bit more emotional and sensitive lately. I have been feeling something every (or most) mom feels at some point -- that nothing is ever good enough in this house. The house is never clean enough, the kids are not eating well enough, or are not doing enough educational activities throughout the day, and there is never the right food combination in this house to keep everyone happy.

Having a daddy trying to eat "paleo" as much as possible, a mommy craving carbs, cheese, and pasta (=NOT paleo), and a son with extreme food issues that cause at least 2 meals a day to be a knock-down drag-out battle, Mommy has been feeling a lot of "food demands" and often feels like she visits the grocery store nearly every day and cooks for hours and hours on a weekly basis. Yet, somehow, someone is always "out" of something or unhappy with the choices (myself included). I know, I know -- I should make one family meal and everyone has to eat it or deal with it -- but that really does not work in our house. We have tried it. It is actually worse on Mommy to fight the battles that ensue by going that route.

I am trying to find a happy medium between the strict "one family meal" policy and being a crazed exhausted lunatic trying to appease everyone's needs (or wants, I should say). Unfortunately for him, my husband got the brunt of this burden thrown his way this morning when he jokingly commented there was nothing for him to have for breakfast. My head spun around in exorcism-like fashion, my eyes bulged, and after spitting fire for his last 5 minutes at home before leaving for work, I broke down into tears.

Being the husband he is, he called a few minutes later to apologize (even though we both know much of this meltdown is hormone-pregnancy-sleep deprivation related) and spent several minutes on the phone with me trying his hardest to make me believe in what a wonderful mother and wife he thinks I am. It is not always easy to see it his way, but having him work so hard to make me see it certainly made a difference. We were able to have this crucial conversation (to saving my sanity for the day) before my 1-year old DEMANDED (once again, I use this word) to talk to Daddy, took the phone from me, and promptly hung up on him.

Sigh. Sigh of frustration, sigh of exhaustion, and sigh of relief and appreciation.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Grocery store adventures

I premiered this blog about a year and a half ago with a grocery store tale. At the time I had a newborn in the midst of the poop-through-the-clothes stage and a very jealous and often uncooperative 2-year old. Now that 2-year old is almost 4, and that newborn is almost 2. The grocery store woes may have changed in nature, but many trips to my second home are still blog-worthy.

After a long week of several Halloween celebrations, a bit too much candy, and a trip to the ER to have  a head wound stapled, my little guy still seems to be recovering and he reached his breaking point in the   ice cream aisle today. He and his sister have just started sitting next to each other in the cart (a gamble that lately has faired well for Mommy) but today, they would not stop fighting, pushing, and yelling, so one of them had to be removed from the cart. Obviously with an almost 4 year-old and a 22-month old, the older one gets to walk and the younger one stays strapped in and contained. Well, my older-should-be-more-mature child was not supportive of this rationale and let me know it.

I was dumbfounded. I cannot recall the last time he behaved this way in public. There was some foot stomping, mind-splitting screaming at Mommy, and huge crocodile tears. All because she got to stay in the fun shopping cart with 2 steering wheels.

After a few minutes of "are you kidding me with this?" death stares from Mommy, and "no computer" threats, he regained control of himself and we began to proceed. However, almost immediately his sister realized that she no longer had the ability to irritate him, so she leaned over to get his attention, smacking her face on the cart and giving herself a fat lip. More crying, more tears.

And the ice cream kept melting.