Okay. Post #3!
This one is going to be about motherhood, while I finish formulating my thoughts on the post I want to write about baptism (so you have that to look forward to in the next week or so! Yay?).
Now I’ve only been a mother for almost 4 years and while it has it’s moments that just melt my heart it is also filled with an infinite number of moments that make me question my sanity and my decision making abilities, because clearly I didn’t learn my lesson from the first one and had to go and have a second one.
What have I learned about being a mother in my whopping 4 years? First and foremost is this: everyone has an opinion. It doesn’t even have to be someone that has kids themselves, they still have an opinion about how you should be raising your kids and how you are quite possibly screwing it up by not doing (or possibly doing) something. In the beginning – I mean like in the very beginning, when I was still pregnant with my son Wyatt – it used to bother me. Now those early months might have had some hormone induced mood swings, but I’ve come to realize something I think is very important. While everyone can have their opinions – and they will, no matter what you choose to do/not do – at the end of the day it’s not up to them. It’s up to you as the parent to make the hard choices; breast fed or bottle fed, cloth diapered or disposables, let them cry it out or pick them up. They can give you their opinion and site all the research in the world, but no one is going to know better than the parent what is best for the kid and honestly so long as the kid isn’t being abused/neglected it’s not really anyone else’s business how you’ve chosen to raise your kid.
Another thing I’ve learned: more with my daughter Kenzie than with Wyatt is that those hormones are out of control. With Kenzie I did try to breast feed. I had lots of opinions about it and I figured I’d give it a go. In the hospital I didn’t have any problems. I nursed and she fed and it was all well and good. When I got home though that first night I was up until 4am trying to get her to go to sleep, but all she wanted to do was nurse. So at 4am I had to wake up my husband so that he could go to the store to buy formula because I was in tears over the entire situation. I was balling like a baby (I know because Kenzie was pretty upset about the not being fed thing since she wasn’t latching correctly no matter what I did) and this was something I hadn’t even really wanted to do – I had agreed because it had mattered to my husband and I agreed to give it a shot for him. Yet there I was crying and completely and totally distraught over something that I hadn’t even been invested in. That however, I have found does end; the hormones even out and life does return to normal at some point: except you have a baby so nothing is ever the same, but hey at least you have control over your emotions!
This leads me into the third thing: it takes a village. Now I thought this was the stupidest saying ever before I had kids. I’ve known plenty of single parents and still do and I honestly don’t know how they do it. I don’t know where we’d be without the great friends we have who are willing to babysit for us, who are willing to lend a helping hand or even simply lend an ear. None of our family lives particularly close so they can’t help as much as they would like to and it makes it hard on everyone. We have been so blessed, so lucky to have the friends that we do. It allows us to be people outside of parents. It allows us to be a husband and a wife without also being a mom and a dad. I feel like this is monumental. For the first several months after we had Wyatt (this was before I had joined the church) it was exhausting. I went to work and then came home and was a mom. While Wyatt was actually a really good baby he still had his moments especially in the beginning where he wasn’t sleeping the greatest and it was hard. I think it was also the rockiest time in the relationship with my husband because we were both tired, we were both stressed and neither one of us was really getting attention from the other because all of our time and energy was going into Wyatt. We had no time to be a couple anymore, we were simply parents and that was it. Once I joined the church and made friends everything changed. Suddenly we could go somewhere and take Wyatt with us, we could have adult interactions with someone else and best of all they offered to watch Wyatt meaning we got to be away from him and be together as a couple. For those who have to do it alone my prayers go out to you and I just have to say you’re amazing because it is hard.
So that all sounds super daunting right? It all sounds hard and not so rewarding, but it is. There are days where I’m so exhausted emotionally and physically from my kids, but then Wyatt will curl up with me in the recliner and fall asleep and it is just the most beautiful and gratifying feeling that it does make it all worth it.
Now to the title of this blog. Below I’ve compiled a list of things that I’ve said as a parent that I never thought I would actually need to say to anyone ever and I’m sure most parents can relate to most if not all of them.
Don’t lick ____ – this is like a motto I swear. Some of the things I’ve had to tell my kids not to lick are: doors, windows, floors, tables, chairs, couch cushions, me, their sibling, some other adult, some other kid, TVs, and possibly a few other things that aren’t coming to mind. This is seriously one of the craziest things ever: whoever thought you’d have to tell anyone not to lick the floor of a store? Not me! I mean what exactly possesses kids to explore the world through taste?
Don’t stick your finger in ____ – again another motto. This one isn’t as used as the first, but it does get said pretty often be it them trying to stick their fingers in outlets, down the drain in the tub, in the top of a soda can, or even in the mouth of their sibling or a dog or cat.
Why are your pants off? – This one is said to my daughter multiple times a day every day. I’m not sure why, but she refuses to actually keep her pants on for longer than five minutes. My son on the other hand hates to be naked and will wrap a blanket around him if we don’t clothe him within minutes of him being undressed.
Why are you playing with ____ – A lot of my world revolves around Don’ts and Whys. This one has a bit of an ick factor though because things that I have to tell my kids to not play with include: their poop (my daughter likes to not only strip, but take her diaper off and play with the contents of it), trash, their food, my food, dirty clothes – mine, theirs, their sibling’s.
So be prepared for a roller coast ride of adventures and emotions! I have never done anything that has ever been more completely and utterly exhausting and yet worth every single second of turmoil.
Stayed tuned for my next post that I’m planning to be about my baptism!