Transitioning from one kid to two is a big change. My husband and I got pregnant with out first very young, and before we were married. We had no money, we were in college, and along came this little blessing. Did you know that blessings can be desguised as little pooping, peeing, screaming chubby balls of love? Well, they do. Our first daughter Evie had all of our love and attention for the first two and half years of her life. Shortly after our wedding, when Evie was one and a half, we “stopped preventing” pregnancy, and within the first month we were Pregnant with our second, Millie.
Unfortunately my pregnancy with Millie was very hard on all of us, because we found out early on she would have a birth defect. That is a whole other story for a whole other time. My second pregnancy dragged on and on, but Evie didn’t seem to mind the long days spent in bed watching movies and cuddling with her sad sleepy momma. Evie loves to snuggle, and it turns out that’s exactly what I needed for those eight months.
Millie was born and spent her first month of life in the NICU, again another time I’ll share that story. Once we got to bring Millie home I was so ecstatic to be out of the hospital that the transition was easy. Instead of snuggling with just Evie, I snuggled with both. Evie loved her sister, and loved being a big sister. Life was great, and I was positive I was the best mom alive.
A Super hero even…
Then, that little pink cross popped up on another pregnancy test when Millie was just a couple months old.
Taking care of a newborn, while pregnant is not something I’d wish on anyone. You know those people who stand to close to you in line? I wouldn’t wish it on them. You know those people who call you about the warranty on your car you sold ten years ago? The ones who say this is your LAST CHANCE! Act now! Your warranty is expiring… but really that’s the 34th time they’ve called this week… yup wouldn’t wish it on them.
We all managed to survive, even though I don’t remember how. I take a lot of pictures, as everyone knows. People think I’m obsessed with my kids or something when in reality I take these pictures so I can look back and try to figure out how the fuck we’re all still alive. I drive on auto pilot, I’ve done so much of the Same thing for so many years that I drive home but don’t remember the drive.
My third daughter was born, Livie, nine days after Millie’s first birthday. And then, quite literally, the shit hit the fan.
Raising two children is hard. It is. Raising three is no longer parenting it’s just coordinating chaos day in and day out. Sure, it’s probably got a lot to do with how young they all are. Three kids four and under is no joke. It’s a daily marathon. It’s executing a zombie apocalypse survival plan every single morning. Packing bags and unpacking bags. Diapers on everything including visitors, regardless of their age. Walk in my house, here’s a diaper. Is your bum a little sore? I’ve got some cream here ya go. I especially don’t understand why my kiss doesn’t make everyone else feel better.
I’m in no way trying to dismiss how other people feel with two kids. When it was just me and Evie I couldn’t do anything! I didn’t shower or clean or cook. I was helpless. All of my attention was on her, and keeping her alive. The shit I can do now with three kids is unbelievable. I’ve learned so much along this journey to make things easier, babywearing, the joys of letting your kid pull all of the tissues out of a tissue box, let them eat the snacks they push off their high chair… Just don’t sweep it up right away, they’ll go back for it.
Accept that this is your life. I wake up everyday and we try. We try to have fun, leave the house and join the rest of the world. Sometimes I get everything on the list and emerge from those double wide automatic doors a champion of the Giant Bird. Not a single tear has been shed from anyone, no whining, no “I want this mommy”, and no negotiating the sale of one of them to the sweet old lady in aisle six. Sometimes I cry in the corner and promise to pay for all the cookies I’ve been feeding the beasts biting at my ankles. The store manager asks me to leave and reminds me how uncomfortable my sobs are making other people.
You can’t win all the time.
People tell me that I’m brave for doing so much with my kids, like taking them to the zoo, and the pool and letting them all paint in the kitchen. I’ll let you in on a little secret. Just accept it. These are your monkeys, and this is your zoo. You and your kids have just as much a right to be in that grocery store as everyone else. I’m fairly certain none of the other patrons walked out of their mothers wombs a 30-year-old smug bachelor who doesn’t like Whiney kids. Ignore the stares as best you can and just do you. Coordinate that chaos my friends. It doesn’t matter if you’re on your first, second, fifth, or you’ve decided to strive for your own tv show; were all watching that clock longing for bed time. I see you, you’ve got this. Some days will be amazing, some days will be awful. Tuesday this week no one got dressed, and we ate cereal… for every meal.
Wednesday I went grocery shopping at 8, mowed the lawn at 10, made a nutritious lunch, packed a cooler full of snacks and took the girls to the pool by 1. Today, we will see what happens.
Song of the day: when you have a victorious grocery shopping trip. For adult ears only, unless it’s a bad day and you really need to just rap at your kids and confuse them.. it totally works.