Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Day 3 - MC

Day 3 – MC


Ever have one child go down for a nap only to have the second child up and then when you put the second child back to sleep, the first child gets up again? That was the theme today. I was chatting with an oldest and dearest friend of mine, Denisse, about this (and by chatting I mean electronically…I really need to pick up the phone more often) as she has two children of her own who are older than my pair by a few good years. She mentioned in one of the comments that even at the age they are now, the ratio of 2 kids to 1 parent would not be a good idea.

People have told me that the first five years is tough but after that it gets a lot easier because they’re more independent and have their own lives so to speak. I gave that a little bit of thought and my conclusion is: Don’t believe the hype.

I realised that the first five years of your child’s life is physically exhausting with everything from sleep deprivation to poor nutrition as you find yourself stuffing whatever comes your way into your mouth because you can’t remember the last time you sat down to have a wholesome meal. And of course the fact that the word ‘boundary’ doesn’t mean anything to a toddler or an infant. So there is no such thing as ‘your schedule’ or ‘your time’.  It doesn’t matter if you’ve committed to body step at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesdays. If your baby doesn’t settle or throws up, or both, guess what? You’re not going to body step. And ultimately, it is all understandable because they are so little and they need every bit of you, physically, at any given moment. That’s the initial, primal need. That is the circle of life. And let’s face it, they didn’t ask to be born. You chose to have children.

As they start to grow up and figure out how to do things on their own, the physical demands are not as bad…hopefully.  They are sleeping through the night, can go to the washroom and clean themselves on their own and can even pour themselves milk and cereal and feed themselves on a Saturday or Sunday morning if you really need to sleep that extra half hour. But the part of you that is now being tested is your emotional self. And this testing creeps up on you and hits you hard on the head much like a frying pan would.

I’ve heard so many friends and colleagues discuss different situations with me that I would have no clue how to deal with if it was thrown at me.  Really. No clue. Let me give you two examples. A friend’s son goes to the playground to have some kid tell him they won’t play with him because they don’t play with ‘coconuts’. He comes home and asks his mom, completely innocently, “Mom, why am I a coconut and why won’t they play with me because of it?” or another friend of mine whose daughter, a shining example of a good natured child with excellent academic skills, and a violinist has a ‘secret’ boyfriend. They know because they spied on her facebook page but she doesn’t know that they know. Yeesh…and you want to know what the kicker is…these aren’t even the really tough issues to sort through.

When I was a kid I really believed and still to an extent believe that my parents had the answers to everything. I asked tons of questions but they always seemed to give me an answer that made sense or left me satisfied.  But now as a parent myself I feel like I don’t know much of anything. Forget second-guessing myself, I’ll be questioning myself up and down, inside and out from here to Perth, Australia and back.  All we can do is try right? And this time HOPE and PRAY we don’t screw it up.

1 comment:

  1. Hey.... great post. I look forward to your posts every morning now when I sit down at my desk and figure out what I am going to do for the rest of my day.

    Kids as they get older, as you mentioned, don't require your physical help (well sometimes) but the emotional roller coaster that they put you through can be just as exhausting if not more. I found that when they are little you can't blame them for what they do. They are little and they don't know better. It gets harder when they get older, because they know better and your patience is being tried every minute of the day.

    With two kids, one boy and one girl, the issues get more complicated. What applies to one will not apply to the other. Having siblings of the same sex I think does help a bit, as you teach each one the exact same thing. With different gender though, sometimes what one can do, the other can't. Sometimes even at the same age you wouldn't let your daughter wondering the streets later in the evening, when it may be OK for your son to. So the struggles for equality get harder and harder.

    Don't get me wrong. I love my kids, but they are definitely a lot of work and I could not do it if it wasn't for my hubby who comes to the rescue all the time. I think I would loose my mind if I had to do it alone. Now I do think that there are times when it is good that you are tested as a parent and have to take care of the kids alone without your other half. I don't like to think of the bad what if's but I would like to know that if anything was ever to happen that I could manage raising the kids alone.

    Now with respect to setting time to get out of the house and say go for a work out etc. This is when the other 1/2 comes in. If you have discussed it ahead of time that this is something that you are going to do, then you DO IT. If your other 1/2 is staying at home to watch them or parents or whomever, then unless they are truly sick, there should be no reason that you can't go for that work out. The way I see it, is that even if the kids need you 24/7 you do need a break from them. It is super hard at first when they are little to let them go, but even starting 1 hr here 1 hr there.... you will find that you miss then and love them more when you get back. If you don't you will loose your mind. It took me a long time to get around that. The kids also have to get used to you not being around 24/7 and that there are other people there that will help them. Otherwise I find that they will be attached to you like white on rice and you will never be able to do anything.

    Ok I have blabbed on long enough. Enjoy them while they are little and they don't talk back to you. :)