20 Reasons Why Having Kids is Like Being a Celebutante

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  1. Due to nursing, you’ve had more nip-slips than Tara Reid.
  2. You’re constantly being followed. You have your own tiny paparazzi, and if you have teens they WILL photograph you on their phones at the worst possible moments of your life.
  3. Someone else is always trying to do your hair and makeup.
  4. People are always judging you and giving you unwanted advice. Let Miley smoke her weed, let Lindsey steal jewelry, and let me feed my kids chocolate for breakfast! It’s none of your darn business.
  5. There’s a different person in your bed every night. Sometimes another one (or two) by morning.
  6. People vie for your attention and break out in fits of jealousy over your affection. Forget autographs. They want your soul!! (LESSON- always give the same amount of food, snacks, juice, milk, hugs, kisses, Christmas presents, and snuggles!)
  7. Your house should be on an episode of Cribs (because you have so many).
  8. You have real scare-the-bleep-out-of-you stalkers that will stand by your bed quietly staring at you until you wake up fearing for your life.
  9. You are constantly being watched like you’re a patient at the Betty Ford Clinic. You can’t shower, poop, or brush your teeth alone. Not because you’re on suicide watch or you might chug down the Listerine, but because to them you’re just that fascinating!
  10. People are obsessed with your body. ( I know, gross, right?) They want to see every inch of it and want to analyze what they see. They ask a million questions. “Are those your boobs? Is ALL of that your butt? Why is hair there? What is that bump? What is that crease? What is that dent?? Will I get that? Will I have those?”
  11. You don’t have an actual ‘job’ yet you’re busier than everyone you know. Maybe your days aren’t filled with fashion shows and charity lunch appearances, but some days you actually wish YOU could wear the diapers to save time.
  12. You’re an embarrassment to your family. This isn’t because of a sex tape and drug abuse, but more due to your mom jeans, ‘I didn’t have time to brush my teeth’ breath, and showing them love in public. You’ve been called ‘that’ mom.
  13. You have your own fragrance (though I doubt anyone would buy mine). Think bleach/bacon/pee (not mine!)/ pancake batter/Desitin/sweat-socks. Awesome, right?
  14. You go half the time without a bra, and when you do wear one people ask if you’ve had ‘work done’.
  15. You stay up until wee hours at the ‘club’. (And by club I mean reading a book from your reading group’s list that doesn’t rhyme or teach phonics.)
  16. You have others do your shopping, or do it at odd hours so you’re not seen in public.
  17. You always make a grand entrance because you’re definitely late and you have an entourage.
  18. You think you can sing beautifully and deserve a recording contract. (Although I don’t believe anyone would buy a CD of me belting out Disney and Laurie Berkner songs in my Suburban. But hey, Kim K sold her record, so it could happen, right??)
  19. You’re the most talented (in your mind) person in the world!! Bring on the party planning, cake making, soccer coaching, costume sewing, toilet scrubbing, and butt wiping! You can do anything! You’re Super Mom!! (Riiiight….and Paris Hilton can act….). But I really do feel like a bad-ass when I get ANYTHING accomplished.

    AND FINALLY…

  20. You are the most important person in the world!!! Not because you’re a regular on TMZ and people copy even your bad habits, but because to those people you’ve created, you’re everything. You’re their meal making, scrape kissing, tear drying, closet monster slaying, homework checking, bubble beard creating, constant chauffeuring, fort building best friend. That’s right, you’re a bad-ass.

    You’re a mama.

Sundy is Super Mom to four amazing kids, including a teenager, a toddler, and 1-year-old twins.

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Figuring It Out In Real Life

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I had read a lot of books and felt that I was well grounded in the knowledge of parenting well before I was married or had children. I had strong ideas of what kind of a parent I would be. But what I lacked was the never ending- around the clock- always demanding- sometimes draining- mostly uplifting- experience of raising real children. Like my sister-in-law once pointed out in a not so sweet tone ‘once you get your own children you won’t be so perfect anymore’  OUCH! (I totally deserved it!)

Once I experienced motherhood I realized that my well thought plans and straight forward approach didn’t work quite as well in real life as they did in theory. Not that the theory was wrong but real life is so much more complicated and sometimes I am at a loss as to how to apply the book knowledge to a certain situation.

My most recent ‘complicated’ experience started a few weeks ago. Video games entered our home. I was so not prepared for that. One night when I was working my husband had introduced Mario Karts to our oldest. Couple weeks later, when they had opened every possible new track, a package arrived in our house that contained Sky Captain. Now it’s on to the Monster Trucks.

Clearly the boy enjoys playing them. And I’m not completely against them in the lives of children. There just seemed to be ‘too much’ of it. From the beginning my husband and I talked to him how playing games is a privilege and not something he should take for granted. And there have been days when he’s lost that privilege and have had to go without playing all day, sometimes two or three in a row.

Here’s where it became ‘complicated’. I was feeling guilty for letting him play that much (what ever that much is) and at the same time I was thrilled he had found something to do that didn’t require my attention. Better yet, Beth and Joshua loved watching him race so they left me be also. WELCOME FREE TIME! But the quilt was growing as was his addiction. I had to intervene, for both of us. I was tempted to throw the games away but realized that would not address the problem. Something else would take the place of videogames and we’d be in this situation again. (And I also imagined him to grow up to be holed up in a room playing videogames all day long, not being able to hold onto a job or a wife and blaming me for ruining his life by not letting him play when he was a kid .. kinda like the relationship I have with Finnish chocolate because my parents deprived me of that when I was growing up. Yeah, totally blaming my lack of self disciple on them!). So what I needed were guidelines. I had mentioned this to a mom friend and she told me about an other mom who has her children ‘earn’ their TV time. Sounded like a good idea. After struggling to decide how much one workbook page meant in video time I settled for 10 pages (about 45min) = 30 minutes playing, usually separated in two sessions (Nathan’s choice).

Transition was much easier than I thought it would be. Nathan seems to be proud that he can ‘earn’ his game time. After breakfast he asks for his book and does the required pages. So far he has been satisfied with 30 min /day. My quilt has disappeared. A win win in my book!

(I should add that when my husband is home and he wants to play with Nathan that time does not need to be earned. That is counted as ‘quality time’ between Dad and a son. Because clearly, it is.)

How are you handling tv and video games in your home?

Hanna is a mom of ‘one and twins’ who’s trying to strike a balance between theory and real life. And to not ruin her kids while figuring it all out.

 

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Medium and Happy

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(Leila and Rahul are turning 2 in a few days. They are doing very well, happy and healthy, other than a cold they have been fighting for the last week.  I would like to share something I wrote when they turned one-and-a-half.)

——————————-

Rahul and Leila have come a long way since their birth at 31 weeks gestation. At 18 months they have caught up with other children their age physically, emotionally and developmentally.

Leila recently jumped from the 5th to the 10th percentile in weight, and Rahul is steady at the 10th.  In height they are both at the 50th percentile. All in all, according to the charts (which might be slightly different that the US standard ones?), they are light weight children of average height. Not that it means much anymore. Last month I met a five month old baby who weighed as much as Leila. At their NICU there was a baby born at 24 weeks, much tinier than them. Now however, when I see them play amongst toddlers their own age, they merge right in, size-wise as well as ability-wise.

Since they were born a couple of months early it was normal, even necessary to closely monitor their weight gain. Thankfully we have had no serious problems since they left the NICU. They are both running, playing, and talking a lot. They are full of energy.

It’s time for me to let go of the obsessive monitoring. They need a break from being scrutinized and compared. They inevitably get a lot of it just for being twins. They don’t need any more, and especially not from me. In the big picture a little delay here or there is not a big deal. I have noticed that they are eating a little more than before, sleeping a little bit better, and enjoying each other.

I have found that comparing healthy babies growth and development is useless, and even silly. We all do it though. It’s natural. Parents often compare how soon their babies sit up, crawl, start sprouting teeth, walk, and talk in relation to others. Discussing these things with other mums and dads is important, especially for first time parents. It is necessary to follow-up on certain milestone achievements. If a real problem is caught soon enough it could be addressed more effectively.

There is a wide range of normal. I can see that just by having two babies. Leila crawled by 7 months, Rahul started after 9. They both had issues with digestion in the NICU. They digest differently. R has a strong reflux, Leila a poor appetite. Now L eats all the time and R eats only when he can feed himself! They both got their first teeth around the same time. According to Dr. Sear’s “The Baby Book”, when teeth come out is a genetic trait. Speech seems to be a big “issue”, and especially when there is more than one language spoken. We have 3 languages around us, and so far they are both saying words in all.

My brother didn’t speak until he was 2. My grandmother forced my parents to see doctors about this. Neither did he eat. What a catastrophe. My parents were easy-going enough to let him be. When he was ready he spoke and when he was hungry he ate. Now he talks a lot, and eats a lot. He is a professional sportsman, and a big guy. My brother-in-law spoke “late”, but apparently when he did it was in full grammatically correct sentences!

When asked, I usually responded to questions about my children’s age, weight, birth order etc. And then I asked similar questions back. Sometimes I even initiated such dialogues. I knew it was silly, but I needed to hear that Leila and Rahul are smaller than others to validate their experience of early birth, as well as mine being their primary care-giver. It has not been easy with their tiny milk feeds. After birth they wouldn’t drink more than 1 to 3 ml of milk at a time. By 1 year R could take 120ml. But because of his reflux he had to stop and burp every 30 ml. Each feed was drink, burp, drink, burp…  Leila woke up every 2 to 3 hours to drink at night, and still does. Most babies around us sleep through the night and eat comfortably. I couldn’t help comparing.

I was listening to a studio talk by Richard Freeman, an inspiring senior Ashtanga teacher the other day. I am paraphrasing what I understood from it. He said as soon as we realise that our Asana posture is medium, that it could look better, and it could also look worse, there is a release. The pressure dissolves and the breathing starts. It is no longer about having the perfect posture. It is more intrinsic and personal. That’s when the suffering stops and the practice can deepen.

The same goes for size. As soon as we can acknowledge that we are medium, that we could be taller or shorter, fatter or thinner, there is a release. We can move on and think about other things. I once told a close friend that her son was tall. “No” she responded, “he is average height.” Her honesty struck me.

Rahul and Leila are changing all the time, as I am. When I am around them I want to be actually present. I want to encourage them to have fun, and to laugh. They have enough time to follow curriculae and perform in the future. We can all stack 4 blocks and order rings according to size. It makes no difference to me if they can do it now, or in a few months. They are full of love and energy and that is what really matters. I want them to be Medium and Happy.

———————————-

Natasha lives in Chengdu, China with her husband Maher. She is mum of  twins Leila and Rahul, and was an Ashtanga Yoga teacher until her little yogis became the teachers. You can find more of her thoughts and stories at Our Little Yogis.

 

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Stages

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“It’s just a stage.”

How many times have you heard this, or said it to another parent, as children scream, bite or hit their way through their parents’ patience and creativity? Nighttime feedings are a stage, as are teething, the terribles twos (or threes) and potty-training. So too are the transitions from crawling to walking, from babbles to speech, and learning to dress oneself.

I have three sets of mommy-friends with kids the same age as mine: (former) neighbours, parents with kids’ in our daughters’ (former)  daycare class, and (both current and former) blogger friends. Having had these friends since our children were in infancy, some even when we were simultaneously pregnant, is an amazing gift. When J and M suddenly make a 180-degree turn in behaviour, these are the folks I turn to for grounding. Just a couple of weeks ago, I sent out feelers to my buddies to find out if M and J’s sudden return to disobedience and near-tantrums, along with a sudden discovery of rudeness, was a developmental stage or a result in being uprooted from home. Apparently it was the former.

I think back over the past five years, and the years seem to fall into clear categories.

Year One was about survival and making sure the babies felt safe. We were all figuring it all out. While the babies figured out the use of their bodies, my husband and I were feeling our way through parenting and co-parenting, trying to muddle through life on four or fewer hours of sleep per night. There were moments of intense joy,  intense exhaustion, and intense emotion all around. Our basic focuses were making it through the day, and ensuring that the babies knew that they were loved.

Age One was about exploration. I was far more confident as a mother, and the girls wanted to know about everything. I started doing more with the girls. Playdates were no longer merely opportunities for cooperative diaper-changing. We went to parks, museums, pumpkin patches, but J and M were equally fascinated by the grocery store shelves.

Age Two was about testing boundaries, but respecting them once they were set.

Year Three was the year of the tantrum. I’d heard of the Terrible Twos, but we went through the Terrible Threes. My friend April has an explanation for this that I whole-heartedly believe. She argues that the “terribles” show up when a child begins to feel powerless and has unmet desires. Our generation of parents tends to listen to our children from day one. We understand what their different cries mean. We tend to believe that you cannot spoil an infant. We interact with them constantly, and talk to them even though we know full well that they are unable to respond. We let them push the boundaries enough to keep them from feeling cloistered, but come age three, they want more. The exceptions that prove the rule, to my mind, are the “old school” parents, the ones who cannot or choose not to be at the beck and call of their babies. Every parent I know of that sort has dealt with the Terrible Twos, and not the Terrible Threes. The tantrums at our house were back-arching, leg-thrashing, ear-piercing affairs. Fortunately, M and J took turns with their outbursts, but I couldn’t have been happier when Age Four arrived.

Age Four was the age of logic. The girls’ assumptions were wonky beyond belief, but everything was intensely logical. They wanted to know the “why” of everything, but they accepted any rule, any request, any argument that had a logical explanation. I could have stayed a mommy of four-year-olds for a decade without tiring of it.

Age Five feels a lot what I expected Age Fifteen to be like. M and J have begun questioning our authority, talking back, disobeying, and being rude. Until a couple of weeks ago, they seemed to be under the impression that they knew better than us. We brought back the discipline techniques of the Terrible Threes, the timeouts and the loss of privileges, and their behaviour began to get back into line. Still, they’re not as eager to help around the house as they were a year ago. They love learning, so we don’t have to nag them about homework, but everything else takes multiple reminders. I don’t yet know how I will label this age. Time will tell.

What has been your favourite and least favourite stages so far? What stage(s) are your children at now?

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Full Circle – with my Heart and Hands Full

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I’ve come full circle, back in Koh Samui, at Samahita Yoga Thailand (SYT) two and a half years after my last serious training here. This time I’m here with my husband M, and my 21 month old boy/girl twins Rahul and Leila.

Right after my advanced teacher training course at SYT in 2009, I spent three months in my grandfather’s home city in India. It was there, in the peak of the summer, that after a round of IVF I got pregnant. There was the usual pregnancy stuff – fatigue, dizziness, and some vomiting. Overall, ok though. I had a long nap on my yoga mat every afternoon! Before the end of the first trimester, I insisted on returning to Chengdu, my current home city.

At 16 weeks things became more complicated. I had a major bleed, and spent the next four months in bed. The first month was spent in two Chengdu hospitals. I needed help. My mum flew in and without warning was roped into spending the next 9 months with me. Yoga helped too. The breath work calmed me through many sleepless nights.

At 26 weeks, upon the advice of doctors we flew to HK. The medical facilities there are outstanding.

From the 29th week on, I was in hospital again, being pumped with medication to keep the contractions down.

Then on a Sunday, at 31 weeks exactly, L and R seriously wanted out. I was transferred to another hospital, one with an NICU. They were born in an emergency natural delivery at The Queen Mary Hospital. R spent 3 weeks in the NICU, L spent 6.

As expected, life during the NICU phase was rather stressful, filled with fear, anxiety, and isolation. Thankfully M was there for the delivery and spent the first 2 weeks after the birth. He then managed to return to HK every weekend for the next five months.

Only after both the babies were safely home, and upon M’s ceaseless insistence, did I get a yoga practice in once in a while. Mostly it meant a few minutes of feeling out my body, and then a half an hour nap on the mat. It has gradually changed as the weight dropped, and the flexibility, strength, and focus have come back. This me-time was only possible thanks to my mum and MIL who were with me.

We returned to Chengdu when L and R were 5 months old. The four of us were together for the first time. We were happy, but of course there was some anxiety as for most new mums, and a feeling of isolation.

It’s around this period of time that I began surfing the net while feeding in the middle of the night. I found this site, HDYDI and other personal blogs where MoT’s told their funny stories, their touching stories, their “How to deal with…” stories, I could finally relate. I wasn’t the only one exhausted, stressed about premature babies, their weight-gain and illnesses.

There were undertones of stress in my system for a long time. It was only when L and R were 14 months old that I consciously made the effort to ease up. I couldn’t do it all, couldn’t be perfect and shouldn’t need to be. One insight from a MoT stuck with me. With two, she quickly let go of the expectation for perfection.

I also had to let go of expectations: that I would be able to give equal amounts of attention to each child at all times, that I would always be calm and level-headed, that I would have breast – fed directly and not pumped all the milk into bottles, that I would have lost more weight by now, that I would be practicing and teaching yoga by now, that I would be going out with friends more…and on and on.

A good friend of mine often brought up the fact that I wasn’t doing anything for myself. After some reflection, I realised that I wouldn’t pressure myself, but certainly needed some outlets. Another friend of mine, mother of 4, and ex Chengdu International Women’s Club playgroup coordinator once told me, “if it’s not sleep issues, it’s going to be something else. You just got to make time for yourself somehow.”

Her words rang true. So to start with, I filled her position as playgroup coordinator when she left Chengdu, a small task, but a big step for me. It was my first connection with adults in a long time. Soon after, I started a blog. I have always been a private person, so it’s a big deal. Some nights I write in the middle of the night. But it’s my thing and I enjoy it. It’s my way of organising and expressing my thoughts; and then letting go of them.

I am signed up for an On-line Features writing course. I have always romanticised writing, and until now, didn’t have the confidence to do any of my own. I’m not planning to become a writer, but I am thoroughly enjoying the class.

In the mean time, yoga has gradually seeped back into my life. Being back in Koh Samui at SYT practicing daily, trusting my body’s abilities again, makes teaching in the near future seem realistic. M takes care of L and R while I breathe and move at my own pace from 8-10am every morning.
I have let go of many expectations of myself, but feel more motivated than ever to do the little things that make me happy and feel fulfilled. Being here with M, R and L is certainly one of them.

So as MoM’s with never enough time in a day, what do you do for YOU?  Did you have to “let go” of expectations you put on yourself?

These are some related posts and a challenge, that stuck in my mind:

Taking Control (www.goddessinprogress.blog.com)

It’s the simple things (www.seanasmith.com)

52 weeks of ME! Challenge (www.dolli-mama.blogspot.com)

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i take my school-related concerns to the next level

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Internet, today I sent my boys back to school after spring break. And I hated it.

If you’ve met me [online] or my children [in real life] you know how odd it is for me to want them in the house more. They yell. They chase. They maraud. They fight. They plunder. I reupholstered my dining room chairs in December, and the new vinyl is already shredded. Yesterday my son yanked the pull chain out of a floor lamp because he was angry. Someone stabbed a hole in my (p)leather ottoman just to see what would happen. Life with my kids at home is non-stop destruction.

My boys got haircuts over the weekend, and they wanted the same thing. Afterward, they fooled their sisters. A bit later, they confused their dad. The next morning, in my early-morning sleep haze, I had a brief conversation with P but thought he was G for most of it. Sending them to school looking identical didn’t mesh with my primary objective for the day, which was to contact their principal about my concerns.

To review:

  1. I suspect the boys might have been switched during placement testing.
  2. My boys told me their teacher mixes them up all the time.
  3. The school asks parents to provide a photo of their child along with any medication, to ensure it’s given to the right child. As if that would help.
  4. The combination of these three things irritated me quite a bit.

So this morning I called the principal. Because I’m one of the most awkward people not officially diagnosed with Asperger’s, I stuttered and stammered through the call and I’m not sure she knew what I wanted. So later I wrote her an email to make sure I communicated effectively. I totally sucked up at the end of it because I’m really worried this will turn into their teacher not liking them as well and therefore not being as nice to them.

Tonight at bedtime I asked G if anyone had said anything about he and his brother looking more alike today. He said no, they just said, “Griff-Peter.” [For this example, pretend my boys’ names are Griffin and Peter.] I quizzed him, and according to him everyone called them a hybrid name all day long. I’m not sure that’s true, but it’s what he said.

Jen is a work-from-home mom of 6-year-old twin boys, and two girls ages 4 and 8. She also blogs at Minivan MacGyver, where she alternates between waxing nostalgic over her children’s toddler years, and despairing over the amount of work still required for their upkeep.

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Everyone's an Expert

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I’m the kind of person who likes to do the right thing. If the sign says, “No Passing” you can bet your bottom dollar that I’ll continue following that car that’s going 2 mph even though there’s not another car for miles to come. That’s just who I am. Not sure if I was born that way, or if it was something I learned along the way, but I’m a big stickler for following the rules.

But it was that particular part of my personality that made parenting so challenging for me in the beginning. The hospital doesn’t send you home with a manual explaining the right way to bring up your children. And my head was spinning with all the conflicting advice I was getting from doctors, nurses, lactation consultants, and pediatricians, not to mention my mother-in-law. I mean, how could the pediatric nurse practitioner advise something totally different than what the pediatrician had? They work in the same building, and it the same practice! Shouldn’t they be on the same page? It was literally driving me to tears (with the help of my crazy hormones, I suspect). I just wanted to hear that this was how you do it, so I could go home and do it that way and feel satisfied that what I was doing was the right thing.

And then one day, I went to a new mothers’ group and heard those simple words that changed my whole outlook on parenting. The facilitator said, “Every mother is different, and every baby is different. What works for some moms and their babies doesn’t work for other moms and their babies.” And although what she said was so simple, it was so freeing for me, because it somehow made it okay for me to try out different techniques to teach my babies to nurse, to get them to fall asleep, to calm them when they were screaming their heads off. Because the recommendations from a particular “expert” might work for some moms and some babies, but they it might not work for us. (And even what works for one twin does not necessarily work for the other.) As parents, we know our children best and have to learn to listen to the expert within us to guide us as we make important parenting decisions.

Which leads me to present day. Several family members have told me that my daughter appears to be ready for potty training. My son, clearly, is not. They have just turned 22 months old, and although I hadn’t planned to even think about potty training until my guys were about 2 ½, I happen to believe that it is possible my daughter just might be ready to give it a try. She does show some signs of readiness (thanks for the link, Sadia), and I actually feel like I’m ready to take this on.

The experts certainly have a lot to say about potty training- when a child should be ready and how persistent or relaxed the approach should be- but I know it’s okay if I don’t agree with all the wisdom they have to share. I’ll start by following the advice that seems to fit best with my own philosophies, but in the end it’s going to be all about what works for us- trying things out, adjusting the game plan, even going back to the drawing board if necessary.

And while I had hoped (perhaps expected) that my twins would potty train at the same time, my gut tells me that it’s okay to give it a try with just one. Perhaps my son will surprise me (we do have training pant for him just in case), or maybe I’ll learn that really neither one of them is ready quite yet. We’ll just have to wait and see.

So how do you navigate through the sea of parenting experts? Are there experts you swear by? Or do you like to chart your own course as you go? (Any potty training tips would be greatly appreciated as well.)

You can read more from reanbean at reanbean.com.

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Resisting Temptation

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This post was inspired during an exchange between my husband and myself at approximately 3:45 am. The scene was something like this:

Aaron wakes up with a wet diaper, crying. I pick him up, change him and just about calm him down when Brady starts whimpering.
Daddy: “let’s get him up and give him a bottle, that way he’ll sleep in in the morning.”
Mommy: “No.”
Daddy (dripping with sarcasm): “Right, because that would just be too easy.”

Exactly my point. It would be too easy. Tonight. But what about tomorrow night? And the night after?

When you have children, often there is some discussion amongst the parents about how to handle various situations: crying in the middle of the night, feeding issues, discipline, etc. Plans are made and a consensus is (hopefully) reached. You vow to be consistent and stand your ground.

However, into every parent’s life, a lack of sleep will creep, or impatience, or a bad day, or even just plain laziness. It is in these times that is more important than ever to stick by each other and keep the one who is tempted to take the “easy” road on track.

With a singleton child, you can recover from these lapses a little easier. Two of you to one of them – the parental suffering can be minimized slightly. But with multiples, not only are the parents (often) equally exhausted, but there are more “trouble” times to go around. And let’s not forget, when you are dealing with multiples, you are not only setting the tone for one child, your actions/reactions to situations are actually setting the tone for both.

Would I like to occasionally give in at 3:45 and give the attention-starved, crying baby a bottle? Yes, I would. Especially on a work night. But then what happens when he wakes up the next night? And his brother too.

And then what happens when they get a bit older and they decide they “can’t like” what I’ve made them for dinner (a phase we are just exiting with our 3-year old). If we are tired of hearing this and finally cave to one and give him something else, doesn’t that encourage them BOTH to pull the same stunt the next night? 

How long can the “easy” route actually be considered “easy”?

I guess my point is that with multiples, Mommy and Daddy really need to work together to help each other through these moments of parenting weakness. Sticking to your guns is hard enough with one.  Double (or triple) that and you need reinforcements. Always remember that you are a team. 

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Full moon philosophies

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If you look up in the sky tonight around nine, you’ll be lucky to witness a total lunar eclipse. Tonight also happens to be a full moon, which you’ll get to see in all its glory about an hour later. I’m a pretty grounded girl, but I never underestimate the power of our solar/lunar cycles. It never ceases to amaze me that on days where everything is out of whack, where our boys seem to be utterly possessed, I come to realize that it’s a full moon. It gives me a strange comfort to believe that they’ll snap out of it by tomorrow, and in most cases – whether it’s the moon’s doing or not – they do.

I have a good friend who gave me a pearl of wisdom before I gave birth to the boys. In a nutshell, she said that there will be days, weeks, maybe months that will seem impossible and never-ending. But each phase is just that – a phase – that will end and initiate something new and different. So when you are in the midst of an utter craptastic place with your babies and you think you just can’t take another day…take heart. It will end. Maybe not tomorrow, but one day soon. Of course like all good advice, I forgot it immediately upon hearing it.

We had some trouble when it came to my grand plan of nursing the boys. I remember the boys being three months old and I thought our woes would last a lifetime. Pile reflux/spitting/misery on top of screaming on top of mastitis on top of having to nurse them while bouncing on a stability ball. Every new mom I knew was relishing the relief that the three month milestone brought them, while I was in the midst of my very own personal hell. And then somehow I remembered that little nugget of advice and I chose to just give it a few more days – okay a few more weeks – before throwing in the towel. Low and behold, four months was our magic number. It was also the time we decided to sleep train the boys. Whatever caused it, we were suddenly in a much different and better place.

Since then I have held this wisdom a little closer and it has never let me down. I call it, “it changes as fast as it changes.” A catch-phrase that is much easier for my suboptimal postpartum brain to remember. And remember.

So tonight I’m going to make a special point of going out onto our patio to witness this dual lunar event. I may even bring a glass of wine and sit on our weathered patio chairs for a while. You know, really take it in. I want it to remind me that moments are fleeting, that things really do change as fast as they change. And how beautiful it is to just soak in the moment, even when you feel you can’t take another second of it.

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