Saturday, 21 March 2015

Keeping It Real

Oh, the difference twenty-four hours can make. Yesterday, I was swooning over motherhood and today, well . . . to be honest, I was ready to run away and ship Mr. Level-Headed the baby after he or she was born without a return address attached. I was done, completely and utterly done. It was just me and the boys this afternoon because Derrick and Zoe were in Fredericton for a volleyball tournament, and it is typically just the boys and I, so I don't know why today was such a disaster but it was. Perhaps because, yeah, well, it is typically the boys and I, and frankly, I think we were all a little tired of one another. While I was helping Elliot write up a rough draft for his Heritage fair project, which is due early next week and which he forgot to inform me about until late Wednesday evening . . . anyhoo, Leif and Avery fought. There may be ten years between the two of them, but man, can they fight. Then when they were not fighting, they were beating each other playfully with Styrofoam bricks, which left a lovely dusting of white pieces of Styrofoam all over my already destroyed living room that is littered with Kleenex, toys, and remnants of the day's snacks. The TV was also on for far longer than I care to admit and this always aggravates me to no end, but in spite of all my attempts to redirect their attention elsewhere, whenever it was off, a fight would ensue and I would cave, once again, and turn it back on. All of this lead to me standing in the bathroom at 7:30pm, crying my eyes out and praying to God for just a morsel of strength so that I could get up off the floor, face my darling little hellions once again and cook a few pancakes before they began to eat one another. Yeah, so that was my day. It was fun . . . not, so why did I feel the overwhelming need to share this with you at 9:30pm, after Leif finally fell asleep? Well, because this is what parenthood looks like. Not just this moment, but a combination of moments like yesterday and today. Like everything in life, there are good times and bad times. Unfortunately, today was one of the bad times for me, and I think it is important that we all remember that they happen to everyone, no matter your circumstance. We are human, and life is tough, for everyone. So, let's try to be a little more kinder, a little less judgmental, and a whole lot more patient with one another. Deal?

Have a great weekend!

Oh, and while I soak my miserable day away in a scorching hot bath and ignore the dishes, the laundry and the mess, I am going to be thinking about those moments when I love being a mama, like yesterday, when Leif and I were putting stickers on our noses and taking selfies.

Or like today, when we introduced Leif to bubble wrap for the first time.

bubble wrap . . . . . .

Friday, 20 March 2015

Parenting the Second Time Around

Being pregnant and caring for a toddler are not the easiest things to do when you are pushing forty. Especially, if this is not your first time around and you have older teenagers who still require lots of parenting; however, I have to say, although it is more physically challenging, it is definitely more rewarding. Parenting in my twenties looked very different from what it looks like today. My energetic, twenty-something body needed to move, needed to be actively immersed in something productive, and craved social companionship. My spirit was eager to experience all that the world had to offer me and so being a part-time student while parenting three children under the age of six made sense. I needed it. It was good for me . . . then. 

My almost forty-something body wants nothing to do with all that nonsense, and although, I am sure my first three children benefited from having an energetic, enthusiastic, youthful mom, I am equally sure that Leif and Thing 5 will benefit from having a mom that is more patient, more quiet, and more present. Afterall, I truly believe that children come when they are suppose to come; I don't believe in accidents or mistakes, only opportunities.

This morning was one of those moments when I adored being an older mom. After the kids went off to school, Leif and I ate breakfast. It was not rushed. We did not have to be anywhere anytime soon, so we sat quietly side by side enjoying the warm sun streaming through the patio doors and our yummy bowls of Life cereal. When Leif was done, he asked to nurse (he signs milk and it is adorable). 

Time for milkies?

And like always, a smile erupted from his face and he clapped. I picked him up, washed off his face and hands, and headed for our big, comfy chair, where Scout curled up at my feet on the footstool. He nursed for about twenty minutes and then decided it was time to play trucks. We pulled his favourite garbage truck off the shelf and filled it with blocks and then scooted it around the floor. After about fifteen minutes, he was done with that, and we moved onto balls. Then it was time to nurse again. Then it was time to play trucks again. Oh, wait, where is the ball now? And back to nursing. 

I swear this rotation went on for about an hour.

Thankfully, he then decided it was time to read books. After a few books and a couple rousing rounds of This Little Piggy, he was ready to nurse again. When he was done nursing, and yes, my toddler is a boobie addict and I fear Thing 5 may have to be bottle-fed, he was just about to go for the trucks again, when this wise mama came up with a new idea - crafts! So, we glued some fuzzy balls onto construction paper, we ate some glue (not too much and more him than me), we tore the fuzzy balls off the paper, and we covered our hands in stickers. Then . . . you guessed it . . . it was time to nurse . . . tee hee!

Read books

Play trucks


Kick balls

Throw now-glue-smeared, fuzzy balls onto the floor


And finally, Leif was ready for his nap.

Now, if you read this post and had an overwhelming urge to knock your head against the wall, I get it. I was there once, in my twenties. Now, in my almost forties, these mornings are magical. They are quiet. They are peaceful, and they are ours. The greatest thing about being a mom for the second time around is that you gain perspective. There will be plenty of busy moments with Leif, where I am driving him to his soccer practices, doing school projects with him and forcing him, er I mean encouraging, him to practice the piano, but for now, all he needs, all he wants is me, right there beside him  . . .  and maybe a few balls and a stick of glue.

I can't think of anywhere else I would rather be.