As a first time mom, I wanted to do everything PERFECT. I researched EVERYTHING.
My child, never ate anything that wasn't organic. I steamed his carrots, and froze them into cute little trays. I never let him eat anything that had fallen on the floor. I took weekly pictures, documented every milestone, and shared way too many pictures. I was so proud I created this little perfect human!
Now, don't get me wrong. I love my second child to the moon and back! She is the sweetest, chubbiest, cutest little cherub! Things are different though...
I thought of this specifically last week. My son dropped a bunch of "puffs" (those little air filled snacks that don't really have any nutritional benefit) on the floor. My little lady scooted right over and began eating them all up. I just laughed and watched her. Kid one... I would have picked them all up and thrown them away. Kid two... eat away sweetheart! This is our house right...
I still feed her mostly organic food, but I buy a lot of it... I do get pictures of her monthly milestones. We haven't had a professional picture in awhile though...
There are benefits though to this that comes with more than one child. I am much more comfortable nursing her in public. I was much more self conscious with my first. I covered during my 6 week postpartum exam... I mean COME ON they were there when I had him!?
The biggest thing I have realized is I have relaxed as a mother. I am starting to understand what is really important. Maybe I am just losing time to care so much about the little things.
Don't get me wrong, it is not all sprinkles and rainbows around here. Like today... nap time was torture. I can rarely get the toddler down anymore. I took away his new tent and "threw it away." Not my proudest moment. Not getting sleep and trying to get my children to sleep is in my opinion the hardest part of parenting!
Moral of the story: We are all just doing our best. We all mother differently and that is what is beautiful! I have learned so much from my experienced mother friends and hope I can pass along some tiny pearls of wisdom to those mothers in need.
Some days I feel like I have it all together, then the next day my son cracks raw eggs, colors on the walls, and takes off his diaper during his nap... Trust me, when I see you on the struggle bus I will be there to help! please do the same for me. This IS my circus and these ARE my monkeys!
Today while I was trying to talk with my cousin over lunch, my two year old decided to climb the booth like a ladder. He really enjoys poking his fingers through the slats to see if the person behind us is interested in sharing his salsa covered chips. Luckily no one had a tantrum and thankfully the restaurant was loud. This got me thinking about my life as a mother… of two.
The life of a mother of two is interesting. The memory that sticks out the most to me was our first venture out of the house. It went fairly well... wait for it. We went for our two week and two year checkups. I had thought about how I was going to tackle this. My sweet husband was meeting us at the clinic. On the way there my he called and said he couldn’t make it, two machines at work had broken down. I was worried but decided I can handle this! I latched the baby in the stroller and let the toddler walk. Mistake. Number. One. (Advice to all parents expecting their second child, ALWAYS RESTRAIN THE TODDLER!)
We did well throughout the checkup. My son was busy with snacks and peeling stickers off the chart over the scale. I, now teaching my childbirth classes, decided I’d like to bring some cards and fliers to the nurse manager. Since both kids were doing well I thought, “Perfect timing, I am here anyway.” Mistake. Number. Two.
I wheeled the baby and had to drag the toddler into this nice man’s office. I had to go back and chase the toddler down the hall and bring him back into the room. I asked if I could close the door behind me, corralling my monkey into his office. The baby started screaming, she didn’t stop. My son decided to pull at everything on the desk, touch outlets, pull his shoes off and throw them. (Bribing him with suckers was not working this time.) I was trying to sell myself and birth boot camp to the nurse manager all while trying to tame my two zoo animals. Good thing he was a father of four, I prayed he understood.
I tried to get through the meeting, whilst shooshing the baby and chasing the toddler around this small office. On the way out I myself lost a shoe, just to add icing on this terribly burnt cake. When we got to the first floor my son would not leave. He was determined to drink all of the water that the water fountain had to offer. It took about five minute of coaxing before I picked him up and carried him head first out of the clinic, while pushing the now sleeping baby in the stroller…
I continue to leave the house with my two sweet love bugs. Why? Because I tell myself I can do it. If a tantrum ensues, or salsa covered chips fly, it's not the end of the world right? Life as a mother is beautiful, exhausting, hilarious and often messy. If I see you mama, struggling with your zoo animals, I will give you a reassuring smile and a helping hand. I know where you’re at and I’ve been there. This stage of life is beautiful, messy, and fun. I'm so going to miss this.
Cheers - May your coffee be stronger than your toddler!
Paige Goldade - A Birth Boot Camp Instructor living and loving in South Dakota. She is a wife and mother of two rambunctious toddlers. She works as a childbirth educator and Board Certified Registered Nurse.