Here was how my day went today - a mere glimpse into my life with two children.
6:00 a.m. - Ritchie gets up to leave for work. The mere act of him moving around the room wakes Ben enough that I get him out of the bassinet and bring him into bed with me. He proceeds to kick and squirm and grunt and fuss until, finally, my nursing/holding/rocking/shushing settles him back into slumber at around 6:59.
7:00 a.m. - Max starts to cry. I go into his room to tell him it's still time to sleep (7:30 a.m. is the unspoken rule around here and we try very hard to keep our kids quietly in a sleep like state until then). He quiets down.
7:15 - Max starts to cry again. I ignore him until 7:30.
7:30 - I "baby proof" the bed so that should Ben roll around he won't roll off and move all of the covers to the foot of the bed, as far from his head as humanly possible. I go to Max's room and bring him into the twin bed and try to get him to snuggle with me. He doesn't want to. For 30 minutes we go back and forth with me trying to get him to lay down and him trying to "wanna show me" something in a ploy to get me up.
8:00 a.m. - Ben starts crying. I give in. Clearly there will be no more sleep this morning.
8:15 or so - Max requests cereal and milk for breakfast. I give it to him. He says, "no" and shoves it at me. I tell him he needs to eat his cereal and milk. He turns the bowl upside down on his tray and glares defiantly at me. I resist the urge to scream and (as calmly as I can muster) I remove the tray and tell him breakfast is over. He cries. Then Ben cries.
8:30 - I manage to calm Ben enough to start my own breakfast. I decide on Dutch Babies since it has eggs, but you put sugar on top. Protein AND sugar? Awesome. Plus, maybe I can get Max to eat some.
9:00 a.m. - Dutch baby complete. Max picks off all of the sugar and refuses to eat any of the rest of it. So far the food score today is Max:2, Mommy:0.
9:15 - Rapidly begin cleaning and dressing everyone in the house because we have a play date at 10:00.
10:00 - Play date is running late. I am wearing Ben in the carrier because if I don't, he cries. Max is obsessing about the vacuum, broom and cereal and milk simultaneously. I'm on the phone with my best friend ever trying not to lose my mind (our daily chats might be the only thing that keep me going sometimes).
10:30 - Play date arrives. Max cries hysterically and demands that I carry him. I'm already wearing Ben and I'm not supposed to lift over 25 pounds anyway (Max is 30+ at this point). I repeatedly tell him I cannot carry him to which he repeatedly cries and throws a fit. Max then begins launching toys at the play date Mom. Then he screams into pillows. Then he gets the broom 3 times even though I've told him he can't have it. I am mortified because obviously I have zero control over this child. I give him tylenol because he MUST be teething. Yes, that's it, teething. This behavior can't be permanent, right? It will pass once the teeth come in.
11:30 - Our play mates leave. They say they need to be home by noon for nap, but I have a sneaking suspicion that she fears her child will learn my
12:00 - 2:00 - I do my best to feed all three of us and give Ben some play time on the floor, which he basically refuses. I had about 24 pretzels and a few chunks of cheese for lunch and 2 diet cokes. Yes, it was a 2 diet coke day. Oh, and I had 4 cookies.
2:00 - I tell Max it's nap time. He immediately starts to cry. I try to talk him out of this and soothe him and be all compassionate and stuff, but eventually I just put him in his bed and walk away, closing the door behind me. There's no reasoning with him and he needs to just nap already. Plus, Ben's crying and needs to nap, too.
2:05 - BOTH boys sleeping!!! Victory. I make soup on the stove and open my laptop and turn on Real Housewives of Beverly Hills which has been saved from last night on my DVR (what? you other moms clean and such during nap?? Hogwash!)
2:10 - Ben wakes. My soup sits and gets cold while I nurse Ben and then put him in the carrier and try to get him to sleep. I don't get to eat my soup, but the Housewives stay on. Priorities, people.
2:30 - 5:00 - Okay, so Max DID take an insanely long nap today. This is not the norm as of late. Usually Max is up by 3:30. So in that respect today was heavenly. However, Ben required constant wearing during nap time today and he wouldn't allow me to sit. So I stood and rocked and swayed and watched TV for the ENTIRE nap. 3. EFFING. Hours.
5:00 - Max cries when he wakes. Awesome. This means he's in a wonderful mood. I put Ben down (silence for once from that kid!) and carry Max around for a good 10 minutes so he doesn't have a total meltdown. I finally get him happily eating 3 cuties (those little oranges? Max will eat them ALL day). Ben starts to cry.
5:15 - I've nursed Ben and he is happily playing in his Mat. Max is watching Cars and playing with his toys. This is IT! My one moment to be free. I hop in the shower. It's at this time that Max decides that he MUST have a drink of both milk and water at the same time and he simply cannot wait until I get out of the shower. So, he stands at the shower crying and asking for milk and water. Ben starts to cry somewhere in the mix.
5:30 - It's around this time that I completely give up for the day. I put my hair into a wet, unbrushed top knot, pull on the same clothes I was wearing and strap Ben on. He's still not happy, but at least I can get Max his damn milk and water and walk around bouncing aimlessly trying to soothe Ben. I decide to do what any normal 2011 mom would do. I get my iPhone and begin documenting the current shitty situation on instagram so I can attempt to find some humor by captioning the disaster with witty remarks.
Here is how I looked this morning.
Here is how I looked after my shower. I mean, really? How is this an improvement?
Bennett and I have a showdown in the bathroom about him not wanting to let me get ready for the day. You know, at 5 PM!!
Max finally gets his damn milk and water. I liked to get a laugh out of a double fisting joke in my head until it occurred to me that if I had the opportunity to double fist anything at that exact moment, I would have.
Thank you, instagram. You at least gave me 5 minutes of some good, technological fun.
6:00 - Ritchie calls on his way home and like the good wife that I am I begin to bitch and whine about how hard being a stay at home mom is. It's all very dramatic in typical Jamie fashion.
The rest of the night was better because my mood drastically improved when Ritchie arrived home. Max began to sing Jingle Bells with the hand motions that I've been working on with him for a month now in hopes he'd have it down by Christmas. Score one for mommy. We get burgers because I haven't had time to grocery shop and there's nothing worthy of cooking for dinner in the house. Max is being charming and Ben takes periodic breaks from screaming his head off in the car.
We got them both to bed half an hour late, although Ritchie is still with Ben trying to get him to sleep because he woke after I put him in his bassinet after holding him to sleep for 45 minutes.
Seriously? How do people with more than 2 children do this? How do people with TWINS or TRIPLETS do this? How do single parents do it? I must be the biggest whiner known to man because I can't hang much longer. I adore both my boys and love them more than I thought I could ever love anything or anyone. There's never a question of love. But, I am fresh out of patience. I feel isolated and exhausted and pushed to my personal limit. I've even begun to question whether or not I have some postpartum depression with how I've been feeling. I'm just not enjoying being home right now. I hate that I feel that way, but it's true.
So, tell me. Does it REALLY get better? Am I alone in these feelings or are they normal? How do you do it? Tips, advice and love needed tonight. Because mommas need love, too.
Oh, and no promises (because you all saw how my day went today) but I'm going to REALLY try to get my second decade post up tomorrow.