That’s what my mom told me my cousin said about having two littles back to back. Today it dawned on me as we did a 6 hour drive to San Diego how much easier it would be with one child and how much more attentive to that child I would be.
For a short 18 months I was Ben’s mom, only Ben’s mom. Ben’s mom who had books in the backseat of the car and gave him one every morning on our drive to daycare. Ben’s mom who sat on the floor and played with him everyday after work. Ben’s mom who had weekly arts and crafts activities planned to the last detail for the nanny to complete with him. Then I became a mom of 2 under 2.
If it had been just Ben for this trip we are on I would have had a bunch of handmade busy bags made for him, I would have sat in the back seat playing and reading to him, and I would have had home cooked snacks like quinoa muffins for the trip.
Instead Ben and Adam were occupied with a little Mickey Mouse on the IPad, lollipops, and singing to each other. I sat in the front seat unable to do much when one got antsy – other than talk calmly to my child as their father pulled off on the closest exit.
The mom I’ve become forgets to pack bibs and a dressy top for the trip because I’m so busy trying to keep an eye on two very active toddler boys. I hardly get to play on the floor with them because I’m running after them with the dustpan and folding laundry. Two toddler boys = buried in laundry! They may not have quinoa muffins, but I did make the pb and honey sandwiches and stock the back seat with all their favorite snacks.
It’s hard not to think that I was more attentive to Ben as a mom of one and he reaped the rewards of that, however he is reaping far more having a little brother who has brought so much happiness into our home and hearts. I wish I could be that perfect mom that I was to Ben to both of them-but it’s a different kind of balance for me now. Rather than working full time as a teacher and coming home-giving Ben 110%, I’m working part time building a business around my boys’ schedule. I was for a year a full time stay at home mom and I do feel I was more attentive to my boys than I am now, but I have an opportunity that I need to take advantage of-and in the long run could pay off in more than one way for my family. I do catch my moments during the week that I am able to sit and play instead of clean or cook, some nights they even listen to me read stories, and swim classes on weekends are one on one time with mom.
About a year ago I signed up the boys for a mommy and me art class. Ben didn’t want to go in the class as there was a playground he was more interested in and Adam started to sympathy cry. Both boys crying I brushed it off, walked inside the class to a bunch of stares from moms who had one quiet, on task child. A dad looked at his wife and said “And you want a second?!?!” Yeah I’ve had kids fighting in the cart in the checkout line, and both crying when they clunk heads on the trampoline—but they’re best friends. Adam made our family complete-maybe it’s messy, and we’re running late to EVERYTHING, and I don’t have a bib in my diaper bag on our trip to San Diego. Maybe that’s our imperfect perfection.
I don’t know how moms of 3, 4, or more manage. The laundry piles must be up to the ceiling! I’m amazed by my friends of 3+ -they’re a lot more brace than me. I’m happy with my two boys-they’re best friends and I feel that my family is complete. I’m done with vomiting through my first trimester and sleepless nights with a newborn. Im glad I experienced the first ultrasound, the first time I held my boys in my arms, and the first steps-but I look forward to finding Liza again. She’s lost somewhere between work and piles of laundry. It’s temporary, but I’m making way for me time.
Am I complaining? About laundry and not enough “me” time-yes. About being a mom-NEVER. Balance-it’s all about balance. Balancing was easier with one, and went totally out the window with two-but since they’re so close in age it’s coming back sooner than later.
One day I’ll yearn for this busy, sometimes chaotic time back. My cherubs will grow into teenagers who will be busy with friends and school. One day they will be men with families of their own. My laundry loads will diminish and I’ll get to that bucket list, just not now.