First of all I’d like to thank Elizabeth from http://www.worthwritingfor.com for including me in this challenge. The challenge is to write around 10 or more ways in which I’m rocking motherhood. That’s a funny thing to ask mom because most of the time I hear moms sounding concerned that they’re not doing enough! I’m definitely guilty of this, so to take account of my accomplishments might be a good thing to do. We’ll see…
1. I simultaneously potty trained and sleep trained the boys. That was super challenging, but in the back of my mind was the light at the end of the tunnel. I knew the tough times would only last so long and they did. By night 3 Adam wasn’t crying as I put him in his crib and after day 5 Ben started to use the potty. No-it wasn’t like the YouTube videos where moms teach their youngest child to potty in an afternoon and the child was potty trained for life. Ben had to warm up to the idea and be encouraged. It took two attempts to train him, so if you’re struggling don’t worry-there’s a light at the end of the tunnel for you too.
2. Ben and Adam are bilingual. I wrote about this in a previous post. My boys speak English and Hebrew. While Adam is just starting to speak he speaks words in both languages and that is how Ben started. For sure, their Aba (father) can take most of the credit as he is the fluent Hebrew speaker in the family, but I support any way I can and it has improved my Hebrew.
3. I’m still nursing. Nursing my boys has been such a huge bonding experience for us. I was very I’ll after having Ben and I couldn’t nurse him until he was 6 weeks old. I pumped and kept up my supply nevertheless and the persistence paid off! I nursed him until he self-weaned at 12 months. Adam is still going strong and that’s ok with both of us right now.
4. I survived two under two. Trust me any mom with two under two is not sleeping, not sitting, and not eating. It’s tough-but awesome. Cuddling up with both of them in the bed after work and reading before bed or tandem wearing on a hike. Those are memories I will treasure of this time.
5. I’ve been a stay at home mom, a work at home mom, and a working mom. I’ve balanced, juggled, and scheduled my heart out around my kids and work. What I learned from these experiences is that the grass is always greener on the other side and no matter if you’re working or staying home the struggle is real. Sure when I was working I had a nanny and cleaning service to take care of a lot at home, but I missed my boys like crazy. Staying home is WORK too. I have a busy day every day between keeping the boys busy, engaged, growing, and learning. When one has a nap the other is wake and I’m feeding and entertaining him. I’m cleaning the house every chance I get. I NEVER chill and watch daytime TV while eating bonbons!
6. I’m finding my SELF again. I’m writing this in a hair salon for crying out loud! Every person needs a moment to take care of his or herself. When I worked it was before makeup and hair work and these days it’s just a quick shower. I joined a gym, though, and I go frequently to improve my physique after two babies and it also helps me have more energy to be with my kids all day.
7. I have an amazing supportive group of mom friends. In the stay at home mommy, Gymboree, toddler swim class, playgroup world there are a lot of cliques. I’ve been embraced, included, left out, and in plenty of awkward situations. It’s not easy. A year ago I had a totally different group of mom friends and it was a tough journey to find the group I have today. What I learned along the way is don’t make friends just based on the ages of your kids, but really look for moms with common interests as you. I have vegan friends, friends from Israel, and hiking friends. Some of these women are teachers and some are entrepreneurs, but as people we’re friends before being mom friends.
8. Introducing my boys to nature has been really fantastic for all of us. I really relax when I get away from the city. We hike, picnic, and take strolls. We are part of a mommy group that babywears and hikes-its been really fun joining them. I’ve made some new friends through this group.
9. My husband asked me to include that I do it all for the home and my family. I find time to take my boys to classes and teach them, cook meals, clean and do laundry, run all the errands with my two in tow, have a play group and a blog, and help him with his business. This is why I chose to stay home this year, to be present for my family.
10. I have given my children memorable experiences that they may not remember as they’re too young but I have the photographic proof of and the stories to tell. They’ve experienced the High Holidays in Israel surrounded by family members, Ben visited the original FAO Shwartz in New York City, I cooked my first Thanksgiving meal, we flew to San Francisco to see my relatives and have a surprise 70th birthday party for my uncle, but the best was taking Ben at 4 months old to meet my grandmothers at his first Thanksgiving. They both passed while I was pregnant with Adam, but they both got to see Ben and see me fill their shoes as a mom.