"One is one, two is ten."

or so says Gavin Rossdale. (Thanks K!)

For me, there was something so binary about having one kid. I either was with my kid or I wasn't. I was either in "mom mode" or I wasn't.

On or off.

Home with two kids, one of whom has STOPPED NAPPING ALTOGETHER OMG, I am much more rarely off and I feel like I am two steps behind on EVERYTHING, all the time. (Can you tell Z has been home sick from preschool the past two days?)

I have to remind myself when I start to get squirrelly that I need time out of the house without ANY child. Even though it suddenly feels almost easy running an errand with "just" one child it still requires that low level hum of constant vigilance, the antennae that must remain alert for DANGER in all forms (Balloons and lollipops at the checkout counter for Z! Strangers too close and pokey for E!), the awareness of schedule that is the constant thrum in my head (It's been two hours since E woke up and one hour since she finished eating and she's had exactly -woops!- NO minutes of tummy time today and OMG HOW MANY HOURS SINCE SHE POOPED??? STAND BACK SHE'S GOING TO BLOW!!!).

Looking back now, the time before E was very, very different. It was more like "I have a kid" as if that could have been an accident and WOOPS here I am, with a kid. That I was working part time was part of it too. I had a kid but I also worked outside the home, had responsibilities somewhere else, existed in a world beyond my couch. I was a mom but there were times, significant portions of my week, when that wasn't plainly obvious (or so I like to think).

Now I am home with two (TWO!) kids, I feel like I've crossed over to a new world: I am no longer just a woman with a kid, I am a MOM.

I'd like to follow that with "HEAR ME ROAR" but instead this mom is more likely to whimper. I am feeling a bit pummeled by the ever present NEED NEED NEED of two kids. (To those of you with more than two kids who are chuckling at my whining, I SALUTE YOU. Also: any tips? I've been visiting Swistle's brilliant inspiring post OFTEN.)

I often find myself wishing that I had more time to give to each of them, alone.

I often find myself wishing for more time for myself, ALONE. (Were introverts really meant to have kids? How exactly does one get energy from being alone when you've always got a talky three year old who NO LONGER NAPS around?)

I am going away this weekend, by myself, for about 36 hours. A dear friend is getting married, in the garden where CG and I were married, and I am going. I hope that I will be restored, though I imagine I might miss these little suckers just a little bit (which, come to think of it, would be really, really nice).
I have a feeling it's going to be a loooonnnngg winter (Did I mention the DEATH OF NAPS around here?)


Hillary said...

Ugh. I've been wondering about the logistics of two kids a lot lately, for obvious reasons. I actually just reread that Swistle post today.

I have no advice to give you, but good for you, getting away for the weekend. And, if it makes you feel better, I would have assumed, minus this post, that you were floating along on a cloud, juggling two kids and a cross-country move without breaking a sweat. That's the trick with life: Making it look easy. And you're doing it.

Whimsy said...

I live in FEAR of the Nap Death. I really do.

I also try not to get too freaked out by the two-children issue, though it really DOES freak me out. Eventually we want to have another one, and boy oh boy that's going to be interesting.

I agree with Hillary, you are making this thing look like a breeze, and you deserve a lot of kudos for that. Enjoy the 36 hours away!

Good Enough Mom said...

1. I HATE the freaking balloons everyone offers to kids...WTF? Am I the only one who took CPR class...you know, the one where they tell you that latex balloons can kill your child???

2. Sounds like a lot of really hard family growing pains here...nap death and all. I went through just about the exact same things in your stage of motherhood (minus the cross-country move)...it is really hard. When my second child was about 9-mos-old, I hired someone to help around the house 3 half-days/week. Now she is my full-time sitter, and I get to work part-time (the rest of the time is spent schlepping kids around). You gotta get some help. It is worth every penny...you are right, you NEED to get time to MISS your kids.

3. I went away, too, when my 2nd was 6-mos-old for a brief wedding trip...I was totally lost without my kids, but it was good to miss them. How paradoxical!

4. Really, truly, it gets easier. In about a year. (sorry!)

Swistle said...

Not only am I not chuckling, I'm SHUDDERING: the time when I had a toddler and a baby was THE WORST. I spent all day home with just a toddler today and I felt like I was going to LOSE MY MIND. One is worse than five. So is two.

Good Enough Mom said...

Reading that awesome post by Swistle (thanks for that, s, I never thought to put the sandwiches in the freezer!) made me remember that I was also going to tell you that going from 1 to 2 is like shifting from being someone's lover to being their manager...it's a hard, but necessary, change...IMHO...

Michelle said...

Oh I do hope you enjoy your weekend! You deserve it. You have been dealing with so much - it all seems like good things but even good things can be stressful.

Eleanor Q. said...

I can't tell you how much I fear the time when Fussbot stops napping. It was bad enough going from two naps to one but I need that time to regroup in the middle of the day.

Also my SILs who each have more than 3 kids, always say that the switch from 1 to 2 was much harder than any other transition- even 0 to 1.

Enjoy the weekend away!

Jos said...

oh, cry, we're going thru nap-death here too :( is there something in the water? we're also in a newly independent/stretching boundaries phase, which intellectually I can understand as part of this new stage, but, oh, it's not helping.

today we're on day one of "afternoon rest time"-- he can play quietly in his bed or nap & I can have some desperately needed down time. fingers crossed. I'm an introvert too, & I *need* time alone! (why, oh why, knowing all this, do I still want a 2nd? crazy) you sound like you are doing great with 2 kids.

so awesome that you will have a nice chunk of alone time this weekend. wishing you a wonderful, restorative 36 hrs!

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