Sunday, September 19, 2010

Bad choice mama

I've been making some bad choices lately. I just can't seem to learn from my mistakes. I keep convincing myself that I can do it all, when really, I can't. I know-shocking.

The most difficult thing about going from having one kid to two is all the down time. Hmm...down time isn't the right phrase because that would mean I actually had time for sitting down, and that is definitely not happening. I guess I could call it "boring time". I, Bethany the great extrovert, am at home most evenings with two little people with early bedtimes. Don't get me wrong, I love these little people so much, it hurts. BUT, I also love getting out, enjoying the festivities whatever they may be and having conversations about things other than dump trucks and owls.

I hate missing out on a potentially fun night with friends.
Enter bad choices.

Last Friday night (while Dan was at work), I decided to go ahead and join the Jensens at the hot air balloon lighting. It was all against my better judgment. The practical Patty in me knew that I shouldn't have gone by myself with two kids, but the extrovert in me said "Oh, go! It'll be fun! Think of all the people that will be there, eating and having a good time!". We went last year and had a blast, of course we were one kid lighter and I had back up. Plus, we arrived during the day and had lots of time to set up, eat dinner and walk around. This time, I walked about 2 miles with the babe in the sling and Eli in the stroller, pushing him through a golf course up hill (see picture below) in the dark. It took a while to locate the Jensen family. Once seated and settled, I nursed Laz and struggled to keep Eli close to me. We stuck around for the fireworks and then walked back in the dark at 10pm. By the time we got home, both boys were crying and refusing to go to sleep. I had reached the end of my rope. That night, I told myself I was going to always do "the right thing" when it came to my kids, no matter how much I have to miss out. I realized that Elijah would have probably had more fun and a better night altogether had we stayed home and played with his toys. All the stress and melt downs were not worth going to see a hundred hot air balloons.

Here's the hard part-on Sunday, I made the same mistake. We had lunch with friends after church and basically skipped Elijah's nap. It ended with Eli screaming in our friends' living room because he didn't want to clean up and leave. He finally had a nap at 4pm. Again, bad choice mama.

I guess it has taken me a little while to completely embrace this new life of stability. For now, I am a mom of two very little boys who need me to think about them all the time, because no one else will. It's my job to protect them, their meal times, nap times and bed times. Any advice/encouragement?? Obviously, I could really use some.


  1. I used to get very sad/frustrated that Matt and I couldn't visit at other friend's houses because it overwhelmed Micah so much. We would always end up with frustrated parents and a toddler in complete meltdown. We stayed home...a lot. My encouragement is that it goes so fast. Before you know it, they won't need naps anymore, they will be much more flexible with bedtimes, etc. My boys are 5 and 3.5 and it is much easier to pick up and go. We usually don't hit meltdown phase until we've been busy for a few days on end. And if your boys are like mine, #2 will be a bit more flexible. I am reminded of how much life is about to change for us again as we add another small one. I know I will miss out on lots of adventures, but I will keep one priceless one: loving a baby! Hope you are well. Your babies are beautiful. I love reading about them.

  2. Awe, girl! I know that feeling and have done it many times. Most of the time, I don't want to be *that mom* with the high maintenance kid who needs something at any given moment. BUT you're so right. If we don't protect them and give them what they need, who will?
    Also, it's really hard to transition into having one kiddo to two, especially one that is a baby and is pretty needy. You and Lij are going to have to sacrifice alot right now. But know that it's a season and it will end, soon. Keep life simple. Could you get someone to hang at your house for an hour while Laz sleeps and you take Lij to the park or run to Trader Joe's? This might be how you can get out easily during this season. Hope it gets better! Go with your gut too! xoxo

  3. There's nothing like being a mom to show you your own selfishness. It's so true that we have to think of our little ones and make choices for them and not for us ALL the time. I think you realizing what needs to change for your little family is a huge step in the right direction.

    I suppose Dan is busy a lot in the evenings, so maybe this isn't that helpful. But - when I know Aaron is going to be working or gone to a meeting or something in the evening, I try to plan something fun for myself to do after the children are in bed. It might be a sewing project I can't do with little people around, or a library book, or inviting a friend over to visit. Anyway, those things really help me when I'm going to be by myself all evening with the kids and I've been by myself all day with the kids. :)

    You are a great mama. Keep it up!

  4. Aw, I can totally relate. We often stay out too late and as happy as Vincent is throughout the rest of the day, come 730 he wants to be in jammies, on mama and dadas bed, nursing! If that is not happening, he lets us know he is not happy. ÁIne can hang longer, but she has her breaking point, too. We often push our kids to the limit and unfortunately beyond. A few things we do to stretch our "out and about" time while still trying to keep the kids comfortable is always packing jammies in the bag. That way V. can still get jammies on before 7 so he is not being stripped and wrestled into something new after he is done for the day. That way, when any fussiness starts we can just hold, cuddle, and nurse him and he does okay--he either just falls asleep on me or he gets a second wind and is happy again. We also bring Áine's jammies and tooth brush so she can get all ready at her normal time and then if we are going to hang out a bit more she can do that but she is all ready to go to bed and if she falls asleep on the way home we can put her right into bed. Also, if Áine has had a long day/night she usually will sleep in the next morning. But, if she does not I try to 1. show her grace during the day because she is usually whinny (I struggle with showing the grace, I HATE whining!), and 2. get her down for her nap a little earlier the next day. Anyway, those are the things we do to help with the "compromise" of occasional late nights while still watching out for their needs. It is hard though and you are a great mama--we all make choices that don't turn out how we plan, it helps us become better at what we do.

  5. The other thing is (in addition to all this great stuff your other peeps said) that if you're thinking that there will be other people at an event to help you besides your husband, you have to ACTUALLY ask them for help the way you do with your husband... meaning A LOT. And, yeah, I'm starting to (don't tell Brendan!) love my nights when he won't be home because, even though I miss him and never really want time away from him, when I have to do it I can usually struggle through the get-2-kids-to-bed part, and then I too enjoy some special jesky luxury like a project or some show that Brendan hates or a special drink or glass of wine.