Hey ya’ll, it’s me; the friendly neighborhood real mom. Today, we’re discussing the honest and not so pretty side of parenting. The side that we may or may not have been prepared for pre-children. The things that it seems like people magically forget to mention when they talk about how amazing parenting is; how #blessed they are to be a parent to 4 crazy children who seem to be slightly rabid and/or on a constant sugar high.
1. Honestly? I might be late because of my kids.
This one is big for me right now. Now, I’m prepared for what you’ll say- because like a broken record, my mother says it to me, without fail, at least 6 times a week.
“Leave earlier! Wake up earlier! Prepare the night before!”-Michelle Voigt, my mother
Ya’ll- I’ve tried everything. Packing the diaper bag the night before. Waking up at 5 AM, setting “benchmark” alarms to go off through the morning, reminding me what point in the process I should be at. Come hell or high water, I can be perfectly on time- but then, I have to wake the kids up. I start with Bug- she’s small, and easy to please. And this will sound horrible, but honestly, she can’t fight back as easily. She gets her diaper changed, I get her ready, and load her into her infant seat. Now the big girls? Whole different story. They can literally sense the urgency in my actions- at least, that’s the only explanation I can think of for why they seem to drag at a pace even slower than a snail. Even slower than a sloth. Whatever the slowest thing on Earth is, they’re slower than that. They whine. They cry. They roll on the floor in a puddle of self pity and horribly mistreated toddlerhood. And where am I in all of this, you ask? Standing over them, crying myself (internally) that despite my best efforts, I will yet again be pushing the envelope on time.
2. To be honest I just want to not be touched for a little while.
After a full day with all three kiddos, this might sound bad or even crazy, but one thing I want more than anything? To not be touched. I want to sit in silence, with an adult TV show, or honestly just anything that isn’t nursery rhymes or Baby Shark, and RELAX. In any given hour period with my wonderful littles, I am:
- Hit (because Bear’s love is rough, and she thinks that her version of “tapping” to get my attention is gentle, when in reality it’s a smack.)
- Hair pulled (Everyone remember’s a baby’s amazing ability to grab onto your hair with a tight and tiny fist. Also- I wear my hair mostly in pony tails to try to avoid this- but it’s so long that she’s still able to maneuver it into her dimpled little hands.)
- Hung on (They like to grab onto me and lift their feet so that I’m literally responsible for if they fall or not. Tiny evil geniuses)
- Holding a crying baby (Momma is the ultimate comfort zone, right?)
- Climbed on (Glorified jungle gym, remember?)
There’s a lot more- but all of that to say; sometimes it’s sensory overload. I DON’T want to hear loud noises. I don’t want to take care of anyone else- not even myself, sometimes. And I most definitely don’t want to be touched.
3. Truthfully, i don‘t appreciate your JUDGMENTAL stares, general public
Toddlers- and kids in general- can be unpredictable. I never know if or when the smallest thing will set off one of the kids- I mean, there’s so much they’re seeing and experiencing around them, they can get overwhelmed and go into meltdown mode off of sensory overload alone. So when I’m in the middle of Target, or H-E-B, or wherever; I most definitely do not need nor want your judgmental stares. Your looks that speak a thousand words- that if it were you in my shoes, this wouldn’t be happening. It must be the way I raise my kids. I probably spank my kids. I probably don’t spank my kids. Whatever it is that you’re thinking behind your judge-y eyes, I don’t need it. Either offer encouragement or move on. Like they always say-
“If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”-They
4. I don’t know what I want for my birthday. or christmas. or any other gift giving holiday.
Because what I truly want, you can’t give me. I want silence; I want to be able to eat my own food. I want to get dressed in peace, I want to be able to talk like a normal human; I want to not feel like I’m walking through an active minefield when I pass by my sleeping children’s doors after bedtime. So if you’re hard pressed to still get a gift? I’ll take a massage. An IOU coupon for babysitting. An hour to go to Target alone. All of those are world class gifts at this point.
5. if we’re being candid-how many blowouts is this kid gonna have?!
I’ve been through this phase- you try everything. Smaller diapers. Bigger diapers. Different brands, different types. Flex fit, night time, reinforced layers- it seems like diapers these days can do everything but wipe the butt and keep poop from getting everywhere. When you’re standing there, holding a poop covered baby at arms length from your body, wondering where it all went wrong- just know, you’re not in this alone. And sometimes, just heading to the tub after a blowout is the best (and easiest) option.
6. I don’t want to get out of the house
Honestly, it’s just not even worth the hassle sometimes. Arranging child care (costs money,) leaving the house (costs money,) going out to eat, getting ready, staying awake after a long day- it’s all almost as exhausting as it is relaxing; and most of the time, we’re so caught up thinking about the kids that it ends up being me going from thinking about the kids in the presence of the kids to thinking about the kids while sitting in a restaurant. We do it because I’m sure there’s a study somewhere that says spending every waking and extra hour you have surrounded by gibberish speaking toddlers can break you mentally after extended periods of time- but it’s no easy feat to arrange a “night out on the town.”
7. The black “tar” poop freaked me out
I can”t remember if this had or had not been mentioned or known about by myself when I had Monkey- but it still caught me off guard. Sticky, thick; just overall strange. Why is this coming out of my brand new, sweet baby?! (Secretly- is she broken? Are there refunds?) Plus, at the time, being a novice to changing diapers as a whole, it took me almost a half a pack of wipes to clean it up the first time. And I took so long that she peed on me.
8. Sometimes, I’m jealous of the babysitter
She’s so damn skilled! Like the Cesar Millan of kids- the baby whisperer. The kids even willingly tell her they LOVE HER when she leaves! She can calm any tantrum, fix any issue, heal any booboo- she must have some sort of catnip for babies because I am at a loss. She deserves a round of applause, and further, a round on me. She’s the reason for my sanity and peace of mind when I’m out of the house- because if we’re being honest, it’s almost impossible to find someone you trust enough to leave your kids with these days. If you have any amazing babysitter or caregiver for your children, make sure they know how much you appreciate them.
9. I want to eat a hot dinner
AND, if I’m being selfishly honest, I want to serve myself first. And maybe even ONLY serve myself? At the very least, I want to be able to go directly from making my plate to eating- and only get up or stop by my own choosing. Sorry, not sorry. Cause there are just some things that aren’t good cold. And we all know it.
10. their other parent has arms and legs, too
They can hug and kiss booboos away, too. They can make sippy cups of their favorite juice, get the animal crackers out of the cabinet, and play their favorite movie just as easily as I can. I know this is probably a lot to handle, but that other parent is just as capable as we are- and sometimes, we wanna watch from the sideline. Every athlete earns a time out of the game at some point, right?!
11. I could totally live without tantrums
And the throwing themselves on the ground. The whining, the crying for no reason. Door slamming, talking back, acts of rebellion; eye rolls and the periods of being ignored- I honest to God think that I could still function wholly and completely (and probably easier, if I’m really being honest) without all that. Now how do I tell that to my kids? And if they’re able to function as adults without tantrums, what is the honest purpose for them early on? Torture. It’s a conspiracy.
12. Why can’t it be okay to eat pizza and cookies every day?
I can barely remember to eat well for myself- and now I’m responsible for three tiny humans’ nutritional intake, too?! Half the time, I only eat one meal a day. These kids eat 6+ times a day. I don’t even think I know more than 7 dishes to make. If we’re being honest, coming up with 21 unique meals a week is a bit much. I’m not Rachel Ray.
13. swaddling isn’t easy.
Not much needs to be said about this one. 28 months, 3 kids and many tears later, I’ve finally got it. But we need to have a pre-natal class with real babies solely devoted to this topic. It’s almost like twisting a dang pretzel.
14. to be honest…I forget to not swear in front of the kids
Monkey picked up the wonderful four letter word beginning with ‘S’ and rhyming with ‘hit’ early on- and the craziest part is that she would use it in perfect context at a year and a half. Only knew that word and “puppy” for some reason, but I’ll be damned if she didn’t use it perfectly every time. Dropped her chicken mini? Whoop, there it is. Retraining my vocabulary after working in the restaurant industry for 5 years is difficult.
15. i just wish my kids would UNDERSTAND that we aren’t leaving forever when i walk OUT the door
The waterworks. The theatrics. The begging cries to not leave- I just need to take the trash out dude. Give me some space. Or I might just up an move to Acapulco and never look back. (Not really…but can’t you picture it?)
16. i wish i could have a few minutes to prepare when i get home from work
Because as it is, it’s like ripping a band aid off- just having finished 10+ hours working, and I walk in the door- BOOM! Responsibility sucker punches me in the face. Which, I get it- that’s just part of the job. But wouldn’t it be nice- in a perfect world, of course- if we could take off our shoes…maybe change clothes, use the restroom. Grab a snack. And then start the uphill battle to bedtime?! Don’t picture it too vividly. No need to get our hopes up. Because if we’re being honest, it’ll never happen.
17. And last, but not least- to be honest, I wish they knew how much i love them
Because I don’t know if they ever will. I could use another language, I could write it. Even shout it from the rooftops or tattoo it on my body- but I don’t know that they’ll ever truly know.