January 17, 2013

This is hard.

Things have never been this chaotic. Never have I looked or felt so disheveled and never have I been yanked in as many directions. I've also never been as unclear about whether or not I am actually happy. I'm supposed to be happy. Right?

Maybe I don't know whether I am happy or not because there are blissful days and horrendous-God-awful-shoot-me-in-the-face days stacked back to back. And this isn't the part where I say that this parenthood thing is all worth it. Because there are plenty of days when I can't say I'm sure about that. Then again, I've never had less time to think or breathe or be, so who knows?

A portion of this blog post was written while sitting on a pile of clean laundry that's strewn at the bottom of my staircase. This way I'm halfway between Livvy, who is upstairs in her crib fighting taking her first nap of the day (at 3 p.m.!) and Tessa, who I'm also trying to get to take her first nap and who may or may not be inhabited by a demon. My house is trashed. The washing machine is making that awful thudding noise it makes when the laundry gets all clogged up on one side. I have spit-up on my pants, breast milk seeping through my shirt, and dark circles that are now eating my cheeks. I'd love a shower. I've had two cups of coffee and a Diet Coke and no water today. I barely slept last night because we're trying to get Livvy to sleep in her crib. Livvy, who hates all sleeping surfaces that aren't made of warm skin and a heartbeat.

From the minute I woke up this morning, the day has been a battle. And yesterday before it was a battle, too. A battle to get the kids fed and dressed and bathed and Tessa to and from school. A battle to get to my appointments and get my work done and to stay optimistic about this pile of bills and to not start screaming and never stop. This week has been one of those weeks when I wonder: What was I thinking? Really. What was I thinking? Having two kids is hard. It's really, really, really fucking hard. Some people have three kids. Four. What were they thinking? Mental note: Go to doctor. Get birth control.

Right now Tessa is yelling hysterically at me from the other room: "The poop's not coming off my butt. Mommy, would you get the poop off my butt?! Would you, please?" At least she said please.

And I think I hear Livvy crying. So, I need to go now.


  1. I'm pretty sure they make a toy with the sound of a mother's heartbeat.
    This is one of them. I have heard of others. Perhaps it can help.

  2. Bless your bones! It truly is hard in the beginning...I remember being so stressed and exhausted and depressed that first few months. All I can recommend is eating takeout as much as possible (1. You don't have to cook and 2. No dishes to clean afterwards). Also, you don't have to be super mom. Let the laundry go...or at least let Nekos take over that part for a while. Sleep is waaayy more important than laundry at this point!

    As for Miss Livvy...do you "swaddle" her when you lay her down? I mean snug as a bug in a rug tight. It truly seemed to help with laying my boys down on their own...probably because they felt like they were still being
    held. Also, have you tried putting a box fan in her room to help drown out any noises (not blowing on her)? That also helped my kids. They still sleep better with a fan on.

    Anyway, I hope you feel better soon! Don't feel like you'realone. We've all been there...and anyone who says they haven't is lying! Lol

  3. Thank you for being so honest about motherhood. It is one of the reasons why this is a favorite blog of mine. On some level we can all relate to your struggles and it's so refreshing to hear someone else say that this shit hard, instead of always posing with fake smiles and photoshopping out the mess.

  4. 1 is like 1,and 2 is like 20. Once Livvy is about 6 mos it'll be amazing. Until then it's he'll. Sorry no one told you this in advance.

  5. ohh man. and seriously i sometimes wanna die some days, and i just have one :/

  6. It sure does get better Ellen. But it is a hectic time, and with little sleep it's tough at times. But time will fly and it will get easier. Hang in there mama!

    Love Hanna

  7. Hang in there girl! Having just one daughter who will be turning two this spring - I can't relate, but I can empathize with those hard days. Just remember that everyone is healthy and will someday again be insanely happy.

  8. This could have been me a few months ago.... I agree with the swaddle for Livvy. Buy a heartbeat or white noise CD to play to drown out Tessa noise. What about a baby wrap? I know that I felt so guilty for being halfway there for either the baby or my older son... but you HAVE to let it go. It's strictly SURVIVAL in those first few weeks/months.
    Some days I would put the baby in the wrap, turn on the tv for Asher and nap in the recliner with both of them. SURVIVAL Ellen.
    I also have a mama who would always come help when I was about to lose it. If you have that... take it! Prayers for you!

  9. I don't know if I can give any advice (because even though I have two, they're the same age and for some reason I think that's exponentially easier than having 2 of different ages) but I just wanted to encourage you to hang in there- and that you're not alone! When things get chaotic here, I try to just take everything one hour at a time.

    Also now's a good time to have a convo with hubby that goes something like "I know you are working hard, too but I'm going to need you to pick up a little extra slack right now (with regards to house chores and taming the toddler) so I can maintain my sanity. It's only for now, until we get things under control." Because that's the awesome thing about marriage, not everything is 50-50, and when you need help, there's someone there to compensate and pick you up when you can't seem to stand on your own.

    In a few months you'll have things semi under control but for now-just one hour at a time!

  10. this is the first time i have commented on your blog, but i have visited a few times. like many hear have said, your honesty is refreshing. i am pregnant with my second child; my son just turned two. and from the moment i found out i was pregnant i started asking myself what the crap we were thinking? i mean how hard would it have been to grab a condom? anyway, it's scary reading your blog because i can see my future, but it's also nice to know that i'm not the only one going through it and sometimes feeling a little pissed about it :) good luck...everyone says it gets better so cheers to that! (and i mean a true "cheers!" because at least you can have a drink now!)

  11. This is my first time commenting on your blog but I have been reading it for awhile. You are a truly gifted writer and I enjoy the honesty of your blog. I have 2 daughters and man I can tell you I have been there. Like others have said it does get better and it is ok to take help and let things go when you can't do it. Sleep is number 1 when your babies are sleeping you sleep. I didn't follow that advice with number one (also a Livie) but I got really good at it when baby number two arrived. A little 2 hour date (I know with nursing it can be hard) also helps with the sanity. Hang in there!

  12. I just went through this. My oldest girl is 2.5 and my youngest is 6 months. I survived by wearing my baby for almost 5 months. It was kind of backbreaking but, it was the only way I could get anything done. A lot of times, she would pass out in the Moby and get some serious sleep. This made her sleep better at night, too. I also forced a paci on her so that she would have some kind of comfort when I did put her in the crib. I'm all for attachment parenting but, when I went to bed, I just wanted it to be me and my husband so, I had to get her use to the crib. Do you have ANY extra funds that you could use towards an occasional housekeeping visit? I don't have an extra cent but, if I did, that's the first thing it would go towards..even if someone came over and dusted twice a month, it would give me some sort of sanity. Hang in there! And try your hardest to enjoy your baby because if you're like me..this'll be your last. lol. :)

  13. oh mama.... :( i can't even imagine. it has to be hard!! but, just remember that the first 3-4 months with a newborn are the hardest. babies are hard. toddlers are hard. i'm sorry....
    hang in there mama. it will all get easier. some day. xoxo

  14. What great comments people have already made. I just want to reiterate--when the children sleep, you sleep. Lack of sleep makes everything seem bad, and you can't do anything well when you are exhausted. Also you can get help--like just asking someone to fold and put laundry away or dust your entire house or clean the bathrooms--any chore that you can't face. Or let it go--so what if the clothes don't get folded and put away--just pull them out of the baskets as needed. So what if tubs and sinks aren't shiney clean--you can still shower and brush your teeth. As some have already said, this too shall pass. The beginning with two kids is the hardest. BTW, I can give you Wednesday afternoon for any of the above that you need and keep either girl this coming Saturday night!

  15. Ugh I know that s--- storm feeling. It sucks. I am sorry it feels like chaos but hopefully since this post you had a nice long hot shower and a good nap. Hang in there!!!

  16. I have had so many days where I could have written this exact post. Except swap out the battles with a toddler for battles with a very vocal, very stubborn seven year old.

    The bright side, I suppose is that there is always a "good" day on the horizon. A day where our children are perfect angels, take naps when they are supposed to, do what we ask with smiles on their faces and remind us why we love them so much.