The truth in my pain

There was once a time when my children didn’t overwhelm my very being. When I wasn’t short tempered and impatient. When I could clean and cook and do fun stuff with them. When everyday was an adventure with them and not just a day to get through. When I loved every moment of being a mom and never wondered why I had kids. When I just knew.

And then depression entered my life. Now some days are good days. But most days aren’t. Most days are just days to get through. Now I find myself frustrated and annoyed by tantrums that I used to work through with them. I find myself allowing more screen time. I take them to the park less.

I write this with a heavy heart and tears running down my cheeks. Alex starts school in a month. The last days of having him home with me all day everyday are upon us. And I can’t muster up the strength to enjoy them. I feel trapped in my weaknesses.

I love my kids more then words can possibly express. But lately I wonder if they know that. If I am capable of showing them that. It hurts to think I might be failing them. To know I’m not being the best I can be. And not know how to fix it.

I feel so much guilt when I raise my voice. Or snap at them. Or show my annoyances.

I dont write this for your sympathy or to search for words of encouragement. I write this because I feel alone. But I can’t be the only mom who feels this. I hope my confessions can make even one mom feel a little less alone.

Whoever you are, you are not alone.

Curiosity

Nick has always been curious. He likes to know how and why things happen. I am always explaining things. How trees grow. Why we can run into the street. How the dishwasher works. How his bubble machine works and why it doesn’t on a windy day. 

He likes to take things apart to figure them out. And try to put things back together. Lego and playdoh are two of his favourite things to manipulate.

But today. Today he threw me for a loop.

He went into the washroom by himself. Like he usually does. He was in there awhile but he normally is when he poops so I didn’t think anything of it. 

I heard the toilet flush once. And then again. I still didn’t think anything of it. He has a habit of flushes before he wipes and then again after. 

But then I heard the toilet flush again. And again. What the….. So I went in. 

When I walking into the bathroom I found Nick with his arm as far into the toilet as he could get it. So I inquired as to what, exactly, he was up to. 

He explained ‘tryin to flush Nick. See where water goes.’ 

Oh. Well. If that’s all….

Needless to say he needed to wash his hands and arms. And then he and I sat and talked about why we cannot flush anything except pee poo and toilet paper. And talked about where it goes. 

I guess I can be thankful that his curiousity didn’t come with a plumbers bill. I’ve heard some horror stories about kids flushing things down the toilet! 

Love hugs and more to come later!

Lynn

Nick turned three!

In March Nick turned three. It was exciting and sad all at once. I can’t believe he’s already three. 

  
We decided to go with a Mickey Mouse theme because my boy is all about Mickey Mouse. 

I didn’t get many pictures of the decorations. Which is too bad because they were awesome. But it’s probably because I was too busy with this: 

    
Yep. My boy had Mickey Mouse at his third birthday party thanks to his uncle. 

He was so excited. It was amazing. 

And now he’s three. 

Nick my sweetheart, you are the most sensitive of my babies. And yet, you’re stubborn and determined. You’re clever and strong and amazing. I know you’re going to accomplish amazing things. I can’t wait to see what the next year has in store. This past year has been incredible. From hardly talking to never stopping. From diapers to being fully potty trained. From sleepless nights, a soother and tantrums to maturing into a little boy and putting yourself to sleep. You amaze me everyday. And I love you so so so much.  


Love hugs and more to come later 

Lynn 

I am either losing my mind or I am a genius…

Tonight Hubs and I put the 3 older kids to bed at 7 like we always do. (the three of them are currently sharing a room since we are in a two bedroom house and are locked into a lease, if you remember when we made our big move out to Manitoba we didn’t have much for options and took the first house we got, which came though mere days before we left New Brunswick. Thankfully, they are big bedrooms.) Most nights they lie in their beds, talk and play and are asleep by 730-800. I can deal with it. They aren’t too loud, I don’t need to go in there three hundred times. We are all happy. BUT. The last few nights… gah… they yell, they scream, they jump around, they fight, they dance… they in general just go crazy. Hubs and I take turns going in there… Starting with gentle reminders to lie in bed, go to sleep… then escalating to raising our voices and yelling. Which we are trying really hard not to do. And for the most part we are doing great with our quest to not yell. But bedtimes were getting absurd. So tonight I decided to do something different.

Tonight when they started getting absurd we tried the gentle reminders. I could see us both getting really frustrated by 730 sensing we were in for another long night. So I went into their room. I turned their light on. I said ‘it’s not bedtime anymore. You guys are obviously not going to go to bed like I asked. Please get up and go play with your toys.’

They looked at me like I lost my mind. So did Hubs. He whispered to me that I was either really smart, or really crazy. The kids weren’t sure what to think. ‘Let’s go’ I prompted and ushered them out to the living room where I pulled out some cars and started playing. They looked scared. I was trying not to laugh.

At 800 Alex said ‘Mom, I think it’s bedtime. It’s dark and the clock is pointing at the 8’ I replied ‘Yep. The clock says it’s bedtime. But Mom says it’s not’ ‘You mean we don’t get bedtime tonight?’ ‘Nope. You guys can stay up all through the night’ Him and Nick looked devastated.

At 815 I turned off all the lights except a lamp. I sat on the couch with a couple books and started reading. Zoey came over and snuggled up to me to listen. Soon Alex and Nick came over too. After a couple stories Nick asked if he could go read them in his bed. Alex looked afraid of my answer. I told them yes. They could each bring two books into their beds. I brought them back to bed and tucked them in (it was about 840) I heard from them once since then.

I don’t think 700 is going to work as a bedtime anymore. I am going to push them to 730 tomorrow and see what happens. Maybe I’ll even get lucky and they will start consistently sleeping later then 7am. Then I can really call myself a genius. Right?

Love, hugs and more to come later
Lynn

Accepting Blame

A local radio station posted this to Facebook yesterday with the caption that the Public Health Agency of Canada was investigating laundry pods because there were a large number of children that ate them and got sick. The radio station wanted opinions as to whether their listeners thought this was legitimately a product problem or a parenting problem.
Now I personally feel like this is a parenting problem, not a product problem. Laundry soap is a chemical. It should be kept out of reach of children. Just like the rest of the household cleaners, medications, etc. A lot of the comments on the post by the radio station were saying its the products fault for looking like candy. Or for not making the containers child proof.
Now, I do understand that accidents happen. Kids get into things. But why can’t we as parents take ownership? Why does it immediately have to become someone else’s fault?
I have made my own calls to the Poison Control Center on 2 occasions. The first I had an almost empty bottle of peroxide open on the bathroom counter while I was cleaning my ear piercing. I had the bathroom door open and had allowed Alex in the room. I thought I had put the bottle far enough back, but I turned my back to Alex to talk to Hubs for a minute and when I turned back Alex had the bottle and the front of his shirt was wet. I don’t know how much he ingested, and it was an accident, but it was MY fault the accident occurred. Not the makers of the peroxide I was using. The second time the boys both had chest colds and we were visiting my mom. I had bought some Baby Vicks Rub and I was storing it in my purse, on a shelf. Alex knew he wasn’t allowed to play in my purse. But he got it down, opened it, and handed the container to Nick in his playpen. It was all over Nick, his bed and the wall. I don’t know if he ingested any but I took ownership. I shouldn’t have assumed it was safe while it was still in reach. The over wasn’t baby proof but I didn’t think Alex could open it. Again, my fault. Not the fault of the company.
In Canada child walkers are banned. You can’t buy them, sell them, gift them or use them. Too many kids fell down the stairs while using them. I guess parents felt like they didn’t need to worry about safety if their child was in the walker?
I have storage bins that specify not to put children in them with the lid on it.
Some of these warning labels that companies use are getting absurd. It’s time to stop blaming companies. It’s time to step up and admit that we aren’t perfect flawless human beings. It’s time to admit that some of these accidents aren’t the fault of a company but are, in fact, Parenting Problems.

Love, hugs and more to come later
Lynn

Figuring It Out

Every time I think I might finally have a handle on being a mom to 4 young kids the universe throws me a curve ball as if to remind me I am absolutely clueless.
A few weeks ago I enrolled Alex into school. At first he seemed to be doing great. He loved going, he was happy and there were no issues. His teacher was sweet and seemed to have an excellent handle on things.
Then one Thursday I went to pick Alex up and she greeted me with a comment along the lines of ‘oh my goodness, is it Friday yet! These kids are making me crazy!’ Now, I want to state that I can only imagine that dealing with 20 three-five year olds is stressful and chaotic and I’m sure Friday is exciting… But it seemed like such an unprofessional statement. Maybe if I knew her better I would find it more acceptable, maybe I’m over reacting, but it bothered me.
Then there was the day I showed up a few minutes early to pick Alex up. A group of about 10 students were gathered around the computer watching Youtube. Without supervision. This bothers me because while I think Youtube is an excellent site for educational videos and kids songs etc, I also feel like it should be used under supervision. It only takes one click of the mouse before those kids are watching something totally inappropriate.
Then was the day that broke my heart. I dropped Alex off like usual, then picked him up again at 330. When we got home we were talking about his day. He told me the teacher made him sit on the blue chair during circle time because he was crying. I asked him why he was crying and he told me he cried because I left. Wait. What? Since when?
The next day when I brought him to school I asked his teacher about his comment. She told me he cries a bit almost everyday. This had never been mentioned to me before. Every afternoon I ask how his afternoon was and she tells me he was happy and cooperative all day. Now she tells me he struggles for the first hour or so, out of a 2.5 hour program.
Alex hasn’t been to school in a week. The last day I brought him he cried and begged me not to leave him. I left the school crying. I cried all afternoon, my heart breaking for my little boy who was miserable in this setting. I cried for me, for not seeing how unhappy he truly was. I gave it a ton of thought. Do I keep forcing him to go? Or do I listen to his pleas and pull him from the program?
I finally decided to pull him. He’s three. He’s not ready to be away from his brother, sisters and I. Why force him before he’s ready. I have the opportunity to have him home with me and I’m taking it. In the last week my 3 year old has been himself again. And his only comments about school were ‘Mom, when you leave me at school I freak out. Miss A tells me not to but I miss you when you leave me. I like to stay home forever’ and ‘I have to go to school. Miss A said she’s going to cry if I stay home forever’
I don’t think I am going to enroll him back into the school I had him in for Nursery (pre k) some of my reasons are listed here, but most aren’t. But, that’s not a choice I’m making today! Right now the only choice I’m making is what to feed my babies for breakfast!

Love, hugs and more to come later
Lynn

A New Adventure

Today marked the beginning of a new adventure in our chaotic house. Hubs, after 8.5 months of being on parental with us, went back to work.

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To say my day was exhausting, would be an understatement. It was a long, chaotic, exhausting, messy, hilarious, fun, adventurous kind of day.

It got off on a good foot. I got the boys eating breakfast (Zoey was still sleeping) and I sat down with a coffee. It was good. About halfway through my coffee Zoey woke up. And we had a poo-splosion on our hands. I got her cleaned up and left her in a diaper to play on the floor for a couple minutes while I went and got some clothes for her. While I was upstairs grabbing some clothes she scratched her eczema to the point of bleeding. I had her in a yellow cloth diaper, the eczema is on her upper thigh. The blood was on her diaper. I freaked out a little. I got her into a clean diaper, cleaned her up and put pants on her. Now she can’t scratch herself open. Mommy win. Until I turned towards the dining room table…

At the dining room table, Alex and Nick were enjoying a bowl of Cheerios. Well, Alex was enjoying it. Nick was covered. From head to toe. He decided it was a good idea to pour his bowl of milk and cereal over his head. Why? I don’t know. I wish I knew. I wish I knew what in the world he was thinking and why it seemed like a good idea to wear his breakfast. I decided I wasn’t bathing him at that moment. If I put him in the tub, Alex and Zoey will want a bath and I had never bathed all three of them at the same time on my own. So I washed him down with a cloth and got him dressed.

About this time I realized I hadn’t finished my coffee. So I went back to it. I took a big mouthful. Of. Iced. Cold. Coffee. Gross. Disgusting. At about this time I also realized I needed to take a 30 second potty break. After checking on the kids, Zoey was playing quietly on the floor and Alex and Nick were quietly playing trains. Without saying a word, I sneaked into the bathroom. No sooner did I sit down to pee when Nick let out a blood curdling scream followed by Zoey crying hysterically. Alex decided that sitting on Nick’s head would be a fun game. And Zoey was crying because Nick was screaming. And through it all Alex was laughing like a deranged maniac. I looked at the clock. It wasn’t even 10 am yet.

At this point I decided to put one of the kids cd’s on and have a crazy dance party in the living room followed by 30 minutes of TV time to save my sanity. It worked. I drank another 1/2 cup of coffee.

From there we made it through lunch without incident although shortly after lunch the kids were starting to get restless again. This is where one of my ‘great ideas’ came in. I decided we could make some goop. (1 cup cornstarch, 1/2 water and some paint, since I didn’t have any food coloring) It entertained the boys for an hour and a half. It was amazing.

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Of course, I didn’t stop to think about what the clean up was going to be like. Now the boys needed baths. So, for the first time ever, I bathed all three kids, at the same time, all on my own. And then I needed to clean the dining room. But, between the time spent playing with the goop, the time spent bathing, and the time spent cleaning up it led us up to Zoey’s nap time and the boys TV time which I was able to spend lying on the couch until Hubs got home from work and I needed to go make supper.

I survived day one of Hubs being back at work. Only slightly frazzled. Tomorrow is a new adventure, as for tonight… I am going to bed early.

Love, hugs and more to come later!
Lynn

I honestly thought I published this back on Monday when I wrote it. I guess I didn’t. Oops.