« National Geographic's Green Guide for Families: A SV Moms Group Book Club | Main | You are Small Fry, So Quit Baiting your Mom »


Mom is Outnumbered

Juggle Something happens when the clock turns to 5:00pm.  Time for the whine! And no, that was not a typo!  It happens FAST, the crossover.  Everything can be going fine one moment, then BAM, I don’t know what hit me. What I do know is mom is in high demand and I am outnumbered.  Both of my kids need me. NOW.  I start muttering to myself, “I am just ONE person! Seriously, one of me, TWO of you. You do the math!”

Sometimes I feel like a circus act...juggling requests, jumping through hula hoops. On any typical night, the circus pretty much goes down like this:  My baby is tugging at my leg and holding her little arms up whining to be picked up.   My oldest, now almost 4, seems to sense the tension and starts to whine herself.  Usually about a snack or needing the markers from the top cabinet or has some sort of request I cannot get to at that exact moment.

I am navigating the kitchen like a crazy person, distracted and a little frazzled.  Trying to get the baby’s food ready, my oldest daughter’s dinner made, meanwhile holding baby on one hip or entertaining her throwing puffs on the high chair to try to stop her from whining.

Finally dinner is ready, I give oldest her dinner, and sit down to feed the baby.  I realize I haven’t eaten myself all afternoon and I am starving. I pick the leftovers off my daughter’s plate to tide me over and realize I don’t have anything going in the dinner arena for the adults in our house.  Leftovers again (sorry honey.)

So we forge our way through dinner and then it’s bath time. Two to bathe, get in jammies, prepare for bedtime, and the whole “going to bed routine” for both.  On a good night, my husband gets home from work somewhere in the midst of the routine to help, but many nights it’s just me.  By the time both are in bed asleep, I feel like collapsing because I AM SO TIRED.   

I often find myself thinking, my gosh, this is a job for more than one person!!  And, I often feel GUILTY for thinking that. I mean, I just have two kids.  Two healthy kids. Women out there have three or more and are doing it! Women in more challenging situations than mine are doing it. 

When I start feeling overwhelmed, I remember something from a book I read that always makes me feel better.   

Back when I was pregnant with my first, my husband and I took a little Babymoon to Palm Springs, which probably was the last time I actually was able to read a book.

As I lounged with my 8 month pregnant belly in a maternity swim suit so ugly it should have been illegal, I read Harvey Karp’s “The Happiest Baby on the Block” and I dreamt of a life where I could soothe her to sleep effortlessly with my new techniques.

Fast forward to reality, and both my babies were so fussy no amount of “shushing” would have helped, but the ONE thing I got out of that book had nothing to do with calming a fussy baby at all.  

His last chapter was an Appendix on “The Top Ten Survival Tips for Parents of New Babies” and one of the tips was get as much help as you can.  Family, friends, pay for it, what have you.   His point: never in history were a mother and a father expected to care for their baby all by themselves.  It’s been only in the last two or three generations that we (the nuclear family meaning mom and dad) have taken on the role of caring for our kids all alone.  Way back when, the family and community were always around and present to help pitch in.

Makes sense, doesn’t it?  

Seeing that we don’t live out on a farm with the entire extended family, I guess this mama can only dream of a scenario when one person could be making dinner, another could clean it, and one could bathe the kids and get them ready for bed.  A perfect division of labor.   

In the meantime, I do my best to juggle and appease and know that all I can do is MY BEST.  I am after all, just one person.   But, I have to thank Harvey Karp for validating what I have most certainly found to be true - we really were NOT meant to do this alone!  

This is an Original Post to Orange County Moms Blog

You can read more from Jennifer and her own tiny circus of fun finds and fabulous giveaways on her personal blog for OC moms, Tiny Oranges


Receive the SV Moms Group Newsletter
For Email Newsletters you can trust

Our Sister Sites

Los Angeles Moms
NJ Moms
Deep South Moms