Wednesday, April 23, 2014

A New Kind of Hard

When I found out I was pregnant with Ethan when Gianna was 6 months old  part of me resented that baby growing inside me. I wondered how I could love anyone as much as I loved Gianna and I was mad at the fact that I couldn't enjoy Gianna for awhile longer before having another baby. Even after Ethan was born, while I loved him terribly I still felt like he was an intrusion to my daily life with his sister
When Gianna was born I quit working and embraced motherhood. Any sort of mommy and me activity I signed us up for and I loved it all. For the first few months after Ethan was born it was still pretty easy to attend all the functions and activities that we used to go to since Ethan either slept in his car seat or snuggled down in the ergo. But as both Gianna and him got older it became a challenge to attend any sort of mommy and me function. There is only one mommy to go around and when you have a mobile baby and a toddler we all know there aren't enough hands to deal with everything. So we stopped all the mommy and me activities.
Now though at 18mths and 2.5 some things are easier, trips to the park are a blast because both kids run around and play. I can run errands with the kids in tow without worrying about fitting the groceries, dog food, a car seat and a toddler in the cart at the same time. I can get more done around the house during nap time or when the kids are playing in the backyard and watching their personalities explode and develop is one of the greatest experiences ever.  But as with any stage  some things get easier while others get harder
We are now at the age where Gianna is starting activities. Right now she is in dance and goes to school one day a week. With the husband gone yet again and the summer looming ahead I was looking forward to finding some activities to fill our days. While Gianna loves ballet and I feel strongly about keeping her in it,  Ethan spends that hour with me cooped up sitting quietly in the dance studio. In his 18mths he has never had me to himself, nor done a mommy and me activity with just him and I. I know he will never remember this nor probably care but I do! The mom in me feels guilty
I looked at the local gymnastics studio(US Gold in Crestview-never go there) where they have a preschool class and a mom and me class at the same time. G and I took the mom and me class last summer and it was a disaster. As G gets older she becomes less of a "Mom and Me" sort of kid and more of the independent kid. And I don't blame her. With daddy gone 2.5 years of her almost 3 year old self she has had to deal with me 24/7. It's good for her to get away from Ethan and I and have something for her own. So I figured I could sign her up for the 3 year old class while Ethan and I do mom and me.The studio won't let her into their preschool class without doing mom and me. And apparently her doing Mom and me last summer doesn't count. I tried explaining to them that she already took mom and me and that it wasn't for her. I told them she was in a ballet class and did great listening to her teacher and paying attention. I also pulled the military card and described how impossible it would be to take the mom and me class when my husband is deployed and I have another child to look after, They refused so it looks like I will be taking my business elsewhere
And the same thing happened when I looked into other activities. Basically until your kids turn 3 everything is mom and me. And with two kids under 3 and a deployed husband it's not possible to sign us up for those activiews
Again, in the grand scheme of things the kids not being able to do certain activities like I'd like them to now isn't that big of deal. But the other day I had a melt down of sorts and here is why
Last Saturday our church had two family friendly services. One starting at 4, the other at 6. At 5 was the easter egg hunt and other kid friendly activities. We attended the 4:00 service and planned on doing the easter egg hunt. As we left the service and exited through the lobby my kids saw all the food laid out and of course wanted to eat. I quickly got a plate and headed outside toward the field where the egg hunt was held. They were already lining up kids by age groups and of course mine were being lined up in separate areas. 18-24mths in one are, 2-3 in another. I didn't know what to do. Luckily I found my babysitter in the crowd who took Ethan for me while I went to line Gianna up. As I was walking to where G's age group was I looked back at Ethan, in the arms of our sitter and I burst into tears. This was his first easter egg hunt. Last year he was 5 months old and stayed in the ergo the whole time. I was so bummed to miss this one
And it hit me. My life with these two have been like this since Ethan was born. My husband has been in and out since before Ethan arrived. Basically I've been a single mom trying to balance life with 2 kids so close in age and I feel like it's a losing battle. There is never enough of me to go around and one of them is always  getting jipped.
A friend noticed me crying and offered to watch G for me while I ran back to Ethan's age group so I could take pictures and participate with him. I luckily was able to catch him during the last big of his egg hunt but I still couldn't shake the devastated feeling I had. Like I had let him down in some big way.
When I told my husband this later on, he assured me I was being crazy, that both kids are thriving and know they are loved and that I'm too hard on myself. And while I know he's right to some extent, he is not here. He's not here on the days that Ethan screams for 5 hours straight because he has a horrible diaper rash that wont go away. During times like those Gianna has to fend for herself and deal with a very impatient mommy who may lose her temper when G decides to walk into Ethan's room and start banging on his toys just as I finally get him to sleep. He's not there during pivotal family moments where I have to choose which kid's egg hunt to attend. And so on and so forth
I know as E get's older things will change. Gianna will be stuck as Ethan's baseball practices and going to his games just as much as he has to for her. But with me going back to work in the fall I just wish there was more time for me to fully give my attention to each kid. The attention I feel they need and deserve
But although it's my new kind of hard right now I know I will figure it out. It will take a lot of balance, intention and effort but the kids are worth it
So here's to no more easter egg meltdowns for me

1 comment:

  1. Girl, I get it! We're a military family, too...and splitting yourself up is hard. I'm still trying to figure it out. Big hugs!