My first month as a mom of 3

it's hard to believe it's been only 4 weeks.  it feels a hell of a lot longer.
the time has gone fast as life has been a series of hoops with little time for rest.

i'm sure none of you will be surprised to hear that in this first month, i have done a smattering of little projects on top of my first two weeks desperately trying to cram as many newborn photos into my camera as possible.

school is kicking my ass, i already can't wait until summer.
there isn't a single morning that i wake up and don't feel eternally grateful that we live across the street from the school.  i don't know how else i would function…  actually, it hasn't occurred to me until now but if we were not walking distance to Momo's school, we actually couldn't function since the Jetta does not fit all three of the carseats!  we walk Moses to school and on days that Chloe has school, we walk back home and jump in the car to drive her up the hill to her school.  since they both start at 9am, and unless one of the lucky moms that have scored rock star parking in my driveway offers to walk Moses to school, Chloe is always late.  thankfully it's only preschool and the teacher knows the situation.

i am so thankful for these offers to walk Moses though i feel guilty.  i feel guilty not being the one to kiss him at the door.  Chloe also loves to hug him goodbye and wish him a good day.  i also love seeing other moms in the morning, all herding their gangs whether they are running from their cars or walking from the neighbourhood.  i gain my energy from social interaction so it's actually a positive thing to make it to drop-off no matter how wiped out i am feeling.  it's kind of like my cup of coffee, or rather my cup of tea, no i think i actually might start needing coffee!!!  i looked like a complete disaster that crawled out of Frankenstein's butt yesterday morning.  i hit the snooze button for an hour, from 7:30am until 8:30am.  my eyeballs were aching and red and my hair was matted down flat and parted in 5 different places.  sweats and ugg boots.  a few of the grandmas were concerned.  yes, many of the drop-off guardians are the sweet mothers of the mothers of the children attending school.  even in their old age, they are up early to take their grandchildren off to school and they are the sweetest ladies you'll ever meet.  i was so rough looking that i think i had 2-3 offers from people to pick up or drop off Moses…

back to needing coffee.  yesterday was tuesday.  tired as i was, i made it a point to go for a walk.  it was chloe's day off and i don't like to keep her cooped up all day, especially when the weather is fair.  it was easy convincing her.  i told her we could get a hot chocolate in town.  i ordered a mocha.  if you know me, you know i don't do caffeine well beyond tea.  this mocha was magic.  we'll see how the next month goes, i can't decide if it will be better or worse now that Malcolm has reached his one month milestone and is more wakeful.

today was his longest stretch of being awake which was 4-5 hours.  that being said, he did slept a lot from morning til evening.  i guess it was a fair trade-off since it allowed me to get a lot of things done throughout the day.  chloe was also off on a playmate after school, so i really was able to get more done than usual.

sigh.

having three is the same but different.
you know what to expect, and knowing how bad it can be certainly helps to calm the overwhelming feelings of having no control of your life or schedule or amount of sleep or functionality.  the wonderful thing about excessive brain loss during these sleepless months is the laughter that kevin and i are able to share.  my mom brain is at a pretty severe level where forming simple sentences can be a major challenge and some of the things that come out of my mouth end up being utterly hilarious.  it's good to have laughter in between the frequent frustrated moody snapping at one another.  i'm so tired that i can hardly hear/process when people are speaking to me.  i can hear a voice speaking to me, but it takes extra effort for me to turn those sounds into words that create a sentence and even more effort to figure out what the sentence/question even means.  and still more effort to formulate a response.

i am thankful that Malcolm is not a crier or a screamer or a requires excessive amount of bouncing.  he's such an easy easy baby that i just can't get upset with him when he just needs to be held.  i am thankful every single night that he requires nothing other than a boob in his mouth  to fall back asleep, that kevin and i are not taking turns feeding, burping, rocking and bouncing him back to sleep the way we had to with moses.  HE JUST GOES BACK TO SLEEP!  I LOVE HIM.

sometimes i can feed him at 7:50am and he'll go back to sleep, allowing me to get up and have free hands to get both me and the kids dressed, fed, and their lunches packed.  i'll throw him in the carrier to walk across the street and then in the carseat  to chloe's school and back.  sometimes he'll sleep the entire time, other times i'll feed him once we get back home and he'll sleep then, allowing me to get some cleaning done.

chloe is doing well at school.  i have to constantly remind myself that she is doing well and not to compare her progress to Moses.  it scares me to think that she will be in Kindergarten in September.  for whatever reason, it feels like Moses is so much older, but that gap is really shrinking with each year.  it's very interesting to see how at such an early age the difference in which boys and girls hurt one another.  already, the girls are playing mind games while the boys are more physical.  on the girls front, there is exclusion and punishment by not playing with someone.  with the boys at Moses' school, there has been a lot of violent play happening which we have all been asked to discuss to avoid kids getting hurt.  Moses happened to "punch" one of his friends in the face the other day.  i was told by Moses that this boy was yanking Moses' hood repeatedly without stopping.  granted, i would also want to punch someone in the face and lucky for me, adults don't really do things like this.  honestly, i would totally punch someone in the face for disrespecting my clothes and then me, but i can't tell Moses it's ok to do. this was last week.  of course, they are friends again, like nothing ever happened.

today i received another note saying he has been increasingly more physical and that we need to discuss this with him and if this behaviour continues, further intervention will need to take place.

sigh.

i wish i could say i don't know where to start, but the truth is, i know where it is coming from.  it's coming from me and it's coming from kevin.  we are exhausted.  we've been exhausted for months.  and as anyone can attest, being tired and stressed make for a perfect storm.  being spread thin makes a person impatient and easily irritated.  being in a state of constant tiredness makes a person cranky and very snappy.  and having three kids is… a challenge.  either Moses and Chloe are fighting and screaming/crying in another room while i am stuck on my butt feeding Malc or i'm making food or washing hair for Moses and Chloe while Malc is off in a corner crying.  at any given moment, someone is upset and wailing and in need AND I CAN ONLY BE IN ONE PLACE AT A TIME.

for the most part, the kids have been put on the back burner.  being sick for half my pregnancy and then exhausted and in the middle of renovations for the latter half, they have had more time on the iPad.  they have been neglected and we haven't had time or patience or energy to spend some good quality time with them.  they act out in response to their lack of attention and our response is to lose our cool, to snap and yell and threaten and bark mean things.  we haven't been good and it makes me feel like laughing and crying at the same time when i get messages from people saying what terrific parents they think we are.  i mean, my intentions are there 100% but the energy is lacking.

i'm sure it doesn't help that they have had to go through a series of changes.  new house and new baby and the house being in a state of constant repair.  as much as they like our new place, they have both expressed missing our old place a number of times.  god, i can't believe we have only been here for 2 months!  it feels like forever as well!  as if they weren't neglected enough throughout my pregnancy, baby is taking a lot of my time and energy and sleep and patience.  god, it is hard to believe that the newborn is the easiest one to take care of!  i don't know what the average fuse is, but perhaps the fuse kevin and i have is short in general and shorter with our full plate.  we have done away with spanking despite having grown up being spanked left right and centre throughout my entire childhood.  on the rare occasion it does still happen and i have realized it happens when i am the most angry and unable to control my emotions.  that in itself is a sign that it isn't the child's behaviour that is the problem, but my own inability to handle my emotions and if i am unable to handle them, i am passing down the same anger-management to them.  and i am very sure this is what is happening in terms of Moses being more physical at school…

i want to hold myself accountable.  i really really want to change.  i don't know how i will manage, but i need to make spending time with him a priority.  i need to demonstrate patience if i expect him to show the same patience for others.  i need to remind myself of this whenever i'm about to blow my top and i don't know how i am going to do it.  i am so insanely tired and with three children to contend with, it is asking a bit much.  however, i really have no choice if i want them to learn to be patient and control their temper.  i have no choice if i don't want to have more notes coming home.  i have no choice if i want to relinquish those horrible feelings of guilt that rise after yanking or pushing them around as i yell and yell and yell.  they are little mirrors, mini-me's, copying the only thing they know.

i am going to go buy stickers and reward myself for every time i don't lose my temper.
i will have this posted on our fridge so that the kids can see it as well and know that we are also working hard to improve our bad behaviour, to see that nobody is perfect but we all have to try our best to improve where we fall short.

and with 4 minutes to midnight, that is the giant load on my mind tonight.


xo



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