Monday, November 14, 2011

What I'm Struggling With Now

Because it's always something with me, isn't?!

Life is good. Parenting two children is getting (slightly) easier. I'm figuring out how to get out and do things with Rhett, all while trying my hardest to help Ollie nap. We've worked hard on our morning routine and have that down. I think that I'll even be able to get laundry done with Rhett and Ollie at home (although that's yet to be tested). We've been able to go to this crazy bounce place as well as the park and library, all while Ollie naps. And even if I haven't been running as much as I'd like, I'm getting my exercise done during Ollie's morning nap. Every day I'm feeling better about this mom-of-two thing.

But. There's always a big butt, right? (Name the movie, win a prize.) In the years Before Ollie (B.O.), Rhett and I were able to get our errands run together in the morning. Running, Target, grocery shopping, craft stores...he went with me! Sure, not his favorite thing, but we didn't do it every day so the kid survived. With exercising and errands out of the way, our afternoons were spent together as family: walking Bruno, playing, making dinner. Then, in the joyous hours after Rhett's bedtime (that beautiful three-hour block), Chuck and I did whatever we wanted: church calling stuff, sewing, reading, computering, watching television, whatever. But it was our selfish time. (Do you love how I listed TV last, as if it was a last resort?)

But in the months After Ollie (A.O.), not so much. I can't seem to figure out how to run errands with a boy in a car seat (that takes up an entire shopping cart) who can only stay up for two hours at a time. And when his evening nap coincides with walking the dog, well, what to do? And running? Not happening except on Saturdays because I just can't give up our afternoons and it's just too dark and dangerous to do it while kids are asleep. So I struggle.

For some reason, the idea of dividing and conquering has only recently occurred to me. For us, we've just always done things together. But I think, for a little while at least, I am going to have to reevaluate. It might just have to happen that only Rhett and I go to pug group or walk Bruno in the afternoons while Chuck stays with a napping Ollie. And maybe I have to spend Monday nights at the grocery store, alone, instead of working on my latest Pinterest project. Do I like this? Nope. Does it take hard work to think in this new paradigm? Yep. But it's my little life and I'm just going to have to adjust.

And really, when I have this guy looking at me, it sure does make it a joyful little life.

P.S. I've been to known to complain just the tiniest bit about Maryland's weather. So in order to be fair, I must state that Maryland has delivered the most amazing November ever. I'm not lying. Highs have been in the 50s and 60s and days have been mostly sunny. And the fall foliage! Simply breathtaking. I will always try to give credit when credit is due.

P.P.S. If I'm doling out credit, some must be given to Chuck. In the past week he performed three miracles: (1) picking up the weeks-old cricket carcass that I couldn't make myself do, (2) unloading the dishwasher unasked, and (3) getting a new bar of soap after he used up the last one. Hallelujah!


  1. I feel like with Axton I was just "playing house" because really, I could do as much as or as little as I wanted. With two kids, all of a sudden I had to be a real mom and work hard at it. It is difficult for me still and I've been doing it for a year now. We do a lot of divide and conquer now too. I'm thankful for a hubby who spends his "selfish time" going to Costco or doing the laundry because it just doesn't work for me right now. It's hard to do it this way because I feel bad for Jeff. I'm sure there are moms out there that do it all. I'm not one of them. Jeff does so much. I think this is just a temporary thing, but maybe it's just part of growing up and being a parent. I obviously don't know or have an answer. I can just relate.

  2. While I only have one child, i feel your pain. After I had Libby, I thought that my former life was over. Like you, running is a priority to me. In a perfect world I would get up just before sunrise, eat a snack, lace up my shoes and head out the door for a long slow run. oh, remember those days! I've learned that I have to take my excersise any way that I can get it. I have been going to the gym between 5-6am every morning. I know it doesn't sound appealing to get up at 4:30, but i love that this is MY time. Libby and J are sleeping, and there is very little that gets in my way. I can usually get back, take a shower and read my scriptures before libby gets up. It frees up the rest of the day. The past few days Jason has had to leave for work early, and I couldn't go to the gym. At first I was excited to "sleep in" , but now I can't wait to go back to my old routine. This morning libby woke up at 7:30. After getting breakfast, cleaning up from breakfast, getting her dressed, getting me dressed, and 3 meltdowns in between, we didn't get out the door until 9:30. By then I was hungry, and not too interested in running.
    I love routines, but they just take time. soon R&O will both be in school, and we can meet up for running dates!

  3. a big part of motherhood is sacrifice. i still kind of stink at it. but sacrificing our precious time and desires is such a hard thing - well, the sacrifice isn't quite as hard (cuz sometimes it is forced on ya) as being happy about it!! i don't believe in giving up those things that you absolutely need (like exercising, craft time, etc.), but, yes, you'll have to be creative in working it all out. like splitting up with chuck (you know what i mean, ha), going out on an evening for your shopping, etc.

    but now that ollie is getting into a routine, a routine for you to establish is much easier and will come.

  4. Hear hear to November and lovely weather! Way to go November/Maryland/Autumn! And miracle-Chuck. Nice ring to it.

    As for the motherhood/schedule/exercise/sacrifice/B.O./A.O. part... your B.O. time sounded pretty idyllic. Which I think you know. Chuck home so that the TWO of you could do all that afternoon/evening bonding? I say, good for Ollie slappin' it to ya! But I am impressed. You guys are quite the united family. I can see how you cherish that and want it back. Doing everything together (especially now when the boys WANT to be with you) is really precious.

    However, like the others have said about sacrifice and your idea of dividing and conquering... Marc and I have lived separate lives while living together for quite some time... we're pros at it, so let me know if you need tips. :) It's not ideal, and we do as much togetherness as possible (aka first year in MD; transition year rocks in residency!!) but it is effective. Marc does (did) a lot of the grocery shopping, folding of laundry, and dishes. And he very often did (does) those with just Madeleine or on his own.

    But then again, A.O. will change as O gets older and soon this will be a faint memory and you guys can go back to being the super-glue family... county fair galore with BOTH boys running around with joy painted on their faces! Give it 4 years and it'll be golden. You can do anything as long as it has a time limit and an end in sight - or at least that's what I tell myself! Anything that's temporary is doable!