Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Six-Month Checkup

Nope, not on Ollie, but on me. A friend told me that six months into the job of parenting two children is when I should start feeling good about it. And on Monday, for the first time in oh, six months, I got all of my daily chores done. She must be right.

So how's it going? Pretty good. Not great, but not too terribly either. As expected, a lot of it is hard. But unexpectedly, some things are easier. Here's what I'm talking about.

First, when Rhett was born, I really struggled with the loss of identity. Before Rhett, I felt like I was pretty cool. Chuck and I did cool things, traveled to cool places (okay, only two cool places, but still), easily took road trips...all that cool stuff that people with no kids do. But once Rhett was born, no more. I was afraid I was thrust into holiday-themed sweaters for eternity. I felt like as a Mom, I was no longer cool. (Why? Spit up on every outfit, restrictions on when and where we can go, eight bags just for a trip to the grocery store, etc.) It was hard. But with Ollie, hey! I was already uncool and I knew it! The adjustment to being an uncool mom was moot as I was already adjusted. (I should mention, I have since started to feel like I'm a cool mom, but I'm pretty sure I'm deluding myself.)

Related to this, when Rhett was an infant, I had no time to do anything that I wanted. It was all about him (and should have been). But that was hard. When was I going to sew, run, date my husband, sleep through the night? It seemed like those things were lost forever. But surprise, surprise--they returned! Slowly, and not all at once, they returned. So now with Ollie, I have full confidence that they'll return (and for the most part, they have already).

Also, when Rhett was little, I was bored to tears. I didn't know what to do with a six-month old who didn't like to play with toys for more than five minutes and found little understanding in visiting the library or the zoo. I felt guilty for dragging him along with me on errands, as I didn't want him forever in a car seat. But now? When Ollie's awake, he's with me and Rhett, just watching and learning and getting some quick giggles and tickles from us, in between our play. And when he's asleep, I get to play with Rhett some more. And if we want to go to the library or the zoo, sure he comes, but Rhett is the one enjoying everything (and I don't feel so awkward). So much better and less boring.

However, it has been harder in the sense of trying to balance the needs of both boys. Rhett needs to play and get out and see and do things. Ollie? He needs love, food, and naps. The love and food can certainly be attended to while on outings with Rhett, but not the sleep. (While Ollie slept easily in the car seat when he was teeny-tiny, it doesn't happen now.) In the winter, it's okay because we're not getting out as much, so I don't feel as guilty. But we've had a really mild winter and on those days with temperatures reaching 60 (yes, dayS--awesome!) I try to get Rhett and Ollie out, but our time is limited.

But after being a mom-of-two for six months, I have to say that I'm feeling pretty good. The boys (including Chuck) are happy and healthy. I'm feeling better and better about myself and the job I'm doing every day. Life is good!

P.S. An update on Rhett's naps. After Sunday's nap-free day, and Monday morning's trip to BounceU (local bounce crazy house), I knew Rhett would need a nap that afternoon. I put him in his room, told him to quiet down, and NO books (they distract him at nap time). A couple of minutes later strange sounds were coming from his room. I went in there expecting to find him reading. What did I find? His small chair standing on his bed so he could color a sheet of paper on it. That child. I removed the chair and the crayon. The paper was set up amongst his comforter so he could look at it, and ten minutes later, a 2.5-hour nap began. Phew!


  1. It was very nice to read about your loss of identity about becoming a mother. That is exactly how I felt and you put it into words just perfectly. I feel like thats a big part of motherhood that nobody tells you about.

    You seem like a cool mom to me! Glad that the6 month check up went well :)

  2. Oh....and it's not nice to see that you went through a loss of identity....just that I wasn't alone in that feeling!

  3. oh good, your life is good! it does sound like things are going pretty well. and, in some ways, it will just get a little easier and easier. yay!

  4. You ARE a cool mom. Glad things are going well. Loooove Nikki

  5. You're hip! You're cool! Certainly to Rhett you are the coolest. And probably to Ollie, although, his world exposure is limited. And I think you're cool, so... So glad that YOU'RE feeling cool! Glad things are better. And of COURSE your Rhett went back to naps. And I'm so sad that I didn't go to BounceU on Monday like I tentatively thought to do. Um.... next time... invite!