“Being a Mom is Tough”

Oh, how I wish I’d heeded those words when M & I decided to start our family.

You all know I haven’t been the best about blogging lately, but I’m hoping this online Bible Study – and this blog hop – will get me back into the swing of things. This study is called Am I Messing Up My Kids? & legitimately couldn’t have come at a better time, because I am constantly asking that question. I am so glad I saw a photo taken by Rebecca on my instagram feed that had me signing up for the study & rushing out to our local Family Christian Store to buy the book.

This week, I’m supposed to tell you my mama story. It seems kind of redundant to me because this blog has been about very few things other than my mama story, but maybe it would be good to get it out all at once.

When M & I got married, we knew we wanted kids. I always told him I’d envisioned myself much like Jill on Home Improvement – I’d have three boys. The first time I got pregnant, I messed up the reveal to my husband in many ways. He wasn’t the first person I told & sometimes he still teases me about that. I had a miscarriage with that baby at 7 weeks & a lot of times, it still really hurts. But then I remember we wouldn’t have Butter without having had that loss & I’m a little more okay with it.

The second time I got pregnant, I just knew. I went to M in the kitchen & told him three things. I said, “I’m pregnant, it’s a boy, and he will be born on August 8.” I was only wrong about one of those things. And if you’re asking yourself why I said he’d be born on August 8? Because I miscarried 8/8/07 & just knew that this little boy would arrive on 8/8/08. He arrived on 7/24/08 & the moment I saw him, I was even more in love with him than I could have imagined. He got his nickname because mama was exhausted one night & trying to calm him down. It was a stream of, “It’s okay, bud, buddy, budder.” And for some reason, that budder transformed into Butter & he’s been that ever since.

Butter gave us a scare the first few weeks. I was struggling with nursing him & he was throwing up pretty much every time he ate. We took him in for a well baby check & the pediatrician said she thought she heard a heart murmur & she diagnosed him with reflux all at the same time. We got orders to take him to the children’s hospital for an x-ray the next day. After radiology read it, the on call doc called me & said, “Don’t get comfortable where you are. You need to go back to the ER.” My heart dropped to my stomach. There was a haze on the x-ray [which I now think was the result of trying to do a film on a wiggly infant] that they weren’t quite sure about. He was admitted & eventually diagnosed with failure to thrive because he hadn’t gained much [if any?] weight since he’d been born. I kept trying to explain to the nurses & doctors that he’d just been diagnosed with – and given medication for – reflux the previous day, but no one wanted to listen to me. It was pretty awful, to say the least.

For the record? He’s fine now & will turn six a week from tomorrow.

Bear presented his own set of challenges. Just as I knew when I was pregnant with Butter, I knew with Bear. Somewhere exists a photo I took of Butter the day I told M I thought I was a pregnant again, but no matter how much searching I do, I can’t find it. Oh well. Bear came into our lives on 11/17/10, just four days after his Pop turned 39. He wasn’t due to be born for another 12 days, but he’s been letting us know who’s boss since the very beginning. I’d had a TIA when I was six months pregnant [the first indication of my Moyamoya diagnosis], so I fretted about how he would handle the stress my body had gone through. He was loud & proud the day he was born. Then he gave us the scare of our lives. He spent 20 long, pretty torturous days in the NICU due to PPHN. Though I didn’t know it at the time, we came pretty close to losing him in those early days. [I am eternally grateful to my amazing husband for keeping that information from me.] He got his nickname when he came off the ventilator. Pop said he sounded like an angry bear.

He’s fine now, too, and pushing my buttons every day of his threenager year. For a kid who’s been doing so well with potty training, he’s had a fair number of accidents in the past few days. Last night, as I cleaned up one of his messes, I sobbed. Whether it was the day I had yesterday [Oh, what a day it was. I may write about that soon.] or just frustration over something that had been going so well that suddenly isn’t again, I’m not sure. I just know that last night, I was at my wit’s end & just didn’t know how I was going to go on.

And then I remembered that I’m not in this alone. Every day, there are mamas who are dealing with far worse than I am. There are mamas out there who get this season of life better than I could ever hope to. And better than that? No matter how alone I feel, I know I’m not. My Heavenly Father is with me, seeing those tears & that frustration & that brokeness & begging me to lay it on Him. Last night, for the first time in a long time, I admitted I can’t do it all on my own [which is something I struggle with on a daily basis]. It’s liberating to realize there is someone bigger than me who wants to take my burdens.

I’m really looking forward to what I learn over the course of the next six weeks or so.

If you click the button below, you can read some of the other stories. I look forward to getting to these other mamas out there who get it.

 

P31 OBS Blog Hop

Quiet

There are days when all I long for, all I want in this world, is just a little quiet, please.

Five minutes.

Even five seconds.

And it’s not often that it’s totally quiet around here. The boys are playing, M is talking to me about the truck or other miscellaneous things, a movie is on in the background. Mostly, it’s the boys playing & using the imaginations M feared they wouldn’t have because of the technology pushed on children at such a young age. Still, there are moments when my Mama heart just wants some peace & quiet.

But when I get that quiet? I miss the chaos, I miss the noise associated with having a house full of boys. I know I’m the quietest one in the house, and luckily, my husband understands my need for some solitude from time to time. I’m blessed with a man who gives me time to myself, who lets me sleep in when he knows I’ve had a rough day, who sometimes sends me out for a few hours to enjoy a different kind of chaos & noise. He sends me for pedicures, tells me to go & do what I want to do for an hour or so, & takes the boys when I’ve just had enough.

I’m a lucky girl. I hope I never forget that.

I Can Watch My Brother

It started simply enough.

Last Saturday, we had karate & then some errands. I told the boys what we were doing & they seemed okay with it. But Butter does this thing where he gets into the car & wants to read ALL THE THINGS. I pretend to be annoyed by it, but in reality, I love being Mom to a bookworm. One of the errands we had to run was going to the post office. It’s not too far from the karate school – when I was a little girl, most parents wouldn’t have even bothered to strap their kids into the car, that’s how close they are to each other.

But I’m not that parent. I strapped the boys into the car, explained that they shouldn’t get too comfortable because we’d be there in less than two minutes, and headed to mail a few letters. When I parked & opened the door to get Bear out, Butter said to me, “You can run in & mail your letters. I can watch my brother.”

My heart jumped into my throat. I had just read this article & tried gently to explain to Butter what happened to that mom. I told him that she could have gone to jail, all because her little boy told her he didn’t want to go into the store & she made a split second decision to just run her errand. My child has the most sensitive soul ever & teared up. He didn’t want me to go to jail. I told him I didn’t want to either.

We live in a much different world than when I grew up. I can remember staying in the car while my parents ran errands. I had a book, I had windows down, sometimes I had the radio on. It wasn’t something people thought twice about. Then again, I can remember being allowed to walk down to the corner store when I stayed with my grandma with her neighbor’s daughter to buy cigarettes for her mom, so there’s that.

It bothers me that we live in a world where people live in such fear. I don’t like that I don’t feel comfortable letting my kids run around outside without having at least an ear on them because we live on a road where people regularly speed. AND we’re close to the stop sign that marks the end of said road. That being said, I usually never let them in the front yard because all it takes is one thing. A ball that rolls out into the street, a feather that they’re chasing, a rock they want to kick just a little farther. So they’re generally restricted to the back yard, where they have a play set & a deck with an awning that protects them from the worst of the sun or lets them play outside when it’s raining.

So, yes, Butter, I know you are the best big brother ever & are more than capable of keeping an eye on your brother [especially while you’re out in the back yard], but no, I won’t let you stay in the car. Just like I won’t let you stay home while I run that errand to get yarn.