Sunday, August 9, 2009

Very different

I sometimes wonder what life would be like if we had had our second child first. Our first, Bug, was a breeze. It did take him about 8 months to sleep through the night (my terms of sleep through the night, 8pm-7am) but he was such a happy baby otherwise. He hated to be in trouble and would actually listen if we told him "no" to something. He had the most amazing pout from day one when he cried. He could melt your anger away with one blink of the puppy dog big hazel brown eyes. We often said "My God, if all our kids are this good we'll never stop having them."

Then along came Bear 22 months later.

And I feel like all I do is yell. At both of them now because Bug is going through the Whiny WHY phase and is pushing every one of my buttons. Of course, my husband will tell you I don't have buttons, but rather am one big button. Either way my limits have been reached and surpassed lately. I'm tired.

Bear will listen to me say no. He'll stare me down dead in the eye and then proceed to do exactly what he wanted. If I ask nicely he laughs. If I am more firm, he glares. The only way to get him to acknowledge me is to raise my voice. I hate it. It makes me cry. But, like, when he's going for electrical sockets and putting matchbox cars on the freaking stove when I'm in the kitchen, HELLO?

I often wonder if he'll hate me later. I feel like I'm cheating him somehow. He rarely gets the undivided attention that Bug got when he was little. It makes me sad. And I realize that in less than 2 months Bear will be the same age that Bug was when Bear was born. I look back at that and think how much older and mature Bug was back then. I can not, CAN NOT, imagine having another baby right now with Bear this age. He's not ready for another sibling.

Bear also becomes a wild banshee in the last hour before bed. Bug has never been like that. Thankfully now Bear will sleep pretty well and goes to bed fairly easily. If he didn't I swear I'd have a nervous breakdown right now.

I love that my boys are so different. I just wish Bear wasn't so difficult and willful at the exact same time that Bug is almost 4 and WHY?! is every other word out of his mouth, when Bug's meltdowns over not getting his way threaten to squash my very existence.

This mothering thing - Dear God. It is the best of times. It is the worst of times.

Today has not been a good day. Can you tell?

I just want the whining to stop. I want the listening to start. I want to stop yelling. I want to stop feeling like a failure at the end of the day.


Jackie Blum August 9, 2009 at 9:41 PM  

Preach on, sistah. Preach on. Seriously, I could have written this post. Word for word. Only my kids are younger. But Ava is stubborn as a mule right now and pushing me to the brink of totally losing my shit. Every. Day. Then at night, when she is sleeping peacefully, I cry because I am so tired and feel like all I did all day was yell and say "No." I am drafting a post right now about Ava's refusal to agree with me on anything. It's driving me crazy. All my girl says is "no." And then I realize it's because all she hears is "no." And with Stefan traveling for work so much recently I feel like my patience level is beyond repair. I run on such a short fuse these days that I know with the blink of an eye my day can be totally shot. I wonder the same things you do, about whether my kids will hate me when they're older. I think about things like that everyday. It's such a tremendous weight we mommies carry: knowing that when our children are older, all of their quirks and behavioral missteps will be credited to how we raised them. And I think that weight just makes me even more crazy. It's all so hard. But I think mothers are natural martyrs. Because we love it. I love it. I wouldn't trade a minute for anything in the world.

Why is it I can post a novel on your thread but can't put a decent post together for my own blog? =)

Diane August 9, 2009 at 10:59 PM  

Just want to offer up some hugs. My mom told me taking care of two kids was four times harder than taking care of one. You know where to find me if you need to vent. <3

averygoodyear August 10, 2009 at 6:23 PM  

Oh lady *hugs* I've often wondered what it would be like to try and juggle more than one kid, when one can be so damned overwhelming.

You're super strong, and I'm glad that, at the very least, you have this place to vent. Please don't beat yourself up. You're doing so many things to try and keep your family afloat and yourself happy, but they're KIDS and they just don't get it, they just want to be loud and willful.

Ugh. sososososo many e-hugs from Canada.

Amy August 11, 2009 at 3:00 PM  

I don't have kids, so I can't pretend to know how you feel, but I am closed up in a room with 22 8-9 year olds every day and I've come across my fair share of "difficult clients." one thing that helped me to not get into yelling/arguing was the Love & Logic program- they have books for teachers and books for parents. It's all about making kids resposible for their actions & staying calm in the middle of a conflict. Of course the infuriating thing is that there is no one solution, this book just helped me to approach child-created conflict in a different way. It may not be for you, I have just heard great things on the parenting program, so FYI!

Meanwhile, you are an AWESOME mom and hopefully your boys are just going through a difficult stage. You love them and they love you, whether they threw a fit or you fussed at them this morning. Hang in there, mama! Much love!!

Anonymous August 11, 2009 at 10:30 PM  

Oh girl, I know just how you feel. Granted, I don't have two kids but Mason is just like Bear. So defiant. We have been going through a power struggle this week. He throws a HUGE fit if you even act like you might say the word no. Some days I yell, some days that is the only way he even acknowledges me. It's tough, and I think we just have to feel our way through it. Kids are so unique and we have to figure out with each one, what works for them. I can tell you now, there isn't a strong enough 'glare' in the world to stop Mason from doing something. So hang in there mama. One day they will move out! Hahahaha. *hugs*

Maria Melee August 16, 2009 at 1:53 PM  

S has been so, so very difficult lately. I can sympathize.

Anonymous August 17, 2009 at 7:05 AM  

Our second daughter, Geeklet, seems to be like that. Cupcake is three now, and though at the time I thought -- jeez, kids sure are tough, but I can do this! -- now I realize just how easily we had it! Geeklet is only 10mos but screams constantly, she gets angry and frustrated and god-damn she is going to let us know about it. I shudder for the future.

Good luck - I hope that you stumble upon another way to be effective with Bear without yelling, since it seems like that would be more comfortable for you (and everyone, I'm sure!) but until then -- don't feel bad about keeping your baby safe, yell if you have to!