Posted in family, parenting, Uncategorized

Living in her Shadow

Getting a new sibling is hard for any child. They’re used to getting all the attention and now a new person has come into the world that takes all the attention while they get pushed to the back burner. I wish I could say that isn’t our situation but it is; to some extent, it’s inevitable.

While Eli’s dad was still in town with us, we tried to each give Eli one-on-one attention so he didn’t feel so pushed aside. Now that dad is gone, I’m still trying to give him alone time with me, although it’s a bit harder to swing by myself with two kids.

New baby Camille has been quite the handful and I can see the toll it is taking on Eli. Most of the time he is such a great big brother. Always wants to see her, gives her back a dropped pacifier, and when she cries he tells me it’s because her tummy hurts or she doesn’t like her car seat. Camille has really bad reflux and takes up so much of my time because she’s not sleeping, throws up, and cries a lot. Most of the day for Eli is being told to be quiet or to go into another room to play by himself and I know it’s not fair. He shouldn’t have to be shunned because we had another baby. It’s really hard to try and find the right thing to do here, especially because it is just me. If I could split myself in two so each kid could get my attention, I would.

I don’t want Eli to feel like the ugly stepchild in the family. If anything, compared to Camille, he’s my golden child. He’s so grown up, independent, funny, and kind. He seems to understand the situation and see why his sister needs more attention. This morning during a puking episode I told the baby we’d go get her juice (pedialyte, per doctor suggestion after frequent vomiting to prevent dehydration) and Eli was listening and came back into the room with a whole jug of orange juice. HOW CUTE IS THAT. Just because he may understand a little of why his sister needs more work doesn’t mean he will always understand or always be ok with it. He may be small, but his feelings are huge. He’s a very emotional boy and to see him sad when I tell him I’m busy or to go into another room is really sad.

Although it’s unrealistic to say that I’m not going to “shun” him ever again and give him all my time, I can make some changes. I think I’m going to try and set up one night a week, every week, that is just for me and Eli. We can go to the park, go to a movie, go out to dinner, anything we choose to do. Plus, let’s be honest, this would also be a break for me from the baby! As the baby gets older things will be a lot easier, more chaotic and messier probably, but easier to manage. Until then the only thing I can do is try my best. I just need to remind myself that my children are fed and dressed and I’m doing a good job.

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Posted in family, parenting, Uncategorized

Tired Mommy Games

Being a mother of one is hard; you’re new to the game and have no idea what to expect. It takes a while to learn to manage your time, you need to get used to getting no sleep, and most women worry about getting their pre-baby body back. Now that I’ve got two kids I’m pretty good at multitasking, I consistently run off three hours of sleep, and I’ve given up on any hope of a tight body. But just because you’ve had a kid already doesn’t mean you’re not going to ride the struggle bus with your second.

Even as a (somewhat) seasoned parent with four-year experience, I still find myself a little lost and loopy with my second child. I haven’t had much practice with a newborn since Eli was born, aside from an occasional overnight babysitting gig for my sister. I’m sure it doesn’t help that Miss Camille is a little refluxy and a little colicky (jk it’s not a little, it’s a lot 😫). Eli is very patient and understanding with the baby; but he is also mostly his usual hyper/needy self, which is the cherry ontop of a no-sleep sundae. Sure, I only slept from 3am-6am but Eli woke up at 7:30 and he wants to eat cereal and play Mario party NOW. Nonetheless, these children are exhausting but I couldn’t love anything more (sounds cliché, but it really is true).

One thing that helps me keep what little sanity I have left during these long nights is the little games and self-competitions I play with myself. They’re not your typical games. Honestly, they’re not really even games at all but when you’re tired and delusional, anything is entertaining.

1. Guess whose shit this is

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“Whose poop is this?!” It’s the age-old question, isn’t it? ….no? …It’s not? Well it is in this house!

 

  1. Find the smell.

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What is that?! Is it dirty diapers? Did someone poop their pants? Who farted? Is it pukey baby neckrolls? Is it me? It’s usually me…

 

  1. Dirty Bottle Standoff

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I like to live on the edge. What’s more thrilling than having your baby scream bloody murder at 3am for a warm juicy bottle only for you to find out that there’s no clean bottles so you must power wash one as fast as your chubby little arms can work before your baby hates you forever.

 

  1. hide and go seek wipes.

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I don’t play this game with myself. The wipes play it with me. I swear they hide themselves. My wipes are never around when I need them!! Why would I have put the wipes in the dryer? How does this happen? Was I trying to warm them up?

 

  1. Dirty diaper basketball

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Fan favorite. It’s 3am. 4th quarter. 2.5 seconds left on the baby screaming clock. You’re obviously not getting out of bed for a layup, gotta shoot the 3. Bank shot at the buzzer. Everybody cheers (you cheer). You won the game (nobody wins).

  1. Pretend pumper

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The first time Eli walked in on me pumping, he asked what I was doing and I simply said that I was making milk for sister. Since then he has respectfully referred to me as a “people cow”. I find the name quite fitting because there a few things more tedious than sitting and being yanked for 15-20 minutes, so you might as well reward yourself with a secret break. This game can get carried away quite easily. It starts with “let me finish this episode of chopped” and ends with watching the entire chopped junior championship for 4 hours.

 

Whether you have one kid or 10, it’s important to have fun and relax. It’s easy, especially with newborns, to get stressed out and let yourself get overwhelmed. When you’re stressed out, they’re stressed out. When you start to feel yourself getting overwhelmed try and make it into something less horrible, then just have a glass of wine after your screaming baby finally passes out.