The life as a mom…
Motherhood – the ultimate achievement in life. But exactly how hard did some have to work to achieve this feat? If your anything like me, you’ve had to try for over twelve years to become pregnant. If your anything like me, you may have also had to overcome other obstacles in your personal life. Obstacles that work hand in hand in making you a better parent. I was finally able to have a baby at the ripe ole age of thirty one. A daughter. I honestly thought, “this must be a fluke”, and tried again immediately. Hoping that if it were just luck, that luck might still be working. Five months later I was pregnant again. Fourteen months after my daughter was born, I had a son. That seemed enough for me. A daughter and a son. The perfect family. Only that luck was still working and two years later I had another daughter. Three children within a five year span. With my first born daughter and son being so close in age, it was just like having twins. Everybody referred to them as “Irish twins”. Two in bottles, two in diapers. I was a stay at home mom, after spending over a decade employed as a Paralegal. The adjustment was not easy, at all. I was thirty one years old when I had my daughter – I was pretty much used to coming and going as I pleased. I worked full time and took trips whenever I wanted to. But after I had the three children, I was suddenly stuck at home. Alone with three babies. Tough doesn’t express what I went through. Yes, I love my children, more than life itself. But no, it wasn’t easy making this huge adjustment in every aspect of my life. Suddenly, I couldn’t even run to the store for groceries without worrying about first one infant, then I was pregnant; and then two infants so close in age it was like having twins. And then another newborn with two very small children in tow. I had to, literally, learn how to shop with three babies. Dress them all, get myself ready. Make sure I have everything I need; bottles, pacifiers, toys, baby wipes, etc. Not to mention loading them all up into the vehicle. I had no idea how hard it was going to be. Try maneuvering a grocery wagon with three small children – who gets the seat this time? Who has to walk alongside mommie? Who gets to help put stuff in the wagon? Who is going to start crying because they don’t feel like being in the wagon anymore? Each trip to the store was a challenge – and no two trips were ever the same. I usually came home with less hair, after having pulled it out during the great super market adventures. Not to mention the color which began turning from black to gray. None of our children, as babies, ever took naps. I mean you could keep them all up into the wee hours of the night; or wake them bright and early and keep them busy all day long; but no matter what we tried, they never, ever took naps. Now, if they aren’t taking naps, that means mom isn’t taking naps either. How easy it was for the doctor to stress the importance of me making sure I was taking naps when the children took naps. Important to get as much rest as I could because being a new mom was not an easy job. I had nobody, at all, to help. No one to teach me what being a new mom entailed. No one to show me how to change a diaper, or how to sterile the bottles and nipples. No one to show me how to bath a newborn. There were so many things I didn’t know. The only thing I could do was to learn by trial and error. Hit or miss. There were times I would be sitting up watching them and falling asleep. I just couldn’t keep myself awake. But I would force myself and get up and do something, anything, to keep myself up and alert. I was petrified that I would fall asleep and something horrific would happen to my babies. Maybe they would choke on something; or crawl outside and get lost; or fall down and get cut. I mean the scenarios I had envisioned were just endless. It kept my eyes wide open. If I were to measure the amount of sleep I was actually getting then, I don’t think it would be much at all. I was awake more than I was asleep. My husband used to fuss at me when he got home because I would wait until he got off of work before I would go shopping or run errands. He was tired and didn’t want to worry about staying awake to watch the three babies. That job was mine, solely, apparently. He had to leave the house early, we’re talking 4:30 in the morning. And when he got home, it was already time for dinner and time for “his” nap. Thankfully, he never had any trouble taking one…unlike the three babies. So I had to adjust and figure out how to take all three babies with me to go shopping and my errands. After all these years, whenever I go out to run my errands, my kids, who are all grown now, all want to still go with me. I had to relearn many things. How to feed everyone and properly dressed to face the world outside. How to make sure their clothes were nice and clean. Baths every night – bedtime stories, and plenty of outside activities. I didn’t believe in parking my kids in front of a TV to entertain them. I felt that was something I was suppose to do. So, over the long years that followed, my children and I took endless walks in our local parks. Each year we had our own special routines like collecting acorns as Fall approached – I mean we would collect huge bags full of them. Then sparingly set them out for the squirrels in our yard all winter long. We would collect the many leaves that were beginning to fall and identify them all. We would sit for hours on the docks and watch the fish in the water below our collective feet. When they were old enough to ride bikes we spent endless hours riding our bikes all around the many lakes near our home. We have spent a great deal of time in almost every park in the entire county since they were born. As each holiday approached we would plan our own special menus. Each child contributed their favorite food idea and we all voted on which ones we would actually use. Then came the best part of all of us preparing these feasts for the holiday. I began teaching my children very early on. I thought, we have all this time on our hands – and I don’t like even putting the TV on during the day. So why not start teaching them. I used flash cards, color cards, number cards, alphabet cards, shape cards. Anything I could get my hands on, I used. When I taught Math using colorful buttons. By the time they reached the age of five, in time for Kindergarten, they knew all the basics.