27 May 2010

Thursday, May 27, 2010 - , 13 comments

Two timing motherhood

Being a parent is a full time job, of that we know.  Being a parent is far from easy, it is challenge after challenge filled with overwhelming moments.  To me being a parent is nothing but pure joy, it is what I have dreamed of being since I first held my son and realized that this is what I want to be, just a mom.  Now that my footsteps are followed by another set of feet, I find that it is very challenging parenting more than one child.  Those who have more than one may nod your heads and say, "why yes it is!", but what I am discovering is that I am challenged with parenting children who are 15 years apart.

With the addition of our cricket, Mike and I have litterally started all over again, like from the bottom.  We have both parented before.  We have both changed diapers and had sleepless nights.  We have watched our firsts grow into those favorite shoes and go from patty cake to pass the keys please.  We have been there done this.   So now what makes it so hard is that we still have one child at home who needs us in a completely different way than what we are now reacquainting ourselves with.

The cricket comes with needs that are completely different than either of our first children ever had.  We have to be there every minute for her and give her more than we sometimes have to give.  It has added a challenge to our daily life to say the least.   For instance, both of us can not be at every one of Big J's volleyball games because it is too overwhelming for the cricket, so who doesn't get to watch the game?  For me I want to see them all, I don't want to miss any part of any of my children's life, so to say I'll stay home just about kills me.  Then if I do go to a game, all I think about is what I'm missing at home.  For me I feel like I'm letting someone down somewhere.  And to let someone down just about kills me.  To let my children down only pushes me further to do more, more, more.

Then there are the issues of differentiating what happens in our home on any given day or night.  We may go from reading a book to the cricket about shapes to helping Big J with quadratic equations and sometimes doing both at the same time.  Or watching Baby E!nstein while having a grown boy who just wants to sit and veg on MTV.  We can't tell him no, and we wont give him a TV in his room either, he either has to wait (which is what he'll chose to do) or we move onto the next baby activity and give Big J the space he needs.  Right now Big J is going through things in his life that need to be discussed daily.  He needs to know that he can always count on us as his parents to be there for him, even when we are elbow deep in a dirty diaper.  And we need to make sure we are there and don't miss out on something that could easily be ignored.  It's challenging because we also need to be there 110% of the time to the cricket too.  It's hard.  And most days I feel like I'm failing miserably.

It's hard for me to maintain that "you got a cool mom" persona when I'm driving around a bunch of boys in the car and I'm singing the ABC song instead of listening to the newest rap song.  How can I tell a houseful of boys that at 9pm they need to quite down and settle in for the night, when all they want to do is stay up all night playing R0ck Band?  I don't want to take away these last few years of adolescence from Big J.  And I don't want to screw up bonding, developmental milestones, emotional wellness or attachment with my cricket.

Thankfully Big J understands why we both can't be at his games or events and why sometimes I just can not drive in the car pool in the morning, he may not like it but he understands.  For me I don't want to fail at something I love so much or be a failure to my children.  I hate to disappoint them.  I hate to not be there for both of them at different stages in their lives as a whole.  Right now I am not whole.  I am exhausted.  I am drained of thought.  I even make mistakes. I feel like I am giving them both what they need, yet not completely.  Like I'm two timing.  Part of me is all teen and the other half is all baby.  My hats are very different with each of them.  And then sometimes I just plain feel like I'm doing everything wrong and I find myself in a pool of disappointment.

I have to let go of a few threads in my thick rope that I've attached to Big J.  I have to add them now to the cricket and make sure I don't let go of either rope in each of my hands.  I'm sure I'll have rope burn so bad by the time Big J is 18, but it will be worth the pain.  It will be worth the stress of burning the candle at both ends.  I may shed a few tears or watch a few tears be shed by one or both of my children.  It will be a challenge but it will be one I will learn from and hopefully pass on.  For now I find myself in a tight space that is completely new and so overwhelming sometimes that I just have to let go and let God.


Thanks for this. I have two 16 year olds and we are bringing home our 17 month old daughter in August. I was just thinking about how I will attempt to juggle it all when she comes home. I'm tired even thinking about it.....

You are doing WONDERFUL...
you can't be everywhere.. just do your best at that time and place..
I know how you feel..
I won't know what to do if I get the chance to start all over again..

You say everything so eloquently, and always hit the nail right on the head. Hard, hard stuff. And you're doing an awesome job!! I think you do your best and when you screw up (and we all do) the only thing you can do is learn from it and forgive yourself.

We have two daughters with a big age difference. As you, we have to let some events go but our oldest understands. I rather use my times to have quality time with her and have great conversations when she comes back at home. So yes we split our time, we do our best, but buttom line, you are doing your best, you have always your children in priority #1 and they know or feel it. That's what count. We are not perfect, and we are allowed some breaks. A night out, a run, a walk, anything where you and recharge without anyone saying ''mommy'' or asking you questions. After five years two kids with a big age difference, that's my salvation. Some time to myself, although if hubby is not at home that day... I have to wait until everybody is sleeping to read my book.

Keep strong but do not forget, don't be too hard on yourself, superwoman...try not to be, just be you and your kids will love you for it.

Marie-Claude from Montreal

p.s. As for Rock Band or Dance Dance Revolution. We have the solution. We wait until the youngest is asleep, after that our oldest and her friends can play music or have company she is used to have noise in the house....but that only on fridays or saturdays. Not on a school night.

"let go and let God" is absolutely right. Fantastic post my friend. Thought provoking for me.


I hear ya sista!!!!!!! It's all about finding balance...not an easy task always, but a necessary one.

I'm with Marie-Claude...don't forget to take time for yourself. Taking care of your kids Mom is one of the best ways to actually take care of your kids (sorry to sound like Dr. Phil)! For me..it's running..hiking..working out..training for a race! It keeps me sane!

You're not alone in what you are feeling! Motherhood is one tough, tough job! You're doing great!

Beautiful Post....

I have not one doubt that your ability to two-time parent exceeds most peoples. Just the fact that you recognize the hurdles you need to cross proves that.

No one in life should expect perfection... that would give your children an idealistic view of a world that doesn't exist. The balance you have will teach them patience, compassion and respect for each others needs... You are amazing... they will know that!


You are an amazing mom! big J and cricket are so blessed to have you as there mommy! Hang in there! I can only imagine...Lauren keeps us on the go and I can't imagine juggling all she needs with the needs of a teenager! You really are doing great though...

I can imagine how you feel pulled both ways... even now, just with Shauna, I feel exhausted all the time... I love being a mum but it is HARD... there are times when I feel like I am about to have a meltdown but then at night... when I see Shauna in my arms sleeping or drinking her bottle... it all fades away... the thoughts of how hard it is... I am sure your son does understand deep down... I am sure that both kids will come out of the whole journey just fine... hugs to you...

I've heard from many that learning to navigate life with "bigs" and "littles" is a tough transition to make. Sounds like y'all are doing a wonderful job. I don't know, since we're parents to an only, but I would imagine there are all kinds of wonderful blessings that your boy and Cricket will also have BECAUSE of the age gap. (((hugs)))

OH, I can soooooooooooo relate. Mine are only 8 years apart and I feel overwhelmed some days...I can only imagine what you're going through. Take your time, do exactly what needs to be done in your mind...your circumstances are different than every single other person's and only you know how to handle what's happening THERE....go with your gut...it won't steer you wrong!

Did I mention that i can sooooooooooo relate?! Thanks for putting into words what I was feeling!


Remember one thing in all of this, my sweet, sincere friend. And what I would consider to be the most beneficial in keeping uppermost in your mind as it (i.e. your mind) is a constant battlefield between good and evil and can sometimes be hard to depend on:
God blessed you with Big J & Cricket, at this particular point in theirs AND your lives as part of HIS plan.
HE knows you will allow Him to work through you in this parenting process.
Otherwise, HE would have gifted another the blessings of Big J & Cricket.
In searching your heart, am sure HE found your intent pure. And "intent" is what counts. It's the driving force behind our choices. And in turn, the choices direct our paths.
Yes, sometimes things go awry. Satan gets his nimble, twisted talons in the process and
you snap, you're late,
THAT'S NOT ONLY O.K., THAT'S THE DESIGN...it's the entire reason a man named Jesus (I know you know HIM ;) came to earth, lived a sinless life to die tragically on an old rugged cross for you and me. As I share with mySamuelson when he "messes up" (as well as persistently with myself), "That's why we need Jesus...to forgive us those sins/mess-ups. We make mistakes. HE doesn't."
I love you squirrely-girly sister-in-Christ! Man...that was a mouthfull!!! LOL!!! :)
Keep donning those many hats...you're doing GREAT! Just make sure it's our Lord passing the hats...


just smiling and shaking my head, because you don't recognize your own amazingness as a mom. i mean seriously, you are a rockstar Kayce. a rockstar.

i love that you are true to you and recognize how hard it is and even admit you make mistakes. that's what makes you so great- as a person, as a mom.