Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Dear Other Moms

Dear Other Moms,
I usually feel like a good Mom. I don't know all the answers but I feel patient and calm. This morning I feel like I need Super Nanny to come kick my butt. 

Sleeping: At least one of the kids wakes up in the middle of the night multiple times a week (although they finally have been taking nice naps at the same time during the day). Sometimes they'll go a whole week sleeping through the night, but often they don't. I don't even want to get into why they're waking up, I just know that it's probably because I created some pattern and it's my fault. Last night was rare and extreme, but they were up from 1:45-3:45. Mike had to be up at 5 for work. I feel like most of my friends' kids have slept through the night since some insane age like eight weeks. Seriously. (Hill, Moll, Crystal...you lucky bastards).

Eating: Maxwell does not want to eat. Anything. And Ella throws full blown tantrums when I make her sit in her high chair to eat. Out of her chair, she will eat almost anything. This became so frustrating for me that about a month ago I started letting them eat on their little table in the front room. I've created an awful habit. I find myself following them around with food, or even worse...sometimes I turn the TV on and let them eat in front of it. I know. Sickening. And now I decided that's no way to eat so I'm trying to enforce high chairs, which is creating back arching tantrums and food thrown everywhere. I don't know what to do. Letting them out of their chairs took the fight out of it, temporary relief for me, but I don't want kids who eat all over the house. But I also don't want to create crazy food issues by forcing them to eat. Mike gets home late so we don't sit down as a family yet. Although we did try over the weekend and he and I both tried not to poke our eyes out with forks as Ella flailed and screamed. When I finally took her down, she stormed to her room. She slammed the door, turned her mini radio on to twinkle twinkle, and turned the volume all the way up. 21 months old,  dear lord.

Looking back at at my early concerns (nursing routines, whether or not to make baby food, frequency/consistency of poop- really did seem to matter at one point), all these things just worked themselves out. I know these are just phases, but I feel like I'm creating bad habits for my kids and I don't like feeling like a bad mom. Hello mommy guilt.

Sleepless in Atascadero,
Meghan

14 comments:

Chicago Mom (Heather) said...

I feel your pain!!! Henry eats a very limited selection of foods. Keira is so picky I'm desperate to get her to eat anything. She still gets up 2-4 times a night for a bottle!! When we refuse to give her onceb she screams so loudly she literally wakes up our neighbors (they told us). We have created a MONSTER. On top of it I have a cold and she was up for 3 hours last night. I feel your pain mommy!

Victoria said...

Meghan, you darling girl (okay so you're a mom of TWINS now, but you're still a darling girl).
I truly can't decide whether to feel so badly for you or stop laughing. I remember the days (vaguely) when I was occasionally sleep deprived from three little girls. I was a fairly strict mamma then, and now I'm a complete pushover as a grandma....but I don't live with the darlings 24/7, either. I watched "Supernanny" with great interest a few years ago about the sleeping thing. See if you can watch past shows on line and see how her method works. No talking, no caving in, and it takes great patience and reserve, but within 3 days (I know) you should have good sleepers. As far as eating goes, if you want them to eat in their hichairs, then tell them that's what's going to happen from now on or there's no food. period. If they have a tantrum (maybe they'll surprise you and won't?), remove them from the room and let them scream it out in their room. Try again at the next meal. And the next. They are smart, and they watch eachother and you very closely to see waht they can get away with. Remember: YOU are a fantastic mother and you have beautiful, bright children. The challenge is to retain your sanity whilst teaching them to be kind and respectful members of society....or something like that. But believe me, it all starts when they are very young. I remember very well my pediatrician telling me, "They won't starve. When they get hungry enough, they'll eat almost anything you put in front of them." Almost.
I love you, dear, and I will pray for you. And oh, that Ella! She reminds me of a little girl named Hillary.

mike and hillary said...

is it terribly mean that i laughed a lot of times while reading this? i've said it before and i'll say it again: "regular" rules go out the window for mommys with twins. give yourself a break. you're an amazing mom. my opinion? its their age. they are asserting their independence. if there were only one of them, it'd be easier to stand your ground and win. and they probably feed off of eachother. food battles are the WORST. okay. this is getting too long. i'm going to call you.

mike and hillary said...

ha! my mom and i were commenting at the same time.

brian, meghan, finley, and adalaide said...

i'm sorry, but i laughed a little too. if it makes you feel any better, i only have one toddler to keep at the table and it's NEVER easy, and it ALWAYS drives me insane. oh, toddlers!

THE WHITTINGTONS said...

Meghan, I relate, especially on the food battles. For awhile, we let Jackson do the eating in front of the TV thing too. We also decided we didn't want that to become a habit, so we now enforce him eating at the table. I do want to echo Victoria's comment regarding Supernanny. It's honestly amazing that you can change just about any bad habits in 3 days if you're consistent.

Jackson has slept thru the night since he was a baby and Cash is only 9 weeks old and sleeping thru the night. Honestly, when you're sleep deprived, that is the hardest time to be consistent, but if you can push yourself, it will pay off. Also, my favorite sleep book, "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child," but he has another book, "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Twins." :)

GMA J said...

I think it's time for GMA to come over and give mom a few hours off. How about tomorrow? Think of something you want to do and text me the time to be there. A few hours off will make it all better.
You are the best mom ever and I love you lots.

Sarah R.Conley said...

NIkao still doesnt sleep through the night and he is over 3 years old! I used to think I had it all figured out because AMaris was easy, compliant, polite and beautiful! I thought it was my great parenting skills that produced me exceptional child. My delusion was shattered with child number 2. When I had Nikao I realized that kids are different. Being a parent is really hard and I hate to tell you that it doesn't get easier... just different. As soon as you get them sleeping through the night you will have another challenge arise. NIkao has decided that his favorite topic is his "PP". He just asked someone recently if they wanted to see it. It is always a challenge. I have learned to laugh at myself and my kids. Yes, there needs to be structure, and yes, you should have rules but the most important thing is love. Pick your battles and do what you need to survive. The eating thing will pass. They wont starve. You can always replace your carpet.... Someday you will get to sleep all night... someday... someday. Someday you will wish you had a toddler who wants to snuggle at 3 a.m. You will wish you had a little person to chase around and try to force feed. Someday you will miss this. It is great that you can be honest about your struggles. We all struggle. Being a mom aint for sissies. God loves you so much. He designed you to me a mommy. You can do it! The process will mold you into a more patient, loving, selfless woman! There is nothing else in life that requires more of a sacrafice. I see the tenderness and patience you have with both your kids and am in awe! You are amazing. I dont know how you have managed to parent twins but You ARE DOING a great job.... Lets hang out and I can share more stories with you about my sweet boy... he is getting to be more hilarious everyday.
Sarah

molly june. said...

oh you. is it mean to say i liked this post? honesty is so refreshing to me. & you are hilarious! cause you know it's happening in most houses these days, but no one's talkin. uh-uh.

and geez louize. don't be so hard on yourself! #1, you have twins. TWINS. which means 2 babies to raise at once :) which means double the joy+pain at once. which means, SURVIVAL MODE, baby! sometimes. okay, until they're 25. or so i hear. so what if you they hafta eat in front of the tv every once in awhile? if mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy. and if watching tv gets them to eat, and mama's happy! then AMEN! :)

Bethany said...

I know this post isn;t for since I am not a mom, sooooo the next time Ella screams and slams the door, can you take a video of it :) jk! We all commented over xmas how an amazing mom you are, just wait till I am calling you for advice! Love you cousin!

Anonymous said...

Oh megs!the twinkle twinkle radio part is the funniest! But to echo all these awesome ladies who love you, you are doing a great job! Seriously I read your blog and talk to you and pretty much do the same stuff that you do with Lily because I look up to you so much. I agree with Hillary that this must be a testing stage for them and just is something that will pass. I know that you are calm, patient, and consistent with your kids and things will get easier. Can't wait to see you in a couple days!!!!! Take Grandma Judy up on her offer too:)I just walked around Target for two hours while Andy stayed home with Lily and I feel much better. Love Crystal

Meghan Elaine said...

You guys are the best. I don't know if anyone actually takes the time to go back and read the comments again so you may not read this...but know that your encouragement blessed me! Last night they both slept through the night! Maxwell was up at 5:15 and Ella is still sleeping (6:30). I'm laying in bed w the laptop smiling, feeling rested :)

rozanny said...

Don't worry... they all live through us in the end... It sounds like you're a great mom. Tired, but great!

Wendy said...

ok so I don't know exactly how you feel cause I only have a one yearl old be he still doesn't sleep throught the night. I nursed til about 2 weeks ago and I don't know what to do but he just wakes up. I feel you on feeling like it's something you did cause I continue saying that to myself. Crystal's baby slept through the nigh since forever I was so jeoulous. On the other hand about the food thing well Caleb loves cookies and he is starting to get upset if and will refuse to eat if I don't give him a cokie when he sees it so I give in but then he will ask for more and more huh. I still don't know what to do about that. When I went back to work full time my husband stayed home with him during the day (he worked nights) and when he fed him he gave him a toy while feeding him and now he has that habit but it helps cause then we all get to sit on the table and eat as a family. As a mom you should do whatever you feel is right for your situation. Don't cause anymore stress on your self. I love reading your post and seeing how much your kids have grown. I always wanted to have twins but never thought of how crazy (but fun) it would be. I read to my husband the post of your elephant party gift thing and he just couldn't believe it LOL. Thanks and keep up the good work. You are great and amazing and I am sure God will help you through this.