I’ve been on maternity leave #2 for the past two months. Of the last eight weeks, approximately six were spent with different family and friends coming to help out with our new baby, or coming to stay to help us celebrate the holidays. Once the excitement of Christmas was over, my husband returned to work and our houseguests returned to their real lives, I found myself home, alone, in the new role of “mother of two”. I have to be honest, it hasn’t been as scary as I thought it would be, and for that, I’m incredibly thankful. Lately, though, I’ve been having little moments where I’ve thought to myself, “Well, that’s motherhood for you,” and decided to compose those thoughts into a list in the hopes that people would read it and say things in the ‘Comments’ section, like, “omg, me, too!” or, “Kayla, you are so well-written and witty, would you consider a book deal with our very prestigious publishing company?”. So, without further adieu, here it is.
Parenting a Toddler and a Baby is…
… wanting to lose your baby weight but making macaroni and cheese for lunch and dinner because it’s your “toddler’s favourite”.
… keeping your toddler in a crib until they have learned to climb out consistently because it’s the only place you can keep them contained so you can have a shower or use the bathroom or tend to your newborn or sleep in or do anything that doesn’t require their accompaniment.
… being able to recite every line of dialogue from Moana without ever actually having sat down to watch it.
… Googling important, life-altering questions like, “Is Zuma from PAW Patrol a boy or a girl?”
… knowing exactly how many times in a row your newborn will poop before it’s actually safe to remove their diaper to change it.
… knowing that there are so many things you could and probably should be doing while your baby and toddler are napping simultaneously, but deciding to take a nap with them instead.
… becoming Chopped – level creative with the few measly ingredients in your pantry and fridge because you would do anything to avoid going grocery shopping with a baby and toddler in tow.
… looking forward to your dentist appointment as if it were a day at the spa because it’s a childless hour of self care that nobody can take away from you because oral hygiene is very important, people.
… looking at pictures of your kids on your phone even though the real version is literally standing right next to you.
… having to invest in a phone with 264 gigs of memory because of all of the photos and videos you take of your children every day.
… wondering if coffee counts towards your daily water consumption goals.
… wondering who the hell gave the green light for publishing on some of the terrible children’s books you’ve read.
… wondering if your kids are actually cute, or if you just think so because they possess your DNA.
… counting down the minutes until your partner comes home from work so that you can have a conversation that doesn’t involve trucks, trains, or asking the other person if they have a “poopy bum bum”.
… spending more on your children’s outfits than you’ve spent on yourself in a year, because that yoga pant/sweatshirt combo you’ve got going on is 10/10.
… knowing deep within your heart that the creator of dry shampoo was definitely a mother.
… experiencing a new level of difficulty making adult/parent friendships because, in addition to having to like and have things in common with the parents, your children have to have the same nap schedules and be able to survive an entire playdate without killing each other.
… following inspirational moms on Instagram and then promptly unfollowing them when you find it impossible not to compare yourself to them.
… feeling really bad about always asking your mom, “When’s dad coming home?” when she did her best to keep you both alive and entertained while you were growing up.
… wanting to comfort the parents of the child having the next-level temper tantrum rather than judging them because you’ve been there too many times.
… suddenly understanding why babies cry on airplanes (their poor little ears!) and feeling like an a-hole for all the times you rolled your eyes at them in the past.
… feeling really excited about how much your toddler loves their baby sibling and wondering how long it will be before they are fighting with each other like you did with your siblings.
… laughing at the pre-parent version of yourself and all of the hilariously inaccurate opinions you once had about raising your future children.
… trying to invent an “essential” gadget for parents so that you can become a millionaire, but realizing all the good ideas are taken.
… thinking way too often about how unrealistic the conundrums of your child’s favourite cartoon characters are.
… really wanting to go to a fitness class but cancelling at the last minute because staying home to watch Netflix is so much more exciting and rewarding.
… missing your independence sometimes (sorry, sometimes ya gotta be real).
… learning how to give every ounce of yourself, all day, every day, often without recognition or thanks, and knowing that you would do it again in a heartbeat because you love your kids more than you realized you could love anyone or anything until the moment you met them.
I know I missed about ten thousand others, so please, tell me your mama musings in the ‘Comments’ section!