I never did get around to posting these photos from the time that Johannes came to meet us at the hospital for the first time. What a bag of emotions I was that day. I worried and stressed that maybe Johannes wouldn’t be happy, that maybe he wouldn’t want his brother to come home with us, or that he would be jealous. The day and a little bit before he came to see us was strange. I was so happy having met Magnus, but it felt different, like we had maybe started a different family and Johannes hadn’t been with us to grow together. So I worried. And in the end my worries didn’t materialize because the second that Johannes walked in to see us he was happy, beaming, interested and curious about me, his brother, us. And just as my heart had grown the day before when Magnus came into this world, my heart grew yet again seeing my whole family together and complete.
I knew when I got pregnant with Magnus that once he arrived things would be different. I knew that I would have less sleep, be busier juggling schedules, and that I would have to split my attention into many places at the same time. I knew all of this, and yet I didn’t, because when I look back at it all I thought things would be much simpler than they are in reality.
I had a plan. I would make one on one time for Johannes. After work, Michael would come home and take over helping with Magnus so I could do bed time and quality time with our eldest.
The reality. Having a baby who depends on me for food, warmth, love, makes it so much harder to leave him. So in the end I split my attention into two and I don’t think anyone gets a full 100% mom out of me. I’m short on patience and often feel like I’m rushing from one activity to the next without always appreciating the moment for what it is. Breakfast, dressing, teeth, car, school, work, baby time, car, home, dinner, bed. Don’t get me wrong, I hug my children, I kiss them, I read them books, I do bed times and all that. But my focus is in multiple places at once.
I realized last week how much I actually miss hanging out with Johannes just one on one. In the five months since Magnus was born he’s grown and matured into this bright, articulate, feisty little person. He loves to goof around and lives for an audience who applauds his every move. He remembers everything, EVERYTHING. He’s the type of child who memorizes an entire book from only one reading. He has started picking up Romanian from my mom and grandmother, more than I even realized he had. He learned to skate and participate in hockey drills. I looked at him one day and realized I hadn’t really “seen” him in months. It made me rather sad actually. As much as I miss Johannes I also realize that Michael hasn’t spent nearly enough time with Magnus. So I think its time we find time to organize our priorities when it comes to our children.
On Saturday I pumped for the first time and left Michael with a bottle for Magnus so I could take Johannes to hockey for the very first time since September. I knew Magnus wouldn’t be happy and that he likely wouldn’t take the bottle but I did it anyway. I was right, he didn’t take it, but he also didn’t break or sustain any permanent damage that I am aware of. And spending that little time with Johannes was pretty great too.
Parenting two children is so much harder than it seemed to be isn’t it? For you mutli-kiddo mamas how do you share your time? I would love any tips.
my favorite photos of the week (all iPhone @bluebirdkisses)
I must confess, I haven’t picked up my camera in over a week and I’m not sure when I’ll get a chance to again. The weeks seem like they are just flying by and before I know it its Monday again. Every Monday I promise myself that I will work really hard during the week and disconnect on the weekend. I promise that I will take my laptop and cell phone and lock them in a closet for two days. But then I never do.
The bigger truth is that my friend Nicole and I have been working on something big. A project. Secret project! So as it would go with all secrets I can’t really tell you what it is. Its killing me not to tell anyone. I am probably the worst at keeping secrets. I ruin every surprise Michael ever plans for me. I search and ask as many questions as it takes to figure it out. And when I’m on the giving end of a surprise, I’m usually too excited to keep quiet so I spill the beans.
But not this time. All I can tell you is that I’m excited, and exhausted because the only time Nicole and I get to work on our super secret project is at night once the kids are in bed. So between that and blogging there’s not much time left for anything else, including early to bed.
So there you have it, a blog post about nothing other than my sheer excitement.
During the Christmas break as we were sitting down to dinner, Johannes began asking Michael about his day at work. For a few months now Johannes likes to pretend that Montessori is actually his work…and me? well I’m his Go Train driver, subway driver or SkyTrain driver, depending on his mood. So on this day the boys were chatting about their “work” day. I interjected with a statement about groceries, or something of the sort, to which Johannes abruptly stated, “Mommy this is a conversation about work. Daddy and I are talking about our work. You didn’t go to work, you just stayed home all day. So you are not allowed in this conversation.”
silence. crickets actually.
Maybe its the fact that since finishing high school I never took more than one or two weeks off of anything until Magnus was born. Or that I had been stressing out over the idea that in a few short weeks I would be heading back to work. Whatever the underlying reasons may have been, he touched a nerve. At three and a half years old he touched a nerve because with the flick of a switch I was transported 10, 12, 14 years into the future. I then realized something fundamental. It doesn’t matter what path I choose, to work, to stay home, to work from home. It doesn’t matter. The kids don’t get it and they likely won’t get it until they become parents of their own.
Its not just my dilemma, the working mom vs stay at home mom. Its a battle most mom’s out there tackle at one point or another. For some its a decisive lean in one direction or another. For others its not a decision at all, but rather a necessity. And yet for many women, mothers, wives, its not a clear answer. We spend years in post secondary institutions, we cultivate ambitions and acquire dream jobs. We dream of being career women, and mothers, and having it all. The house, the family, the job. That’s the dream isn’t it?? And yet when our children are born a switch turns for so many of us. We feel this love we never felt before and we quickly realize how unforgiving the passing of time really is. We start to miss our children before they even grow, and we begin to doubt our own ambitions.
Its a roller coaster of doubt and uncertainty, with a heavy dose of guilt mixed in.
Will our children grow up to appreciate the choices we make as moms, whether we stay home or go to work? Maybe. Will we as moms and career women have regrets about either choice or direction? Probably. Is there a perfect scenario? I’m not really sure.
At the end of the day I believe its both a personal choice to work or stay home with the children, combined with the right circumstances, and as Anne-Marie Slaughter so beautifully wrote in the article, “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All”; It’s time to stop fooling ourselves, says a woman who left a position of power: the women who have managed to be both mothers and top professionals are superhuman, rich, or self-employed.
Slaughter believes that we’ve been lied to as a generation. Lied to that we can in fact do it all. Be superhuman. Have both the perfect home life and the perfect career and that we should accept no less.
What do you think?
4 months means:
rolling in every direction
if it can be grasped it can be eaten
nom nom nom nom
sleep is better on one side
would rather be sitting but core strength needs some work
big brother is the funniest in line after mom
out takes taken with my iPhone (@bluebirdkisses)
Magnus loved his mamaRoo from the very beginning, and I use it mostly at meal times when I have to cook and clean and feed Johannes or hurry him out the front door. But this past week, with me headed back to work I found myself relying on the mamaRoo even more so than before. I wish I had 4 hands, 2 to hold my baby, and 2 to make breakfast and help Johannes get dressed. But I don’t. And Magnus is just as happy being swayed from side to side or sometimes just sitting there observing all of the commotion of the morning.
The biggest difference in the new mamaRoo is the bluetooth and the iTunes app! I usually put the mamaRoo at the front door of the kitchen in the morning or by the window when I’m working from home, and I can control the movement and sound entirely from my phone, which is kind of amazing.
I honestly didn’t know how or if I would need any device when I had Magnus, when Johannes was little I just held him myself. But its a different ball game with two kids, it really truly is and I’m on my own at the busiest times of the day. So for us the mamaRoo is the best ever, and 4 months later Magnus still enjoys it. He doesn’t fall asleep in it like he used to, but he loves it to sit and just relax now or play with the odd toy. I call it the robot-babysitter. I am already nervous about what I’ll be doing to occupy him when he outgrows it! This is the only way aside from the carrier that I’ve been able to keep both kids happy and entertained.
So with all that said I have another AMAZING GIVEAWAY for ya’ll! A new bluetooth capable mamaRoo of your own! All you have to do is enter below by leaving a comment, and for an extra entry follow the blog on Facebook. The giveaway is open to North American mamas only (sorry you guys from other parts of the world, this time its just NA) and contest closes January 16. Good luck you guys!
PS Facebook link isn’t working in the rafflecopter widget so you can click here instead!
**thanks everyone who entered, the winner has now been selected and emailed**