She Says… Small Victories

Today was my first day home alone with both kids. I know plenty of people do this every day, but for me it was a big first. Especially given how whiny and tantrum-y Owen has been recently whenever I’ve had to “choose” Emmett over him (which, let’s be honest, is a lot of the time, since he nurses every 2 hours during the day for about 30 minutes), I was nervous.

Benjamin left this morning by 7am and we were on our own.

So far (it is 3:30pm now) it has gone so smoothly that I feel like supermom. I know this is in large part due to the fact that Emmett is still quite a sleepy newborn (in fact he’s been sleepier the last 2 days than ever before), but I’m giving myself permission to pat myself on the back anyway. Small victories, friends. Small victories. Balancing the needs of two littles with very different schedules and expectations is tough stuff and today I feel like I deserve a high five. Tomorrow might be another story, so we’ve got to celebrate the highs as they come, yes?

I realized something yesterday that may be the key to all of this: Owen’s attitude is almost entirely dependent on the amount of time I spend paying attention to him. Upon smacking my forehead with that realization yesterday, part of me was all, Duh! He loves you and wants you to give him 100% of your attention just like the good ol’ days! But it’s actually a striking contrast to our recent parenting strategy, which has been to divide and conquer (which means Benjamin taking Owen out of the house so that I can take care of Emmett with a little peace and quiet). Owen was driving ME bonkers when we were all together, but separating us was driving HIM bonkers.

That new ‘tude I’m so sick of already? Yeah. It seems to be almost entirely “fixed” with some Mommy time. So today Owen got his Mommy time and just like that he was his old, sweet self again. He played next to me while I nursed. I put Emmett to sleep in his crib whenever possible so Owen and I could have uninterrupted playtime. We did puzzles. We read every book in our library. Mid-morning I realized the timing was going to work out such that we could actually GO somewhere. So while I was nursing I asked Owen to be my helper and get us ready to go to one of his favorite gardens/playgrounds. Miraculously, it worked, and we mobilized without wasting a ton of time.

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The boys were so good in the car I even had time to get gas. Emmett snoozed in the carrier the entire trip so Owen had my full attention. It was awesome.

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The only real how-do-I-manage-this conundrum was when Owen pooped on the potty and was waiting for me to wipe his butt while Emmett was in the middle of a starving nursing session with a really good latch. I gritted my teeth and carried Emmett on the My Brest Friend pillow like a tray of appetizers, right into the bathroom where I wiped Owen’s butt with one hand. Multitasking at its finest.

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Now double naptime is coming to an end and I even got a shower. I’d say we’re winning all around. Today, at least. Celebrate the small victories!

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15 responses to “She Says… Small Victories

  1. OMG you are totally a star. “How DO you do it?!”
    I love the “like a tray of appetizers” line 😉

    I was going to put in another line about waiting for the other shoe to drop, how far the far the mighty fall, croup/fever/GI bug, but I deleted it and rightly so. So nevermind that.

  2. One thing I’ve heard that I love is to sometimes tell the baby something like, “No, Elliott, I can’t do X with you right now, I’m doing Y with Owen right now,” very loudly so the older child can hear.

  3. You ARE a rockstar mom! And the mental picture I got from the poop wiping story was enough to make me laugh out loud. You just do what you have to do!

  4. You go mama!
    Just curious about something. So Owen is 3 now, are you guys going to keep him at his current daycare? Or are you going to swap in September to a five day a week “nursery school” type of deal?

    p.s. you are going to have so much fun with the combined birthday parties! My brother is an end of april baby and I was an early june baby, and we had TONS of joint birthday parties when we were too little to care! 🙂 (the cake was half trucks half princesses,… it was awesome)

  5. And you managed to take amazing photos during it all! You rock!

  6. Oh you’re so cute!! So glad you had a wonderful day! I will keep my fingers crossed for lots more days just like today 🙂

  7. You deserve the highest of high fives! Sounds (and looks) like a wonderful day!

  8. As the new mom of a 6 week old, I cannot fathom doing this AND having a toddler. You ARE a supermom! Owen and Emmett are lucky to have you!

  9. Hahaha Yay! You did it!

    I giggled like crazy over the poop wiping thing while nursing. I love having two awesome little guys but I seriously sometimes feel bad that I have to stop nursing, snuggling, playing, interacting with one when there’s a crisis with the other. Wish it always lined up so I could alternate the awesomeness instead of it happening all at once.

  10. Wow, you really are a super mom! Congratulations for the way you handle things and the thought that you put in everything that you do with your boys.

  11. Great job! Continue to take advantage of the good weather and get outside as much as possible. It will help Owen burn energy for you. And if he is anything like my almost 3 yr old son, just going outside makes him happy.

  12. Wow! Great job! You did all that and wrote a blog post as well. We would count it as a great day if we just got a shower.
    So glad to read that baby had a “really good latch”. Are things improving?

  13. You go girl! 🙂

  14. Woo!! I am very jealous of your good weather – when Tenley was tiny we were stuck inside, it made everyone a little crazy!!

  15. Kate, that garden looks WONDERFUL & a really fun place to be! 🙂 yay.

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