Ellie and Maia were out for the evening tonight at the theatre. Barry and I played hide and seek with Millie (5) in one room..it was really funny...I wish I'd filmed it...she hid in the same place every time! She basically had our undivided attention for almost 2hrs and she absolutely loved it! She was heard and understood and no-one called her an idiot or stupid or pulled her hair or hit her for no reason.
I remember parenting one child and how overwhelmed and different I felt. The only one *still* breastfeeding at 1, the only one not initiating weaning to go skiing, then only one actually carrying my toddler in a sling and *still* sharing a bed. Then the 2nd came and I carried on parenting in this different way, by then I had found a few others who parented the way I did, through La Leche League and Nurture in Nature. I saw others breastfeeding part babyhood and bed sharing with their children. There was no-one tandem feeding but I didn't feel as different. I did begin to feel the tug of war between siblings and with my body....one needs me over there, one needs me here...then no3 came along...I didn't know the meaning of overwhelmed and different!!!
Having more than one kid changes the way you are able to love each child. There is always love to go around, just most-times there isn't enough of me to go around. There is a constant battle of guilt in my head about giving everyone what they need and that constant nagging feeling that I'm somehow failing each kid of their right to have a complete childhood because they constantly have to divide me and share me and fight for my attention. I realised yesterday I could distinguish each child by their repetitive mum mum mum call. Each one is different!
The girls came home quite late but full of excitement from their trip. I deliberately took the time to connect and listen before encouraging them upstairs. Words are futile at times like these. Times when they are beyond tired yet still enthusiastically awake. Repeatedly asking them to start bedtime falls on deaf excited ears. I know they just need a bit of mummytime before the mundane. Listen. Connect..then let them follow me to toothbrushing and bed.
My girls are getting older....soon all three be in school and that 'me time' I am constantly trying to carve out will become that much easier...a new phase awaits us all.
Last night Millie eeked out every ounce of mum and dad time she could until hubby went to pick up the older two, then she squeezed just a bit more love from me until she fell asleep....mummy "whisper in my ear" she said...."say I am worthy, I am wanted, I am loved...mummy loves Millie". Yes she does. She loves each and every one of you. Completely. As much as she can.
Meltdowns - none tonight with only one
Losing the Plot - not even a little
Breastfeeding - Natural term feeding at its finest