Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Raising the White Flag


Motherhood with three children under the age of 5 is not for everyone.  There are LOTS of diapers, LOTS of tantrums, LOTS of napping babies, all squished together with rollie pollie baby legs.  When I brought Grace home as a newborn I was totally overwhelmed (as most new moms are).  I was tired, sore, and dealing with three children for the first time ever.  After the first few weeks of help, my Mom came every Monday.  She would pick up Bradley from school and help with the girls and drive him to gymnastics.  Between help from her and then had my girlfriend’s mother “Mimi” helping us two to three mornings a week.  She was a life saver, and just what I needed at the time.  She could scoop Ellie up and entertain her, and I felt comfortable leaving her with Grace as a newborn in those first few months.  She has moved on to work with her daughter and help her with her children.  I knew that she would be leaving when Gracie was around five months old, and I figured that I would be back up and on my feet by then.

Whelp, she is now six months old and I am not sure that I am standing firmly on two feet.  Lots of days I feel like my two feet are running really quickly without getting anywhere, or just spinning me around in circles until my head hurts.  Gracie is getting into a napping schedule, which is super wonderful.  She is sleeping through the night, which is doubly wonderful.  Things have gotten easier, they have.  They have also gotten harder in lots of ways too.  Gracie and Ellie’s schedules haven’t meshed well in the past month.  As soon as Ellie is down for her afternoon nap I have about 20 minutes to eat some lunch and then Grace is popping back up.  As much as I try to make them coordinate, Gracie seems to be an earlier riser.  She wakes at 6 am on the dot.  Just like her brother Bradley.  We have adjusted bed times, feedings, etc.  I can’t really complain because she is sleeping 11 1/2 to 12 hours straight.  It is just an extremely long day from 6 am until 8 pm with very little break.

After a lot of sole searching and discussion about handling an entire summer at home with three children I waved the white flag.  How are we going to get to the pool?  How will I keep all three children safe at the pool?How are we going to do just about anything?  We decided to take our preschool money and babysitter money and hire a part time summer nanny.  I know it may seem indulgent, but to me it is simply survival.  I want to look back and know that I enjoyed my children.  I don’t want to be the martyr and think, I can do this whole thing myself and be miserable while doing it.  Sometimes it is hard to ask for help, or even as moms admit that we need help.  But I do right now.  It is what it is.  Three children.  Three months.  One child that naps three times a day for 1 1/2 to 2 hour stretches.  I have been doing lots of research and interviews.  We have tried a few people.  I have someone starting next week.  We are going to basically work together all summer.  Hopefully it is a match.  Until then, it is just me and the babes.

Good thing they are so darn cute, or we wouldn’t race to their cribs at 5:55 am.



Colleen said...

she is so cute with those chunky thighs!!!!! I am sure you are so busy and it makes sense to get some help if you can swing. Makes for a happy mommy!

amanda said...

oh my that first picture?? her legs in those adorable leg warmers?? LOVE!!

and yay for raising the white flag!!

Lindsay said...

Awwwe melt my auntie heart to see her in those leg warmers! yay for getting help! Lets plan a trip to the safari park sometime this summer.. k? XOXO

Meagan said...

I think you are a genius! I would have to have help if we were to have a third, I'm just sure of it. As it is I only have two and we still budget in someone to clean the house for me so that I have more time to focus on the kids and not losing my mind. :)

laura said...

girlfriend, there is NOTHING wrong with raising the white flag and asking for help. i think all moms, including myself, need to be better about doing this. i can't tell you how many times dan offered to get me a part-time nanny during the worst of the colicky cranky ben days, but i said no, i can do this. but, really, i couldn't...but it was just too hard to admit that to him, but especially to me.

good for you for realizing that, yes, in order to survive a summer with three little ones at home, you need some help! bravo mom! you and all 3 of your cuties will be happier for it.

p.s. i was holding my friend's 6 month old at ballet yesterday and trying to manhandle ben and thought to myself, wow, this is how it must be like for clare. props to you, mama! rockstar! xo!

3 Peanuts said...

I ALWAYS had a part time summer helper when my kiddos were little. I was a much better Mother because of it and the kids actually got MORE of me than less. it is not indulgent at all. it is sanity saving! I usually had a UVA student or young teacher.