Friday, March 3, 2017

Stay at home zookeeper-Behind the Scenes

I have been thinking of renaming/branding the blog.  I am torn between Stay at Home Zookeeper because, lets face it, its how I feel most days, and Behind the Scenes because I want moms to see what happens behind the scenes in my home (besides the pretty Instagram photos I love to post).  As I ponder this (and would gladly accept your opinions--spam me with which you think!), I have had this post on my mind to kind of demonstrate what I am talking about.

 Being a mom of 2 kids 2 and under (and 2 under 2 for a little while there) is tricky.  It takes adjusting, there is a learning curve, and everything is give and take.  Give him some time and take some from her, give her some time and take from him.  With the give and take then leads to the mom guilt of what I am missing when I am taking time from the other. Let me tell you this momming thing, its hard!  It is not for the faint of heart!

Now we add in Nolan's autism and it has a new dimension.  I have to be very careful to balance the two.  I spend A LOT of times working with Nolan.  He has occupational therapy, speech, and then the "homework" for all of those.  Not to mention he is hard to understand (speech/verbal expression), he doesn't know/can't explain what he wants, we are teaching him how to play, and he has a lot of sensory needs.  I feel like I leave Stella in the dust some days.

Then there is the fact I am still nursing Stella.  I curl up on the couch with her and cuddle and hug while we nurse 3-5 times during the day for 15 minutes at a time.  Naturally that is when Nolan is hungry, wants something but doesn't know what, wants me to go "this way."  I have to tell him "no, sorry, Mommy has Stella."

Oh and then we have Stella can't cry for a second at night because it may wake up Nolan who is EXTREMELY difficult to get back to sleep, or Nolan cant be left alone in his room to long at "rest time" or he makes noise and wakes Stella up from her nap.  Sensory table is a lot of fun for Nolan but to small for Stella.  Stella's swing is for Stella, Nolan is to big.

Then you add in the crazy schedule: wake, feed, play, feed, Stella nap/work with Nolan, play, feed, both nap, play, feed, bath, bed.  Sooooo when does mom eat, drink, pee?  She doesnt.  I have felt like I get down to little to no self image some days.  I am a machine that provides the millions of needs to my children and never myself.  I am not kidding guys, there are days I eat for the first time at 2pm--and that includes cold coffee.  I shower MAYBE twice a week.  Dinner--even just an idea of what it will be--hahahahahahaha.

But wait, there's more!  2 dogs and fish.  Both dogs cannot be more than 3 inches from a person eating and often catch the food before it hits the floor.  (I am not above 5 second rule! The dogs wont even give me the chance!)  I spend an entire meal yelling "OUT!"  Then when they inevitably eat something it gives Pudge such bad gas it literally scares him.  He needs to be touching you at all times and is shaking because he is literally afraid--then he farts and goes skittering away as he scared himself.  Badger? He pukes.  He starts gagging and goes to his puke corner and you bet I better run--(even if I am nursing, helping Nolan, one leg in my pants, you name it) literally run-- to let him out.  Oh and Badger barks at all the dogs...all the dogs that have the audacity to be outside in their own yards during the day.  Dogs also come with dog water which kids get into.  If its cold, heaven forbid the dogs are outside for a few minutes...their poor paws.  They WILL bark until you let them in.  "Play outside! You're a dog!"  ugh, I digress.  Please dont get me started on the fish massacre of 2017.  I killed the fish. All the fish. I just wanted a clean tank, but I killed the fish.  I hate it, it made me sad (literal tears-stupid hormones), but I killed the fish. I have saved one.  1 female beta cleverly named: white fish.

As days go on I feel like I let someone down every day.  Then I took a new perspective on it.  Someone had to learn patience today.  Someone had to learn independence today.  Someone learned I am always here for them and they are important.  Someone learned I love them endlessly but that does not mean getting what they want right now.

I have learned both my kids have (and always will have) their own needs and need their own attention, but with practice, juggling, perspective, learning, re-learning, reorganization , and a little help from the other we can do it.  Nobody is let down, everyone is just taking their turn.  We invested in Hello, Fresh! and their meals already planned out, sized out, purchased, etc all in a convenient box at my door on Tuesdays.  When my family has high quality meals I can actually pull together I feel like a better mom.  I meal prep lunches for the week (and dinners when Alex is gone) and even 2 lunches for Alex.  Its a pain to do, but super awesome when I can eat more than once a day.  The pets, yeah, they just make me crazy.

The more I thought about it, this really is not different than any mom of more than one child.  Nolan's autism adds to the list of things he needs, but every child has needs.  He may have more, but there are many children who need more right now.  Life may have more things in it we do in a day, but I don't think I have to be a different mom because of it.

Am I? Im not sure, but you know what
they say- "fake it til you make it."
PS. Its 3pm and this is still full--and cold.
Momming isn't easy, nobody said it would be.  Having a child with Autism isn't easy, nobody said it would be.  I just have to remember to not be to hard on myself and realize I am learning and figuring this out as much as they are.  One thing is for sure, this is a crazy life I wouldn't trade for the world.

Hang in there mamas!  Moms of 1, moms of children with special needs, moms of many, moms of multiples, moms.  Hang in there.  You are doing fine.  You are learning too. You are not the only one!

Soooo this life I live, this blog I write: Stay at home Zookeeper? Behind the Scenes?  Behind the Scenes of a Stay at Home Zookeeper?

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