Send help. Send meds. Send booz. Send babysitters.

You guys.

I just got some NEWS. And not the US Weekly kind. I’m going to be alone with the kids for a full week. That means, wake ups, all meals, all baths, all NIGHT LONG wake ups and all entertainment. Me. And then? When it’s all over? I have to do it again, and again, and again. That’s a total of FOUR WEEKS ON MY OWN.

B is going out of town for non negotiable reasons (to see his girlfriend) and I don’t know what I’m going to do. Let’s be honest, I mean, I know there are many single parents out there with more kids than me and more problems than me. But I’m like a below average parent when it comes to handing them together. I struggle. I have anxiety and I just get overwhelmed with 2 kids crying or wanting attention. Or one wanting mommy to PLAY TRAINS PLAY TRAINS and the other needing to be fed. And then the one needing to be fed  HAS to be fed in a dark quiet room because she wants to watch her brother scream around like a maniac.

DSC_0069

And the guilt, the stupid guilt. I feel terrible telling G no when all he wants to do is play with me. I hear Cats in the Cradle playing softly in my head and I cry in the corner. Ok not really, but I feel bad. But 10 minutes later I’m like WHY WON’T THIS KID PLAY BY HIMSELF EVER? And then I put the tv on so I can keep his sister alive for one more day. And then I feel bad for putting on the TV after he’s running around screaming about a cat in a hat or a damn monkey one more time.

Do we put too much pressure on ourselves as mom’s these days? I mean, I’m trying to cook meals from scratch, keep my toddler artfully entertained with wooden organic virgin fairy tear dust toys, exclusively breastfeed my infant and oh, lose all the baby weight immediately. AND have nice hair.

When I was little, I had a TV in my room at 6. It was pink. My parents were thrilled if I ate spaghetti-o’s and took me to get a happy meal when they would go to the Chinese restaurant. Granted, I’m no picture of health these days, but man alive, doing shit the “right” way is tough.

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And is it just going to get harder? I mean are we going to be worried about the grassfed cow meat that possibly once ate dandelions instead of just grass because that cow could give my child early male pattern baldness? I just can’t keep up and I’m so tired.

None of us are doing this to ourselves to purposely make our lives harder, I get that. I mean it’s our kids, we want the best for them. We want them to be social and have friends but be really smart in school and study all the time and be hard workers. But also have fun and play well with others and share. And pee in the potty before they are 12. But not too soon because it has to be done in their own time and way. And and andand andandnadkfha;dkfja’lskjf’asldkjf never ever never get sick.

Yeah.

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Can you tell I’m overwhelmed? G is just in full on terrible 2′s tantrum mode right now. Like god forbid we build the house with pillows and blankets with the corner sticking out on the top right instead of the top left like it was yesterday. TANTRUM. Or jesusapplesauce if G wants to hold the “big spoon” but we don’t know which big spoon in 3 tries or less. Done. G is what the hippies call “spirited”. He’s what I call a  temporary pain in my ass. I love my ass pain more than glitter rainbows, but it doesn’t make it hurt my ass any less right now. And yes, I know it’s temporary. The books promise me that. Everything is a phase. But if I can’t complain about it in a super dramatic way here, where can I?

Also as aside, I  hate winter. I have never hated winter more in my entire life than I have with 2 kids in this damn house.

I

HATE

WINTER.

WINTER

 

Do you know who else  hates winter? Every other parent with kids. I know this because of the dinosaur “expo” I attended charging 30 thousand dollars a family for kids to look at animatronic dinosaurs for 10 minutes. Because it’s inside. In the winter. And you know what? I RAN there.

This was a big mess of complain wasn’t it? I’m sorry. We’ll get through this together. And if I don’t, I will turn this blog over to G and things will get real dramatic around here. Don’t you dare ask him to put on a sweater.

How are you surviving the indoors with kids? PLEASE for the love of sparkles, give him indoor activities for my single parenting upcoming time. Also your phone number if you want to babysit.

xoxo

MODG

PS I’m selling my clothes to buy money for anxiety meds and booz. Buy them. 

 

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POSTED IN: babies,Dramababy,Mom Stuff

{ 117 comments }

leslie March 4, 2013 at 3:30 pm

4 weeks? I’d be packing up and heading to my parents. Driving, so I could bring an extra suitcase for the wine.

Brandy S March 10, 2013 at 10:01 am

Yep, I’d be spending a lot of time at my parents’. Fortunately they live close enough that I could go back and forth. Not even counting what a difficult and trying month that would be…I’d just get friggin’ lonely and want some company.

Monica March 4, 2013 at 3:35 pm

All totally normal. Sometimes I start drinking wine on the weekends around 3. It makes everyone a little more tolerable.

Mommy of a sweet Monster March 4, 2013 at 3:36 pm

Do you have a nanny/governess/au pair school close by? They might send you an intern (ie free help) once or twice a week. I know it’s not extremely helpful, but it’s better than bleeding from your eyes from OMGcanwenotreadthesamestory15moretimes and wheredidyougetthatTPandtoiletbrushfrom.
Good Luck MODG and may Britney sparkle forever in your favor.

Katie March 4, 2013 at 3:37 pm

4 weeks?! You’ll be eligible for sainthood after that. In the meantime, if I were in your shoes, I’d be scheduling daily play dates. Nothing like other toddlers to wear a toddler out so they’ll at least sleep soundly.

Also, we have one of those indoor playspace/coffee shop deals near me that offers supervised play. I usually think those places are too expensive but I gladly pay $20 for 90 minutes sipping coffee and reading blogs while my daughter plays with another adult on the other side of the glass when my husband or I are particularly swamped with work…. It’s the easiest babysitting imaginable!
Maybe there’s something similar by you?

Katie

Sara March 4, 2013 at 3:38 pm

When I was little and my grandma would watch me and was so over my annoying ass, she would tell me to play salon. I would play with her hair, rub her feet, pretend to do her nails and tell her she was pretty. And that old whore was a picky client, too. G wants to play… See if he will play something that is really just a trick for making your life easier. Like play hospital and he has to help you with the baby or play zombie apocalypse and he has to help you keep the baby alive or play trolls and he has to guard the baby from the troll babies.

Courtney March 4, 2013 at 3:44 pm

Salon- what a great idea. I think I will be a picky old whore for my girls later today!

Meg March 4, 2013 at 3:41 pm

I did it with 2 (18mo apart, the oldest turned 3 THIS past december) for at least a week a month all last year. So I feel ya. It sucks. And don’t let people joke – trying to control the chaos in front of other when you go visit your grandparents instead of being alone doesn’t make it any easier. At least if they judge when you drink. SKYPE. Seriously. And have B record a message ahead of time to play on the computer when he’s not available to skype.

And share your books? Because, gawd help me, I now have TWO TODDLERS. And if today’s joint hysterics is any judge (and yesterday’s, and the day before’s…) I could use some insight and understanding. And wine.

Jennifer March 4, 2013 at 3:41 pm

Does G like the bath? I can’t tell you how many hours my “spirited” 2 year old has spent in the tub while sit and nurse the baby on the bathroom floor. Seriously. The bath stops any tantrum dead in its tracks. Good luck, Mama!

Amanda March 4, 2013 at 5:00 pm

Yes, baths with glow sticks in the dark!

Jell Jell @ I'll Sleep When They're Grown March 4, 2013 at 10:35 pm

Spray shaving cream on the bathtub walls and it gives an extra 10 min of free time for bathroom floor nursing, or even time for mommy to potty. Just sayin’.

Courtney March 4, 2013 at 3:42 pm

I agree with Leslie. I would move in with the closest relative who can help. But if yours don’t live close I would suggest play dates. Like 3 a week. Wear them out. We have indoor play places where I live that aren’t too expensive. Make sure you drink the wine before the breast feed so baby sleeps thought the night. And feel free to road trip it to Kansas if you want to hang out!

Elise March 4, 2013 at 3:42 pm

Oh my, 4 weeks, yeah I’d be calling in reinforcements. I have an almost 2 year old and my husband’s trips are usually a week at a time. I’m not sure I saw him more than 2 days in a row the whole month of January. There were many trips to my parents house. A girl friend and I found a decent place for happy hour with toddlers and so much booze.

If I won the lotto I’d be starting a business where moms (and dads) can go, rent a padded room with beverage service (cuz isn’t that what moms want), where the kids can run with as little parental interference as possible (cuz isn’t that what kids want).

Krista March 4, 2013 at 3:43 pm

And oh yeah, my husband is in the military, so I’ve done the solo thing. I’ve only had to do all three alone for a little over a month (you know I had my mom come visit for a couple weeks), but I’ve had two alone for months. Use the help you have nearby and plan something out of the house, even if its to Petsmart to look at fish or something for thirty minutes. My kids always go to bed thirty minutes earlier when daddy isn’t home (because I am so desperate to be alone that I feed them dinner at 4:30) so I have that to look forward to.

Laura March 4, 2013 at 6:27 pm

yes! Petsmart! I meant to include that.

Lindsey March 4, 2013 at 3:47 pm

OMG! 4 weeks?!?! I would DIE! I can barely get through my husband’s regular work day with my 2 kids on my own. And God forbid he call and say he is going to be late! He HAS to be home because I have been mentally prepared to shut down at that agreed-upon time. I wish I had advice for you, but I can only offer my condolences. I hope you have helpful people nearby! And no, hearing that something is “only a phase” does NOT make it any easier to handle when you are in the throws of said phase. It sucks and it’s miserable. I hear ya! But that is why my nighttime wine glass is my best friend. :)

Beth March 4, 2013 at 3:49 pm

I could never survive 4 weeks with my kids alone. Hell, I hardly survived two nights. And I take the easy way out and feed them Mac and Cheese – from a box! I’d head to my parent’s house if it was that long. Good luck!

Liz March 4, 2013 at 3:50 pm

Ack. 4 weeks alone with 2 kids. Ditto on the Sainthood.

Play dates help keep me sane when my husband’s away and we have a high school girl who will come and help out occasionally with babysitting. Good luck MODG!

Merritt March 4, 2013 at 3:51 pm

AND have nice hair.- LOL this I LOVE. It’s so true. What about a gymboree or kids gym – little gym- or whatever those places are called? G can run and bust out some energy in there? oh- or one of those jump/ trampoline places?
and can you vent dramatically here? hell yea! that’s what we are here for.

I also second heading to granny’s house for the week- or any nieces/ cousins that could come in town and help out for the week?

Good Luck- hopefully it goes by faster than you imagine :)

duffy March 4, 2013 at 3:54 pm

Give the kid pipe cleaners and a colander. Keeps my two year old busy forever sticking pipes in holes.

Amber March 4, 2013 at 3:55 pm

My kids are 9, 4, and 15 months. They go to daycare while I work and are willing to play by themselves. They eat McDonald’s and watch TV and play video games. Nothing is scarier than when Daddy has to go out of town. Good luck!

Lauren March 4, 2013 at 3:59 pm

Oh god….hating the winter so, so, so much too. I have a 13-month old so our ‘outings’ (i.e., trips to the grocery store ) can still happen without huge tantrum meltdowns. That means we do a lot of errand-runs to Target during which I end up buying a bunch of shit we don’t need. We’ve also had 80′s dance parties (more for my enjoyment, but he seems to like it too), lots of ‘hide and seek’ (a.k.a. go around the corner and he crawls after me) and push-the-kid-around-in-the-laundry-basket rides. But seriously, I’m running out of ideas. Spring better get its ass in gear soon.

Sara March 4, 2013 at 4:01 pm

Speaking of toddlers, I thought you might find this list amusing. http://jasongood.net/365/2012/12/46-reasons-why-my-three-year-old-might-be-freaking-out/

Devan March 8, 2013 at 2:27 am

LOVE Jason Good!!

Beth Anne March 4, 2013 at 4:01 pm

I’d be packing my shit & going to my mom’s at that point.

Who would tell me to simmer down, that she pretty much never got on the floor to play with me & hey! I’m here & alive 30 years later! & that she thinks it’s really ridiculous how worked up I get over parenting my three-year-old. She’d remind me of our weekly dates to McDonald’s & how she’d lock us out of the house on summer days & tell us to drink from the hose if we got thirsty. & oddly enough, I wasn’t raised in the boonies or as white trash. That was just how parenting was done in 1983. Of course, she tells me that while I stressed that he’s not forming letters yet because kindergarten isn’t about naps anymore & Harvard is only 15 years away.

So anyway. I know nothing about single parenting except that it calls for real booze in the form of whisky & lots of Bo on the Go! on repeat for the toddler.

Kelly Ruby March 4, 2013 at 4:02 pm

I have a lively 2.5 year old too & a husband who works days/law school nights & studies weekends. Here’s somethings I try to do – some days are successful & some aren’t so pretty.

If you can, plan in a few hours a week with a sitter. Those 4 hours a week have kept me sane.

Try to get out every day – even if just a walk to the coffee shop or playing in the park.

Focus less on housekeeping and more on keeping everyone rested/fed/safe and if possible happy AKA not crying.

In the mist of it, roll your shoulders back and breathe. Remember that a strong personality will be an asset when they are 21. A friend gave me this advise when I showed up for coffee after struggling with a foaming, screaming child who was trying to climb under cars.

Katie C March 4, 2013 at 4:07 pm

I love that you have this forum to vent and ask for help. My only words are this…don’t worry about the baby weight, do what you have been so far, we are all doing our best. And I’m proud of your husband, but remember so many other (especially military like mine) who have left the family for much longer periods of time. My husband was gone for 255 days last year. Guess what? My kids are awesome; we have fun; I’m stressed, but it’s a gift.

Do your best, hang in there, and nothing wrong with booz once in a while!

Carolin March 4, 2013 at 4:10 pm

It’s the moon or something. I had a full blown mommy meltdown yesterday because there was too much noise in my house. Did I mention it was my birthday? Yeah…the dogs were barking, the kids were fighting, I drove for 5 hours to be with my family on my birthday only to be confronted with so much craziness that I finally lost my sh^t, screamed at everyone with that psychotic screech you get when you reach that point and asked everyone if they’re happy that they made me cry on my birthday…lol. Today I’m apologizing but honestly this is not really like me so in blaming the moon and for you that same excuse applies. My husband is going out of the country on business for 4 days starting tomorrow and I have the Toddler of Terror (currently writing with crayons on my hard wood) and a prepubescent stepson whom the state of PA placed in my care to deal with…did I mention the psycho terrier we just had to have??? Anywho…want to have a play date? I will travel!!! Even across the country as long as I’m home by 3 to pick number 1.1 up from school. ;)

I love and need to hear that my horrible week (its only Monday) is not only mine and normal. Thank you for that reminder. You’re doing great and you stories are a great way for me to ignore my kid for a sanity break occasionally. :) thank you!!

Megan March 5, 2013 at 9:19 am

I think it must be the moon, you’re right. I almost knocked my boss out Friday and had to start drinking at 11 AM on Sunday.

Carolin March 6, 2013 at 8:44 pm

It’s really nice to know I’m not suffering alone. And next time you start drinking at 11 send me a mental shout out and I’ll drink with you. :)

Cheryl March 4, 2013 at 4:12 pm

I was feeling seriously bad for you until I checked out your closet filled with size 0 and xs.
Double 0 even.
I wondered what evil skinny whore they made double 0 for.
Hahaha, I’m kidding. But still.. It’s nice to be slim and trim!
p.s. I wear size 11 shoe. ELEVEN. Less shoe and more canoe.

MODG March 5, 2013 at 3:52 pm

dude. why do you think the 0′s and xs are FOR SALE

Angela March 6, 2013 at 8:42 pm

because the second child is SO MUCH HARDER to get the weight off :( my second was born november 5th…. and I’m wondering if I will ever get back to where I need to be (which was easier with #1)

Courtney March 9, 2013 at 1:20 am

Thanks for introducting me to Poshmark. So did you just happen to take all these pics of yourself in these size 0 and XS dresses and stuff before kids, or did you take these pics recently to post on Poshmark? If these are recent pics, you’re one lucky lady looking like that a few months postpartum!

cole March 4, 2013 at 4:15 pm

I know this is really off topic but, i really love how you decorate your house. Can you do a post about your interior decorating, please? No? Ok. i’ll shut up now.
It’s just that i have 1 cat, and i can barley even walk on my carpet without getting all cat hair on me…and your house always seems to be nice and clean…(Yes i know you have a pic where your entire house looks messy, but in some weird way, it still looks clean-as in -if i dropped a grape on the floor i’d totally eat it…and not the-covered in cat hair kinda way).

Well, that’s always a plus! You can keep 2 kids alive and also have a clean house, or clean floor…….hope that makes you feel a little better! Ps. what the hell do you put in your hair that it’s so damn shiny all the time! I am so jealous of it.

ok, that is all.

Karen March 4, 2013 at 4:26 pm

Are they consecutive weeks?! Every time I start feeling sorry for myself, I hang out with a military wife to feel inferior and spoiled. Do you know any of them? That won’t really help, per se…

Also, to validate your anxiety, we seem to have a lot more shit to worry about these days than our parents did. Back then they didn’t have to worry about GMOs in their food or eating meat with hormones in it that would make their kids enter puberty before kindergarten. Kind of a mo money mo problems paradox.

SA March 4, 2013 at 4:57 pm

Ha, I was about to ask about whether they were consecutive weeks!!! That definitely frightens me! I’d be packing up everything and going right along with B.

Laura March 4, 2013 at 4:36 pm

One of the only things my 3 year old will do on her own is play with stickers. Melissa and Doug make a variety of huge sticker activity books if you haven’t already tried them. She likes the ones that create faces.

Natalie March 4, 2013 at 4:40 pm

I feel your pain. Have you thought about hiring a “mother’s helper” a couple days a week for a few hours a day… a high-school kid (or college) who’s interested in child hood development and wants to earn some extra cash? They are a lot cheaper than a sitter or nanny because they are not alone with the kid because you are home too. But they could play trains with G (or help in any other ways) while you’re doing other things at home.
Also, have you tried joining a co-op with G? Most allow you to bring #2 if they are strapped on you or in their car seat. Or, most pre-schools offer a 2′s program. It’s usually 2 days a week for a couple of hours but highly active kids (like my son) love it. they thrive and gets them ready for the 3′s program. there are co-op versions of these as well, so they don’t break the bank.
Just some things I’ve done to keep me sane and not make us broke. Good luck!!

Susan from GA March 4, 2013 at 4:53 pm

In GA high schools have some students who need service hours in their child development (old home ec) classes. Call the h.s. secretary and inquire. IF there is a technical/vocational/junior college close by, you might be able to find a “helper” who is majoring in early childcare. I mean…it’s worth a try. She or he might be a big help “PLAYING TRAINS” while you keep the baby alive. Good Luck!

Hillary March 4, 2013 at 4:54 pm

I now know why moms hang out at the mall. It’s free (well, sort of…if you don’t actually shop its free) and 2 year olds love playing on even the lamest of toys. My almost 2 year old is also spirited and has been tantruming since about 10 months. About EVERYTHING. Now at least there is some purpose. And sometimes we can fix it. And sometimes I just give in and I stress that I’m indulging him and he’s never going to learn how to deal with disappointment and will become an entitled nightmare of an adult.

We put too much pressure on ourselves these days. Case in point: I struggle with my son’s picky eating (he refuses most things other picky eaters actually like). I made a delicious vegetable soup for my husband and I the other night and I said, “If mom had put this soup in front of me even as a teenager, I wouldn’t have eaten it.” And that statement along was enough to get me to relax a little. I turned out to be a great eater who has a very healthy body!

Faith March 4, 2013 at 4:55 pm

I hear you about the winter… here in Saskatchewan, Canada it might possibly go on until May! However, there’s a chance we’ll be lucky and it’ll end in April? You never know. Some years it seems like it’ll stretch into June (heaven help us if that happens)!

Baby #2 is due in April, so here’s hoping that it’s spring by then so I can just let my 2-year-old wander around in the backyard as much as she wants! Come on Spring…

~F

The Reset March 4, 2013 at 5:06 pm

I have two kids nearly identical in age (one will be 3 this month, and the 6 week old is to my left). I’m exclusively nursing. When tiny one was three weeks old, the bigger one got really sick and I was left to tend to them for the week while my husband was at work (which is far… like 2 hour commute each way far), so from 630am-730pm, I was on my own. I FEEL YOU is what I’m saying. To that end: don’t be afraid to watch movies at an inappropriate amount (I watched FOUR TINKERBELL MOVIES IN A DAY… the toddler was sick, what can I say). Call every friend and family you have. Fly a grandparent out. Don’t be afraid of a lil xanax and wine (not together…). Buy one new toy for every week so G can wear the hell out of it. Get those bathtub crayons and put G in the tub (NOT with water, just to hang out) so he can color. Novelty is your friend. Or… Beg B to just lug you all around with him. I think that’s what I would do. In tears. Daily until he gave in.

Amanda March 4, 2013 at 5:06 pm

You’re going to survive….kinda.

I understand! I’m a single mom of one and at one point in my life I was dumb err, kind enough to become a foster parent. So I was a single mom of a 5 year old and two 15 year old girls [bitches]. It’s rough. I think the thing that saved me most with my daugher (pre foster parenting) was that it was just me, I didn’t have the time or energy to play all the time. I think because of that my daugher became very independent. She’s so imaginative (now 8) and creative these days, always has been… She always finds a way to occupy her time (usually while i nap like the lazy parent that i am). I say CALM DOWN if G throws a fit over you not playing trains so be it. I promise you he will get over it and eventually begin to play on his own. I know it seems mean and you feel bad when you don’t play but it’s for your own sanity. I don’t remember my mom playing with me and there was a lot of pizza and t.v. dinners in my childhood – I turned out alright ;) …. kinda.

xoxo
Good luck!

Lisa McP March 4, 2013 at 5:10 pm

It is tough being on your own! I’m an army wife. I did 6.5 mo on my own last year. Currently doing 6 weeks, and have a 4 mo deployment in July…. So I know all about it. The biggest piece of advice is to whack G into daycare- even once a week. You might feel guilty, I did, but man, you need that day. Single best thing you could do for yourself. Promise.

sevond biggest thing is to make sure you’re getting sleep. However you want to arrange it with your brood, do it. Everything was worse when I was tired. Everything.

Other things are getting groceries delivered, doing a play date most days, paying someone to clean- even if its just the month B is away and they only come 2x. Let the dishes pile up all day and do them at night. Stop cloth diapering for the month if disposables will be easier.

Try to put your mind in the mindset that this is the new normal (once he’s gone) so that you don’t suffer the whole month thinking how awful it is. A month is a long time to be suffering.

Lisa March 4, 2013 at 5:34 pm

I just thought of one more thing that was helpful- I joined a gym with childcare. You could buy a month membership, perhaps? It was like $2/kid for 90 minutes each time, on top of my membership fee. 2-3 times a week, you get 90 minutes to work out, sauna, shower, then pick up your kids and I’m telling you- your brain and heart and body will feel good!

Megan March 5, 2013 at 9:24 am

This is awesome advice.

Robyn March 4, 2013 at 5:16 pm

My standards are about ten thousand times lower than yours I am sure… and I struggle hard 3 out of 5 days a week. You will make it through, promise. G will turn out just fine if you have to plop him in front of the TV or hand him the iPad/Phone to play so you can keep Ruby alive.

Also, nobody expects you to have it all together. We all lose our shit sometimes. You will not scar your kids for life.

Rooting for your sanity!!

april March 4, 2013 at 5:18 pm

Last year my husband deployed for 8 months and I had our 18 month old son with no family around. He decided that was a good time to wake up every.single.day between 3:30 and 4:30 am. It was nothing short of a miracle that we both survived. Just know that you can and will do it, and you will survive too :) Oh, and my son just turned 3 and for the love of God, shoot me in the head. We had a pretty uneventful year last year as far as tantrums go, and the dumb ass that I am thought I was in the clear and just got lucky. My son has now turned into the devil and I lose my mind on a daily basis. I have heard many, many times that if your kid has the terrible twos, then things will be much easier when they turn 3. I hope this is the case with G!

Jen March 4, 2013 at 5:41 pm

I used to have to nurse my daughter in a dark room too. I know the feeling. It’s tough! Hang in there!

Rachael March 4, 2013 at 5:46 pm

My husband just told me he’s leaving for 3 days to Vegas for work (yeah right). I was complaining already in my head but I think I’ll just suck it up.
My advice.
1. Go easy on yourself during this time.
2. Buy G something really awesome and plastic that he will lose his shit over. It’ll help a ton.
3. That’s the day it’s okay to really start over using bribery. “You can lay down on the floor and scream or you can stand up be a nice boy and watch TV while you eat a special delicious (healthy organic ?) cookie!
4. Glass of wine in the evening for mom to forget anything she could possibly feel guilty for. Survival mode.

Good luck.

Kendra @ My Full-Thyme Life March 4, 2013 at 5:58 pm

First of all… You’re doing a great job. Seriously.

Second, I totally know what you are going through. My son will be 2 at the end of the month and I have an 8week old. Overwhelmed is the understatement of the year. Also, there is not enough coffee in the world. Oh but wait, I can’t drink coffee ’cause it gives my baby gas. I also can’t eat dairy soooo basically my life is over.

We were feeling incredibly helpless when it came to our son’s tantrums and bad behavior so we went out an bought a book. Because it makes us feel better and if it doesn’t work we can blame the so-called “experts” instead of our parenting skills. It’s called 1-2-3 Magic and I’ve read a chapter or two because the last thing I have time to do right now is read a damn book from cover to cover. But my Hubby is reading for us and we started in with the counting and the “take 5′s” suggested in the book and I swear we have a whole new child on our hands. It is simple and you probably already know the premise but the book explains things very well. Seriously, it puts us back in the driver’s seat AND I can use it while I’m nursing the baby and I physically can’t stop him from doing something. He actually listens to me!

Hang in there. Cuss and cry and scream when necessary. Take slow deep breaths and drink wine. Like I said, you’re doing a great job.

Laura March 4, 2013 at 6:26 pm

like you, I nannied for yeeears, so you probably already have a sick arsenal of ideas. based on my experience as a nanny, though, moms are all WHY DIDNT I THINK OF THAT so here are my best ideas:
1) chick-fil-a playground. every day. this saved my life when I nannied two “spirited” children. you’re technically supposed to be in the room w/ them but I always sat on the other side of the glass and just watched for the crazies. if you don’t wanna feed G their food, fill him up before you go and then let a tiny thing of fries be his “BIG treat.”
2) use your crazy stool/chair thingy to let G play with water and soap in the kitchen. he can wash his cars or whatever non-hippie wooden toys he has.
3) maybe have B make a run to the dollar store and put together a baggie with a different activity for each day? then you can put his special goodies away and bring them back out the next time B travels.
4) BEG your friends to let you come over.

Amy @ drivethirtythree March 4, 2013 at 6:31 pm

I’m so over winter. I’d poke my eyeballs out if I was stuck at home with the kids :(. My 2yr old just stole my iPad, saw the ms pic of you loving winter and said “mommy look! Mad!” ha

Andrea March 4, 2013 at 6:50 pm

Look. We all want what’s best for our kids. In your own words,

“None of us are doing this to ourselves to purposely make our lives harder, I get that. I mean it’s our kids, we want the best for them. We want them to be social and have friends but be really smart in school and study all the time and be hard workers. But also have fun and play well with others and share. And pee in the potty before they are 12. But not too soon because it has to be done in their own time and way. And and andand andandnadkfha;dkfja’lskjf’asldkjf never ever never get sick.”

But what good is it to have picture perfect children if we are too strung out on anxiety and “getting everything right” to enjoy them, and for them to enjoy us?

You do not have to be perfect and provide for your child’s every whim. You only have to be good enough.

Go into what I like to call survival mode for the next 4 weeks. Sit on the couch and tell G that you are playing with him as you sit with your feet up. Take him to McDonald’s and buy him a Happy Meal at least twice. Let the baby scream while you shower. Don’t make yourself feel bad for taking care of yourself. Give yourself a break.

Jess March 4, 2013 at 6:54 pm

I totally get the breastfeeding in a dark room thing…my 9.5 month old decides to bite when he’s distracted nursing and that could be from any noise anywhere in any corner of the neighborhood.

Kelly March 4, 2013 at 7:17 pm

Tupperware and wooden spoons make wonderful drum sets! And so much quieter than banging metal pots and pans and spoons, so it’s easier to let them do it for longer. He can “help you cook” by measuring out water into the Tupperware. But be prepared for a wet kitchen… Also my son loves to help clean – he’s a huge fan of using the swiffer mop, using wipies to dust things, and sweepig and vacuuming. Maybe drama baby will like to clean if he has a small broom or his “very own special” dust rag that’s only his? And seriously if he is anything like mine he may give you a good hour of quiet housework, but he will think its a game! Good luck! I imagine I’d spend most of my evenings crying myself to sleep if I had to parent both of mine alone for more than two days!

Jen March 4, 2013 at 8:30 pm

My one year old is in a cast up to mid-thigh. And it’s winter. In Wisconsin. We do stroller rides indoors. Lots of coloring. Climbing the stairs. Trips to the library to play with toys there. Picnic lunches on living room floor. Shoulder rides. Painting. Sensory stuff. I’m running out of ideas, too!

Stacy March 4, 2013 at 8:31 pm

My husband just left me for 4 nights with 4 month old twins and my 2 year old. I have a gym with a fantastic child center and my 2 year old is in preschool. Only downside with preschool is the sickness. I have to drag all the kids in to the doctors office. But the gym is my savior. I can rock out on the treadmill and the 2 yr old gets to play and the will give bottles to the twins. The nights still sucked but whatever. It’s over now.

Chrissy March 4, 2013 at 9:03 pm

My husband travels all of the time. I have a 1 and 3 year old and he was traveling within weeks of each of their births. You will be fine. Things will be different without Daddy there, but you just make it work. Yea, more TV may be watched and meals may not be the best, but you gotta do what you gotta do. I just remind myself that this is the stuff that makes me stronger.

Oh, and, yea, winters here suck (I live in the same town as you). You don’t want to go out anywhere because either your kids are sick or everyone else is sick. We go on car rides. I am always house hunting and will drag the kiddos out so I can drive by places. We go to Costco for the freebies (lunch?). The Coventry mall is a great not crowded place to walk. We also go to Wegman’s to see the train, get a cupcake and sit in the kids area. Franklin Commons has a nice little cafe cart where you can get coffee and you son can play in their fenced-in toy area (it’s indoors, but they can’t leave the toy area). Anyway, you will be fine.

Audrey h March 4, 2013 at 9:04 pm

Go outside as often as you can. Bundle the kids up and go out somewhere between 12-4 when it’s warmest. I live close(ish) to Philly and the average temp hasn’t been that bad recently (except for the last few and next couple of days) and we try to go out every day for a walk. I have a seven month old and a five year old. Even if it’s just 10-20 minutes. I just feel so much better after being outside. My five year old gets some energy out and the baby takes better naps. Obviously use your best judgement and if it’s windy or rainy, skip it (duh) but you might be surprised what a difference it makes in your mood. I also suffer from anxiety.

Nicole March 4, 2013 at 9:05 pm

Winter sucks balls! I just looked up a mom group today to get in on some playdates for the 2 year old. Hope that works out for us. Hope its not too much work. The group description said “no make up required” …we’ll see.

Beth March 4, 2013 at 9:10 pm

Fast food places for ice cream and climbing, go on drives in the car and listen to (your) music when G needs to get a change of scenery/attitude, at least one morning a week off while a babysitter comes, and THE GYM!

Rebecca March 4, 2013 at 9:32 pm

4 weeks, that is horrible!! Can your mom come and stay with you? Or can you go over there?! Jeez.

LauraD March 4, 2013 at 10:05 pm

oh amanda…it’s hard!! I have a 2 year old boy and 7 year old boy and am a fellow SAHM with no parents to help(both sets are states away). you. are. not. alone. I have been home with the boys since my oldest was born….yes…that’s seven years. It’s hard to keep boys, in particular, entertained at that age. I want to poke some eyes out every time a mom with a girl tells me how much their young daughter just LOVES to sit and color/paint/do crafts/look at books for hours. dude…ain’t happening with boys. I think with boys physical play is what they want/need…and that is crazy hard to maintain all day long. lately we’ve had success with one of those big bouncy balls(ones in the metal cage) from walmart. we kicked that thing all over the house. blow up an air mattress and let G jump or jump off stuff onto it. every time i try to do dishes he wants to help, so now i just let him play in my sink water with a slow stream of water running (totally NOT green, but he goes full tantrum if it’s off). ditto bath time for no reason. we hide in a pop up kids tent. i sit while he climbs in and out collecting items–”better get your thomas so the monster/bad guys/etc. don’t get it”…etc. you can do it!

Alexis March 4, 2013 at 10:34 pm

I’ve done this – one month solo with a 9 month old and 2.5 year old. My solution? Childcare! What it costs a ton? Sure does! That’ll teach him to leave town again ;) Seriously though on the childcare.

Also winter in VT is the worst thing ever. Apparently 100 years ago VT winter was full of snow and fun things like skiing and such. Global warming has put a stop to that so it’s too cold to do anything and there is no snow to play with and it’s grey for the full 6 months that is winter into spring. Blerg.

Speaking of 100 years ago, back then everybody had extended family living within a 5 minute walk so these things were waaaay different then. Also most of us were still using chamber pots. So progress is not all bad. Just bad when Grandma isn’t around to help. Good luck!

Hamsamich March 5, 2013 at 12:36 am

MODG, I recently quit my job to be at home with my infant son and for the first month I thought I was the shit because everything was so fun and exciting and my baby was the best baby that ever lived. And then he got the flu…and started teething….and eating solids…and not napping all day. I’m overwhelmed and I’m sad a lot. I once thought I was popular but turns out not that many people wanna just hang out and talk about my kid. Oh and by the way, my husband travels for work five days a week so I’m doing it alone most of the time. Yes, I’m complaining but I’m also admiring you. It’s so hard and I just have one. I also live in Los Angeles where the weather is always perfect. You’re gonna do just fine. Sending you lots of sparkly rainbows.

Laura March 5, 2013 at 12:58 am

In a similar boat with a 2 year old & 3 month old in cold weather. Its hard & there are longgg days! Getting out of the house each day in the morning works for us. The rotation is library, playing at the mall, playdate, local museum. If the 2 year old wakes up in a terrible mood we get out as soon as possible – often to Starbucks or for bagels. After naps we have an art or baking project (she loves decorating cookies – easy to buy the refrigerated dough). Movie nights after an early dinner give me some sanity at the end of a long day. Toddler makes tickets, we pop popcorn and can all relax. Also – I second the Melissa & Doug face sticker books, they hold my toddler’s attention way longer than I’d expect.

Veralynn @ Joie de V March 5, 2013 at 1:28 am

All I’m saying is, don’t give up on having nice hair and taking care of yourself. Take the time to take of yourself and feel pretty because it makes a big difference in how your whole day goes down. It doesn’t have to be super Kate Middleton hair every day- just do what you can. Right now you’re getting swallowed up by mommydom and you have to do *something* each day to remind yourself that you are Amanda and not only Mom. You’re a sexy bitch and you’ve got this. -V

Anna March 5, 2013 at 7:52 am

Tell him to bring his girlfriend home…on the up-side, you’d have an extra set of hands to help out and him home ;)

Seriously though, GET HELP. Go find a random at the supermarket if you have to. Even just knowing you’ll have an hour or two during the day to get shit done and re-group will provide you with a bit of sanity in those insane moments.

Pissing myself at your sparkling toilet pictures…there’s something about the lens flare mixed with toilet that is just hilarious.

Lauren March 5, 2013 at 8:41 am

My husband just left for 3 weeks, I have a two year old and am 6 months pregnant, and live in Ohio – aka WINTER! The big difference is, I also work full time which allows a little bit of a break. Is preschool an option at all, or mothers day out? (seriously!) And yes, I agree, Petsmart, we go to Petsmart all the time to look at the animals : ) Other options – children’s museums, the library, the art museum, an indoor conservatory, and a play cafe – all things that have children’s programs where we live! You will make it and you totally deserve a spa day when this is all over.

Chelsea March 5, 2013 at 9:34 am

I get it. I have two boys a year apart (2 1/2 & 3 1/2 currently) and I keep asking when its going to get easier. Don’t get me wrong, things are (logistically) easier now with toddlers than it was with an infant and a 1 year old. Except now they fight ALL.THE.TIME. Someone is always throwing a tantrum around here. They fight over who is going to wear which rain boot (THEY ARE THE EXACT SAME ONES) And, they won’t nap anymore. So my two hours of “cleaning alone” (sitting my ass on the couch and watching trashy TV, ALONE) is GONE. Thankfully, we have a membership to the local Discovery Museum. It has kept me sane this winter.

Julie March 5, 2013 at 9:49 am

I did this recently with only one child at 5 months pregnant and worked myself into a nice tizzy beforehand. I called my mom for reinforcement and she bluntly told me that she and my dad had much less than I do, they managed without help just fine and I should figure out how to too.

I cried for an hour, got my shit together and somehow felt a little more empowered. I also spend at least $100 on toys before my husband left so I could pull out new ones whenever my two year old freaked out and spent a lot of money on myself online shopping while he was gone.

You can do this!!!!

Meghan March 5, 2013 at 9:53 am

My 2 year old is a nightmare right now….and it’s the dead of winter in Chicago. I hear you. My saving grace is the library. It sounds dumb, but we can kill 3 hours there. I can’t exactly sit back and flip through a magazine, but we do story time, then puzzles, then coloring, then he stares at all of the other batshit crazy kids. All of the moms look tired and there are lots of breastfeeding babies. It can be full of weirdos, but it’s free and it kills an entire morning.

Ditto on playdates, pet stores and preschool. There is also a Monkey Bizness near our house – it’s like an indoor playground with a bounce house, slides, mini bball court and art room. I was on high alert for pedophiles the entire time, but for $8 it was worth it.

Jamie March 5, 2013 at 11:54 am

I’m not sure if you’ll be able to find this in your area, but there are several meal services where I live. They post their menu at the beginning of the week to pre-order and then I pick it up on Wednesdays. The one I use often has paleo and GAPs-friendly foods. When they have something that freezes well I stock up. This is probably the best thing I have found to help out with our home life, my husband has a long commute and I work full time and cooking with a 1-year old by myself after work is pretty much impossible.

Leigh March 5, 2013 at 3:34 pm

May I ask where this is?

Elizabeth March 5, 2013 at 12:14 pm

If winter had a face, I’d be punching it!! I have a 3 and 4 year old. The three year old wanted his airplane out of the car. Daddy went and got it. He proceeded to have a 30 minute tantrum (the toddler, not the husband) because he wanted mommy to get the plane out of the car. Just to get some peace and quiet, I put the plane back in the car, then proceeded to get it out and hand it to him. Then he was happy as a clam. This type of nonsensical, ridiculous behavior is a daily occurrence. I get to work in the morning and relax and have my coffee. No way could I be a stay at home mom full-time. I feel for you.

Kim March 5, 2013 at 1:43 pm

It is so hard, but you will make it through. When my husband was in the military he was gone for several long stretches. The things that helped the most were 1) have long distance family come and stay or go to them if possible 2) any friends who live far away who have been meaning to visit you? get them lined up to come visit/help/be another adult in the house 3) plan as many play dates with in town friends as possible 4) gym with free or cheap childcare – if only for the chance to read a magazine on the treadmill and shower in peace 5) go outside every day, even for just a few minutes if the weather isn’t great 6) relax your standards a lot – any amount of tv, junk food, plastic toys, playing by themselves, etc. is not going to matter for a month – you can resume your overachieving when B is back 7) this is NOT the month to worry about baby weight or your hair :)
Good luck! You can do it!

lynnie March 5, 2013 at 3:10 pm

Can you stay with your mom/parents? That’s what I did. I didn’t even try to stay home alone. And it was awful packing it all up, but worth it when I got there. Then, you can at least get help with dinner, bath, and maybe a little bit of playtime if they are working during the day. Isn’t that what grandparents are for?

Also, I think this phase is super hard, but it will get BETTER instead of worse. Once they can play TOGETHER or just sit and talk to each OTHER, it will get better. Ruby will eventually follow him everywhere and he will be able to boss her around and make sure she’s only playing with his lesser, rejected toys.

lynnie March 5, 2013 at 3:14 pm

Also – to give yourself a break on all the cooking, there might be some Whole Foods deli “take out” that fits in with your diet.

Leigh March 5, 2013 at 3:39 pm

We definitely want whats best for our children, but frankly there’s a lot of pressure on mothers to be perfect and to return to this sort of pre-modern fantasy period where everything was wholesome and pure. Of course, wholesome and pure is a good idea in theory, but the reality is that it creates a whole new level of “women’s work” that demands women constantly de-prioritize their own needs and identity for the good of the children and family. (Note this is not the opposite of women putting themselves first, but the opposite of women/mothers putting their own needs as people on par with those of their children and spouses.)

There’s lots of great feminist parenting literature about the social costs for mothers, families and children from this new competitive need to be perfect. I think you’d be into it.

Hang in there. You can do it. I co-sign all the other commenters to get yourself some help, even for a few hours here and there at this point. You don’t need to do it all.

Ames March 5, 2013 at 3:49 pm

So, I’ve been where you are. I have 4 boys, all crazy monkeys like G. All wanted to be attached to my boob 24/7 except when older brothers were doing something interesting too and then OW! All mine are 2 years apart too, so I know exactly what you are facing. Personally, I would never go stay with my parents. That would be an even deeper layer of hell for me! Lots of people have advice on what to do with G. I have a little advice for you- this cooking for Whole30 is no joke. I can say that because I decided to do it too based on your post. I am on day 9 and I’ll say it again- that cooking is no. joke. While B is gone you can’t cook during the kids’ nap time. You have to take that time for you- look at stupid shit online, add stuff to your shopping cart that you’ll never buy, read a magazine, whatever…. If you’re cooking like a crazy person and then trying to clean up the 50 million dishes, then your day is going to be awful. If I were you I would go spend a fortune at Whole Foods and get tons of food that is ok for you to eat while healing your gut but can also be prepared quickly. One other thing that I always do when my husband is out of town (even now when my kids are older) is early bedtime. VERY early bedtime. You know how kids get hungry at like 4 or 4:30? Well, if my husband is coming home for dinner then they have a snack and we go on with the witching hour. But! If he’s not coming home???? You’re hungry at 4:30?? Well, good news! It’s dinner time!!! Put those chicken nuggets straight into the oven and then do dinner and the whole bedtime routine- bath, books, whatever and with any luck G will be asleep by 5:30 and you have the rest of the night to nurse Ruby without her biting you because G is jumping off the couch with Thomas.

Leslie March 5, 2013 at 4:13 pm

I don’t have kids but I used to be a nanny so I have a few suggestions…
Don’t feel bad about videos while B’s gone. Stockpile some new ones and pull them out when you’re about to lose it.

Move the car out of the garage and, turn music up really loud, and let G rollerskate/skooter/tricycle/whatever in there for as long as he wants.

Invite as many kids over for playdates as possible. Even if it’s kids you barely know. Anyone. They will entertain each other and leave you alone.

Tell G you need his special help while B’s gone with “cleaning” and “cooking” (AKA spray bottle of water and a roll of paper towels/tupperware bowl of rice and a whisk) and thank him for helping anytime he’s entertaining himself.

Sorry in advance for the next month ;)

MoxieMomma March 5, 2013 at 5:56 pm

I hear you! I have two boys, 18 months apart to the day. My husband works 80hrs/wk. The last time he left town for a week, I ended up in the emergency room. For me! Not for little boys who need stiches! No joke.

I totally get your comment that “Let’s be honest, I mean, I know there are many single parents out there with more kids than me and more problems than me. But I’m like a below average parent when it comes to handing them together. I struggle.” The other day, I asked my mother how these other moms make it look so easy when I’m so tired. You know what she said? “Becase you are older, dear.” Thanks mom.

Raleigh March 5, 2013 at 5:57 pm

FUCK the “right” way. Know what my kid is doing right now? Watching The Wonder Pets and eating Dora The Explorer chicken noodle soup while I type this. Know why? BECAUSE I NEED HER TO. For reals, if you’re not okay, then all of this organic, placenta fed, therapist raised, GMO-free shit you’re doing for your kids is seriously worthless. YOU are truly the only thing that matters, because YOU. ARE. THE. MOST. IMPORTANT. THING. Let G rock out to some cartoons and munch on Smartfood, gurl! You need a life! I come first in my family, and I am in no way shape or form ashamed to admit that. If I fall apart, so does everything else. Do what FEELS right, not what someone else tells you is right. I learned very early on in my parenting that according to someone else, you’re always doing it wrong.

Veralynn @ Joie de V March 6, 2013 at 9:12 pm

I agree with this 100% and I love you for saying this! Mom needs to come first and take care of herself, because she is the glue keeping everything together. Trust.

St Sahm March 5, 2013 at 10:06 pm

No! No way. You go out of town first!

Being alone with an infant and toddler is just as difficult as S.E.A.L training.
Schedule family help and friend visits for sure.

On a selfish note, totally looking forward to the upcoming posts.

Kiera March 6, 2013 at 10:16 am

Don’t freak out – but 3 is worse than 2. Sorry I have to be the bearer or bad news. My son turned 3 just a few weeks ago… so the last month or so leading up to 3 and into the now makes the crap he pulled while he was 2 seem like a day by myself at the beach with a large colorful drink in my hand.

My 2nd just turned 2 months old. I lucked out that he doesn’t care about anything as long as I feed him and let him sleep.

Also, the right way is such crap. My 3 year old went to his big boy room with no issues because the TV is in there. And going in there by himself and watching his favorite TV show or movie for 1 hour is what keeps me from jumping out a really high window somedays. And another good indoor activity? The play place at McD’s. Fuck him eating healthy 24/7. The one chicken nugget & kid fries he eats once a month is NOT going to hurt him. He is a lean 33 lbs and his favorite food is carrots. It didn’t scar him for life!!

Question – where is the dino thing? I NEED to go there… $30 thousand dollars or not.

Lisa @bitesforbabies March 6, 2013 at 11:43 am

WOW!!! May the Lord be with you, lol! If you have any possible help ASK FOR IT! Stock the fridge with wine (or beer, whatever you fancy!) and take some deep-breathing yoga classes!!! lol! GOOD LUCK!!

Mae March 6, 2013 at 12:15 pm

I remember those days well. Mine are exactly the same age apart, and are now 2 and 4. My husband traveled all the time for work. Life sucked.

One evening I had my husband’s aunt and uncle over for dinner, and I was complaining to her about playing with my little guy while trying to nurse, and feeling guilty all the time about everything, and Aunt Bonnie looked at me in astonishment and said, “I *never* played with my children….! Children play. Adults have work to do.”

Let me tell you, I’ve never felt comfortable basing my own parenting methods on my mother’s, because, well, reasons. But, Aunt Bonnie’s kids are some of the most well adjusted, accomplished, happy people I know. And they dote on their parents, like in a functional family sort of way that I had never experienced or seen before.

I didn’t completely stop playing with my kids. But I stopped feeling guilty about saying no when I had had enough, or when I needed to nurse or do other things. It took some extra hugs and reassurance to get my eldest through the change in my attitude without feeling rejected, but I stuck with it, and now he happily plays by himself or with his little sister, and I can invest more imagination and energy into our occasional play sessions when I do join in.

And. New Toys. With buttons, bells, whistles, lights and bright colors. Like a few others have said, new toys are good. And I’ll probably burn in Hell for all the TV I let my little guy watch during that time, but, you know what, I’d probably really burn in Hell for what I would have done if I hadn’t had the TV to rely on. It would have been bad here. bad.

I feel your pain. Complain more. To everyone within hearing distance. That helps too.

Annalisa March 6, 2013 at 12:40 pm

Hey Amanda– my husband travels a lot and works long hours. My babies are close in age like yours — 22 months and 14 weeks. I don’t leave the house a ton as its too many moving parts and I am afraid of the flu. Here is what I do to keep busy with them aside from books — stickers (Melissa and Doug make awesome sticker pads- make a face, make a meal, animals, etc). I can do that one handed while nursing. Puzzles are hit or miss, markers, tearing construction paper and using scotch tape to stick it to a box — actually harder than you think. We have an iPad with tons of fun apps – I do a 20 min time limit and put restrictions on so she can’t leave the app. Mega blocks and Lego duplos are helpful. Finger painting with a brush before bath time is good. Also I let her loose in my kitchen floor with flour, oats, cornmeal, water, etc about an hour before bath. I give her cups spoons etc and she has a blast- dried pasta can be fun too. When she’s done I bathe/bedtime her and clean up floor. It’s really not so awful and she has a good time. We also do eye spy books and where’s Waldo. Im considering a mr potato head but she might be too old? Blocks are fun sometimes. She helps me with chores – I have her sort small piles of clean clothes – whose is it/colors/sizes. She helps with some cooking in her high chair or learning tower. For the baby — she’s usually on my lap ands it’s fine. I put a mobile in a crib for 20 mins to do stuff. Hmm I can’t think of much else but it will get easier. I have no family here and I’ve learned to plan ahead, take it moment by moment, and stock your freezer for quick options.

Jen March 6, 2013 at 1:12 pm

Yep, know what you mean – husband’s a pilot so away all the time and there are three kids in residence here.
Here’s the thing. Your ultimate job as mom is to raise them to be independent, capable, decent adults. With a stress on independent. Lose the guilt about playing with your toddler. It isn’t doing him any favors in the long run if he feels he needs someone around to entertain him all the time. He needs to learn how to be creative on his own and be comfortable by himself. So don’t be too anxious about playing all the time with him. If you want to, great, go for it. If you have other stuff that needs to be done (ie. feeding your baby, feeding yourself, getting a shower in) then that’s the priority. He needs to know that you have other priorities sometimes and that doesn’t change your love or support for him.
My lifesaver when the kids were little was that while the youngest one napped, the other ones had quiet time in their rooms. By themselves. Hello books. It turns them into voracious readers. Which is good, right? And I got stuff done.
He’ll live if he doesn’t have someone to play with all the time, I promise. It’ll be hard at first but short term pain, long term gain.

Cat March 6, 2013 at 3:09 pm

No one else is excited you’re selling your clothes? IM SO EXCITED. I REFRESH YOUR PAGE HOURLY.

Amy B March 6, 2013 at 3:42 pm

4 weeks one at a time or all at once, as in a month??? Not that either one is better or worse – they are both worse. Do you have a nook/kindle or other touch pad device? I’ve recently let my child start putting together puzzles on my nook. Its like doing them with the wooden ones except he has to drag the icon to the spot. (look out for temporary frustration if this is a new idea, but he’ll learn quick) He does shapes and animals. He also plays matching games where you have to turn over cards to find the match etc. There are also books that will read to them and then you can touch the pictures and they do stuff. Lots of free ones on the nook, but I don’t know about other devices. This is not a replacement for human interaction of course, but in my mind its a great alternative to (or in addition to) TV when you need breaks. Also we color a lot.

Kelsey March 6, 2013 at 6:34 pm

Have you ever been to The Smith House in Philly? It’s free! (http://smithplayground.org/visit/) with a big indoor play area. I work with kids 0-3 throughout Philadelphia county and always recommend that place. The Please Touch Museum is also great. As far as indoor activities the other readers have left some good tips. It sounds like G is struggling without your attention, so whenever he does something on his own try to emphasis that he did it independently, “You did this this puzzle/drawing/poopstain/block tower ALL BY YOURSELF?! Wow! You’re such a BIG BOY! I can’t believe you did it on YOUR OWN! I love it when you show me what you can do all by yourself!”. This will help him realize you want to see what he can do, not what he needs you for (sad I know, but he’s growing up!) When he does need help or your attention to do something, try to do only a tiny piece of it, just the beginning preferably, and then let him go to town. Good luck!

Lindsay @ The Live-In Kitchen March 6, 2013 at 8:42 pm

Its so nice to hear someone going through the same thing. It has been rough with three little kids in the house all winter. And I don’t want to take them anywhere because as much as my life with three kids sucks? Imagine if they were puking everywhere. So there’s no chance I’m going to let them catch anything. I have a pinterest board full of activities to do with kids (http://pinterest.com/liveinkitchen/kids/) but do I actually have the energy to supervise and clean up the mess any of them would make? No.

Angela March 6, 2013 at 8:46 pm

I have a 2.5 year old and our latest indoor activity is using water color paints…. and it is AMAZING!!! Way better than painting with finger paints because:

First I showed her how to do it. Dip the brush in the water, then in the paint, then on the paper… then rinse brush. Obviously this is WAY above her head. BUT then she said “I do it like mama??” and I put her in her high chair and gave her a small cup of water and paints etc. She was so busy trying to do the sequence right… and then gave up and just liked shoving the paint brush in the paint.. that she was occupied for like an hour. And I had baby number two napping in my arms and I actually watched some tv.

Try it.

Desiree March 7, 2013 at 12:53 pm

Damn girl, I’m just reading this and my blood pressure is up. I do hate to see a fellow hippie mama (or any mama for that matter) suffering! That said:

Do you have real anxiety issues or are you just a high-drama individual? If you have real issues, girl they got medication for that! There’s no need to suffer! If you’re just high drama, please remember that your children pick up on your energy and that’s no good for anyone.

Also, will you be alone for an entire month or is it a thing where he’ll come home on the weekends? If you’ll get him on the weekends, it’s not ideal but you’ll get a break every five days and you can do anything for five days. Don’t you have family nearby? Get them to come over and play trains with G while you do stuff.

Put G in a mom’s morning out program. Use the money you’re getting from selling your clothes to pay for it. My daughter goes twice a week for two hours and those four hours a week that I get for just me are absolutely magical.

Have playdates with your other mom friends. Let the kids run in circles and get their energy out. Every time I go to a morning playdate, my daughter takes awesome naps.

Hire a mother’s helper for a few hours. I pay our 11-year old neighbor kid five bucks an hour to play with my kid while I clean the house, do laundry, etc. It’s not ideal because my kid’s still clingy, but she’s just interested enough in new people that she’ll play with the neighbor long enough for me to get stuff done.

There are solutions and you’ll get through this. Take each moment one breath at a time, don’t let yourself spin out and you’ll be fine. There’s no need to drown in two inches of water.

Love and light, kid. I’ll be thinking of you.

JS March 8, 2013 at 5:29 pm

Yes. THIS! All excellent suggestions. Very smart.

Emma Louise March 7, 2013 at 3:22 pm

You’ll be fine, MODG. I know I’m only eighteen and don’t have to live with the kids I look after 24/7, but I can promise that you just… cope. And this must sound really, really lame coming from me because, not being a parent, I really don’t know that much.

But anyway… if I had a passport, I’d come babysit. Because that’s not creepy or anything.

R March 7, 2013 at 3:46 pm

Does B work for a big company? My major corporation offers back up child care and when my nanny is out I can get an at home caretaker for a $4/hr co-pay or $10/day at a Bright Horizons day care facility. Look in to it. If B doesn’t have it you should re-marry someone who does, it’s that awesome.

Devan March 8, 2013 at 4:01 am

It sounds that awesome! I wonder if I am making full use of the resources in my area…?

Marie March 7, 2013 at 7:54 pm

When my son was about 15 months, we were visiting my in-laws and I was doing my usual thing, which was to play with my son all the time, with whatever he wanted. My mother-in-law, who raised four kids, gave me some advice: make him play by himself. I was thinking she would be proud of me for how attentive I was to my son, but instead, it concerned her how much focused attention I was giving him. She advised having intense play moments but then letting him go and do his thing. The more you do it, the easier it will get. Now that I’m pregnant with number 2, I’m doing this all the time to prepare my son for mommy’s attention not being on him!

Sorry about the four weeks solo. That is awful. Get help. Babysitter, daycare, fly out a parent or two, whatever you can. At the very least, schedule time for a babysitter to give you several hours of alone time! Good luck!

Megan March 12, 2013 at 3:39 pm

This is the truth. Sing it, sister. G may throw tantrums at first, but he’ll learn to suck it up and play on his own, then he’ll come to love it. Letting him build his independence is a great gift to both him AND you.

Devan March 8, 2013 at 4:10 am

Wow, so this is the first time I am here and I so enjoyed reading your post and all the comments. You know why it is great to rant here and for all of us to read it? Because it helps all of us feel more normal, and we are all in this together right? We are all doing what we can, the best we can. Not that your “pain” makes me feel any better, but when I lose my shit I don’t feel like shit (as much) because I know of like 100 people right here that feel the same way. So, basically, nothing is wrong with ME, I am just raising little kids….SO, vent on momma! I love the comments about taking care of you, particularly the one beginning with “FUCK”! :) Good luck and I for one will be here to read and offer support through your 4 weeks. (I saw the Bloggess reference you in one of her posts, that must be cool, being friends with her!!) <3 Devan (mommy to 3 and 6 year old girls – thank GOD no boys)

Anna March 8, 2013 at 2:12 pm

My go-to entertainment for that age…a box (or two even!) of dried pasta. Whatever shape, big enough so you don’t worry about choking, and whatever kitchen things you care to share! Bowls, measuring cups, ice cube trays, muffin pans, pots and pans, spoons….and let him go to town. This has bought me hours! Hours I tell ya! Hang in there!

JS March 8, 2013 at 5:28 pm

You will be fine. And seriously, I agree with one of the commenters who said if you really need meds, get them. I did, and was better. Otherwise … shizz got pretty real fast. And the need to be perfect and do it perfect so your kids will be perfect. Don’t set that bar that high – seriously – it is too hard to attain. Do what you need to do so everyone is fed, clean, and … there you go. This is not a life crisis. You will be OK. And complaining does not make it better. It just does not. There is a difference between asking for help with something and just complaining to complain — lots of readers have offered you really good advice. Take it, and use it — for your own well-being, and the kiddos. Good luck.

Kim Worstell March 8, 2013 at 8:00 pm

Ok trying not to fan girl out right now. I just got my yellow heels from modgblog poshmark and they’re fabulous!! I’ve always felt like your secret beastie as I have IC, love booze and confessions, and am starting my baby journey with MODG as my preggo guide. Thanks MODG!!!

Kim Worstell March 8, 2013 at 8:02 pm

Clearly I meant bestie. What a fucking love hate I have with Apple and its auto-correct.

Bryn March 10, 2013 at 2:59 pm

Uh, avocado cowboy cookies you posted about are seriously nast. I mean, if you haven’t had an actual cookie in a spell, they might confuse you with their similarities to cookies. But for those of us who eat butter and grains on a daily, those little shitballs do not qualify as anything other than doughy, crumbly crap-o granola bars. Yuck.

Sara March 12, 2013 at 9:27 am

First of all, a month is a seriously long time. You should get a spa vacation in exchange.

Second of all, I suppose I’m curious why you do all the vegan organic from scratch baby food, and exclusive breastfeeding, and structured play time when you kind’ve seem to really really hate it and also seem to acknowledge simultaenously that there’s nothing wrong with not doing those things. I get that you’re trying to parent the “right way”, like you said, but honestly our parents all thought they were parenting the right way and now on all these blogs all we do is complain about them and make fun of them. Which is pretty awful, considering they while we might not think they made enough sacrifices or enough from scratch baby food, they worked just as hard at it as we do. Anyway, since you don’t seem to like doing this stuff, and you don’t seem judgey about not doing it, I’m curious what your motivation is behind making your life so much harder than it probably needs to be. In 25 years our kids will probably be blogging (or whatever the next thing is) about how dumb it was our parents spent all this time doing stuff anyway when its since been proven that none of this makes a huge difference as long as parents love their kids.

Marie March 12, 2013 at 1:47 pm

I just happened upon your blog during my daily stay at home mom google bonanza while baby # 1 naps. I googled morning sickness and read last mays post on how hot you felt during the first trimester. I feel just as hot right now in my first trimester with baby # 1. Then I just read the most recent. I can totally relate to the terrible two’s insanity and am wondering how I will be able to deal with my son asking me over and over again where his Kermit the frog toy is when I have absolutely no idea because I didn’t play with it last, when another baby arrives. Your blog is hilarious and makes me feel good knowing that there is another stay at home mom that knows how hard it is to be home and do a good job raising the kids all while trying to keep up with losing the baby weight to look good, feeling trapped in the winter, and maybe missing getting dressed and going to work sometimes for some adult interaction!

Erin March 13, 2013 at 12:46 am

I happened upon your blog today while googling “my 5 month old won’t nap” and can’t stop reading your posts! First, you are hilarious, 2nd, you are able to express in writing everything I’m feeling but font have the time or gift of writing to express and third, my life right now seems to mirror yours completely! Thanks for the entertainment you provided that I needed today, and honestly need every day!

Katie E. March 13, 2013 at 1:24 pm

Okay, here are some awesome time consuming toddler games. Hide and Seek. Let G hide, and take a while to go look, while asking, “where’s G? is he in the …” Easy 15 minutes of toddler free time, because you can repeat. Also, get a large spoon. Show it to G. Tell him to hide his face. Hide the spoon, and let him look for it. It sounds lame, but entertains my 2 yr old. Get a bucket and a bunch of balls and get him to throw the balls in the bucket. FINGER PAINT. I unroll freezer paper across my kitchen floor, barricade the exit and let my 2 yr old go to town.

Now for the sanity check. A little TV is not going to ruin your toddler if it lets you nurse the baby and not go ‘splodey. My kindergardener watched TV and still does. He watched more than was recommended while I did 6 mo. of bed rest. He is FINE. Super smart and personable. Remember, our parents’ goal was to keep us living. Aim there.

Also, if you don’t want to get out to see other people, have them come to you. Although I recommend finding a mommy group. http://www.meetup.com has meetups all around where you just show up and socialize. It’s great. Or go stay with family. When my other half is gone for several weeks, I travel. Good luck sweetie!

Lluvia March 16, 2013 at 9:50 pm

This is going to sound crazy, but I gave up on buying new clothes, and getting my hair done on a regular basis, so I can take my 3 yr old to preschool since she was 2. I am ALONE a lot, as my husband travels. I say to myself, I will get things done when she’s at school. But I don’t. I sleep. I watch TV (she hogs it all day long, even if she takes off to another room to play). I go shopping. Or I just lay there, doing nothing.

I am also in a gym where they have daycare…it is always empty during 12 noon. My 3 yr old gets the three ladies to herself, and I pretend to work out. Winning.

Good luck, to ya! Hope it goes by fast. It’s too cold here, as well. We built a house out of sheets and the dining chairs. We had a blast. She asks for it everyday, now, though. I open the windows, and let her look outside…that keeps her somewhat entertained…as soon as it gets warm, we go out!!

Sarahrdh March 17, 2013 at 9:24 pm

Winter is a bitchy whore. I cant wait for nice weather to throw my kids outside for hours!!!!! Shits getting real here too.

Jessica March 18, 2013 at 9:11 am

MODG, we are in the exact same spot with kids ages and stages. Must nurse in quiet, but how can it be quiet with a tantruming 2 year old? Then they get over hungry and wont latch and just screammmm and then you want to throw your 2 year old for adding to the screaming. Sigh. I think its a balance of survival and grabbing onto the sweet moments where all is calm (albeit not often). My friends and I decided that “enjoy every minute” is just something to make moms of little kids feel even MORE guilty. “Enjoy” is more of a retrospective emotion at this stage! That cute pic I posted on FB of my 5 month old in my carrier on my back and my 2 year old pouting in my arms? SO CUTE, right? I was about to throw myself off a bridge….I was wearing them out of NECESSITY not because I WANTED to have 40 pounds of children on me… but someone commented “this is what memories are made of”. SIGH!

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