On the Verge of a Breakdown? This Mama is Here to Help!
Our plan was to have kids close in age, but I don’t think we really thought this close in age. We are both in our mid-thirties so we knew we didn’t want to wait too long -- plus having them close in age means they can play together and get along, right?! (I can see all the faces being made with this comment) We have a 21 month old and 4 month old.
I love my boys dearly, but it’s hard. See, my second son is a challenge. The pregnancy was hard and scary, he had tongue and lip ties, reflux issues, and colic. It was a rough first 6 weeks to say the least. I think I went on 1 hour of sleep a day for almost a month.
My husband is a police officer that works third shift, so I am on my own at night and some evenings depending on what shifts he picks up, trainings he has to go to, or court dates. Let me tell ya, I respect all single parents out there -- I don’t know how you do it. When I have to “single parent” I try to remind myself that this time will pass. As long as the boys are fed, clean, and safe that’s all that matters! We have some good days and I try to focus on those to get me through the rough days.
Right now my 4-month-old has a cold so he can’t breathe and he just popped two bottom teeth! For the past 2 weeks he has been up every 1.5 to 2 hours nursing due to not breathing and needing to soothe. I am running on low fuel here and have to go to work and supervise a staff of 14! I run on caffeine and great multi-tasking skills! But really life for me comes down to team work and self-care.
My husband is amazing! He helps with the evenings when he is home and takes over with the baby after our oldest goes to bed so I can at least attempt a nap while he is home. Team work is key. I don’t know what I would do without him!
But my huge parenting “ah ha” moment was when I realized during Christmas time (when everything was absolutely crazy and I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown) that I have to take care of myself in order to take care of my family. Yes the house needs cleaned, yes we need to grocery shop, yes I have piles of laundry. It all has to wait. We will get to it when we can. Priority one is taking care of ourselves for our sanity, so we can take care of our children, and so we can take care for our marriage.
My husband is better at this than me. I tend to always put myself last and decide I don’t have the time or money for myself. So we started by agreeing to have one date night a month, one mommy night out a month, and one daddy night out a month. We have done this for a month now and so far it’s been amazing! I am also connecting with friends more through text and online just so I can chat and catch up here and there. It’s been helpful to relate to other moms in that way.
But my biggest self-care is that I started a blog called The Thin Blue Line Between Love and Diapers. It’s hard being a police officer’s wife. It’s hard having kids and keeping your marriage healthy. It’s really hard having 2 under 2. So I figured a blog about all this just to get it out and maybe even help someone else!
I work in social work so I always love helping others. I just have to remember to help myself, too! And I think moms forget this a lot! Especially those moms with little ones and multiple children in the home. We are the last to eat, the last to bed, the one who showers in 5 minutes (if we can even shower), the one with holes in our clothes while are kids clothes are on point.
I call it mommyhood. I love it, but I have to work hard -- work hard to care for myself, work hard to care for my children, and work hard to take care of my marriage.
What was your parenting “ah ha” moment? What's your strategy for sanity? Drop it in the comments below!
A big THANK YOU to Kendra for sharing her wisdom in this week's StoryTime.
Mama Stories that prove we're in it together without having it all together.
My name is Kendra Larimore. I am 34 years old. I am married to my police officer husband, Brian, who is 36. We met 7 years ago and were married almost 4 years ago. It took us a bit to get pregnant with our first but our second came mighty quick as a special surprise. We have 2 boys: Bentley 21 months and Bryant 4 months. We have a 4 year old black lab Stella at home who I feel guilty for neglecting sometimes so she gets special cuddles at night. I work as supervisor in social work. Long days and little pay, but I love my job and the community I serve. I love supporting my husband in his job but sometimes being a first responder’s wife is hard! It’s a different lifestyle and a family all its own. We don’t really have family close by to help out as our parents are older, live a few hours away, and aren’t able to care for small children. So we are working on building our own village to help out. I was adopted by my grandparents after a not great childhood and my family really helped out a lot during the years I grew up. I miss that extra help and support now that I have my own children. I strive hard to be a good and healthy parent for my boys! I am thankful for the family I had to teach me what good parenting should look like and what love means.