Reflections on Motherhood and Life as a Doula

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Winter Blues?

Ahhh.  The joys of the whipping bitter cold wind, the knee deep white stuff getting in my shoes, and the stir crazy feelings of being permanently trapped in the house.  I love the outdoors, but not in this weather.  As if the cold and wet isn't enough, the sun rarely shines (and when it does, its usually colder than usual outside), and funds are always running low because of the wonderful holiday season that put us in the spirit of spending more than we have.  Oye - yes, I just said "oye".  What does a mother do in situations like this?  Well, I'll tell you.

I suck it up and I wake up in the morning and say, "The sun will come out, not tomorrow, but in a few more months".  And I smile at my children (who I swear are smiling back at me through the tears) and start to clean the house.  A messy house NEVER helps with the winter blues, so first things first, house gets cleaned.  I have yet to figure out how it got so messy overnight (eh em, my husband) for me to have to reclean every. single. day.  But its messy, so therefore it is our first project.  Stephen always tells me he is going to help, but somehow every morning, he sneaks over to the TV with his cereal bowl and turns on PBS, desperately waiting for Curious George to come on.  At this point I let the dog into the living room to clean up the other half of Stephen's breakfast that he drops on the floor.  The dog is VERY helpful when it comes to cleaning (minus the clumps of hair and muddy footprints all over my carpet and sofas).  Delaney on the other hand, not so helpful.  She wants to be carried constantly, and I'm a baby wearing mama, so this is not a challenge for me.  But, she is not a fan of my constant bending over to pick things up - and I'm not a fan of cleaning on my knees in order to not have to bend down so far.  We are trying to compromise.  I have one of those saucer seat things for her...she pretty much hates it because she knows that as soon as I put her in it, I'm going to walk away.  She enjoys playing on the floor with toys, but so does Stephen, and he likes to drive his cars over her face.  She doesn't like that.  Eventually, after a lot of crying and screaming and pouting and whining, the house gets somewhat cleaned, and we can truly begin our day of fun.

I call this fun, because I get my first break.  Delaney takes her morning nap (we hope - as long as Stephen doesn't have any meltdowns during the nursing/nap process).  We now begin Mommy and Stephen Art Extravaganza!!!  I pull out finger paints and markers and crayons and construction paper and cotton balls and scissors (yikes!) and need I say more?  We make a GIANT mess and enjoy every minute of it.  I absolutely love craft time with him.  He is so creative and artistic!  I have yet to get him on board with finishing up and cleaning up - a temper tantrum usually happens in the middle of this - but we're working on it.  And then its lunch time.  If his temper tantrum woke up Delaney, sometimes we will make a special trip up to Daddy's work to get Stephen a "special" lunch (usually something junky that I shouldn't be feeding him, but its an excuse to visit Dad and it gets us out of the house for a few minutes).  If we are lucky enough to have Delaney sleep through the chaos, we usually eat a sandwich - peanut butter and jelly or grilled cheese - with some fruits and veggies.  I love lunch time.  It gives me a few moments of peace, and sometimes it gives me a chance to jump on the computer and see what the rest of the world is doing.

After lunch, we watch Word World.  I'm sorry to all the anti-TV parents out there (I used to be one), but it is an incredibly educating television show and sometimes it can stretch out my few moments of "me time" or it gives me a chance to nurse Delaney and prepare myself for the dreaded...Nap Time.

When Word World is over, Stephen knows it is time to take a nap.  99.9% of the time he tries to talk me into letting him stay up and watch Barney (yuck!), and 32% of the time, I give in.  Through lots of screaming, kicking, hitting, biting, and banging his head against the wall, I make it very clear to Stephen that I love him very much...but its still time to take a nap.  He pees, I give him a cup of almond milk, and eventually he falls asleep (or he just sits in his bed and reads books).  Now, if it is a good day, Delaney has made it through ALL of this, and I finally have some real ME time.  This is when I blog, facebook, make phone calls to clients, fold laundry...but heaven forbid I pick up a book.  Delaney has a little alarm clock in her head that only responds to Mommy picking up a book.  I don't even get to read a sentence.  The second I pick it up, she is awake.  Heck, if I even THINK about reading a book, her eyes open.  Anyway, I enjoy my few moments of quiet.  If Delaney didn't sleep through the craziness, we take this time to tickle, make goofy noises, and play peek-a-boo.  I love getting one on one time with her.  She is going to be such a beautiful young lady.  She is precious.

Stephen wakes up from his nap, Daddy gets home from work, Delaney attempts to take another nap (usually with no such luck), one of us makes dinner (I usually start it and Mike finishes because of a crying child), we eat dinner and look forward to 8 o'clock.  Stephen goes to bed - usually without a fight!  :) And Delaney goes to bed.  This is when most parents have a sense of relief and sit down to spend some quality time together.  But not in our house.  Delaney is just playing a trick on you...she's not really going to bed.  You see, she doesn't go to sleep for the night, until I am sleeping next to her.  Sounds sweet?  Yea, in a way it is.  But pretty much not.  I chug a glass of chocolate milk and sit next to Mike while we try to fit our entire day's experiences in about 30 seconds and she starts crying.  Good night - yes, every 8:30.  I'm starting to think that I am 56 instead of 26.

Winter blues?  I have a solution.  There is no such thing in our house.  Have children.  They will take up every waking moment (and even sleeping moment) - but my God, they make that time so precious.  Perfect.  I will forever be sarcastic and complain about my daily life, but I wouldn't have it any other way.  Can't wait for baby number 3!

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