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Archive for the ‘rant’ Category

What happened to my patience?

I’m finding I keep asking myself that question a lot lately. I’m an extremely tolerant person who happens to pride herself with the ability to stay as cool as a cucumber.

I’ll never forget when  a friend’s mom complimented me on my patience with my two year old following her baby shower. I was about four months pregnant, and I don’t even remember my daughter giving me a hard time at the party. I’m aware of when she’s being unruly, and I keep her under control. But I answered her every question, request, pondering and plea. Most times down at her level, and with poise.

She was my main focus, the center of my attention. For her, I have impeccable patience–Or use to. Since having a second child I’m finding less and less gentle responses to my children’s never-ending desires.

silly girlMaybe it’s because my daughter is now a threenager. That could be it. She’s a walking, talking ball of sass that seems to always have me on the verge of tears–either from laughter or anger. But another part of me feels like balancing TWO kids is what’s sending me over the edge. Let me explain…

First of all, I’m not sure what kind of alternate universe I’ve been in, but I pictured my two kids blissfully entertaining each other while I did things like used the bathroom in peace. Boy was I wrong! Now, the only difference is there are playmats, toys next and a baby crammed in with me, in addition to the preschooler making water experiments in the sink. Surely the quiet bathroom scene must come after three kids, right?

With one–Just my daughter–I was focused on her, all the time. My attention wasn’t divided nearly as much. If she needed to wait a few moments while I did something it usually wasn’t for long, and overall, I think I just had a little more energy back then.

IMG_1420-copy

(Lil J’s Top and Jeggings: Target; Bow and Bowtie: Amazing Grace Bowtique; Big T’s Top: JC Penny; Shorts: Thrifted)

Now with a little brother, she has to wait more often and her patience too, seems to be wearing thin. Sometimes she asks a dozen times before she gets what she wants (granted, it’s in the space of 60 seconds). Just yesterday morning she wailed in frustration because she wanted me to turn on a TV show for her. Her brother was in the other room with her dad, and I was just sitting with her, listening to her, I didn’t understand the hysterics.

“You don’t need to talk to me that way, that is not how you ask for something you want,” I explained, my composure still in tact. After all, it was only 8am.

She took a moment, accessing my expression (which was much more firm than my words) and apologized.

“Ok, I’ll try again,” she said. And she proceeded to do one of the strangest things I’ve ever seen her do.

As if she pushed a personal reset button, she turned to face a different direction “I’ll start over… I look this way,” she said away from me, rewinding the clock ten seconds in her mind. Then she turned to face me and started again slowly in a soft voice with puppy dog eyes “Mommy, can you please turn on Dora for me?”

I can’t get enough of moments like those (after the drama reboot), yet I feel like I’m missing some due to split attention.

Most nights I’m getting the kids in bed by myself. My current routine is so put Lil’ J to bed first, after her own set of stories, songs and prayer, then nurse her brother to sleep. But I’m thinking of reversing that to give us a little more one-on-one time.

I’m trying to carve out special big sister time, but Big T doesn’t have a regular nap time yet, so we’re still sorta playing it by ear. Thank goodness she loves her brother and doesn’t get jealous.

sleeping-preschooler

This may sound ridiculous, but when they’re both asleep, I find myself wondering why I ever lose it in the first place. I have a clear head, and get to hit my own “reboot” button as I watch them peacefully snooze. A few Zzzzs seems to put everything back in perspective.

So admittedly, I’m losing my temper, when before I could almost always keep it contained. I expect my daughter to know better because she can go to the bathroom by herself and speak in complete sentences–In English no less. But I also need to remember she’s three. Just six months ago she was the sole center of my world and now she’s sharing that spotlight with a little guy equally as wonderful. In the end, tantrums to tantrums, meltdowns to meltdowns, I’d say she’s handling it better than I am. But I’ll get there. I’ll learn, readjust, and hopefully soon I’ll be that mom again that gets people asking “How do you stay so calm?”

If I had a nickle for every time someone congratulated me on becoming a stay at home mom, I could make a living wage and consider myself a work at home mom, collecting interest from my funds.

Okay, I kid.

But really, people seem to be very excited about this! And I am too. But I can’t help but feel a slight urge to correct someone when they call me that.

Most of the time I let it go. Cause really, I was in the office a whopping 15 hours this week. Five of which included having my kids there with me. It’s quite the shift, just a third of the time I’d normally spend there. But it was three days in the office, and another day and a half I was working on a freelance project from home. I don’t really feel like a stay at home mom. And even if I was exactly what people call a SAHM, it sorta implies I never leave the house.

Does acknowledging the term brand me into a category of mothering?

mom labels

I love wearing my babies, and talk about it all the time, but you’ll rarely (if ever) catch me calling myself a “babywearer” or “babywearing mom.”

If you asked me if I’m a stay at home mom I guess I’d say yes. But I’d probably say yes if you asked if I was a work at home mom, or a work outside the home mom. If you were to ask me what I “do” I’d probably say I’m a freelance reporter, assuming you mean for money. But please don’t make me choose a four letter acronym to define myself. I’m so much more than that. We all are.

I have friends who are concert pianists, have landed record deals, won Emmy’s, baking awards, have degrees, know sign language, and teach yoga… All extraordinary mothers who shouldn’t be confined to such an ordinary phrase.–As if you’re putting a period at the end of a simplified definition of ourselves. I prefer an ellipses.

Get to know me.

And trust me… You can’t fit all this *hands hourglassing down my waistline* in an acronym.

Just a little teeny tiny rant, I promise.

My to-do list is piling up once again, both at work and at home. In fact I don’t know which is longer. In order to get everything done that I need to do I imagine I’d have to stay awake 24 hours, every day for the next three months.

Not really, but that’s how it feels.

That to-do before #2 list? Totally back burner, I have a new, more urgent to-do before #2 list that I wrote up last night. Things like setting up a place for the baby to sleep, getting Lil’ J a new bed so the baby can have a crib. And then more enjoyable things like sewing nursery decorations and baby clothes.

I still have my regular tasks at work, and side-writing jobs I need to not fall behind on stay on top of, and even get ahead in some cases. There just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day.

I’m debating putting in more hours at work to get ahead, and implementing earlier bed times, and implementing a currently non-existent weekend nap time for my first-born, so I can accomplish everything. But then comes the fear that I’m going to regret my manic antics once the baby comes. My daughter’s last few months as an only child may become a blur, and a month into having a new baby I’ll be cursing my 3-month-younger-self for not saying “screw it” and sleeping in while I could.

There I go again with the fear of making the wrong choice.

Here is where I get positive…

I can do this. If I’ve managed to balance a million things with one child well by golly, I’m going to do it better than ever these last three months. And my husband reminded me that I’ll have 12 weeks off with my oldest daughter anyway, so even if her last 11 weeks as an only child wind up in a whirlwind, her first few months as a big sister will be with her mama by her side, helping her transition. 

Let the countdown commence. A million things to do, 10 weeks 4 days to go!

Once thing I enjoy about this blog is the fact that I’ll be able to look back and see how much my thoughts, ideals and opinions have changed. I can already look back at a few things I’ve posted just moths ago and see that my opinions have changed.

I came across a popular post I wrote on Myspace three years ago. I was very passionate and upset at how so many people I was around were asking things like “How many kids do you have?–Oh” It was getting quite annoying. Now can I preface this and say my mind has changed a lot since then? I was very opinionated at this time about all the people around me who were pregnant and telling me I should be too. I felt like all the while I was trying not to be judgemental these people had no right to judge ME. That is what inspired this rant:

Thursday, August 10, 2006
What is wrong with women these days? (This may seem offensive)

Ok… not that I am being judgmental or anything because everyone is entitled to an opinion. So don’t take what I am saying in an offensive way.

I am so annoyed with how many women here in Utah (especially Utah County) are such cop-outs. Ok… that is a harsh phrase to use. Let me better explain myself…

I don’t understand why so many women just say “I don’t want to work so I’m going to have kids.” Kids are wonderful blessings but that doesn’t mean you have to have them when you are 21. And don’t give me this “well you may not be able to have kids when you’re older” crap; because that’s a load of you know what.

If that was the case a majority of people in the US wouldn’t be marrying in their late 20s and even later have children.

I’m tired of people looking at me like I’m the strange one for being married for a year and a half and not sitting on the nest. What happened to being ambitious, and enjoying work, studies, life, your spouse, traveling, making a difference in the world? And yes, you can make a difference in your child’s life as well, but so will I when I’m established, have a career, graduate degree(s), a house and maturity under my belt.

And don’t look at me like I’m the selfish one. Just because I want to be older than 23 when I have a child does not mean I am “worldly.” (And for the record I will be in my 30s when I have my first child).

Elizabeth Vargas–recently retired ABC anchor in NYC just had her 2nd child at 43. Now I’m not saying I want to be that old, I’m just saying you can be and that’s ok. My mom had me at age 18 and just had a baby last year at 38 (there are 3 in between us). I will be done before I am 38 and have kids out of the house about the same time as most people who start now.

Don’t tell me if I don’t have kids now or if I keep putting it off that I will never want to have kids or that I will be “punished” for not having them now. …I’m not even going to get started on that.

It’s not that I don’t like kids; it’s just that I’m not ready. And the more and more I hear people talking about wanting to get pregnant the more it drives me away from wanting to. I’m not ready to jump on the band wagon and do what everyone else is doing.

I’m sorry but I want to wait until I can afford a child first of all. I am not a fan of taking out loans and using other people’s money to raise a family. I know accidents happen (an no, accidents are not ‘forgetting to take your birth control and getting caught in the moment’ you are asking for it.) but accidents aren’t “well, we’ll just take our chances and see what happens… chances are you’ll get pregnant, so don’t tempt fate. I also don’t buy the “we couldn’t afford birth control that month” (and yes, someone has told me this excuse, no lie). I’m sorry but if you can’t afford birth control (a box of condoms for $5) then how do you expect to be able to afford a baby?

I do not plan on just working part time (both me and my husband while we are both still in school) and taking out student loans because “we should start our families now.” Everyone can start their families when they want, and I plan on being debt free (besides a house) before having a child. I don’t want to bring a child into this world with debt or other people’s money. And don’t tell me “everyone’s doing it” (and yes, I have heard this excuse), because not everyone is doing it, and I don’t blame them. I don’t really see it logical to stay at home, not work, and raise a child while my husband is finishing up school and working part time (if at all). Why? Why put yourself through that? You have plenty of years of fertility.

I am beginning to think women around here want to have kids so young for two main reasons. 1. Because they don’t want to work and 2. Because everyone else is and it just seems right.

Now there is no need to bring religion into this because we all know it is between husband, wife and the Lord to decide when it is time for EACH INDIVIDUAL couple to have children.

Again, I am not trying to be judgmental. Do what you want, but I am telling you why I am doing what I want. Have all the babies you want, be my guest, but don’t look at me like I am the bad guy. We all have our choices and my choice is to wait.

****

Ouch right? I’m not trying to turn this into a controversial post like this ok so hear me out… Three years later a few things have changed. For one, I’m don’t think I’ll be in my 30s when I have my first child… Not by my choice at least. That would mean waiting another 7 years!! The crazy thing is I’ll have been married for 12 years! Well, it’s funny to see how already my opinions have changed some.

I get “The Urge” now, when I didn’t then. Though luckily I’m at a much different stage of life than I was then. Now I’m a young professional versus a student.

I’ve learned there’s not really a time that you will “afford” a child, though I think we’re better off than we were in school (thank goodness). And ESPECIALLY since the economy has been hit so bad I now understand the need for help sometimes–Because even if you do have jobs… Nowadays you could loose it at any time. Unfortunately, a job now doesn’t guarantee you a job 9 months from now.

Most of all I think I’ve learned opinions don’t matter. I have so many friends who popped babies out right away and they (seem) so happy. And how they pay their bills–With their money, our money, loan money, banked-robbed money is really none of my business. And over time, as they’ve stopped asking me when I’m going to have a kid (probably thinking I’m infertil) I’ve moved on… And I’ve stopped coming up for excuses for why I haven’t joined their club.

While I think my words will stir up some emotions, please remember I was young ;o) BUT I am wondering… Do people ever bug the crap out of you on topics like this? Do/ Did you feel pressured to get married/ have babies/ more babies when maybe you don’t feel it’s right? Have you ever felt the same way that I did then? I love open and honest discussion.

Hi! I’m Jennifer Borget

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I'm a part-time journalist, full-time wife and mother striving to make the world a better place and inspiring others to do the same. This is the space where I share my journey in making the most of every day.

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