L: You have mentioned that you try to follow the principles of Attachment Parenting. Can you explain a little about what they are? Does having multiples make AP more difficult?
This comes very easy to me, partially because I have such a supportive husband, and because this way of parenting seems very natural to me. Babies and children have such an intense need for us, as parents, to help meet their needs, and to stay physically close to them.
L: How does being an ER nurse affect you as a mom? Does having medical knowledge make it a little less stressful, since you know what to do in every situation- or does it complicate things?
D: I’ve been a nurse for over 16 years, and have been working in the Emergency Room about two and a half years. Up until that point, I had ZERO pediatric nursing experience. Taking care of sick children still scares me senseless – there’s been a few occasions I’ve cried on the way home, or in the bathroom at work!
Having medical knowledge is a bit of a Catch 22: I know a lot, and would theoretically know how to respond in an emergency, God forbid, if anything were to happen to any of my children. I’ll be honest and tell you that I know I’d be a basket case, and I’d be just a mom, and not a nurse. I’ve had to take Rachel in twice for wicked stomach bugs. (the first time, I was pregnant – just didn’t know I was carrying the twins!) I tried very hard not to be a know it all nurse momma. We had a ‘near miss’ on Christmas Eve, and almost had to take Adam in for stitches. After consulting with my best friend, who is also an ER nurse, we decided to stay home. Thank goodness!
D: I’ve forgotten how I found all these blogs, but I do follow a lot of other moms of multiples.
Kim, at The Mommy Machine: I adore her stories of Alaska, and her stories of her girls.
D: Sigh. The first comment I usually get about Abby is, “oh, she must be so much help!”. When she wants to help, she does a fabulous job. She’s a typical teenager, and sitting around hanging out with 3 small children really isn’t her idea of a lot of fun! The little ones ADORE her, and they go running to her when they see her. That really warms my heart!
I carry a lot of ‘mom guilt’ around, as I feel like I’m a better mother now, than I was when Abby was small. I have a wonderful husband, incredibly supportive friendships, and I’m much more confident in my parenting skills. I talk to Abby a lot about when she was younger, and try to explain how different I am now, as compared to then. I work a LOT less now, than I did when Abby was small. Back then, I was a ‘career woman’, and as I’ve gotten older, I realize that my family is my priority. I do a lot more with my children – playgroups, storytimes, field trips; than I did 10 years ago. I credit the Internet for providing me with so many more resources, and improving my parenting skills!
Around 6 months, I started being able to distinguish between the two boys, without looking at the bottom of their feet first! Slowly, we started leaving the Sharpie in the drawer. Thomas developed a birthmark, so that helped as well. As they’ve gotten older, I think it’s becoming easier to tell them apart. Physically, Adam’s face is longer, while Thomas’ face is rounder. They are the same height now, but Adam still weighs about a pound more than Thomas. Personality-wise, they are very different. Adam is my funny man – he is always trying to make me laugh. Thomas is a little quieter, and more of a love bug. To be honest, there are still days when I can get them mixed up, at least briefly!
We are very lucky to have older nephews who hand down a lot of clothes to us, so I don’t have to buy a whole lot of clothes. I do dress them in identical outfits, especially for special occasions. It’s just too cute to pass up! If they are not dressed alike, I try to at least do both boys in khakis, or jeans, etc. Brett never dresses them alike, unless I lay out the outfits! It makes him crazy!
L: You have a mother’s helper to give you a hand with the kids a few days per week- can you tell us exactly what a mother’s helper is, and how it works?
One day, while he was out with the Kennedy Kaboodle, he was approached by a nanny. She referred him to a local child care agency. I never thought I could afford any help, but after I talked with the owner of the company, I was sold. I explained to her what we wanted – someone to come in, help hold one baby while the other baby nursed, keep Rachel occupied, feed/diaper babies, and help keep the toys manageable. The company vets the applicants: background check, criminal record, ensures CPR training, etc. I really liked the folks that we had.
Unfortunately, my boys are SO clingy, I didn’t feel like a mother’s helper was all that much help. (Brett will tell you otherwise) Rachel is easy to keep occupied .. books, Barbies, etc. The boys are very tight with myself, and their father. Short of my best friend, they really aren’t at ease with a lot of folks.
We haven’t been using a mother’s helper as of late, but that may change after the first of the year, since Brett’s business is increasing.
I struggle with this on a daily basis, and I usually do not make any bones about how stressed I feel. I embrace my calling as a wife and mother with all of my heart, but sometimes, I just don’t have any idea what God is trying to show me, or teach me! I don’t want to ‘wish the days away’, and want the children to be a little older, but there are days when I wonder if it would be easier when they are 2, or 3, or older.
Lately. I’ve been trying to tell myself, “I GET to do” what ever it is, instead of “I HAVE to do”. I am so incredibly blessed, beyond my wildest dreams, but it’s so hard
My husband is my rock, and solace, and there’s no way I could make it through this without him. He’s more laid back than I am, doesn’t stress about the messy house, canned pasta for dinner, living out of laundry baskets, tripping over toys, or the fact that I don’t wear Ann Taylor every day anymore. God Bless him!
I only work 2 days/week outside the home, and I won’t pick up any more than that. I’ve pared my friendships down to the ones that matter to me the most, and I’ve learned the fine art of saying, “No” to too many demands on my time. We have a housekeeper that comes twice monthly, Rachel goes to preschool twice a week, and my best friend Laura takes Rachel, as well as Adam and Thomas out of the house frequently.
With all this, my house, and life is still CHAOTIC! I’m just trying, slowly, day by day to focus on the small successes in my life, and pare things down to the most important people in my life: my husband and children.And Dianna’s question for all of you today is:
As the New Year is upon us, I want to get back into a regular exercise routine. (for my sanity, as well as my physical health!) What are your tips for exercising with a large family?
Stop by Dianna’s blog today and say hi!