Tag: parenting

She’s Come Undone

Man do I love my kids. I really truly do. They are the reason I get up out of bed every day, and the reason I battle against perfection. From the day they were born they were independent little sensitive souls who have consumed all of my physical and emotional energy.

One of the great myths about twins is that there’s always one “easy going” twin. Maybe I hit the mother lode when I received two very demanding and high strung kiddos. My little loves will go to fisticuffs over who gets to spend time in my lap. Sometimes I have to just walk away and leave them both to cry. That KILLS me. I never know which one I should comfort first. When I try to comfort both at the same time they won’t allow it. I often think I am the worst mom on the planet because I can’t handle how overwhelming it is to have them both so needy at the same time. They get so unreasonable with the screaming and crying that it escalates into total and complete chaos.

I rarely share this part of my parenting because the standard response is, “I just wouldn’t put up with that.” Well, that implies that my parenting is weak. Let me tell you, no parent could handle the intense demands of two VERY strong willed children and come out a winner (and yes, I have tried behavior charts, reward systems, Early Intervention and even a behavior therapist). I don’t get angry at those statements anymore because I was that person before I became a parent. I was THE PERFECT PARENT before I even had kids.

What I have learned is that kids will push and pull you in directions you never thought possible. I have sat in a corner and cried because my kids’ behaviors have forced me to become a screaming, impatient wreck. I have felt wild and unhinged; a rare experience for me before parenting. I was patient and calm and could keep my cool under some serious pressure. Now I can come undone so quickly.

Why am I sharing this now? Well, I want other parents feeling guilty and overwhelmed to know it’s going to be OK. Our kids over the top behaviors and emotions can leave us feeling defeated and unprepared, and even knock the wind out of us for a moment. But, we just keep getting right back up. We take a breath. We take some time for ourselves. We empty the guilt and refill our compassion. We find the reset button and remind ourselves that tomorrow is another day. Sometimes all it takes is leaving your kiddo in their room to cry it out, while you go to your room and do the same. Or, it takes a phone call to a friend to talk it through. And sometimes tagging out when your spouse returns home, or asking a neighbor to sit with your kids while you take a walk.

No matter what, remember you are doing a great job moms (and dads). You are working hard at loving your kids. Even on those days it feels like love is the hardest thing to do. No one really talks about the difficult side of parenting, or the deep pain you will feel some days. Those moments happen for so many of us, yet so few of us are willing to share it. It doesn’t mean we love our kids less. It means we are human. And by sharing our struggles it assures us we are not alone.

The Whatever Mom is a full-time wife and twin mama living on coffee and wine. She enjoys the pure rush of cleaning the BIG potty between loads of laundry. It is her dream that moms everywhere accept and embrace the Whatever Mom philosophy which can be found here.

Find more from Roxanne at Hudson Valley Parent and at Masshole Mommy


There’s No Crying In Childhood!

Kids Can Cry It Out

Oh, but there is. There is lots and lots of crying. There is crying over spilled milk. There is crying over a lost lovie. There is crying over the color of socks, and cups. And, some days it seems there is non-stop crying over the injustices your sibling inflicts on you. So. Much. Crying.

From the first day we bring our new little babies home with us it is our job as parents to discern what our children’s cries mean. Are they crying to request comfort? Hunger? Sadness? Pain? Is it just gas? As our babies become big kids our job becomes soothing them through the tears and helping them understand the emotions pushing them to cry. With two very emotional humans in my charge, I have come to realize there are times when I simply have to let them cry it out.

Last week, during gymnastics class I hear my daughter cry from across the expansive gym. I immediately jump up and start moving toward her when I notice the instructor is still instructing the other kids over my child’s cries. I realize she isn’t hurt. She is crying because of some other reason. I battle with myself about what to do next. Do I rush in and save her? Do I remove her from the class (and her consequence) or do I let her cry it out so that she gets the full lesson here?

So, if she isn’t hurt why is she crying? My girl could not get a handle on her energy and got too rowdy for the class. She was not listening to instruction (which can be dangerous when climbing and jumping off of gym equipment). As a result she had to sit out a turn. It made her sad to miss a turn and she became upset with herself for not listening. Her process for dealing with being told “no” is curling up in a ball on the floor, covering her eyes and begin sobbing. I really want to go get her to make it stop (partly out of embarrassment because of my kids lack of maturity, and I also want to assure her she is OK). Instead, I linger on the sidelines where the instructor can visibly see me, but my child can not. And, I wait. A few minutes later, my kid is still crying. The instructor scoops her up and brings her to me and explains she isn’t listening and will not accept the consequence.

Simply being told “no” threw my kid into an emotional tale spin. In that moment I wanted her to understand that her behavior lead to this consequence. She needs to know that when she isn’t behaving safely, or following rules there will be a consequence; and consequences don’t just come from mommy. One day she will be out in the big wide world and will need to know how to cope and process through bigger consequences. I would be lying if I didn’t share I was disappointed and angry. I took a deep breath. Got down on her level and said firmly,  “you need to listen to your teacher or you are not coming back. Do you understand me?” She looked at me with her eyes full of tears, choked back her last sob and said, “Ok mama.” “Are you ready to get back in there and listen?” “Yes.” “OK, class is over in 10 minutes.” She ran back to her class eager to finish up the remaining few minutes with them.

Processing emotions with our kids can be so hard! It is hard to set aside our demands and expectations for what we WANT them to do RIGHT NOW! I think my taking a moment to breathe and taking a moment to think really helped not only steady me emotionally, but steady her emotionally as well. So, she cried a little. So, her feelings were hurt because she was disappointed. That’s life. We need to let our kids live life and feel the full spectrum of emotions- not just the fun stuff, not just the magical joy. Those are important too. But, if we always swoop in to take away our kids hurts they won’t learn to cope with them.

My kids are still little, so listening attentively just isn’t going to happen. I get that. But, what we are working on here at this age is building a foundation our kids can build upon- a foundation that will keep them secure when they grow up and live on their own. Sometimes it’s OK to let the kids cry.


The Whatever Mom is a full time wife and twin mama living on coffee and wine. She enjoys the pure rush of cleaning the potty between loads of laundry. It is her dream that moms everywhere accept and embrace the Whatever Mom philosophy which can be found here.

Find more from Roxanne at Hudson Valley Parent and at Masshole Mommy

Insanity of Living with The Toddlerazzi

I found this Facebook post I wrote on November 15, 2012- just weeks before my twins turned two.

Day in the life of a SAHM

November 15, 2012 at 2:17pm

Many people ask me (on a near daily basis) is it hard having twins? My reply is usually “depends on the day.”

I thought I’d share a little glimpse into one of those days:

Thursday November 15, 2012

5:44 a.m. wide awake

6:00 roll out of bed to tackle dishes, laundry, breakfast and get dinner in the crock pot.

6:22 alerted by shrieking child who isn’t due to awaken for another hour. Quickly calculate approx. how long I can let her cry it out while I take a shower.

6:23 hop in shower while drinking coffee

6:24 get dressed while brushing teeth

6:25 walk in to get girls who are angrily emptying their crib in protest to my delay

6:30 give girls bowl of rice crispies and cup of milk

6:32 on hands and knees cleaning rice crispies off of floor

7:00 chase first child and tackle her into outfit & do her hair.

7:22 chase second child and tackle her into outfit & do her hair.

7:30 engage in philosophical debate about why we wear clothes.

7:32 give up and let them run naked.

8:00 attempt to finish dishes while the kids empty dirty laundry from basket and scatter about the house.

8:10 pick up scattered laundry while the girls hunt for mischievous projects

8:15 pick up box full of dried pasta dumped onto kitchen floor while demanding, “don’t eat that!”

8:30 diaper change goes awry x 2.

8:45 Someone frees the kitchen drawer from captivity. I clean up the mess and kiss non-existent boo-boo.

8:50 attempt to make 2nd pot of coffee with a toddler attached to each leg.

9:00 Blue’s Clues TAKE ME AWAY!

9:15 Blue’s Clues is not working- spend next 10 minutes breaking up fist fight over who gets to be in mommy’s lap.

9:30 realize I didn’t eat yet. Quickly make scrambled eggs.

9:35 endure hostile take over of my breakfast.

9:36 begin cursing every person who’s ever asked me, “are you going to have another?”

10:00 both girls start rummaging in the cupboard and argue with me that the gallon sized vinegar bottle is in fact juice. Go ahead try it- I DARE ya!

10:03 attempted unauthorized potty break, assaulted by the toddlerazzi invading my privacy.

10:15 begin the great diaper chase

10:40 children mock my attempts to build with blocks by kicking over my tower and laughing.

10:50 drift off and quickly awakened by someone slapping me and yelling, “mommymommymommyyyyyyyyyyy!”

11:00 turn on Blue’s Clues and forced to participate in ritualistic wailing for mail.

11:15 held captive on the couch and forced to watch as Blue finds every stinking last clue.

12:00 prepared a lovely meal for the floor to enjoy.

12:30 on hands and knees again to clean up floor.

12:45 play let’s make a deal- if you let me change your diaper you can have a cookie!

1:00 toss children in crib with cookie… stick a fork in me cuz I’m DONE!

That’s only HALF MY DAY!!

This post made me laugh then, and it makes me laugh now. When I was in the thick of the insanity of taking care of two toddlers alone I didn’t always find the humor. It felt like those struggles were going to stick around for a long time. The good news is it is two years later and we have all survived and moved on to different dramas!

I wasn’t the most patient parent, and sometimes I put way too much pressure on myself to make everyone happy (friends, family, kids, hubby) and forgot about myself. I really hated when people said, “you will miss these days.” The last thing I thought I’d miss is the nonstop screaming and crying and lack of shower time. I still don’t miss that part, but what I miss most is each unique little age and stage. I feel like I just didn’t get enough time to enjoy each kid during particular stages. It was just the three of us and not enough of me to go around. I felt rushed to get them through their milestones so I could check them off my parental to-do list.

Now that they are four, things are calming down in many ways. My girls are still a handful, and we still have our intense moments of battling wills. But it has only taken me the past four years to understand what it means to slow down, relax and don’t sweat the small stuff. The house is a little messier, the crafts get set aside and I’m happier to just sit down and hold my girls close. This is our last year together before they spring board into being a “big kid”: kids with their own opinions and mom just gets a little less cool each day. I already miss the spunky little toddlers they used to be with their chubby little bodies bobbing through the house, their tiny little giggles and the sweetness of their tiny head tucked under my chin.

Even though people warned me to slow down, take it easy and don’t rush- I just couldn’t understand it until I walked that path myself. I am not one to loiter with mom guilt, but there are days I feel completely guilty for wanting to hurry us through the roughest parts. I didn’t realize that would also hurry us through the sweetest parts too.

Enjoy the insanity- it doesn’t last as long as you think. And, one day when it is over you really will miss it!


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