I have an almost three-year-old little boy and another baby boy on the way in about eight weeks. And I have absolutely zero idea what I am doing as a parent. I am completely and totally clueless. I thought by now I would have learned something, but I continue to be thrown into completely unpredictable situations by these tiny humans.
I honestly thought I had a good chunk of it figured out with Henry, my toddler. The kid is wild and crazy, but can also be so sweet and melt my mom heart with one hug. He loves to climb, jump, and do things that are insanely dangerous but manage to charm everyone in his warpath.
The best part is that he has been sleeping through the night since he was eight weeks old. He loves his routine and is a creature of habit. He tends to be a morning person and is his happiest first thing in the morning. He loves to eat breakfast and watch Mickey Mouse before heading to his babysitter’s house.
Then three weeks ago, we threw poor little Henry’s life into a tailspin. We moved out of our house for a remodel and moved in with my husband’s parents. And my adorable toddler monster has rebelled.
He has stopped sleeping through the night. He will lay in bed and scream and cry. We can only get him to go to sleep by laying in his bed with him until he is passed out. And if you try to sneak out one second before he is in a deep REM cycle, the kid will wake up with the creak of the mattress and scream bloody murder.
Mornings are equally as exhausting. The minute he wakes up, he screams. I rush in there and he will cry and just spit out his morning demands through tears. He is hungry, there is a frog in his mouth, he wants to wear his pajamas all day, he doesn’t want to go to the sitter, he does want to go to the sitter, he wants to go back to bed, he wants oatmeal, he doesn’t want oatmeal, he is too big, he is not big enough, I am too big, he wants his Dada, he wants to see the dog, he is thirsty, he isn’t thirsty. It goes on and on until we are literally dragging him out of the house to the car.
Why is there no instruction manual for taking care of a rebellious toddler? Is this what three looks like? Please say no, because I don’t know if I can handle this and a newborn at the same time.
Most of the times when I am in a parenting bind, I hit up Google. I know, this is not the most reliable source for information. But I have found that I am not the only parent that has asked Google if it is okay that their child drank standing water out of an old bird bath.
And now that I have another little one on the way, I am trying to remember what it was like when Henry was a newborn. How did I figure it out then? But it is all a blur. I don’t remember how often he ate, or how we got him to sleep through the night. I have no idea when he started getting cereal or how I could tell the difference between his cries. It’s like i’m starting from scratch again. Does your brain blur out the hardest parts of having a newborn so you are willing to have more babies?
But we will figure it out – at least I am telling myself this. We will figure out how to operate as a family with a newborn and a three-year-old. We will adjust our schedules and make it work. It won’t be pretty. I can guarantee there will be tears and tantrums and sickness and lots of poopy diapers and endless calls to the doctors office because his cough sounds funny and when I googled it I found something that said he may need a liver transplant today.
I will have days where I don’t know if I can handle it all. But I will. And all my kiddos will remember – hopefully – is that they had a Mom and Dad that loved them more than life itself. Loved them through the messes and the tears and the Googling of imaginary symptoms.
So here’s to all the clueless moms and dads. The ones that are still winging it. The ones that wonder if they are doing this whole parenting thing right. Because we are all clueless. We all worry. None of us have it figured out. So embrace your time with your babies and don’t be so hard on yourself. It will all work itself out.
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