So here’s the thing… two kids… oh shit – the one has just shat in the garden and now screaming its pip off… will be back.
Aaaaaaand I’m back. Where was I …
Picture yourself about to embark on the Comrades Marathon. You have trained, running-fit (so to speak), you think you know what you are in for and you feel prepared because you have all the gear.
Gun goes off and you hit the ground running. Confident. As. Eff.
And then a few kms in, the wheels fall off the bus:
- Your hairband breaks so your hair starts sticking to the back of your neck (it’s greasy obviously because you haven’t had time to wash it properly since the first kid).
- You have forgotten to take your tight nylon jersey off because when you started you were wearing it as a dudu-blankie and it is now reaching midday heat and you have nowhere to put the f*cking thing.
- You have blisters because, for the life of you, you can’t remember most of the tricks for keeping your tekkies from rubbing and of course…
- You are just f*cking exhausted, at times delirious, and waaaay too unfit for this.
I know we have mentioned this before but most parents find the newborn the easy one. It is hands down the first born that shows you what they are made of and gives you a total run for your money. You spend so much time saying “what’s gotten into this kid – she/he NEVER used to be like this” … their sibling has “gotten into this kid” and they are most likely hitting the terrible twos, teeth or something equally as terrifying.
A mate of ours told us that we need to consider what the first born feels about this new little turd up in their grill. She says it is like your hubcap bringing home another chick and saying “Hi team, sooo this is Suuusan. She’s coming to liiiive with us. She’s new so we need to make sure she feels at home. She’ll be eating between us, sleeping between us and I will have to attend to you second because Susan is hot and happening at the mo so sit tight homie.”
Now a sound adult mind would be like: “Suzzzzie!! Thank eff you are here. Wingman time guuuurl. Let’s tag team this shit. An extra pair of hands, feet and boobs. Susan, you get the first one and I’ll get the second and if you wouldn’t mind hooking a sister up and taking the night shifts that would be sick. And the hubster … well … we can go halvies. Stoooked you are here home-slice!”.
Toddler be like… “Susan … WTAF. You are SO small and SO useless and you make such a blady noise. I can totally see that my parents don’t dig you for shit. I saw my mom nearly shake you the other day because you wouldn’t shut the eff up and my dad keeps whispering words like “brother ducking kids” under his breath. Susan, I don’t think it is a good idea that you stay here. Move on gurl, otherwise I will show how wild this circus can get!”.
Aaaaaah the things we do for kids. “Baby… this is your sibling – a special homegrown bestie for you. I made this for YOU!” (100% not to suck up hours of my nightly cat naps or mere minutes of freedom).
The best bit is when you realise that you have forgotten all the ‘dos and don’ts’ and you are just balls deep in survival mode. Most of the time, I’m thinking – wooow we wasted SO much energy worrying about half the stuff we did with the first one!
Your hubcap is also experiencing what you had round one and is mourning the loss of his freedom, independence, social life and days where he could hang tits and lie in. Gone b*tches … gone. So naturally your marriage starts to take the heat because everyone is elbows deep in nappies, crying children and general assholery.
We have two things to say on the matter. Firstly, acceptance is key! You will never, in all your life, need this piece of advice as much as you do now while you plunge into the abyss of small, unreasonable human beings. You need to accept that your kids are not going to be the same and the second will 100% surprise you with contradictory behaviour. Genetics are strong and Karma is a total a-hole so she is coming for you if she didn’t get to your house round one. Aaaand if you can accept this and take it day by day, let your hair down and run like no-one is watching – you will give fewer shits, be more confident and take those suckers down… your children that is – Genetics and Karma will always take you down… EVERY TIME!
The second thing is to ALWAYS remember not to let them divide and conquer. Leaders have effed up whole countries this way so you will manage with your little village. Your partner HAS to be your sidekick otherwise you are dead in the water. You 100% won’t wax this most of the time because it is easier to throw verbal abuse at your hubby than admit that your kids are just being plain assholes but you need to work harder than you have ever before on your marriage. If you can put your head down with this, you will come out the other side of it kicking and screaming.
Channel your rage, resentment and/or sadness (the dark days) into something kiff like running or yoga, makeup on your face, buy something online or chocolate – something just for you. Start a WhatsApp group with tighties (who don’t judge!) and post inappropriate, and often hysterical, comments about being a mom, your children and your hubby – this will make you feel not so alone. And if you can, read something that makes you laugh. You actually won’t believe how much better it is to cope with two kids when you can laugh at them … and yourself.
Our second born, doesn’t sleep for shit and he is already 16 months old. Every 3 days, since the beginning of the dark hours (8 months or so when the effing teeth started to show face), my hubby and I have sat down and tried to regroup. We try and say things we really like about each other – you should try it. Most of the time it is stuff like, “You have really nice taste in music”, “Your pants don’t look so tight on you today” or “Did you get a few extra seconds to brush the one side of your hair – looks good!” … that will do pig … that will do! As long as you are trying everything in your power to get back to the place of liking each other; you are on the home stretch.
** That bugger doesn’t actually read our blogs but just incase he does … I REALLY STILL LOVE MY HUBBY and we are at such a good place at the moment; smiling and greeting each other as we walk past in the passage, too afraid to touch in case we make another baby! but the the love has returned. Hard work – trying desperately to tick all the Love Language boxes for each other, and perseverance – every third day, throwing small compliments at each other and we seem to have survived phase 1 of the many phases to come.
And of course, our children (**for when they learn to read) … we love you so much it blady hurts and all the teasing and laughter and whispers of “you little a-holes” is all in the coping with how much we have had to sacrifice to have you in this world but oh my sack was it worth it!
Other than that folks… two kids… a blady walk in the park.
The light does come, or so we’re told!
This goes out to all my hommies who are having a mare of a week trying to juggle life at the moment. Mother f*cker this has been heckies. I am currently hiding up stairs from my kids, having been out this morning in my kiff high-waisted jeans covered in child mush and my pajama top, which has a smudge of some kind … here’s to hoping it is Bovril!
I should have known the mothering gods where against me this morning when my boy child twisted like a seal doing tricks at Ushaka Marine World, during a nappy change. He spun borsha (poo) in all directions; covering himself in it, my white ‘Mrs’ gown (white … stupid, stupid, stupid colour to own with children) and the floor. I was mock charging for the A-team and pulling wet wipes out of the packet at a pace that would have made Lewis Hamilton proud. I could not get to it fast enough as the little bastard crawled off and smudged his way to the door. It made me so sad! F*ck.
I am balls deep in graft too so the mothering guilt is so fierce at the moment. Today, I thought I would take a little time out with the rats, take the girl child for a beaut activity to see her little mate and the boy one swimming. Look, this isn’t my first rodeo with a one part parent and two part kid activity so I don’t know why I thought the mission would be successful … Expectations … the thing that shaft us as mothers.
The girl one threw a major tantrum. The boy one cried; teething, the sister giving it stick and over-tired. Teeeeeeeth – total design flaw. WTF. Just come out already – I know we need you because we can’t gum our way through the rest of our lives but jeeeez you are not the f*cking Royal Family that need to make such a long winded entrance into the mouth of a child that can’t speak English yet, to communicate that all they need is a hit of Calpol or that they are hungry or that their bum is itchy. Just when we thought we could get a grip on life … teeth. When we thought we could sleep again … teeth. When we thought there was a glimpse of our personalities returning … teeth.
If I was ever asked to brand ‘new teeth’, I would 100% make the logo an asshole and the catch phrase would be “Teeth … kicking mothers back into line since … well the beginning of time!”.
Don’t even get me started on a two year old. I have no energy to put into words this time. I’m sitting at my computer for the second time today (the first was at 3am – 5am this morning to try and get some stuff done) with siff greasy hair, still in my pajama top and just had a peak at my underarms … not pretty!
I think if I had to narrow it down for the girl one it would probably be the high pitched shrieking and whining that sends me so far over the edge that there is sometimes no return.
Needless to say, I didn’t make it to swimming because the boy child face planted on some stones, the girl one was just generally offended by life and I am so eggies (exhausted that the thought of being in a costume, trying to suck in my mom boep and tuck away the ol’spiders (fanny hair; for those of you who are also too tired to think about what I am talking about) … I just couldn’t be arsed!
So for those of you who are feeling like this is a real FS kinda day – let it all hang out sisters; we’ll get it together eventually! More is nog ‘n dag and we can start again then. Head down and we will converse again soon when I have washed my hair, shaved my pits and changed my shirt. #sosiffrightnow
Read Time: 2 mins (If you are child-free to be able to read it!)
Right … who is ready for a good old fashion mom-moan. I am currently knee deep in human life and these little azzies (assholes) have taken me down to China town over the last few days. I attempted to do a beaut activity yesterday morning; take my rats to the beach, have a little stroll along the promenade and maybe a brekkie post activity but nooooo the toddler (2yrs of terror and some change) insisted on a melt down over the jersey she was wearing. Obviously when life offends you that much it is necessary to scream your head off at any opportunity. My hand was itching but due to the public arena I opted at hissing at her rather, threw her little pink bike back in the boot and serial killer calm strap her back in her car seat … “Fun is over because you are being an absolute brat. This behaviour is totally unacceptable. I am highly cheesed off with you at the moment. No more treats for you for the next year!!” … what the azzie hears … “Fun, cheese, treats.”
Windows rolled up and the noise of the engine muffling (hate that word but it’s too late … it is in) the sound of the chaos. The toddler cried, the boy child cried, because he had now been woken up to hysteria, and I cried. With only 3 hours of sleep under my belt I thought it would be appropriate to join the sob squad, turn up the music so they couldn’t hear the profanity about to come out of my mouth, and scream “f*********ck!” into the steering wheel. Jeeeeez children bring out a childish side of us!
I fear that one of the biggest challenges of becoming a mother is learning to get a grip and dig deep when your children are administering some good ol’fashion Chinese torture.
Mothering is the skill of; learning to control an onset of sleep-deprived, zero-personal-space rage attacks that start to boil up from the epicentre. It is accepting that you may mot complete a sentence for the next 5 years while you cradle your cold hot beverage, thinking about the good ol’days. It is being covered in at least one patch of siffness (be it snot, puke or, heaven forbid, borsha (poo)). It is the art of lowering expectations on your To Do list – the success is now in completing at least half of one item on the list. It is the theatre of keeping your cool in front of other moms and then unleashing the fury when you get home.
Our mom tried to be sweet, … or funny, and put this picture up of a toddler in our WhatsApp group the other day. The caption read “ Two isn’t terrible, it is learning, and growing and exploring” or some bullshit to that effect. I am convinced that the person who invented the “delete for everyone” on WhatsApp chat is, in fact, a mother and she knew it would be imperative that we would, one day, need to be able to release the beast of feeling fury … aaaaand theeeeen delete! What followed after our mom’s attempt to be encouraging about our terrible twos, was a wake of This message was deleted and This message was deleted and This message was deleted from my sister and I. Neither of us wanting to have record of us calling our children names that should be saved for bad drivers and rashy husbands.
The trick really is in the coping, the repetition (e.g. driving home the please and thank yous) and even more so in the acceptance of it. If you fight it, the struggle of kids will bitch slap you so hard you won’t know whether you are coming or going. My sister always says that there are clichés for a reason and it couldn’t be more true when it comes to kids. Don’t get me wrong here, I am not saying take these little buggers lying down and let them run amok; they need discipline and boundaries otherwise they really do become unpleasant little azzies … for everyone! I’m talking about accepting the change that they bring to your life. Accept that they are going to drive you wild … and beyond, murder your social life … for a couple of years, test your patience daily … 2yr olds … hourly … and that they will rock the boat like no other … the ultimate shitstorm.
There will be days when you swear like a sailor, think thoughts that would give the devil a run for his money and moments where you think I honestly. CANNOT. do this for one. more. second!. And that’s when you need to let it kick in … the serial killer calm, the ‘bring it bitch’ attitude, the ‘I will take you down small human’ face. When my mates have babies, what follows my congratulations is always “Just remember you are physically and mentally stronger than they are”. The advice seems useless at the time but suddenly when you are experiencing ‘not so motherly, #blessed’ feelings that’s when the penny drops and you need to step it up a gear. Chaos attracts chaos so if you can whoooooosa for one short moment, you can get a grip and you are on your way to check mate.
You will always always always LOVE your babies there is no two ways about that so don’t beat yourself up for having moments where you don’t like them. I think I say this in every blog, but find mom friends who make you feel kiff about yourself, who will laugh with you when you are raging the pants off of your kids, who will support your decisions to smack or verbally try control them (I’m laughing inside at this one … toddlers are out of control and my verbal resort is the threat of speckled eggs never making their way into our house again!). But seriously, you need all the support you can get so dust the mates who make you feel judged. Mom guilt is so kak and the last thing you need are people adding to it.
Our OBB 4’s husband, while we are sitting around laughing at how dickish children can be, always says “Children are a heavy happiness” and then we laugh and laugh and laugh and then someone let’s out a good ol’ ‘ahhhhhh f*ck!.
Have a beaut weekend and to all the moms who need to implement the serial killer calm over the next few days just remember we are in your corner!
Read Time: 3 mins (Short & sweet because we have zero time these days!)
This one dude asked what it’s like to have a second baby and the dad replied ‘It’s like you’re drowning and then someone hands you a baby’.
So buckle up! This shitstorm requires a head-down, team-effort, brace-yourself, chin-up, light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel kinda attitude … enter the second child!
In this time, you will drop plenty WTF-have-we-done, several I-hate-these-bastards, the odd do-you-think-one-of-our-parents-would-want-them, and one or two I’m-gonna-drop-kick-this-one! And worst of all, it isn’t because of the newie (newborn), it is the two-ie (terrible two year old) that turns demonic.
Let me take it back a few steps, especially if you are about to have your second child and you are reading this and breaking out into a sweat. The birth of the second bubba is an absolute breeze in comparison. You don’t give a rat’s ass about the way it comes out (natural or Caesar – unless of course you are trying for a VBAC). You don’t over complicate what goes in your hospital bag, or spend a million rand on your baby’s room. You don’t fuss about the breastfeeding, where the thing is going to sleep or the freagin’ sleep routine. And all because you just don’t really have the time. In this way, it makes the second rat’s arrival a gazillion times less pressure, stress and anticipation. This is also the very thing that makes all the things you didn’t wax the first time (like breastfeeding), that much easier because you just put your head down and confidently wing it.
You also tend to cut out all the spoilings that made your first kid a bit of a pain e.g. sleeping in a dead quiet room, a room that is so dark that you have to silently feel your way back to the door, on your hands and knees, without breathing incase you wake it up. This round … “sleep where you are laid to rest, don’t ask questions and if you open your eyes and it is not ‘awake time’ you will be left to raise yourself”.
The first 3 months, the newbie just does its thing. Sleep, shit, sleep, boob, more shitting. And in this time, the two-ie starts firing up its bullshit and plotting its irrationality revenge for bringing this extra turd into the mix. Oh and a very important side note, they just seem to know that something is on its way when you are preggers; they act out, they stop sleeping through the night and just become general azzies (assholes) – just so you know … totally normal and the best advice I have is accept it and don’t ever under estimate the power of taking 5 deep breathes.
You often hear the phrase “terrible twos” but you could never possibly imagine how irrational these buggers are. It is a serious case of Katy Perry “You’re yes then you’re no, you’re in then you’re out, you’re up then you’re down”. With every melt down, and trust a girl, they start to come fast and furiously with a second child, all I can hear is Vicky Pollard’s, Little Britain, “yeah but no but yeah but”. Your toddler has no effing clue want it wants but it wants it NOW! They are completely and utterly offended by life and no matter what you do, you can’t win.
I read a really interesting article the other day about strong-willed children and the highlights package of it was; the strong buggers need to think that they have options so give them two acceptable ones so that they feel like they have a little control. After their choice, there is a consequence. So for example, the little punk won’t get in the car because she is jolling and you need to leave. The appropriate response in this situation would be to say “Ok sweet child of mine, you have two options. One you can carry on playing but then we are not going to swimming OR you can get in the car, I will take you to swimming and we can come back and play afterwards”. In a perfect world the toddler makes a choice and you carry out the consequence.
Most of the time you end up resorting to “Two choices – you can choose a hiding from the right hand or the left if you don’t get in the car before I am done taking my 5 deep breathes”. My hubby says his biggest problem is that he is not creative enough to come up with a second acceptable option when he is fuming at the unreasonable toddler (haha). Buuut having said that, with a little practice using this tactic, you can actually win … at least 20% of the time.
So with the second child you completely lower the bar, you refrain from judging other moms because suddenly your little azzie is not sleeping through and you have to feed him at midnight because your options are sleep or burn the midnight oil on your own; rocking, winding, dummying, singing, hissing and eventually crying. It’s a dark time this no-sleep zone and it slowly starts to chip away at your personality. I knew I was in for shit when I stopped being super polite to the toll gate people because I had no energy in me to say “lovely earrings you have on today”. Fatigue makes you not so kiff!
We are nearly 6 months in with the second little dude and we have slowly come up for air. The great news too is that hubster and I are friends again after a little team work. Holy smokes your marriage takes the heat round two because suddenly your hubby is experiencing what you had the first round. It is a total game changer because it is now all hands on deck. Your hubby goes from being a babysitter to a parent and it eats them alive. You have to SERIOUSLY remember to take a time out if you have the luxury of such things and do anything child-free otherwise you start to lose each other in the mountain of nappies, whining and crying and general siffness that comes with a double batch of lighties.
Another very important pearl of wisdom, don’t bank too much on the first rat being like the second because that’s when the frustration really sets in. My first kipped through the night from 8wks … this oke … not having any of it. We used the exact same tactics and yet they are completely different! Accept it and learn to make the most of it. For us, the buck stops at 2 and because we aren’t planning on any more, it is for this reason I have also tried my best to soak up the newborn phase. He gets sniffed, and loved and cuddled and it has been easy to love the hell out of this newie this time because you realise they aren’t as fragile as we make them out to be and I think we have a better sense of the time frame. Newborns can be soooo rashy but it isn’t forever! There are some other treats in the pipeline … like azzie two year olds.
Before I attend to the one screaming its pip off in the background of this blog, I wanted to leave you with some goodness. There are going to be days when you want to throw in the towel or strangle someone with it but if you can try your best to accept the shit you cannot change, the fight is not as hard. Try your best not to let your rats divide and rule and most importantly, laugh at yourself and laugh especially hard at your kids. They can be such knobs but they honestly get better and better and you just enjoy them so much more.
Give your first born a shite-load of attention. Their entire world has been rocked. They have gone from being the centre of attention to having to now fight their way past a suckling pig (breastfeeding infant incase I lost you there) and it is a serious serious serious change for them. And at the end of the day the little newie blob isn’t going to notice if you dust them on the couch for an hour or two while you try and make your two-ie feel like their colouring-in skill is their ticket to a tertiary education bursary. Try your best to stay friends with your husband, if only because there are two of those buggers now so it is safety in numbers!
You will rock this … fake it ‘til you make it. Be confident with your kids so they don’t smell the fear and together, you and your partner, will take them down.