Shh! Don’t tell my husband because he wouldn’t understand.

My husband doesn’t read my blog. At least, I don’t think he does. To test my theory, I am going to throw this out there and wait: 

I wish we could have another child. 

There. I said it. 

My youngest is turning a year old in two months. He is crawling and walking and too busy to snuggle for hours. I am experiencing that particular mix of pride and sadness that the first year is almost over. I instinctively reach for my empty belly and wish I could do it all over again.

I loved being pregnant. Even this last time with twice-weekly monitoring sessions and pre-eclampsia that had me worried most of the time, I loved it. 

I also love babies. I love how they meld themselves on your chest as they sleep and clutch your clothes in their little fists to hang on. 

  

A few things prevent me from having another child. First, since I had pre-eclampsia last time, I’m likely to have a repeat case should I become pregnant. Possibly a more severe case that could threaten my life and/or the life of my child. 

Second, although biological children are out of the question, adoption is out as well. The high cost of living in Colorado is reflected in the cost of childcare. We are a two-income family in order to survive. Financially, a third baby would ruin us. 

Finally, I am thankful for my sweet family just as it is. I already feel guilty that I don’t have enough time to share with two kids. 

My desire to have another child is not coming from a position of lack. It’s something much more complicated. In my last post, I said I wouldn’t blame age for how I feel. Maybe I can get away with it here. 

Forget sports cars and bungee-jumping. My mid-life crisis is that I won’t hold a tiny baby that is mine ever again. There. It’s out. 

Time to lift my chin and go in to pick up my baby who just woke up and is raising his little arms up, elbows first, in his best little chicken impression. 

This too, shall pass.

At 20 or 40, tired is tired.

This is the week when the peak season at work, my personal fitness goals and my baby’s teething rituals all coincide to produce the desperate fatigue that should come with a warning label. I would wear the label on my shirt front and center, allowing me to stumble across campus mumbling to myself and wiping obsessively at a stain on my sleeve without making excuses for myself.

“I’m old. I don’t have the same energy as a 20-year-old.” I commiserated with a fellow 40-year-old who is the mother of a toddler. It would be so easy to slide down that pity path, ignoring the reality that it’s all relative. Many of us, but especially women, seem to view aging as a limiting factor.

I spend enough time fretting my way through mom forums to know that 20-year-old moms of young children are just as tired as I am. Stay at home moms, working moms, moms who travel abroad, moms of one child, moms with 5 children. All of us are tired.

We obsess over the development of our children, research their ailments (real or perceived), face night-time feedings, drive them to school and sports, wipe noses, kiss boo-boos, break up fights, calm tantrums, read books, play games, sing songs, dance, chase, pick up, hold, and repeatedly return them to beds.

Then there is the constant cleaning up from potty accidents, bed wetting, food slinging, booger wiping, muddy boot stomping, and toy box explosions.

All of these tasks are small and easy when considered on their own, but combined with a sleep deficit and the nagging feeling that despite all of these heroic efforts we are not living up to our own expectations, these things can weigh us down more than larger tasks-like filing taxes or climbing a mountain.

Which brings me full-circle to this week.

I plan to climb a mountain this summer. I’m going to “bag a fourteener” to be exact. For everyone outside of Colorado, a fourteener is a peak that is over 14,000 feet. There are a lot of them here.

It’s week three in my training for this adventure and I have that nagging voice telling me that I have no business trying to do this. I am 40, after all. I have been defeated by laundry. My body is not what it used to be. There is no way I can make it.

I am not sure if that voice is really mine, or the imagined voices of everyone around me. Either way, it is really getting me down. It threatens to keep me down. My fatigue makes me feel like my body would never allow me to do something like this, so why even try?

I try because these past few weeks, my loving and supportive husband has nearly pushed me out the door to train because he knows the benefits of exercise. He willingly looks after the kids, and I feel a real high from the exercise.

For about an hour.

Then I hit a wall of whining 4-year old, or wrestle a baby through a 30-minute breathing treatment, and I am back to energy level zero.

I am not sure if I will bag a fourteener this summer, but if I don’t, I will blame the kids, not my age. Because at 20 or 40, tired is tired.

 

 

How Kids Yoga Stories is Helping My Son Manage Big Emotions

Two years ago, I was introduced to the wonderful line of Kids Yoga Stories, by Giselle Shardlow, when I won a giveaway hosted by Pragmatic Mom. At the time, kiddo #1 and I were working on movement.

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He was only two and a half when we won the book, so his attention span was short and he was soon on to the next new book, and from there, the book was lost among the piles in his bedroom. Then we moved cross-country.

Several weeks ago, we rediscovered this book, and I had that Eureka! moment. The winter months in Colorado can require creative energy outlets, and this was just the kind of outlet he needed that day. I asked him if he wanted to go through the book, and he begrudgingly answered, “yes” in that 4-year-old way that suggests he would rather be swinging from the rafters.

I told him we would go through the book before story time that evening. As we moved through the poses, we laughed at how we looked like animals, wonderful mother/son moments that have become more special now that kiddo #2 is around.

We ended with us lying down with our eyes closed, breathing deeply and slowly. He sat up afterwards with the refreshed sigh that I recognized from my yoga classes of yesteryear.

The next night, he was begging to do yoga again. We talked about how it calms us down after a long day and gets us ready for bed. He was hooked.

A few days ago, my little guy who is full of big emotions, asked me mid-meltdown if we could do yoga to calm down. My heart made a little leap and I ran to fetch the book. Lo and behold, my son was on to something. He had learned a way to manage his feelings that didn’t involve screaming and punching things.

I have so much to learn from him. I had not considered the benefits of doing yoga with him in the moment, in the thick of it. I now keep the book downstairs, where many of his big emotions happen during his transition time home from preschool. It’s hard to be four.

Taking a page from his book, I signed up for lunchtime yoga at my workplace, and rediscovered my own refreshed sigh again.

 

Drive Time Quote #3

The drive to preschool is never dull. The conversation to follow occurred on such a drive, and has led to many discussions about death and heaven since.

4-year-old: Mommies are dead.

Me: Mommies are dead? Which mommies?

4-year-old: All mommies.

Me: Um…not me.

4-year-old: But the others are. Mommies die, then they are wrapped in blankets and sent to museums.

(…..)

Me: OH-MUMMIES! Mummies die, sweetie. The word is muh-mee.