17 different women, 36 crazy children, 0 babies in utero
Adventures, Advice and Questions from a group of Mormon women who met in Queens, NY and have now scattered all over the place.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Pushing the limits

Going to the bathroom as a mom is a chore, don't let anyone tell you differently. Especially when you are carrying one child and the other children follow you in there because they don't want you to do something without them. Or they just want to talk to you and the only way to talk to Mom is to follow her around wherever she goes.

When DD is at preschool and DS and the twins are home with me. DS doesn't want to miss anything. He is within about 4 inches of my body at all times, even when I'm nursing both twins. He knows that I will be doing the most interesting things, and so he follows. He often brings a book and anytime I am stationary we look at a page together. I tried to distract him today because I had to build some shelves for the playroom. But no, he knows what my tool bag looks like and nothing is more interesting than hammers and screwdrivers and nails. I'm grateful for DD to come home from preschool because then he will play with her. It really helps to have the second child home.

My 9 and 7 year old are in a school play and most moms go and help. It was all I could do to go and cut out the fabric for their costumes. Actually, I wasn't able to do it until the end when the school principle walked in the room and saw me cutting with a baby rolling around on the table with the fabric and the other one on the floor being nudged by my toe. I failed to have any of my little helpers (even a 3 year old is better than nothing) with me on this occasion and that was a mistake. I am still learning my limits. I find that if I don't push them I get stuck and start telling myself that I can't do certain things because I have 7 month twins, 6 children 9 and younger, etc.

Living in New York with 4 young children was a daily dose of pushing the limits of what was common for most people. I never got so many "God Bless You's" in my life. I think it really did help because I never did lose one of my children on the subway (we were able to push the doors back open to grab the one who deliberately stayed on the platform). My 31/2 year old was returned home unharmed by two policement at 2 AM, after she unlocked the front door of our home and went looking for mom and dad outside in the park (we were in the basement). I was never reported to Child Protective Services for as many times that I had to take a child to the emergency room for stitches, or arms out of socket etc. (I was taking them to different hospitals each time because I had been told by a doctor that if I was seen there again, the doctor would make a report).

I survived all of that and continued to get out and do what I needed and wanted to do. Until the twins...that was the end of New York. Now I push the limits in Utah and still feel like a pioneer Mom. Going to the bathroom is a small triumph...having a bath is a luxury (my last bath was 3 days ago at midnight). I am victorious!!


  • Oh geez - you sound like quite the veteran.. I'm glad your outlook is still so positive. (I'm sure you have less-positive moments sometimes and its okay)
    Thanks for somehow making one of the hopeless aspects of mothering young children sound realistically difficult, and yet not entirely hopeless after all.
    posted by Blogger Em at 2/10/2006 01:49:00 PM  

  • Go shaleen!! I sure miss you. Sounds like life is good and crazy. That's "cute" how ds loves being your shadow so much. You'll have to post pics of the twinners sometime (or email them). Lots of love out to you!
    posted by Blogger Katie at 2/10/2006 04:06:00 PM  

  • Shaleen....I have no idea how you do it. Sometimes I think that God knew I would NEVER survive being a pioneer and saved me for the industrial/cyberspace revolution...but with you, I KNOW you would have been able to do it...and do a headstand at every campfire stopping point.
    posted by Blogger Kage at 2/10/2006 04:22:00 PM  

  • Shaleen, I'm so impressed by you. I agree with Kage, I don't know how you do it. The twins alone...too much for little ol' me. You're doing a great job.
    posted by Blogger chloe at 2/10/2006 04:42:00 PM  

  • Hey Shaleen don't even make it sound like it is a challenge for you I have seen you in action and the style and grace with which you run your home and family come so naturally that it is like a ballroom dance...flowing and beautiful. I miss you and the kids and the babies Still have the photos on my desk of the twins they are so darling
    posted by Blogger Julie at 2/11/2006 09:18:00 AM  

  • On those weeks where it has been 3 days since I have showered, I can't seem to keep one child entertained, and putting together dinner for the 3 of us is more than I can bear, I sometimes think of you and wonder how on earth you do it. I know that kids help entertain each other, I know that your older girls are in school during the day, but I still wonder how you can get to the grocery store to buy food for all of those people. Heck, I have trouble picturing doing those things with 2 kids, so 6 is another matter altogether.

    My mother-in-law says that once you get past 2, it is really all the same until you hit about 8. Thoughts on that one? I would guess it also has a lot to do with how they are spaced. I bet Karen (one of our commenters, mom of 8) would have something to say about this as well...
    posted by Blogger marian at 2/11/2006 05:05:00 PM  

  • Marian,

    I've heard the same...I just can't believe it's true though. And I'm not so brave to test that theory myself ;-)
    posted by Blogger Jen at 2/12/2006 08:47:00 AM  

  • I think I'm going to stick to my 2 and see how we feel about a 3rd. So far its working great - don't know if I want to mess with a good thing just yet!
    posted by Blogger chloe at 2/12/2006 11:49:00 AM  

  • Shaleen, It seems like you are holding things together pretty well. And that is amazing and worthy of much congratulations! I can't imagine how you begin to do it. Please don't push your limits beyond your strength though, in all you're doing!
    posted by Blogger Michelle at 2/12/2006 05:41:00 PM  

  • Anyone who can successfully manage and care for more than one baby/child at a time is amazing to me. If you ever need someone to stop by and entertain them while you take a nice, long bath, I'm close by!
    posted by Blogger Squiddy at 2/13/2006 09:55:00 AM  

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