Nobody with Small Children Should be Allowed to get Divorced
The great stress of having small humans on a relationship comes with the territory. Nobody with small children should be allowed to get divorced. Nope, you need to band together and forge straight on through. Because it’s tough even for the best couples. Both parties are adjusting to new responsibilities and how to share them and deal with them.
I love my husband that is no secret. When we got together the PDA was excessive. He has kind eyes. He works harder than anyone I know and he is the most generous person I have ever met. But alas, no one in exempt. It doesn’t matter how much I love that man, when you are both sleep deprived and being awoken in the middle of the night by baby screaming sometimes you are NOT your best self. These are just the facts. You know these days will pass, but it doesn’t make them any less bat shit crazy when you are in them. This morning someone smacked me in the head with a Tonka truck while I was changing a poopy diaper of another dude and it made my hand go into a bad territory of the poo zone. Life is currently a beautiful disaster.
But here comes the question. Can you possibly get your husband to understand you at this point in your life? What you just went through to birth a human?
He was right there every step of the way. Holding your hand and debating baby names with you. Telling you that you were pretty even tho you shared pajama pants at this point.
Here it is. Here is the age old difference between the Mom and Dad’s role in becoming a parent. During the greatest moment of both your lives, was someone ripping open his penis, jumping out and then a team of other people throwing some stitches on it while you held you son for the first time? Cause um, that’s my story x2.
What I have gained in the past two years is worth it a million times over, but I have lost things along the way as well. That doesn’t change. People are always like, “Ohhhh Britt. You will get your body back! You look great! Don’t you worry! You JUST had two babies.” Well, maybe I will say goodbye to my muffin top but my old body is gone baby, gone. Believe me, it’s never coming back. This body was a machine. A human making machine. It paid it’s dues and it has scars. I am still healing.
So at this current point in time dear husband, baby Huey is only 8 months old and Benny and the Jets is 21 months. I can’t retire my card yet. My ace in the hole. I think it’s fair for the first year to be cut some serious slack. Because um my card says, I just birthed two 10 lb babes and made a family for us. I’m hearing your frustration about my forgetfulness. I bet it has been tough at times to live with me lately. But do you remember that time that I was having a baby so fast that my body was shaking so much that the nurse stabbed me incorrectly and bruised my entire forearm and there was blood running everywhere. But I didn’t think much of that cause simultaneously I relieved myself on the hospital floor mid contraction. Of course, I had no control over the matter. The nurse said, “Hey! maybe your water broke! That’s good.” I said, “Keep your voice down lady, I just peed on the floor.” And don’t worry, when you leave the hospital the healing doesn’t stop there. For example, If one day you got hemorrhoids it would be because of lack of fiber in your diet causing strain. If I ever got them.. (Uhhh…) IF.. Okay whatever. When I got them it was because I was a human hotel for your giant man children and I pushed Smudgy out in two pushes. BAM!
Marriage is NOT a competition….
No one wins unless you work together! Says every relationship book ever.
But, just for shits and giggles if we did add up the last two years the abridged version would look like this:
- > I got pregnant
- > Went to a zillion doctors appointments. Literally, one zillion.
- > He was a week and half past my due date and it was 90 degrees in July
- > I had to sit on a bag of peas for the last three weeks because the pressure was so painful
- > I was in labor for 30 hours. At 9 cm and no drugs because the anesthesiologist wasn’t too keen on shoving an epidural up my spine because of the metal rods I have in my back. So I was just yelling… “I want a c section. Some one just knock me out. HELPPPPPPP!”
- > I BIRTHED a 10 lb baby out my lady business.
- > I had my boobs get infected, couldn’t breastfeed my child. Definitely had the baby blues (SO much crying). Thought I was a failure because I couldn’t feed my kid. Wore the same tie dyed shirt every day. Called my Dad and cried every day.
- > Rallied. Got myself together.
- > Took care of our first homie like a champ.
- > Went back to work. Took care of an infant all day and then worked 2-10 at night.
- > Got pregnant again. Puked almost every day at work in secret.
- > Took care of an infant, worked full time, and was pregnant for 5 months
- > Searched for and bought a home.
- > Packed up our entire house while being pregnant and taking care of an infant.
- > Became a certifiable crazy person. So jacked up on hormones.
- > Had a panic attack when I was pregnant. I had the baby in the house and a bat was dive bombing me in our living room. I’m laughing out loud right now as I write that. Just picturing the scene. But at the time I was like…”Ohhhh my god, I’m going to get bitten by a bat and my baby is going to come out with rabies. Dear lord. This is the end. ” I called my Mother in law and she said the following to me. “Oh I probably shouldn’t tell you this, but I know a woman that her husband died by getting bit by a bat.” Not the best story for me to hear at this point in time. Again, not rational. Not composed. Two years of pregnancy hormones just flowing red. I sat outside on our deck for hours in the dark because I refused to go back inside. Husband sat on the couch inside and watched Game of Thrones. I shouted things into the screen door to Josh like, “I’m not in the mood to be a single Mother. People say “Oh is there a Mr. Burbank?” and I’d have to be like, “Uhhh no. He died by bat bite because he doesn’t like to miss Game of Thrones.'” He ended up catching the bat in the end (Don’t want to leave you hanging.)
- > Delivered another 10 lb baby. Did this one in two pushes. Did not receive a t-shirt for being the best at child birth.
- > More crying. More doctors.
- > Rallied again.
- > Did not bat an eye when said husband went to Maine for 9 days when baby #2 was two months old. (Cause I freaking LOVE you, you silly man. You work too hard.)
- > Back to work full time.
- > I average 5 hours of sleep a night.
- > My feet are bigger, my skin is bumpy on my arms, I’ve lost weight, but my skin is not tight. Worst thing ever.
- > I haven’t been to the yoga studio in 2 months. I do yoga at home but it’s not the same! That place is my church. Where I clear my mind. Where I make myself present again.
- > Our baby has pulled out countless chunks of my hair and when it grew back I found my first gray hair.
- > I injure myself often while trying to catch them, carry them, pin them down and clothe them.
- > You impregnated me. (Sorry you had to take that bullet. *sarcasm noted*)
- > You had to be in the room while I had a pap smear. You pretended to be reading Women’s fitness, but I saw you look up. Can’t unsee that man.
- > Searched for and bought a home.
- > You had to listen to me complain, A LOT.
- > You have to work your ass of to provide for this family.
- > Spent all day working and then all night working at the house to get it move in ready.
Now you see, I have a logical brain. A lot of this craziness was predetermined for us just by our gender and procreation capabilities. I already told Josh we could have a 3rd if he carried it. I’ll be the one holding his leg up while he pushed. TBD. My point is. I’m the woman. I was happy to play this role. I felt privileged to play this role. It is a momentous role. Which like any momentous role, it takes all the time and energy that you can give. So all I ask for is a little understanding. If the house is full of clutter, please please don’t be shocked that when you tell me “the mess frustrates you.” that then I proceed to stab you with a fork in the leg. The official term for that move is called “the Howard.”
So now that we’ve determined that we are all stressed. Where do we go from here? Whats the plan?
This really smart school I know uses a beaker to demonstrate this with the kids visually. Every one has a beaker. It basically gives the kids a simply term to explain that they are overwhelmed. It’s stress busting 101.
So this is the jist of it.
You have things that fill your beaker:
- Arguing with a peer
- Not feeling well
- Being tired
- Being nervous about the prom
If you keep pouring small things in. It all adds up and you don’t want to overflow. So you have to be able to identify when your beaker is full. Then you have ways to empty it. Every ones ways are different.
- fresh air
- listening to music
- watching a funny movie
- deep breaths
If you don’t empty your beaker. It starts spilling over. Overflowing. Coming out however it wants to. Not how you decide.
“My beaker is full” becomes an easy way for a kid to express the feeling of being overwhelmed. Even if they can’t pin point why they feel that way.
So now take this simple idea and apply it to yourself as a Mom.
My beaker is filling up:
- > Someone hit me in the head with a Tonka truck
- > Every one won’t stop pooping. When you change them, they spend the entire time trying to tuck and role away from you.
- > You had to call and say you would be late for work again because of reasons so beyond your control.
- > Your toddler shut the babies fingers in the play kitchen cabinet.
- > Your dog ran out the front door and trampled a kid to run out into the driveway.
- > People are teething. What else is new?
- > Your moments of goodness keep getting interrupted by chaos. Por emjemplo: You are reading Brown Bear on your lawn in the sunshine with the boys. You think to yourself. I have the best life ever. But your life admiration dream like state is quickly over and you come back down to Earth as the baby starts grabbing the book and then the older large baby gets pissed and starts yelling “No no no no no no no no!” and tries to slap the baby. Sweet. Time for time out. I love listening to screaming while time out is going on. You are trying to sit Ben down but you look up and the baby is eating a large stick and handful of grass. You go attempt to pry open tiny death grip fists. Ben sees this as his opportunity to take off and frolic away with his dog. Mocking your zone defense.
Are any of these things that big of a deal? Not really. That still doesn’t change that you an get frustrated, tired, and your mood ring can turn a filthy brown.
So how do I empty my beaker?
- > Okay everyone. Get in the stroller. Time for an endorphin high.
- > Call a friend. ring ring Hannah Nikki Liz Laura Becky Cassie Kim. Bring me coffee and come love on my kids. And they do. How lucky am I? Sometimes they just swing in and bring me coffee. Like they could read my mind that I needed a lady in shinning armor to come save me from Chuggington. It definitely works in my favor to only live 3 minutes from my job. Every ones commute goes by me. I can only assume when Laura and Cassie’s get off shift in the morning they look at each other and are like, “Lets get coffee and see if Britt is alive.”
- > Get in the Jeep every one! We are going to go park at the beach and be humbled by nature.
- > Call your husband and say I need to go to yoga tonight or heads will roll.
- > Listen to stand up comedians while I clean my house. I don’t love TV because I’m more of a mover. So I like to listen and laugh along but do something else productive. Also because it makes cleaning more fun. Because cleaning is the worst. I do it. I don’t even think I’m bad at it. I just don’t enjoy it. Not everyone can be Hannah Canelos at Bubbleclean. The best cleaning company on Cape Cod. (Shameless plug for those I love best. What what.)
- > Dance
- > Blog
I’m doing it. Every day I wake up and smile at the homies. I sing Disney songs. I dance with our kids. I roll down hills with them. I hold them when they are sad. I sit in there dark room for a minute every night even tho they have long been asleep when I get home from work because I missed them.
So sometimes I’m snappy. Sometimes I’m lazy. I got home from work one night and just shoved all the clean laundry on our bed onto the floor because I was so tired. At that time it seemed justified. Therefore, some days I’m a lousy wife. Some days I’m an amazing wife. Some days you come home to a Martha Stewart special and some days you come home to the first 20 minutes of Saving Private Ryan. So you have to just go with it. Be flexible. Be stable. Be logical. Be the rock that holds us down. Because maybe you didn’t birth our kids. Maybe your contribution list is shorter than mine when it comes to amount of stitches you got in your genitals in order to bring our boys into this world. But here is the secret. What you can do is much greater. You can do the most important thing that could be on any spouses list, which is being the calm in the hormonal storm. This is your starring role. It’s the only way to survive babies. One of my favorite things I ever read was when Brad Pitt was talking about when Angelina was doing bad, he just loved the ever living shit out of her. It worked. The more he built her up in her dark time the better she became. Makes sense.
Maybe your reading this and your like? “Uh, Brit. My pregnancy was beautiful, I was practicing stripper aerobics 6 weeks postpartum, and my husband is MY BEST FRIEND. I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Well, in the words of the great poet Stephanie Tanner, “Well pin a rose on your nose.”
That’s cool that your husband is your best friend. My only question and concern is who do you call to say swear words about your husband to? While you cry in your Jeep in the driveway. Cause I’m pretty sure that is the role of your best girlfriend.
and AGAIN… It’s not a competition. That’s silly business. Don’t misinterpret my frustration. I just want to be understood like any one else.
One of us did wake up this morning, take a shower, feed the dog, walk out the door, go to Dunkin Donuts, and then go his/her job.
And the other one of us. Woke up to crying. Changed two poopy diapers. Burned 1000 calories trying to change and dress our children. Fed them breakfast. Changed them again because they are foul beasts when they eat. Made Ben’s daycare lunch. Packed a bag for each of them. Brought Ben to daycare. Brought Jack home. Cleaned up. Brought Jack to Nana’s house and then went to work.
That’s basically the same morning? I won’t disclose who’s morning looks like what.
Is there really any way around our schedules being like this at this very point in time? No! So it’s no one’s fault. Spouses just need to remember to walk in each other’s shoes from time to time. Which you would think would be easy for Josh and I considering my feet just keep getting bigger every time I get pregnant. Sexy.
One day I will retire my card. I won’t be that Mom who spends their kids entire teen years being like, “Hey mister, I spent 30 hours in labor with you. blah blah blah.” But that day isn’t today. Today I will go on feminist rants about the ordeal that is pregnancy. Today I will navigate the unknown waters of being a New Mom. Today I will remind every one in my house hold that I love them and I’m trying harder then I ever thought I could at anything in my life. So please just believe that.