laugh, learn

My plea to mothers of one child.

19 Comments 15 September 2010

My plea to mothers of one child.

First let me say I have been there. Once upon a time, I had one treasured child that I followed like a hawk. Every move every protest monitored and intercepted. If he pushed another kid I could sit and discuss it with myself him ’til the cows came home.

But I no longer have that kind of luxury. When my twins arrived, the nurses saw my two year old coming to visit his newborn bother and sister. And they replaced the regular instruction manual in my to-go bags with a different one which goes by the title, “You Can’t Do It All, But Your Kids Will Survive”

So please understand it is not that I don’t want to keep my kid from knocking bumping yours out of the way. But as much as I would like to, I can’t split my self in three, and be there for every crash and burn little snag along the way.

And although you may have shuddered the first time your precious little one uttered the word “MINE” to another child.  In our house it is more of a sign they’re finally old enough to stick up for themselves milestone.  So on the bright side, don’t feel the need to apologize when your precious little dear says it to one of mine.  Quite honestly, it is the word of the day everyday at my house.

But I do feel the need to apologize ahead of time if one of my kids hits yours in the head with a shovel bumps into yours while my back was purposely turned because I knew I was too far away to stop it from happening while I was watching one of the other two. Or if I don’t get there in time to talk to myself him/her about sharing toys and not throwing sand.

Especially if you are already back in your skinny jeans and your youngest is less than six months old.  Because really who are we kidding I’m too busy being jealous to worry about your kid.

Additionally, you may look more calm cool collected and well dressed than I. I was lucky to brush my teeth and find a clean shirt this morning. But I’m just making an effort to give my kids a more real-life experience.

Ultimately, what I’m trying to say is we live in different worlds you and I. While you have time to do your hair and shave your legs. I barely have time to feed clothe and find shoes for three children before herding them unceremoniously out the door and into the car.

While your child has the time to sit and contemplate wether she wants to go down the slide. My child has learned that if you don’t move or get out of the way your siblings are ready to knock you out of the way take your place.

So when our mothering techniques don’t quite match and our approaches are worlds apart lets just know that we are each doing our best given our current situation.  No nasty looks need apply.


photo credit byrne7214

Your Comments

19 Comments so far

  1. Kristen says:

    I think this is an excellent & well written post :) haha. Kids are going to be kids and you can’t stop everything & they have to learn some things for themselves! :)

  2. Thanks for the perspective. Although I do not have time most days to shower and I shaving my legs is a luxury. Just ask my husband. Recently I was at a birthday party with the mom of newborn twins, whom she is nursing no less. She looked fabulous! Well put together, make up, real clothes. I was rocking my regular Frumpy Mom look.

    I am in awe of moms like you. I don’t know how you do it. I have no idea how I would do it! It feels like too much with just one a good portion of the time. You go on with your bad self. And trust me, I will not judge…

  3. Brandi says:

    Hey! I’m the mom of one child, and I really understand what you’re saying! This actually makes me feel better. Thanks!

  4. I only have The Boy, but as a former teacher I can relate to juggling several kids at once, but it is much different. I can only imagine adding another Boy and a toddler to my current mix and I have a hard enough time just managing my 4 month old.

    Oh, and I hate those skinny jeans mom who just.gave.birth, while I’m in jeans 3 times larger than I was before I got pregnant.

  5. Kait says:

    Sigh. Im wearing skinny jeans, but Mama they are in no way, shape or form, the same size as my pre-pregnancy jeans.

  6. andrea says:

    Me too. I’ve been lax on my looks since the first one showed up. But, I went to one of those fancy boutique malls the other day and every woman there seemed to have one child, flat abs, a tight ass, hair and makeup to die for, and nothing but sneers for my ummmm well socialized kids. Sigh…

  7. Emily says:

    Love reading this post! Having had my twins first, it makes me chuckle to read about those who have experienced both sides!!

    I never had the experience of having just one, so I skipped right over the first-time parent stuff (like worrying about the dirty-encrusted cracker the kid just ate) and got dirty looks (and sometimes sympathy looks) from day one :)

  8. Lori says:

    Perfect! THANK YOU for posting the perils of those with multiple kids. I have 3 4 and under and it is a tough thing to even get them counted,much less to behave perfectly everywhere!


  9. Don’t forget the part that since you already have three people think it is no big deal to send theirs to your house, too… “you already have THREE CHILDREN, what’s one more?”

    ROTFL! :-)

  10. The comments from Emily, Lori and Kelly (above) has me nodding in agreement!

    It almost makes me want to post that pic of Mama’s 3 and my 4 sitting on the park bench all lined up in a row (for proof), then tell the story of the 2 of us taking the 7 of them (that would be three 3-yr olds and four 2-yr olds) out to the Italian Restaurant (one with cloth napkins and everything)! Considering their ages, we had fairly well behaved kiddos, but the looks we got from most people after counting them all and then looking at us, was priceless.

  11. Oh yes, I love this, great job! Seriously before having my second child I did glare at the seemingly inattentive Mom whose child shoved mine out of the way on more than one occasion.

    Now? Okay, I get it. You really can’t be in more places than one. If anyone gets out of line on my watch I just gently “remind” them about keeping hands to thyself. I would hope other Moms would do the same for me if I was too busy with child #2 to notice child #1’s bad behavior. We all have to work together right?

    Great post:)

  12. Wiping tears of hysterical laughter from my eyes…

    You nailed this one. Shall we print up fliers of it to hand out at parks and shops?


  13. jessica says:

    I am a mom of one. If it helps at all, yes, I am thin but make up and dressing up, are not something I ever have time for.

    my sisters have 2 kids each and I get it. You can’t split yourself in two, three or fours and for those mothers who expect you too, well, fuck em.

  14. Casey says:

    Hey this post made me sad. I have a feeling you had a bad experience with a mom of an only child which I am so sorry for. I have one child but I wish I had more. I wish I had more chaos. I wish I had less time. I would give anything (and have given almost everything), to not fit into my skinny jeans to have more beautiful gifts running around causing chaos. I may look cool, calm, collected, but I am secretly grieving my own childs lack of siblings and the losses we have had, while I watch families like yours on the playgrounds. I would like to think that how I appear or that I just one child does not mean I am not attempting to give my child real-life experiences. I would like to think that as moms who love our kids our worlds actually have more similarities than differences and that if we sat down to talk, we would have some simliar techniques and approaches. Clearly my battle with infertility leaves me sensitive and vulnerable, and your post has hit home with many moms out there with one child or many. But I thought I should share my opinion anyway. You will never get a nasty look from me. I hope I never get one from you! :)

  15. Ana says:

    I’m *at the moment* a Mommy of 1. It will turn into “Mommy of 2″ if this sadistic little child will ever vacate my uterus, but I get where you’re coming from as a Mommy of Multiples.

    My son is a hugger/toucher/getinyourfacebecauseothersmakemehappy kind of boy. He thinks children are absolutely fascinating so other little kids normally run away from my little invader-of-their-personal-space. But there is something I learned early on as a Mommy of 1, and that is simply this: “Playground rules apply.”

    Children learn from other children. If they’re taking too long on the slide, they’ll get run over because taking turns, waiting in line, and enjoying it at the speed of others is a fact of life. I’ve moved my son out of other kids’ way because he’s held up the line. Playground rules! If there are bigger kids out playing, I steer Boy #1 out of their way. Much like the Galapagos Islands, the playground is survival of the fittest with a little Mommy intervention when fighting over who’s damn shovel that is anyway :)

    That’s probably not the way that most Mommy’s look at it, but it’s life. As long as there are no broken bones, rumbles or screaming matches, I’m cool with your children teaching mine the playground rules.

  16. Right on! I am the mother of one spirited little 17 month old boy and even I can relate to this! Going to start following you now :)

  17. Nikkolish says:

    This is too funny! I only have one, but I can totally understand what you’re saying. I’ve been guilty of the hovering and intervening too much. Even with one 3 year old, I struggle to find time for showering, primping and leg shaving…I can’t imagine 3! Kudos to you for even leaving the house! =]

  18. Vero says:

    I am LMAOROTF!!!! Andrea OMG!!! I am going to make sure I send out this memo to everyone I know! Im going to show it to you! LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!!!!

  19. Kelly says:

    I needed to read this today! My 3 year old is in “terrible three’s” full-throttle, and I got the evil eye, plus some “behind the back talk” from one of the other mom’s there. It was annoying, to say the least..bad enough my son was acting up, and I had to also watch after my baby daughter while she played, then to have to feel totally judged by another mom, was just really frustrating.
    Can’t we all realize we are in a “sisterhood” of sorts??? Corny way to put it, but it’s true. Let’s cut eachother some slack, eh?

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