parenting

The Emotional Rollercoaster Called Parenting

Twins on way to Pre-school

Pre-School Days

Today we had the boys parent / teacher conference with their pre-school teacher. As my husband and I sat listening to their teacher talk about our boys, I began to get emotional. Here we are, almost at the end of their first year of pre-school and they are thriving. It seems like yesterday I was panicking about their first day. 

I remember in the early days, looking at my newborn twins and wondering what they would look like at this age. What would their personalities be like? It all seemed so far off.

The Early Days

Being a new mom, to twins, with no family close by. And a husband whose work schedule, basically left me single parenting it Monday Friday. There were days I wished the time away. I wanted it to get easier. Wanted the grueling feeding schedule to end. I wanted to be able to go places. Then go places with ease. I had moments when I wanted the bottles, puree foods and diapers to go away. The days when they couldn’t speak and I had no idea what they wanted. There were so many days I was so grateful were over.

Those yearly months were so hard, and the future seemed impossible to reach. Yet here we are. Finishing up their first year of school. Now I have guilt of wishing some of those early days away. Had I really understood how fast this would go, would I change it? Maybe? I don’t know.

When I got home from our meeting with their teacher, all of these thoughts were spinning in my head. Along with utter pride at how well the boys are doing. I sat in the yard and cried for the time that flew by and the time that will fly past. And made a promise to not wish away any days again, because before I know it, we will be at their last high school parent /  teacher conference.

4 HOURS LATER….

It is 3pm and I have broken my own promise. My precious angels who are the darlings of their pre-school class, have morphed into evil little anarchists. After about 5 fights, 3 hitting episodes, a whining marathon and every toy taken out, I am desperate for this day to end.

Bedtime cannot come fast enough. I am thinking of putting them to bed a half hour early just so I don’t have to deal with them. Gone is the sentimentality of years gone by. Hello to the realization that parenting twins is like walking a tight rope, at any moment a gust of twin wind will push you off.

I have some guilt that I can’t wait for today to be over. Especially given my tear filled pact to the universe only hours earlier.  But I also have to be realistic. Parenting makes you a crazy person. You are crying because you love your babies more than life itself and want to inhale every bit of their baby / toddlerness. Or you are crying because two 3 year olds can knock me to my knees in an instant. Leaving me wondering, if I am actually a capable adult and realizing I have no control over anything.

I guess I just have to accept that parenting is an emotional rollercoaster. You will be screaming with excitement and joy, relishing in the fun. Than in instant later, break down at the top of the hill and leave you sitting there for hours, waiting for someone to rescue you.

 

 

 

Holding Myself Accountable

I was on vacation when I received the news about Alton Sterling’s and Philando Castile’s deaths.  I had put the boys to bed and was trying to quickly skim through the news on my phone before I went to bed when I read that both men were killed.

At first I was confused, thinking I was just mixing up names within one story.  I thought I was just tired and not reading my AP News Feed correctly. I couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that within two days, two different black men were gunned down by police. And yet I could.

Along with anger, sadness, frustration, I have also felt a sense of fault. And that feeling of fault, fully resonated after seeing a particular image that has not left my thoughts. A woman, a mother, being arrested while protesting in Baton Rouge.

blacklivesmatter

Ieshia Evans left her home and child, to travel to Baton Rouge to protest and fight for her son’s rights. I look at this image and see two men in riot gear, seeming off-balance, as they prepare to arrest her. I see a woman with incredible strength and power.  I see two feet planted firmly on the ground and a spine standing straight, not giving up.  I see a mother. And all the mothers that came before her fighting for the rights and lives of their children.

This image has been hard to look at, because it has caused me to truly look inside myself and wonder what have I been doing to support my fellow citizens. Reading other people’s articles and re-posting other people’s thoughts and experiences isn’t actively participating in the movement. I have had to be honest with myself and acknowledge that I have more often felt, “how can I effect change when the problem seems so big?”

I talk about needing to raise my children in a city because there is more diversity here and yet I live in a mostly white neighborhood and don’t actively seek out ways of participating in the different cultural experiences that live within our city.

It is a hard realization when, I have always thought of myself as someone who fought against racial injustice but really, I have been a bystander, while so many Black Americans fight for their lives.

I see Ieshia Evans, a woman, a mother and I must no longer simply express my anger at where we are as a nation in terms of equality and racism. I need to be a true ally and stand, spine straight with Ieshia and the countless other mothers, and fight for their children, as well as my own. Because it is crucial that my children carry the torch in protecting equality, otherwise how can they be a mindful, participant in their own communities and country? How can they be wholly human?

I watch the way my dear friend’s son, a year older than my boys, is always so kind and sweet to my guys. He has helped push Atlas up the slide when he couldn’t get up on his own, or given encouraging words when one has struggled with something. His kindness is innate. I am always so grateful for the way he treats the boys, being the “bigger” kid. I know that a few years from now, when they are no longer toddlers, the way they react to society and the way society reacts to them will be different. I need to stand by Ieshia’s side so my children will stand by his.

And for my friend, who has never wavered in working to have honest, thoughtful conversations about race and share her experiences, even when the responses have sometimes been unkind.  I am in awe of her and believe she must be exhausted. But she doesn’t stop. I need to stand by her side, as a true ally, friend and fellow mother. To continue to educate myself, my children and add my voice to the rising tide of voices calling for change. #Blacklivesmatter

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