Today was the kind of day where I felt like supermom by 11am and the worst-mom-ever by 5pm. It began with a trip to preschool with all three children. My mom usually watches baby V, while I drop the girls off, but she was busy today. So I got there really early to give myself enough time to set up the stroller, unload everyone, and stop for a potty break before class. As I’m walking from the parking lot, I was stopped by three different moms. The first came up to me, smiled, and just said, “You’re winning.” Of course I tried to therapize the situation and laugh back, “Oh this isn’t a competition. You’re doing amazing too,” instead of just taking the compliment. I need to get better about that.
The second woman stopped loading her car when she saw my twins and then the car seat in the stroller. She asked, “Is there a baby in there?!” When I said, “Yep!” She responded, “Wow. You must have your hands full. You’re amazing.” Then of course we proceeded to chit chat like moms do about developmental stages and spacing between children, even though we were complete strangers 😂.
The third woman was walking out of the building towards her car, and she said, “Are they twins? Oh! And you have a baby! Wow!” I just smiled, answered in the affirmative, and continued on.
I’m not sure if all moms get attention when they go out, but I’m pretty used to people staring at us wherever we go. Twins (and other multiples) tend to attract attention, especially when they’re dressed the same. But it was kind of ridiculous when I had all three by myself lol. Not only did the three moms on the way to preschool say something, but three other moms in the classroom couldn’t believe I had a baby and toddler twins.
So when I was leaving preschool today, I felt pretty awesome. It reminded me that when I feel overwhelmed, I’m not being ridiculous. Three under three is a huge responsibility that involves organization, flexibility, and a sense of humor.
Six hours later, I felt like the worst mother on the planet. I was in the bathroom for my 3 minute potty break, when I heard an excruciatingly loud smack. The girls were in the living room at the time, and my bathroom is the farthest point from there. So if I could hear the impact from where I was, it had to be bad. I raced outside and one of my twins was hysterical. I asked her sister what happened, and she straight faced said, “I pushed her.” I was so upset and worried, I didn’t even know how to handle that. I just brought them both over and explained what happens when we push people and how it can cause owies.
I was in shock initially, but I started to get really scared when my energizer bunny was lethargic in my arms. She didn’t have any of her usual spunk, and I couldn’t get her to drink water or eat pretzels. When my kids aren’t interested in cracker like snacks, it’s not good.
Yev and I switched off holding her, so we could take care of the other two. She was snuggled up on our laps for about two hours before getting sick all over Yev. If it wasn’t for my God given ability to excel in a crisis, I would have been having an absolute panic attack.
Yev brings her into the bath, and I call the pediatrician to see if I need to take her to the ER to be evaluated for a concussion. Now some of you might be thinking, “Why did you even wait? It’s your child, your baby. Just go.” Well, unfortunately, I’ve been to the ER where we had to wait hours to be seen and released for absolutely nothing to be wrong. And then we were slapped with a very large bill we struggled to pay. So unfortunately with three young children, Yev and I needed to be discerning about whether or not to bring her to the emergency room.
Luckily after she got sick, she immediately rebounded. She started drinking water, eating, and playing with her sister. She had her energy and her spirit back. And to accurately represent the situation, let me tell you that as soon as the crisis ended, I went into my room and fell apart. I cried because I just didn’t know what else to do. We were all exhausted emotionally and physically, and I just couldn’t keep it together anymore.
We ended up waiting 2.5 hours for a call back (after leaving multiple messages) from the on-call-doctor that never came, before putting the twins to bed. Our little girl seemed completely recovered, and it appeared that other factors may have contributed to her physically ill state (heat, exhaustion, and possibly some bad food). So we decided that one of us would sleep with them to make sure that everything was fine during the night. I know some of you have super fancy camera systems, but Yev is always careful about using systems that people can hack into. And, a camera (as far as I know) can’t tell you if someone is breathing, which is a paranoid fear of mine. So Yev graciously offered to sleep in between the girls, while I wrote this article and took the bed for myself.
I wish I could offer you some pearl of wisdom to take away, but I’m not in that kind of place right now. I’m still scared and worried. Did I make the right decision? I’m pretty sure I did. But I know this won’t be the last time we have to make a judgment call. Parenting is all about making decisions that are only simple in retrospect. You don’t want to be over protective and overbearing, but you always want to keep your children safe. Where do we draw the line? How do we use our discernment? This is what parenting is really about.