Momma, You Can Do This.

I was going to title this post, “Someday you’ll look back and long for these days, and other bull&%$.” But, swearing’s not really my thing.

The long view — enjoy every minute of this because it goes by fast — just doesn’t work for me when I’m in the middle of chaos as a mom of four. And I’ve definitely been in the middle of it this week. You see, my husband and 9-year old twins are gone on a 6-day canoe trip, leaving me flying solo with 2-year old Jax and 7-week old Baby B.

Deep breath. I’m the mom, I can do this.

And most of the time I believe that.

When Jax and I are playing Thomas the Train while Baby B quietly sleeps in her day crib, I believe it. When he’s quietly “reading” books while I nurse B and check my email, I believe it. Even when Baby B is strapped to my chest in my Moby wrap while whipping up some pathetic dinner for Jax and I, I believe it.

But then day three (of six) sets in, and I’m beginning to wonder. After three consecutive nights of four hours of interrupted sleep, I’m wondering how many more days I can hold on. When Jax is screaming so loud that I’m sure the neighbors are going to call CPS and Baby B joins the symphony with her own blood curdling newborn cry, I think I might lose my mind.

And on day four when I’m cleaning up potty-training Jax’s accident and simultaneously stepping in dog pee on my new area rug, I feel like letting out my own ear-piercing scream. And, after finally getting both kids to sleep for the night, I look at days’ worth of dishes in the sink and four loads of half-folded laundry, and declare single moms of young children my new heroes. How do they do this day after day with no help?

I’m the mom, I can do this. Or I’m supposed to be able to do this. I’ve been overwhelmed before (I’m the mom of twins after all), and I got through it. But it’s not because I think that, 15 years from now, I’m going to look back and want these crazy days back.

I roll my eyes at those well-meaning comments. And don’t get me started on Facebook posts that declare moms shouldn’t worry about cleaning their houses and should instead hug their kids 24/7 because they’ll grow up someday. I mean, how many days can dishes sit in the sink or dirty laundry accumulate? I live in the real world (and I’m pretty sure you do too), and houses need cleaning despite the fact that our kids won’t always be little.

Those comments make me feel like a bad mom. So I’m supposed to love all of this? Because clearly, if I’m frustrated or overwhelmed I’m not grateful for my children. Clearly I’m less than. Clearly I’m failing.

That long view is fine at the end of the day when I look at my sleeping cheurbs’ sweet faces. And I’m sure it will be fine when they’re in college and selective memory sets in — when I fail to recall the crazy and remember instead the Kodak moments.

But when I’m in the middle of the crazy … when my toddler is playing in my overflowing toilet only to realize that my dog’s escaped out of the backyard fence (true story) … the long view doesn’t work for me.

The long view lacks empathy. It refuses to validate the gritty day-to-day struggle of momhood. The long view rolls its eyes at my overflowing toilet and, in a condescending voice, says, “O’ it’s not so bad. If you were a capable mom, this wouldn’t ruffle your feathers. Get over it.”

The long view is rainbows and unicorns. And there are no such things as unicorns.

Instead, I need to acknowledge that this is hard. That this moment requires me to dig deep to cope.

I cope in these moments by telling myself I can get through this day, this hour or even this minute. I have to break the long view down, because the long view is simply too abstract when my blood pressure is through the roof and I feel like my chest is going to explode.

When I break it down to minutes, I realize I can do anything. I can do anything for five minutes. I can nurse my newborn while soothing my overtired, crying toddler for five minutes. Because getting through those five minutes means I can get through five more. And before I know it I’ve gotten through a whole crazy day. And that day turns into a week.

Momma, you can do this! @ jaxinthebox.com

And, yes, that week turns into years. And before I know it, my four cherubs will be grown. And I’ll look back and wish I could hold their little, sweet smelling newborn bodies again.

And I’ll have gotten there by breaking down the long view — by being brutally honest with myself, and acknowledging that this mom thing is not for the faint of heart. That it’s hard. And that I’m a capable mom. Who raised capable kids, one minute at a time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Review: 4moms Breeze

4moms is an amazingly innovative company serving the needs of both parents and babies. I’ve used three of their six products to date, and I’m smitten with all of them. (If you missed it, I’ve already sung their praises in my review of their Infant Tub.)

So, when I was given the opportunity to review the Breeze, 4mom’s version of a playard, I was excited. And I’m. In. Love.

What’s Unique About It?

Okay. Listen to this: You can set up this portable playard with one hand and in one step. I’m not kidding. I set this puppy up one-handed while holding Baby B with the other. Once I took it out of the travel bag, it literally took 5 seconds to assemble.

How It Works

Simply slide the Breeze out of the travel bag, unhook the Velcro straps of the mattress wrapped around the playard, and set the Breeze upright (vertical). When you are ready to make the magic, simply press down on the 4moms square in the center of the playard and, vuala, you’ve assembled the Breeze! To see this in action, click the pic below. This is a segment on my local Fox News morning show where I demo’d this amazing product.

Review of 4moms Breeze @ jaxinthebox.com

Click this pic to see the Breeze in action!

4moms Breeze review @ jaxinthebox.com

See the blue strap on top? Just press down on the square it’s secured to and … you have an assembled playard! Ready to put it away? Just pull up on the strap and it disassembles just as easily.

DSCN2899

The Breeze assembled with the Infant Bassinet.

Included Accessories

Mattress: The mattress is sturdy and cozy.

Infant Bassinet with Mattress: The infant bassinet installs by simply sliding large clips around the top edge of the playard. Then place the infant mattress on the bassinett floor. Once installed, it is very sturdy. (This, coming from a mom who refuses to use the infant bassinet in my Graco Pack-n-Play because it seems flimsy and unstable.)

4moms Breeze review @ jaxinthebox.com

The Infant Bassinet is sturdy and generously sized.

4moms Breeze review @ jaxinthebox.com

Baby B was content to hang out in the Breeze!

Changing Pad: The Breeze comes with a generously sized changing pad. Use it with the playard, or throw it in your minivan so you’re prepared in a pinch.

Travel Bag: Wrap the large mattress around the playard, then slide it into the travel bag. The infant bassinet and mattress slides snuggly between the playard legs. Then zip up the bag, and you’re ready to go.

The Pros

Seriously, the fact that it 1) assembles and disassembles in, well, a Breeze, is enough! But there is even more to love:

2) The playard is larger than many other brands. This gives your growing toddler plenty of sleeping and play space.

4moms Breeze review @ jaxinthebox.com

2.5 year-old Jax has plenty of room to sleep and play.

3) Did I mention it is super sturdy?

4) It eliminates the frustration of ensuring the sides “click” open, or trying to pinch the sides to release when disassembling it.

5) Both the playard itself and the infant bassinet are constructed with mesh sides. This enables you to see your child inside the Breeze from any angle, and allows children to breathe freely when sleeping even if they manage to wedge themselves against the sides.

The Cons

1) The weight. It’s heavier than my Graco. In my book, that is a small price to pay for the convenience of setting it up and taking it down.

2) The price. At $299, it’s a bit pricey. While the innovative design justifies the price tag, it’s a bit more than some parents will want to spend. But keep in mind that this is a product you will use from birth through at least 3 years-old. It serves as a safe place for your child to sleep when traveling, and a safe play space when in a non-baby proofed environment.  The Breeze is a great choice as a shower gift or anyone wanting to gift the parents something the new mom or dad might not buy on their own.

Overall, I love, love, love the Breeze. It might just be my new favorite infant/toddler product on the market.

*4moms provided the Breeze for review, but the opinions expressed here are my own.

Review: 4moms Infant Tub

4moms is one of my favorite baby product companies. They are innovative and are truly tuned in to the needs of both parents and babies.

Both Baby B (my month-old baby girl) and I love the rockaRoo, which was gifted to us by a group of my girlfriends. It’s 4moms’ take on a 5-speed baby swing with a smaller footprint, squishy comfort for baby, the perfect recline position for reflux sufferers, and an MP3 hookup for your little cherub’s favorite lullabies.

So, when I was given the opportunity to review 4moms’ Infant Tub, I was excited. And, like my rockaRoo, I love it. (more…)

Review: Baby Jack & Co. Lovies

Blankie, lovie, tee tee (as my older sons called theirs), the soft, cuddly blankets to which small children become emotionally attached go by many names. They provide a sense of security when parents are away, keep monsters out of bedrooms at night, and are a natural and important part of childhood. (more…)

C-Sections Suck

What no one wants to tell you about c-sections @ jaxinthebox.comLet’s just get one thing straight …. I am grateful for c-sections. I’m the woman they were made for. All four of my children came into this world via cesarean. They had perfectly round heads, cried right away and may not have lived if it weren’t for this medical intervention. And for that I’m beyond thankful. But c-sections still suck.  (more…)