Family of four walking aroundFamily of four walking around

Hormonal Episodes and Scenes of Chaos By a heavily pregnant mom of two under four.

By Lisa McCann

It’s hard to describe the sheer madness of being six months pregnant while parenting two children under four.

I am here to shed light on a chaotic, at times hilarious, and impossibly exhausting time in my life. Moments where everything around me seems to be swirling just out of reach; dirty dishes, dirty laundry, nappies, wipes, bottles of milk, banana peel, cars and toys, and more cars. There are times I can’t breathe, I can’t move. I am frozen when I can’t be frozen. When two little people depend on me, I can’t afford to freeze.

Pregnancy makes you slow; it makes you heavy. You can’t race ahead with your four-year-old to the playground and lift her joyfully to the swing, laughing as you go. You can’t easily lift your 21-month-old for cuddles ­– he now wants to do a ‘seesaw’ on your knees, which requires insane effort for you and your growing baby. Everything requires more effort, and sometimes it is impossible to give them what they want. They mostly want you, and you are no longer just you. You are two. And the very fact that they know this makes them uneasy – another person to compete with.

To be pregnant is to be in limbo. Everything you think you like, from food to music to clothes, changes in those first few weeks. It is an uneasy, unsettling, and extremely nauseous time. It is waiting for another life where you have three kids but are free to be you. You are no longer weighed down by a growing baby, fluctuating hormones, a constant and unsufferable need to pee, labored breathing that likens you to a ninety-year-old, and an inability to walk in a straight line or wear the high-waisted jeans that make you feel like you.

These moments of madness are especially prevalent on the weekends. Many meltdowns, much TV, and trips to the park and the local coffee shop. There is insane guilt and tears (on my part) for never feeling I have done enough or been enough.

Picture this; Sunday evening in our kitchen, witching hour. My one-year-old wants ‘nana’ (banana); he wants it so badly; that he has flung our dog’s water bowl across the kitchen, where it smashed to pieces. He continues to roar and stomp around the kitchen, opening cupboards and attempting to open cracker packets. Suddenly, my husband opened the fridge to get the milk; the one-year-old, quick as a flash, rushed over to his favorite place in the house, but before he got there, the fridge closed.

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His hopes and dreams are crushed, and his chances of finding yogurt or milk or happiness in life are dashed. He returns dejected to his food mission.

My four-year-old is watching Disney’s Puppy Dog intently.

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I have called her name several times. She smiles lovingly at the television. As far as she’s concerned, no one exists except her doggy pals, Roly and Bingo. I turn off the TV abruptly. “Dinner time!!!! Roast chicken!!”

My husband twirls our daughter around to Blink 182’s new album. The music blares loudly, the dog barks, the one-year-old screams, “Nanananananana.”I try to remember all the things I’m supposed to do at this moment. Deep breaths? Leave the room to collect me? Ignore them all? But then, no one will eat anything (except the dog, of course).

One hour later. The toddler ate some food but gave most of it to the dog (he did owe him). The three-year-old refused to eat. I have since left the room and am sitting upstairs in stunned silence, unsure what happened.

Twenty minutes later, they slowly enter the bedroom, looking guilty. They climb onto the bed. They hug and kiss me. “Mommy. I love you.”  “Mama, Mama, Mama.” They giggle and cuddle and smile. They jump on the bed. They push each other. They are hard to resist. It’s hard not to love. Love with everything you have. But it is hard sometimes. So very hard.

Maybe the only way through it is to laugh at the insanity. The total and utter chaos.

And to spend the following morning while they are in childcare getting a facial, a pedicure, or a lobotomy.