Sibling Rivalry is Driving Mom Crazy

Can I be honest with you?

Yesterday may have been one of my worst days as a mom ever.

Yep.

Ever.

What is it that makes some days tolerable and other days quite the opposite — dare I say abhorrent? But yesterday was just one of those days where I could do no right as a mom. Sebastian could have been a third walking leg as he never once let me go. Lola was upset that Sebastian was attached to me. Her inability to verbalize her unhappiness made her throw even louder tantrums. Her tantrums made Sebastian scream even louder. Those screams made me want to scream, but instead all I could do was just sob and pray that the day would end soon.

I’m thankful I have an engaging husband who helped put this “phase” into perspective. In those dreadful moments I was only able to think about how I was feeling. I didn’t look at the bigger picture. I didn’t look at their perspective. These little people are fighting for attention. And not just attention, but undivided, not-sharing-mom attention. It’s like survival of the fittest. The Hunger Games. Who is the Catniss of the two? It sounds absurd, but it’s so true. I have a little girl who had three years of having a mommy and a daddy all to herself. And out of nowhere we brought this other person into our world and what’s worse — he hasn’t left yet. And Sebastian just wants to be immersed into whatever I’m doing. He’s only a year old and he loves his mom’s boobs mom. So for a few hours every day after school, I’m left with playing referee – alone. I thought this would be simple. I thought parenting two children would be a piece of cake. And instead I’m realizing this parenting shit is hard.

This sums it up folks.

This sums it up folks.

He may have picked out his own shirt that day.

He may have picked out his own shirt that day.

I envisioned my two lovely children playing nicely with one another and that just ain’t happening in my house. Instead they are stealing toys, pulling hair, pushing each other down and they really just don’t get along. Now what I’m finding is that apparently this is all normal. Perhaps my only comfort is knowing that I’m not alone in my daily struggles to multitask between my own children. I’m learning most siblings are complete assholes to one another. And that there will be days when you just don’t feel like being a mom anymore. And the truth is, having young children will make you want to take up excessive drinking. But then those siblings will share a moment and all of those dreadful worries of sibling rivalry will be washed away with that euphoric glimpse of what could be. And the cycle will continue on and on.

Sebastian was putting lip gloss on Lola.

Sebastian was putting lip gloss on Lola.

Easiest way to get her to eat dinner is to put it on his tray.

Easiest way to get her to eat dinner is to put it on his tray.

I share this vulnerability with you because I want you to know I’m right there in the trenches of parenting too. And while I may post happy glimpses into our life, I share many of the same struggles as many of you. Thankfully I have pictures from the past few weeks as reminders that good days did come and many more are right around the corner.

Her happiness is the water.

Her happy place is the water.

And eating chocolate chip birthday pancakes.

And eating chocolate chip birthday pancakes.

And proudly walking the hallways of school.

And proudly walking the hallways of school.

Sebastian turned 1!

Sebastian turned 1!

He likes to build things.

He likes to build things.

He is a joyful little soul - most days.

He is a joyful little soul – most days.

Last week, Lola had strabismus eye surgery. Strabismus surgery is often recommended to correct the misalignment of the eyes. In many past photos, you may have noticed Lola’s left eye inverting inward or outward. When she was overtired or overly stimulated, her left eye would look in any direction but straight. While we don’t know what exactly Lola can and cannot see, we felt it was time to align the eye to give her a chance to use it more effectively. Lola had an excellent surgeon, Dr. Kathryn Haider who took good care of our girl. The procedure was quick and Lola’s recovery has been relatively uneventful. While Dr. Haider said it could take a few weeks for the eye muscles to align correctly, we immediately noticed Lola’s ability to align the eye with her right eye. We are hoping this new alignment will help with Lola’s use of depth perception.

Before surgery.

Before surgery.

One day post-op.

One day post-op.

My mom came at the perfect time!

My mom came at the perfect time!

Six days post-op - the eye is clearer and able to focus straight ahead.

Six days post-op – the eye is clearer and able to focus straight ahead.

This afternoon, I decided to leave Sebastian with my amazing neighbor so I can spend a couple of hours with just Lola. She’ll be thrilled to walk in the door after school to a silent house. Today there will be no screaming Sebastian instead just a couple of annoying dogs and a doting mom to welcome her home. And I’ll designate time for just Sebastian too. Someday we’ll be a cohesive group and I’ll try everyday to make it work. But I’m realizing I don’t have to be a wonder mom to be a good mom.

Do-Small-Things

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