Baby vs Toddler Balancing Act

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Being a mom of two takes some fine balancing at times.  I am the baby of my own family and growing up my sister would often wail “you’re showing favourites to Sam cos she’s the baby”.  Naturally I would always disagree with this notion most vehemently but now that I am a mom of two myself I can see where my poor sister was coming from.

As soon as that second child is placed in your arms you start trying to learn the fine art of balancing the protective mamma bear of baby vs toddler.   Or at least I did.  Kade was nearly 3 when Gemma was born – he is a boisterous boy child.  Always on the move, always jumping, running, pouncing… I cannot tell you how many times I’ve had to say “gently my boy, gently” when it comes to Gemma.  Or “watch your feet, you nearly kicked your sister in the head”  or “watch out you’ve nearly run over your sister with your bike”… I am a stuck record “be careful, be gentle, be careful, be careful, be careful” It’s never ending.

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The fact is he is bigger than she is.  He knows how to use his body, she doesn’t so I am inclined to jump in to protect her from him because of it… the thing is this.  I don’t want him to feel like I am constantly on his case and “showing favourites” with her.  How do I balance this very real need to temper his boisterousness around her?  I don’t want to stop his natural want to show his love for her.   I don’t want him to feel like her can’t play with or interact with her because of this.

As she’s gotten older and has started grabbing and pinching I am making sure that I admonish her too when she grabs a fistful of his hair or when she pinches him.   But I still find myself saying things to him like “she’s just a baby my boy, she doesn’t understand why its wrong”.  Protecting her and “taking her side” over his.

This morning Kade and I were messing around in our bed while Cliff gave Gemma her morning bottle.  I was wrestling with him and was “holding him prisoner” with my legs and arms wrapped around his body.  When Gemma came to join us (was handed over by Cliff) he wanted to put Gemma in “brother prison” (I was calling what we were doing mommy prison) and he was pulling and tugging at her and she wasn’t liking it.  He was just playing with her (not too roughly but not too gently either) and I found myself jumping to her defense “cos she’s just a baby”…

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Holy moly, how on earth do I find the balance in this situation?  I know it’s going to be a lifetime of playing referee between them, but I also really want to be fair to them both.  I do not want him thinking she’s my favourite because of this.  There is no favourite child – I love them both so much, so desperately, so differently…

What do you other moms of two or more do?  Do you just leave them to sort it out on their own (within reason)?  Have you found the balance with this?  Please share if you have!

HELP!

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Rediscovering my love for a Half…

Long before I started a journey with infertility I lived in a commune and had a friend who introduced me to a love of running.  At the time I was working shifts in the hotel industry and I remember coming off night shifts, pulling on my running togs and joining her and our running group for a quick 10km run before heading home to shower and sleep for the day before my night shift would start.

I trained for and ran a half marathon with this friend over 7 years ago and absolutely loved it!  I ran strong and did a great time.  I then got really bad ITB whilst training for a full marathon and had to take a break from running in order to heal.

I met Cliff and we got married and well I lost my zeal for running as my focus changed to making a baby and becoming a family.

Fast forward to a few months ago when I started doing small walks around the neighborhood with Gemma in her jogger.  Those walks became slow jogs. Those slow jobs became decent runs.

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Then one night a whole bunch of ladies I know on Twitter started talking about completing the Soweto half marathon.  It had been too long since I had taken the time to do something for MYSELF.  I impulsively entered the race even though I felt that I was probably going to be really under prepared.  I was falling in love with running again and needed a goal to keep me focused.  So Soweto it was!

On Saturday night I was so NERVOUS.  I really needed to have a good sleep but who sleeps the night before a race anyway?  Also my kids both had wake ups during the night, first Kade who had a bad dream and then Gemma who is teething and wouldn’t settle down.  Eventually she fell asleep at around 02h00 and I woke up at just after 04h00… I was AMPED.

IMG_20141102_043602_resizedI had arranged to drive to the race with Jenty and Sharon and I collected them and I was happy to have the company to keep me relatively calm.  What a gorgeous day for a half!  The weather was perfect – slightly cloudy and slightly chilly.

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After parking miles away, we found the Run/Walk for Life tent (thank goodness for Jenty who is a member) and met up with another twitter mom there – Sam.  We all chatted a bit, used the loo (nervous wee’s) and headed to the start line…

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I ran the race with Sharon – it was her first ever half and I really didn’t want to leave her alone having remembered how I felt on my first half over 7 years ago and knowing that at some point we would both need someone else to help us finish the race.  I was very impressed with the organization of the race overall, the starts were handled smoothly and the water points were frequent and well stocked.  The vibe was amazing, the course challenging but doable.

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Well we did it!

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We ran when we felt strong, walked when we felt like we needed a rest and we crossed the finish line!  Champion chip had my official time at 3:00:12 but my Nike app had my time at 02:58:58 so that’s the one I’m claiming!

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I loved doing a half again.  As much as I was slightly stiff I couldn’t wait to enter my next race.  I’ve signed up for the Dischem half in January and am looking forward to working on my times for that race.

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I’m rediscovering my love for a Half marathon… and who knows where this love might lead me?  Perhaps to the full 42 next year at Soweto?  Time will tell!