I am having a really bad day. I’m struggling to keep it all together. My thoughts are jumbled, my nose is stuffed and my eyes are puffy. There is too much noise in my brain. Today I am completely overwhelmed by Oliver.

When he has good days, they’re good, and he’s a great kid; so much fun to be around. He’s funny and snuggly and surprisingly sensitive to others. But when he has bad days, they’re bad, where he’s rough and difficult and aggressive. And today’s been…well, bad.

He’s so different from Julia. I thought I knew what to expect and then he came along and blew all that out of the water. I thought I was prepared for life with two kids. Fuck, I thought I wanted three kids, but I’m not so sure about that now.

I have days where I feel like I have this whole ‘stay-at-home-mother of two kids two years apart’ thing locked down and then I have days like today where I don’t know what the hell I’m doing, or what the hell to do.

From the get-go this morning, Oliver was difficult. Getting into things he knows he shouldn’t be getting in to, pulling his sister’s hair, bashing her over the head with things, knocking over our standing speakers…I’d be cleaning up one mess and he’d be off somewhere making another.

I realized immediately that he’d woken up on the wrong side of the crib and I tried to be accommodating, to keep him happy, but nothing I did worked. And the more difficult he got, the more I felt my patience slipping. I tried hard to keep a positive mindset despite these crazy times. I decided a change of scenery was in order, took them upstairs and doled out bowls of Cheerios.

As I fed Oliver I watched him interact with Julia. I listened to him talk and marveled at how cute he is. He can be a stinker, but he’s so incredibly delicious. He’s such a character, such a ham, a real charmer. And god, do I love him. He’s the love of my life. He caught my eye just then and gave me this little half-smile, and as I leaned forward to give him a kiss, he wound up and smacked me in the face, knocking my glasses to the floor.

And that was just it for me. I put my face in my hands and the tears flowed freely. I couldn’t have stopped them if I tried. But you know, being consistent with discipline can be so hard at times…

Between then and his nap he had a few more outbursts and I tried my hardest to stay calm, focused and collected, but it was hard. Really f***ing hard.  I want to put my kids to bed lovingly but the guilt is overwhelming, suffocating, because though I love my son more than anything,

I don’t like him when he’s like this. I resent him. I feel as though his behavior is reflective of my parenting and I feel as though I am failing him. I’m at a loss. I know I’m not a bad mother, but goddammit, I feel like one.

This is all so new to me. Julia was (and is) a much, much different child than he and right now I am just overwhelmed. I want to do the right things. I want to nurture him so that he can be who he is, so that he is able to express himself, to live freely, to enjoy his surroundings. I want to guide him and give him every possible chance; I want to love him. And I do, so much it hurts.

It really, really hurts.

It’s really 10 months

After being a part of publishing The Mother of All Meltdowns late last fall I have a whole new appreciation for the labor of love that publishing your own book really is!  That’s why I jumped at the opportunity to pay it forward by reading and reviewing the book It’s Really 10 Months.

It’s Really 10 Months is a collection of emails exchanged during pregnancy between three friends who were all pregnant at the same time.  It’s an unvarnished look at pregnancy.  This is not the “What to Expect…” type of book.  This is a more real-life look at pregnancy.  Talks of mucus plugs, and leaking, without any sort of filtering.  This is the type of conversation that three pregnant women, or women who have all had children, would have.

After you finish reading this book you will feel as though Kim, Celeste, and Natalie are your three best girlfriends. Read also these confessions of an older mom. You’ll want to shoot them an email and join the party, pick up the phone and call them to tell them about your day.

I expected this book to be funny, I expected it to make me smile and even remember fondly or with a deep gratitude that I will never, ever, ever be pregnant again!  I expected the book to be really good.  I expected a lot from the book, and I was not disappointed!  I got more than I expected!  This book made me wistful for those first few moments of feeling the baby move.  It made me remember the endless worry that comes from expecting your first child, or even your second or third child!

Do you remember being pregnant and worrying that something–anything–would go wrong? Or that the kid’s bedroom would not be fine? I do! I remember analyzing everything the doctor told me and looking for the hidden meaning within. I also remember the hormones, the gigantic breasts, the discomfort, the inability to sleep, the constant need to use the bathroom!  All of it came crashing back with each page!

If you’re pregnant, or you know someone who is, you have to buy this book!  Tuck it inside a basket to congratulate your friend who just took a pregnancy test.  Share it with someone who needs a smile, or to know they’re not alone!  I am definitely including this book in my next baby shower gift!