The End-of-Pregnancy Meltdown

February 24th, 2013

Rationally, I recognize that, at three weeks out from the due date, it’s too late to second-guess your ability to parent three children…

…and also that you should avoid being introspective about your skills as a mother when you’re thirty-seven weeks pregnant and fighting laryngitis.

But let’s just say that today was tough.

I’m fighting some kind of weird and obnoxious throat thing that makes it extremely difficult and painful to talk above a whisper and I am pumped super full of preggo hormones.  And about three weeks ago, Buggie launched himself into two-year-old-ness.  His birthday was in September, but now he’s really settling into it: the defiance, the destruction, the general orneriness.

I took the kiddos a book fair at Miss Mouse’s school this afternoon and came home in tears.

Were the kids awful?” Josh asked.

No, they were fine.  That’s why it was so hard.”  I sobbed.

And it’s true.  The kiddos weren’t particularly wild.  They were, well, themselves.  Which is to say that Miss Mouse cowered timidly behind me when confronted by kindly parent volunteers manning the activity booths while Buggie sprinted from one end of the room to the next, grabbing handfuls of art supplies and attempted to sneak extra cookies.

Then we swung into the grocery store to buy a single item — milk — which took fifteen minutes of stuffing the kids into the shopping cart and trying to make them stay there while they pinched, poked, and generally abused each other.

In other words, it was a perfectly normal afternoon.

But on the drive home, I started trying to picture myself navigating those everyday activities with an infant in tow…

…and that’s when the meltdown started.  It took everything I had to keep up with my two kids today.  Every drop of energy, patience, and fortitude.  Where on earth would I find the oomph for one more kid in the mix??  WHERE??

I staggered in the door in a state of moderate hysteria.  Josh took one look at my face and whisked the kids off to read to them for a few minutes while I composed myself.  And while I was blowing my nose, wiping my eyes, and trying to get my face to be less puffy, it hit me:

I cannot parent three children on my own.

And that’s okay, because I don’t have to.

I am blessed with an awesome husband who is not only a great man but a great father.  We are a terrific parenting team and the only reason he wasn’t with me at the book fair was because he was home, cleaning our house from top to bottom in preparation for the dinner guests that were arriving less than an hour after we got back from our outing.

This is a wild ride.  And it’s going to be considerably wilder once Baby3 arrives.  And there will be days when I feel completely overwhelmed and ready to leap off the deep end.  And those are the moments when I’ll turn to my husband for strength, knowing he’ll be there beside me.

9 responses to “The End-of-Pregnancy Meltdown”

  1. Debbie says:

    Josh and you have a ‘village’ to rely on. Don’t forget to count on us.

  2. Debbie A. says:

    You and Josh are remarkable parents with beautiful children and will be just as wonderful with Baby 3. That being said, you deserve a meltdown at this stage in your pregnancy. Also, I second what Debbie said: we are here if you need us.

  3. April says:

    eye heart ewe

  4. Cindi Frye says:

    Perhaps you are overly optomistic about all that you should be doing. As our family grew I realized I didn’t need to take the children to ALL the activities, nor did they need to be involved in quite so many lessons, sports, etc. And I for one found I was holding myself to a perfect parent standard, which lingered for many years. To the point that I would cringe inside at all the accolades on Mother’s Day because I was so very far from being the parent I wanted to be. It was sometime AFTER my divorce that I realized I had been a good Mother. Hope this rambling may help you a bit.

    • Kate says:

      Thanks for the words of encouragement, Cindi. You certainly have a wealth of experience and I always find your comments so helpful and uplifting!

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