afterbirth: parenting

Parenting is forever? You mean AFTER I give BIRTH to a person I’m expected to take care of and nurture them for ETERNITY? Caring for a child has no expiration date, no Statute of Limitations? At the risk of killing the suspense, surviving three infants in diapers at the same time doesn’t hold a candle to parenting three teenagers.

It’s not for the faint of heart, especially when two of the teens are twins. All of them seem like too many people. Like maybe they’re multiplying. The odds of all three liking me at the same time are dim. Likewise, what works on one child for sure won’t influence any other. It would be a lot easier if I could learn from parenting the other people rather than having to reinvent the wheel for each person. Sometimes what worked on one stops working on the one, too. That’s really a bummer. I don’t know how many wheels I can invent for these folks, and I’m running out of room in the condo.

becoming a parent on purpose

For all the kvetching I do about parenting, it makes less sense that I became a parent intentionally. Three rounds of IVF for my first pregnancy. Then, another three rounds of IVF for my second. In my meager defense, I didn’t plan to have twins.

Fun fact: My first husband, the children’s father, wanted to know the sexes of the babies but I didn’t. The brilliant compromise I offered was to find out the sex of one of the babies. Thus, we knew we were having a boy. We didn’t know he was going to be three pounds heavier than his twin sister. The disparity, known as “disconcordant twins”, confused strangers. To them, it looked like I’d given birth to a four month old and an eight month old.

I have precisely one keen parenting epiphany. Remember the phase when you’re supposed to let them cry themselves to sleep at a certain age? I was terrified of the prospect of a crying infant waking the sleeping one. My solution was to snatch the sleeping twin and take them to my bed whilst leaving the noisy one in their crib.

unconventional parenting style

When they were all in daycare simultaneously, Devlin caught Hand, Foot, Mouth Disease. That disease really needs a publicist. Daycare kicked him out for five days because it’s so contagious. As a single mother, I could not spare a potential fifteen days off work. Therefore, I did what any self-absorbed mother would do. I brushed the girls teeth after Devlin with the same toothbrush intending to infect them all. I failed. Devlin was the only casualty. The girls were fine, despite my best effort to make them sick.

My parenting style leans more to serve as a warning than a model. I want my children to be kind, productive, self-fulfilled humans, only that requires me to be so first. Modeling good behavior is exhausting. Families are fickle and relationships are hard. Also, I don’t think I’m a good teacher to my kids. Homeschooling during the Apocalypse nearly bested me.

HostileWit addresses parenting pseudo neuro-typical girls and a son on the autism spectrum with a side of seizure disorder. Four members of the household have ADHD, including me, WHICH EXPLAINS A LOT ABOUT THE CHAOS. The children are equal parts maddening and astonishing. I’m also secondly married to a man ten years my junior. He’s also maddening and astonishing. We have downsized our life, trying to get the balance right. Let’s share parenting triumphs and family idiocy together.

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