Parenting from the weeds-86 mommy's mind

While in university I waited tables and bartended part-time. Whenever I would get overwhelmed with my tables and couldn’t quite catch my breath it was called “being in the weeds.”  Another regular term was "86" which meant we were out of something.  I bet you can't guess where I am going with this... SURPRISE!! I am writing this from the weeds... 86 mommy's mind. Since becoming a mother I feel like I visit the weeds regularly, and then inevitably loose my mind. 

Some days Oliver is so full-on I am not even sure if I have eaten or peed ALL DAY!  How is that?  How is it that a baby and now toddler can overwhelm me like that?  And scarier yet, I hear all of the time from parents of teens, that they look back on the toddler years like they were actually easy!  SHIT!

The other day after chasing Oliver around the park, then through Chick-fil-a I called FTD and yelled MAYDAY!! Then explained to him that I was in the weeds and needed to be bailed out.  I felt so overwhelmed by the constant attention I needed to give Ollie.  There is no sitting from a park bench and smiling, or watching from the booth while my child plays on the Chick-fil-a play area.

I look at those moms just sitting on their asses smiling from the sidelines and want to ask, WHEN WILL IT BE ME TOO?? When will Ollie be old enough to let run wild without me running wild behind him?
Every Morning we walk all the way up and down the street.
It's really just a warm up lap for the day.
I have learned to recognize the minutes leading up to me going knee deep into the weeds. I start getting lost and say things like: Ollie, mommy is about to loose her sugar! Please slow down!  I have even been known to put him in his stroller with snacks at a friend’s house just so I can sit down and breathe.

When I hit the weeds it’s Do-What-You-Gotta-Do mentality time or I will go right  in to the shits.

When Ollie is heading for overload,
he lays his head down for 10 seconds to COMPLETELY recharge!
I was explaining to a childless friend that having a toddler is like watching an intense movie for 8 hours straight. This theory shows why movies are only two hours long on average- that is the longest possible attention span of the average human before their focus self-destructs! Seriously.  How long can you watch a movie toddler before your head explodes? 

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April is an award-winning writer and blogger. Her work has been published in over ten countries and four languages. From books to newspapers, to print/online magazines and everything in between, you can find her work. For more on April, Visit AprilMcCormick.com


Roshni said...

oh, sweetie..{hugs}! My older one was like that too!! He gave up naps at 2 yrs old!! *sigh* good times!!

Unknown said...

Hey that explosion pic looks mighty familiar... oh wait, that was my reflection in the bathroom mirror this afternoon. Sooooo get you on this one. In the weeds! I call it batsh*t overwhelmed, but I think your term is more child friendly ;-)

Kristy J said...

Avery does the lay his head thing down for a recharge before he's back at 110%. It's exhausting and he's not even walking yet. Good luck, I'm a few months behind you but I'm still spending most of my time in the weeds too.

April McCormick said...

Thanks Roshni! Thank God I have no disillusions about being a super mom. that would be crazy. I am not crazy. yet.

April McCormick said...

Batshit works for me. I've used worse. The weeds just came out of nowhere, and now it has stuck! Mommy is in the weeds, 86 her sanity.

April McCormick said...

Hey, every child is different. Maybe Avery will be a prince among crazy ass toddlers... Muwahahaha xx

Alissa said...

Perfect timing for this post!! Single-parenting this week... and I attempted to bring James out to dinner by myself for my friend's birthday.... EPIC FAIL. I was THAT mom who couldn't control her child while all my friends kids were perfect angels. Talk about being exhausted, sweaty, and emotional when that dinner was over with. I was definitely in the weeds and felt like a total rookie failure as a parent.

April McCormick said...

Girl you are single parenting from pregnancy... that is WAY worse than the weeds!! I feel so bad for you. I bet that was awful! I hope daddy gets home so you can put your feet up.

Unknown said...

LOL! First, yay! I can view this now! Second- the laying their head down to recharge must be a boy thing, because Chase & Nathan both do it too- they are insane! Third, I was about to lose my shit yesterday- and almost called a neighbor to come help- Chase was banging his head (again) because I wasn't sitting directly in front of him giving him my undivided attention... then Dave came home just to turn around and leave again (can I injure him please?), so yes- I'm TOTALLY with you. Love the analogy! at least Ollie's so damn cute!

Meg said...

Those of us that look back and say it was easy are either delusional or had full time help. ;) Toddler life is physically exhausting and emotionally draining from the mommy guilt, second guessing everything twice and funky disconnection from your posse of people who still wear heels. As the owner of teens I can say that it becomes a mental game the older they get and less physically demanding of your person. I think we look back and choose to remember the snuggles and fresh out of the bath baby smell rather than blow out diapers at a family wedding, broken nose from an intense toddler fit and the feeling of needing a stiff drink by 10 AM. You are amazing. One day you'll look back on the tornado days and have a good laugh. For now, deep breaths and you'll make it out of the weeds and onto the chess board. xo

April McCormick said...

Meg you are so awesome!! Thanks for the laugh... and the fear of the broken nose. and the stiff drink by 10am... why do I always seem to want it on Sunday morning?

April McCormick said...

Oh no... Jessika that is terrible. that overwhelmed feeling is so suffocating. I just hope the weeds get whacked down sooner than later.

Unknown said...

There's nothing wrong with strapping him in from time to time. That way you get a break and he learns that there's a need for quite time... It's tough but they can be tamed., interested? DM me ;)

Kristy J said...

I highly doubt that, he's got his daddy's smirk which means he's definitely got his crazy intense spirit. At least running after him all the time will make the rest of this baby weight go away :-)

Mrs. Loquacious said...

I love the phrase "in the weeds!" I am totally comfortable with saying that I can't hack it as a mother sometimes. All those other people with perfect kids aren't raising my little girl, and all of those other parents also aren't raising your Ollie. We have brilliant, demanding, needy children with a slight penchant for mock suicide missions, so our hours and days are spent keeping them alive and honing their genius. This is draining work. But if in the end we have better-adjusted, happy and healthy kids, then we will save a fortune on therapy bills, and all of this will be worth it!

Kitten said...

I got to that "just sit there and watch my child play at a playground" stage and then I had child number 2. No lie, sometimes, I just lay on the floor emotionally and physically exhausted as both my children crawl over me to attack each other. I'd honestly say that you'll see an improvement in the twos. There will come a time during that year when you are with another friend who has a child that same age and those children will be playing together for a half hour or hour and you and your friend can just drink coffee and chat with the occasionally need to intercede. After the playdate is over, you'll be happy to have time just with your son because you recharged during it. It's a wonderful feeling. FIND THAT SOMEONE TO PLAYDATE WITH. FIND MULTIPLE SOMEONES. I swear.

I'm waiting for Noelle to be able to playdate like that so I can once more feel human instead of feeling like laying on the floor face down is the best I can do.

Also, if you want to get it over faster, I'd recommend spacing the children out less. It's hard having the taste of freedom and getting it yanked brutally away.