Being a Parent – It’s a Juggling Act

Being a parent is hard work.  Anyone who says it’s easy is either delusional or has a fleet of nannies doing the real work.  (Don’t get me wrong, being a parent is one of the most rewarding things I’d ever done, even though the pay sucks.)  As much as I love Norton and Eudora, there’s one thing that I haven’t figured out.

Okay, there’s more than one.  But for the sake of this blog post, let’s just focus on this one particular thing.

How do I deal with two kidlets demanding my attention at once?

Norton is, of course, a toddler.  Like most toddlers, he’s fairly self-absorbed.  He wants what he wants when he wants it.  Of course, he’s always had to wait a little bit here and there.  You know; things like I can’t give him his lunch until I boot the puppies downstairs to the other side of the baby gate, or something of that nature.  He’s never had to be patient for more than a minute.

Eudora is an infant.  It’s not like she’s got these great linguistic abilities and she understands that other people have needs.  She’s four months old.  She’s able to communicate her needs either through non-verbal communication or by screaming crying.

I have, almost daily, the same issue.  I’m holding Eudora and feeding her.  Norton is at the table eating his lunch, snack, or breakfast.  He’s got direct eye contact with me when he’s at the table from both the living room and the kitchen.  I try to be either feeding Eudora or cleaning the kitchen while he’s eating.  If I’m cleaning, then it’s no issue because he can have my attention whenever he wants it.  But if I’m holding Eudora?

I can usually get him to wait for a minute or two somewhat patiently… but his willingness to be stuck at the table when he’s not eating is extremely limited.  Invariably, he will let me know that he’s done and wants to get down now by screaming.  I mean the kind of loud, painful screeching that triggers migraines and can put me on the floor in a fetal position.

If I put her down to get him, then she starts wailing like she’s been abandoned and forgotten.  Then it takes a few tries to get her to take her bottle again when I pick her back up.

I mean, I knew that being a parent would be hard.  I knew that it would require time and patience.  However, I’m at a complete and total loss as to what the “right” thing to do would be when I’ve got two little people demanding my complete and undivided attention at the same time.

Is there a true right or wrong?  I just wonder if either way, I’m going to damage someone’s little psyche.  Then, of course, I remind myself that there are lots of people who have siblings that are fairly close in age without one of them becoming a serial killer.  How do you handle a situation when both small children are demanding your attention at the same time?

About Suzi

Suzi is an American ex-pat living in British Columbia. She's a cloth diaper addict, wife, mom of three, and President of the Prince George chapter of Cloth for a Cause.

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