Thursday, January 24, 2019

WHAT LIFE IS LIKE RAISING TWO CHILDREN ALONE...






TOP: Red Dress // BOTTOMS: AG // Chloe- BODYSUIT: Kate Quinn // BOW: Wunderkin // Liam- SET: Kate Quinn 

First off, I would like to state that I'm not a "single" mom. My husband has been deployed for almost a year and I'm sharing my experiences on taking care of our children physically alone. If you are a single mom, you're super woman! Taking care of children is hard enough and I can't imagine how hard it must be to have to provide everything financial, emotionally, and physically for yourself and your children. 

After 3 years of blogging, I feel that I'm finally becoming more open about my life. My life isn't perfect at all but I know all the struggles and tears will be worth it in the end. These two children are my everything and I'll do this all over again just to see them happy. I'm going to break everything down in a Q&A format. 

How do you do it?
I get this question often. Honestly, when you're put in a position with no other choice, you have to do what you have to do. Yes, it's extremely hard and you have no time to yourself but at the end of the day, my children's happiness and well being is above my own. I'm around my family all the time and that's where I get my support from. They help when they can but it's mostly just the 3 of us 80% of the time. I get less than 6 hours of sleep most nights...that's how I do it. 

Do you have time to yourself? 
Personally, no. I work from home and watch them all day and night. Liam goes to school 2 days a week but I still have Chloe. I have my sister and mom help from time to time but because Chloe is mostly breastfed, so it makes it hard to leave for longer than 3 hours. My alone time is when the children are asleep. We're on a pretty good schedule. They go to sleep at 7:30/8pm and I usually stay up until midnight. I only get about 7 hours of sleep but I do most of my work at night. 

What does your schedule look like? 
7:30am: Wake up and get breakfast
9am-12pm: Play Date/Family time/Photoshoot
12pm-1pm: Lunch 
1pm-3pm: Clean/Play at home/run errands
4pm-5pm: Work/Nap time
5pm-6pm: Bath time/prep for the next day
6pm-7pm: Dinner (my sister cooks 95% of the time so I'm very thankful)
7pm-8pm: Clean up, read books, prep for bed
8pm-12am: Work and relax 

Do you get lonely? 
Yes and no. I'm around my sister, family, and friends almost everyday. I hate being alone. People say that you have your children to keep you company but it's not the same. There are times were I get very lonely, like when I want to take the kids to the carnival and I have no one to go with us, or when I'm out with my friends and I feel like I don't have a partner there. I want Tommy to share the experiences that we have and that's hard. It's uncomfortable for me to be alone, so I try to constantly surround myself around people I love. 

Do you have a social life? 
YES, YES, YES! If I didn't have friends to hang out with, I'd probably crawl up in a ball after the kids were in bed. I do hear that it's hard to have a social life with children and I think that's only true if you're trying to be social with people that don't have children or people that want to do things that don't involve children. Majority of my friends that I hang out with on a daily basis have children that are around Liam's age. My social life may be at a Chuck E Cheese, but we're happy. My friends that don't have children love my babies and we're able to get lunch or hang out together once a month. I understand that they have full time jobs and have other things going on in their lives.  I feel that I have a pretty good social life because I surround myself around other mothers/bloggers. 

How hard is it?
It's very hard but definitely achievable. I'm not afraid to ask for help because I know I need it. I feel that I'm constantly doing something, like a chicken with its head cut off. At this point, it's normal for me to take care of them alone. When it was only Liam and I, it was a breeze. He was so easy to take care of. Taking care of two children is a game changer. I've had multiple nights where I've cried for hours because of how stressful it is. I'm very thankful that Liam is pretty well behaved and helpful. He sees me always taking care of Chloe and ALWAYS helps me get her diapers or entertains her while I do something else. When Chloe was born, I thought she was going to be an easy baby like Liam. NOPE! Girls, are really harder to take care of, lol. 

How is it financially?
When it comes to finances, it's not really my sole responsibility. Tommy sends us money every month for bills, living, ect. He takes care of us financially. I'm so so thankful that I'm able to work from home. My money is put mostly into savings and for leisure. Tommy pays the bills and "grown up" things, my money is for savings and "fun" stuff.  I, personally wouldn't have a 9-5 job because it would mean leaving my children 40+ hours of the week. Its hard for me to be away from them and day care is ridiculously expensive.

Why are you raising your children alone? 
My husband is in the military and deploys A LOT! Tommy has been gone 1/2 of the time he has served which puts me in the position of raising the children alone. 

How often do you and the children see your husband?
We talk everyday and the kids FaceTime him almost every other day for about 15-30 minutes. Liam knows exactly who his dad is and is aware of the communication barrier. 

Do you have any tips? 
1) Don't be afraid to ask for help! It doesn't make you less of a mother by asking for help. Being a mother is the most empowering thing you can do.
2) Have some mom friends! With my mom friends, I feel like we could talk for hours and the best part is that when we're hanging out, our children are playing with each other. 
3) Don't be too hard on yourself. You're an amazing mother. We all make mistakes. Mom guilt is real, especially when you have 2+. For me, I'm horrible at diving my attention between the kids. Liam use to see me as the fun mom but now he sees me as a caretaker. It's hard because he doesn't want to play with me when were out but I'm trying hard to work on it. It's very hard to juggle your attention to two children. 


I'm very open to sharing anything else relating to this! Thank you so much for reading!

xo, 
Annie

*Photos by Arzu Photography 

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