Parenting: It’s Not Me, It’s You

The Next Family

By Amber Leventry


I am in an unfulfilling stretch of my relationship with my boys, a one-way, I meet all of their needs and they piss on me stretch—I have been peed on more in the last two months than I could have ever anticipated.  What is it with boys and their penises and uncontrollable bodily functions?  These boys of mine have no class.

And if they don’t start holding up their own heads soon or start smiling more, I might have to break up with them.  And I won’t let them down gently.  I won’t give them the ol’, it’s not you, it’s me line.  It’s definitely them.  According to our pediatrician, they are at their peak fussiness.  They cluster feed, they cry for seemingly no reason, they whine and grunt and groan.  They demand to be held.  They demand attention.  They are needy.

They are like a nightmare of a girlfriend I am lucky to have never had.  But these needy cherubs are mine, and I know I am lucky to have them.  I love them unconditionally—and not just because I have to—but there are times when I don’t like them much, and over the last two months, I have had several moments of disliking parenthood.

When our daughter, Eva, was born, everything was so new and wonderful and exciting.  Even though I was blinded by the novelty of having a child, she was an easy baby; I don’t remember a lot of unnecessary fussiness.  She was a post-milkies spitter but dubbed a happy spitter because regurgitated breast milk didn’t seem to bother her.  Even throwing up was charming the first time around.

Now the charm is gone, and I’m over it.  I know how much fun the boys will be in a few months, and I am having a hard time being patient.  Not only did Eva give us parenting experience, but she is now our guide to what’s next.  Sitting up and drooling is awesome!

Coming home to the sounds of screaming is not awesome.  My partner, Amy, tells me they are not fussy all day.  They are happy and content in the morning and early afternoon.  But when I come home, they have used up all of their good will.  It’s hard to happily walk through the door when I can hear the screaming through the open windows.  It’s not always the case, but if one or both of them are not wailing when I come home, I know they will start soon.  And then continue through dinner, our daughter’s bedtime, and ending just in time to catch the late night news.

Having one fussy baby is tough, but almost ignorable; two fussy babies at the same time are really tough, especially when a jealous two-year-old demands to be picked up the moment they start crying.  Eva will appear out of nowhere to get between one of her mamas and a baby brother about to be picked up.

She knows when I am defenseless.  I have a bruise on my right ass cheek where she bit me after I turned my back on a dance party.  She has taken flying leaps at me, kicked me, and thrown things at me when my arms and hands are full of baby brothers.  See how much fun I’m having with my older child?

I have not been shy about my frustration with the boys, but I have been feeling guilty too.  I feel bad that I get annoyed.  But, my amazingly patient, milking machine of a partner has let me know it’s okay to be annoyed at our babies.  She even read a section out of a book confirming my feelings.

It was the validation I needed.  My relationships with my kids are not toxic; they are normal.  All of the behavior happening in our house is developmentally appropriate.  Even though I rank them according to my fondness for them at any given time and can’t stand any of them at times, I won’t break up with my kids.

The chaos of having twin infants and a toddler is enough to make me run for the hills, but knowing our current state of life is textbook normal is enough to keep me in the trenches.


Happily pulled in many directions as a partner, parent, and business owner, Amber is a writer for VT Mommies and InventorSpot where she reviews products for parents and kids. She loves the challenge of learning how to relax. This article was originally published on VT Mommies. 

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