• Kelly Castillo

3 kids. Pandemic. Systemic racism. Wtf do I do?

We’re going through just a shit storm of stuff right now. Not only are people uprising in response to our black and brown brothers and sisters being murdered by tuncos in uniform, it’s happening in the middle of a pandemic. There are babies that look like mine, that are starving, sick, alone, and cold locked in filthy cages at the border. And though nothing can compare to the hardships our black and brown communities have to suffer through on the daily, witnessing all of this going on is proving to be mental struggle for me. There’s definitely much to get into with the subject of systemic racism and the need to defund and abolish police and ICE, but I also need a mental break. What a privilege to say when so many people are suffering. But I’m using this post just as a venting tool to write about the frustrations of going through all of this and the pandemic with 3 kids 5 years old and younger. The youngest being 5 months old.

I mean, cmon. Having a kid is tough. Having 3 is something to freak out about. Having 3 stuck inside because there’s an unknown virus ravaging the world? Insanity. O sea, una locura. So let me introduce you to the 3 people who literally rule my world. The oldest is Neela Ixchel (Eesh-chel).

She is your typical bored, baby teenager. If she’s not giving me attitude because I can’t stop what I’m doing and play all day, then she’s just staring at me saying "I'm bored", waiting for me to stop what I’m doing so I can play with her all day. She's sassy as fuck and she likes to talk back. Which triggers TF out of me and I hear ghosts whispering "malcriada" over and over again. But I absolutely love that she can freely speak her mind and I shake those whispers because we're raising bold women with smart mouths around here. Ask her daddy what she says about him to his face. She roasts him about not picking up his socks and not holding up his word. Fiesty? Yes. Annoying? God, yes.

The middle one is Ceiba (Say-bah) Yaxche (Yahsh-che).

She is a whirlwind of emotion. She’s 3, so her moods change faster than she can run. Although she can entertain herself or even play with her older sister for a while, she will also be screaming and throwing toys at her head, just mere moments after being excited about the fort they’re supposed to build. And the screams that come out of that little body. She'll scream that she doesn't want to watch Masha and the Bear, as you pass it on Netflix on your way to Octonauts. Then when you say "I wasn't going to put Masha and the Bear, I am going to put Octonauts like you just told me 5 seconds ago", she'll shoot you the most adorable grin and say "Oh, sorry mom." And then any frustrations evaporate into the air. She'll make jokes and pretend she's tickling the eggs in the fridge, so then you can always forget what a terror she can be.

Then there’s the little one.

Just your average, exclusively breast-fed baby. His name is Onyx Itzam-Yeh (Eet-sam Ye). Like the stone, or the Pokémon. We named him after both. He’s either latched on my boob, or sleeping. Which doesn’t sound so bad, until he starts cluster-feeding and is suddenly adhered to me for hours on end. Remember those anti-drug commercials with the girl all deflated and flat on the couch? That’s exactly me when he’s done with me after a cluster-feeding session. And it definitely sucks having a forceful, overactive letdown (which is when your milk comes shooting out like a fucking squirt gun). Not only does he choke on the fountain of milk pouring out onto his poor, little face, it can make him particularly gassy and uncomfortable, so he has to be constantly burped and massaged to be able to let out some killer farts. But look at that face. I just can't get over that face.

So is this an advice piece for other moms out there that are in a similar situation? Do I have a some annoying, but possibly helpful spiel about how I know exactly what you should do to manage your days with kids any better than what you are doing now? Hellllll no. I have no solutions. I have no good advice. Because everything that you should do, I don’t do. Make a schedule, plan ahead, exercise (if you enjoy exercising when you have 3 kids, I’m sorry, I probably don’t even want to know you and you’re probably weird), have “me” time, etc, etc. I don’t do that. I am barely keeping my nose above water. I just want anyone reading this to know that you are not alone in your struggles. That it’s okay to be frustrated and struggling during a time like this. It’s okay to feel like your going through it, even though there are people really suffering in the world. And that it’s okay to feel overwhelmed and to get annoyed by your kids. They’re annoying. But they’re beautifully annoying and the only thing you can do is take it one day at a time. Start a dumb blog like me, I don’t know. Anyway, I hope at the very least, this was somewhat entertaining for a few moments. Thanks for reading and stay tuned for my next blog post, which is when I have time!


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