My “Weight”

I’ve been a little tense lately.  I haven’t felt much like myself.  I’ve been feeling, heavy, in a way.  Like I’m carrying around a lot of stress, a lot of emotional weight.  At first I figured part of the problem was a lack of sleep and the general frustrations that come with having 2 young children.  I started thinking, “Things will get better when A goes back to school in September.”  But the truth is, I’m dealing with a lot more than having my kid home during the summer.

I feel there is a lot being asked of me right now.  In addition to a pregnancy/new baby…the whole thing was highly charged, emotionally, since it was right on the heels of losing the twins.  I still haven’t had a chance to come down from the emotional high I was on for the duration of my pregnancy.  Less than 2 weeks after C was born, there was a shitstorm with Hubs’ job and so began the process of him quitting and starting his own company.  It wasn’t as simple as turning in a resignation.  There were many things to manage, many things to consider…one of the biggest issues being my medical needs relating to my skin cancer diagnosis.  I find myself stuck at home a lot yet I still feel my house is a disaster.  I can’t seem to get anything cleaned during the day.  I don’t manage to get out of the house much…it’s not easy.  Plus, I’ve cut my spending dramatically in order to preserve our savings as long as possible.  I rarely get “me” time.  The Hubs and I haven’t had a date in I don’t know how long…hell, most nights we don’t even really talk.  Strangely enough, even though he’s not traveling and is working from home, we seem to have much less time together than before.  He works all the time and after the girls are asleep (a whole ‘nother problem) I just want some alone/quiet time to surf the web, catch up on my blogs/message boards and spend some time without someone needing or wanting something from me.  Or touching me.  Bedtime in this house is a disaster.  If A doesn’t nap…she’s a bear.  If she does nap, she won’t go to sleep at night.  C goes down pretty easily, but is awake within 30 minutes needing to be rocked back to sleep.  She’s still up at least twice a night to eat and about 50% of the time, she won’t settle down and go back to sleep.  For example…she was up at 4:45 this morning.  Bedtime just adds to my frustration that has mounded up during the day and by about 8pm, I’m ready to run out of the house screaming.  It’s like the straw that breaks the camels back every.single.day.

But I signed up for all of this and I own it.

Nothing on my list of complaints is surprising to me and I’ve taken it all on voluntarily.  I can’t even fix the sleep issues because I’m too big of a wuss to let C cry and I flat-out don’t have the time or desire to read one of the several sleep books available.  But my list of “issues” isn’t even what really bothers me.  My problem is the guilt I feel for being frustrated about any of it.  The guilt that comes from knowing I should be thankful everyday, for every moment I get with my husband and my kids but finding myself, at the end of each day, wondering if I’m actually looking forward to getting up the next morning and doing it all over again.  I wanted my kids.  I pined for them.  I prayed for them.  And they are both more precious to me than anything else I’ve ever known and I would do just about anything to see them happy.  I’ve known the heartbreak of loss and I know what it’s like to wonder what my life would look like if I hadn’t lost the twins.  I know what it’s like to long for a moment with them, no matter the circumstances, to be able to touch them, to hold them, to tell them I love them…to know them…if only for a moment.  I know what it’s like to beg for a glimpse into what life could have been like if things had gone differently.

I feel awful…so damn guilty for complaining about any part of my current life.  And I feel like a horrible mother and a horrible person for not being able to be joyful in every moment in every day…especially where C is concerned since I was so fearful of her not getting her at all.  I sometimes find myself fearful that something else tragic is going to happen…wondering if I didn’t learn my lesson wholly the first time around.  I desperately need something to lighten my mood…something to relieve some of the tension I constantly feel.  Someone or something to take some of this weight off my shoulders.  I took A and C to the mall yesterday to play on the indoor playground.  On the way out, I passed a double stroller with 2 matching carseats (black and white damask with hot pink trim) each holding a teeny-tiny, sleeping baby girl.  It was as close to tears that I’ve come in quite some time and my heart still hurts thinking about it.  I’ve managed to avoid seeing a brand-new set of twin girls for over a year and my first encounter just came at the wrong time.

Gremlins

I read this quote yesterday, and it makes me smile every time I think about it.  “You have to hang in there, because two or three years later, the gremlins will return your child, and (she) he will be wonderful again.”– Jill Eikenberg

So true for my life right now, and adding that bit of humor is what keeps me going through the day.  I love my kids, every one of them, completely, but I’m pretty sure they’re out to destroy me.  I’m actually beyond thankful today.  6 weeks ago A found a disposable needle in a field and punctured her finger.  We’ve had 2 rounds of blood tests…one immediately and one at 6 weeks.  We heard from the doctor yesterday her final blood test came back completely normal.  Thank God.  It was, so far, the scariest thing I’ve encountered as a parent.  Having your 3-year-old tested for Hepatitis and HIV is just plain wrong.  But all that aside, I find myself dealing with a 3-year-old that is absolutely convinced the world revolves around her.  I presume most 3-year-olds share her sentiments.  It doesn’t matter what I’m doing…tending to C, talking to the Hubs, dishes, laundry, making the bed…she’s not happy if my attention is not on her 100% of the time.  I feel awful because it seems everything else and everyone else, in my life is being neglected.  If I’m making the bed, she wants to be jumping on it.  If I’m doing dishes, she wants me to get out her playdoh, or markers, or stickers, or anything she can come up with to interrupt me doing the dishes.  If I’m folding laundry, she wants to roll around in the piles.  If I’m tending to C, she wants to be in the same room and try as she might, she’s just not capable of being quiet…so putting C down for a nap with A in the same room is basically impossible.  We’re on the final stretch of summer here and it shows.  It’s hot (too hot to be outside for a good chunk of the day), she’s bored, I’m bored and I struggle to get out of the house with both girls in tow.  I’ve just had C for the past 24 hours…A spent the night with her grandparents and while I’ve missed A, it’s been so nice to run a bunch of errands and have some time to sit and breathe.  I wouldn’t give up any of it though.  As crazy and difficult as it is, I love it.  I’m looking forward to August and September too.  A will go back to school in September and I just signed her up for a 1 day per week preschool at our local zoo.  She’s going to have an absolute blast.  She didn’t want to do dance again, so zoo school it is.  We tossed around the idea of her playing soccer, but during the fall the games would interfere with Aggie games, so….yeah….maybe she can play soccer in the Spring.

Like most mothers, I’m sure, I find myself constantly striving to be a better mom to A.  The past few weeks have been especially hard.  I told Hubs I thought maybe I should go back to work…that being home with her isn’t the best thing.  I don’t think I actually feel that way, but geez, when nothing you do seems to work in terms of teaching or disciplining, you’re left wondering if you should just wipe the slate clean and start from scratch.  I’ve been so close, too close, to walking out the door at 5 o’clock several nights and not coming home until late, late at night.  Just dropping everything, because I’m frustrated and angry, and leaving.  One of the things my mom taught me is to never leave the house angry.  That lesson has stuck with me for a long, long time.  I did get some time away this week, spent a few hours running errands alone then split a bottle of wine with Aunt D.  It did wonders.  It’s amazing what a few hours away will do for my sanity.  I’m going to start doing it more often.  Even if I don’t plan it for myself, my volunteer obligations are getting ready to kick into high gear and I’ll be forced to spend time away from home, the Hubs and the Littles.  I’ve been struggling lately because it seems my needs, wants and desires come dead-last in this family.  And I guess that’s the plight of a mother, but it’s still a hard pill to swallow sometimes or in my case, most of the time.  I sleep until the girls wake up in the mornings because C is still up several times a night, I don’t nap during the day, and I fall into bed bone-tired at night.  There’s just nothing left for me at the end of the day.  I know it’s all temporary…in the blink of an eye C will be done nursing, she’ll be sleeping through the night, A will be back in school and I’ll start convincing myself it’s time to try for another baby because I’ll start longing for days like the ones I’m currently experiencing.  But isn’t that one of life’s biggest challenges?  To take what you KNOW and take what you FEEL and somehow morph them into one consistent thought and action?  I’m working on it, but I’m just not very good at it.