Really? Has it been that long since I posted? What has become of me?
Sorry for the disappearing act, but I had visitors this past week, some of whom were only here for a couple of days (which meant I wasn’t going to waste time on the computer) and the other of whom was my MIL (which meant I really didn’t want to pull up any blog windows at all, lest I be outed).
Here is what has been on my mind:
Good GOD, I’m tired of being fat. Somehow in the last couple of weeks, my belly has gone from poofy-but-mostly-just-skin to poofy-with-a-resolute-layer-of-gelatinous-fat-underneath. It’s probably the absurd amount of sweets I’ve been eating. Or the fact that the boys are starting to nurse ever-so-slightly less. Or that I’ve had help to carry the boys around, which means that I haven’t been running my legs off. And maybe with a touch of PMS-ish bloating. My return to Period Land hasn’t really begun in earnest, but every 5-6 weeks or so, I have some very light bleeding and mild cramping, so I guess it wouldn’t be out of range to have some bloating going on.
Regardless, I went to the local New Balance store and procured a new pair of my favorite ugly 993s (my gosh, but I love paying too much for ugly shoes. See archives for posts re. love of Birkenstocks and Haflingers and Danskos and Keens– basically, if it’s ugly and clunky and costs at least $90 a pair, I’m all over it…) and I am planning on making an appointment to visit the local YWCA next week because whether we really can afford it or not, I’m joining. It’s clear that I’m never going to have the time and freedom to run while at home (I’m an indoor-only runner due to allergy/asthma issues), because the boys know I’m here and they cry, cry, cry, and H, despite my attempts to force him, is unable to take care of them for long periods of time without me. So, running is not going to happen unless I can leave the house, and leaving the house for long periods of time is far easier for everyone if there’s professional child care involved (I guess. We’ve actually still never had a sitter for the boys*.) So, the local YW has child care, an indoor track and a gorgeous swimming pool, and H and I can go there together and work out (together or separately). I think it will do wonders for H to get some exercise. He really needs to do something to clear his head, and even if it’s only half as therapeutic for him as it is for me, it will be so incredibly good for him**.
*So, here is where I would relay a story, but I need to preface this by saying that I’m trying really, really hard to be less judgmental in my story telling, because I don’t think that it serves me or anyone else in my life well. And I know that I can’t relay this without coming across as judgmental, but I really sincerely promise that I feel nowhere near as judgmental about the situation as it sounds. But ANYHOW…
My MIL was here to visit this week, and while I’ve really gotten to where I actually enjoy her company, she has a habit of asking a million questions. I admitted once to my mom that it makes me a little crazy when she does this, and my mom pointed out that perhaps she really is just as inquisitive as that and there was nothing more to it. And she’s probably right. But still, my MIL asks a ton of questions, and many of them begin with, “But I thought you said…”, and it constantly feels like I’m having to explain myself or something that I said, like she’s constantly trying to catch me in a lie or something. It probably isn’t that way, but it’s hard to just have a conversation without constantly thinking that anything I share I’ll have to later defend or explain.
SO, she once brought up the idea that we needed to leave the boys with a sitter so that we could have a night out. And I agree, I do want to be able to have the option of going out without having to worry about the boys. But it was a hard conversation to have, because I was really trying to tiptoe around the fact that my parenting philosophy doesn’t really jive with just forcing the boys to get used to a sitter. It’s partly a generational thing, and partly just that everyone does things differently, but I really, really hated trying to explain why we haven’t had a baby sitter yet. It was like no matter what I said, I sounded like an overly protective mother (my MIL even apropos of nothing said that I could tell the sitter that we had cameras, so I guess I was coming off as though I wouldn’t trust a sitter). But the truth is not that I’m overprotective (I am a little, but not that much…), but rather that I just don’t let the boys cry. And they are dealing with some pretty substantial separation anxiety right now. And there’s also a little pressure to find someone that we like enough that we will want to get to know better by May, because H is going out of town for 4 days in mid-May and I will really need someone to come in for an hour or two here or there to give me a break.
I mentioned that I had let a window of opportunity pass, that it would have been great to have found a sitter early on who the boys liked so that they would be used to them once this phase hit a couple of months ago. And my MIL said more or less that she thought that babies don’t always get what they want, that I should be okay with letting them be upset, and made me feel really bad, like I’m being over indulgent with them. And perhaps that speaks more to my own fear of raising spoiled rotten little assholes, but it really made me question whether or not I’m doing them a disservice by not forcing them to get used to another care taker. I mean, Jack won’t even tolerate being left with H. Sometimes, if he’s in the exact right mood, I can leave him for 30 minutes or so, but there’s no predicting whether the mood will be right or not (Henry’s the same but to the opposite ratio– he’ll mostly be okay with H, but if he’s in that odd mood, he will NOT be comforted by H).
And that’s part of it, too. I know how to handle them. I know exactly how to make them feel better when they’re hurt or sad, and I don’t like letting them cry long enough to give other people the chance to settle them, mostly because when either boy gets truly upset, they just get more and more and more frantic until I step in. I’ve given it time, ten, twenty, as long as thirty minutes before insisting that I be allowed to comfort them, and when they are truly upset, they will. not. stop.
So, an innocent enough conversation spirals out of control (luckily only in my head, really) because I don’t know what to do about having a babysitter or not. My current plan is that I will check out the child care center at the YWCA, and hope that the boys take to it (they will give babies 10 minutes to cry before coming for the parents, which I think is fair). And if that works, perhaps we can hire someone who works there as a sitter on occasion, or that we can hire a different sitter for a few hours while I’m here, or perhaps doing yard work outside or something, so that I can be around to step in if they get truly upset.
So, am I unreasonable to be so uptight about this sitter situation? How have any of you dealt with this?
**I haven’t talked about it much here, though I have alluded to it (or crap, I can’t remember exactly, maybe I’ve brought it up directly, who knows…), but H is dealing with some significant depression. It gets better when we get more sleep***, but it’s still not very well handled. It took a lot of convincing on my part to get him to make an appointment to see someone, specifically a psychiatrist someone who could prescribe something if necessary, and his appointment last fall left him feeling pretty cold about the whole situation. The doctor wanted a month between sessions and thought that his problem was that he needed more sleep, and since with 4 month old (at that time) twins, that wasn’t going to happen, he kind of gave H the impression that he should just man up and deal with it.
I then encouraged him to call this place back and ask about seeing a therapist instead, because they will typically go for more regular appointments and will indulge a bit more in talk therapy, which I think H could have used, especially back then, since my patience for sympathy was running thin and I was having my own GAH-I’M-NEVER-GOING-TO-GET-A-BREAK-EVER issues myself. I was in no place to be the constant prop that H needed (and still needs sometimes). Anyhow, when he called to do so, he was told to make an appointment to discuss his desire to change providers with his original provider. And when he declined to do so, they instead said that he could leave a voice mail for the original provider and that maybe they could discuss the whole thing on the phone. (Seriously? Dude, when someone is in a somewhat fragile mental state and has had a disappointing/disheartening encounter with a provider, do you force them to confront the provider and say, “gosh, you’re a shitty shrink. I need someone who gives a flying crap about my situation, and you’re not doing it. Connect me with one of your colleagues who has a heart, please.”? I mean, really!)
So, the end result is that he has promised a number of times to find a different person at a different practice, but he hasn’t done so. Despite several occasions since then when his depression has gurgled to the surface in ugly ways (being a total prick to me for no reason, being way WAY hyper-sensitive, being prone to anger in situations where it’s not really warranted, crying over things that aren’t even sort-of tear worthy), he has promised to make appointments and has not done so.
But, like I said, as we start to get more sleep, I notice a remarkable difference in his attitude. Perhaps it’s also just the passage of time and the adjustment to the situation helping things along as well, but I think if he were given the opportunity to have a little “alone” time (alone, as in without the boys or even me), especially if that alone time were spent doing something physical, it could do a world of good for helping get his head even more on track. And I think having a place where we could both go to work out, a place with in-house child care especially, is a really, really good idea for BOTH of us, but especially for him.
***I don’t want to jinx it, but sleep has been going okay lately. The ratio of rough nights to good nights is definitely swinging in the right direction. We’ve reconfigured our bedroom again (what is this, the seventh time since June?), and it’s working a little better. As of now, we have two mattresses on the floor side by side (a queen and a full), and I sleep on one with Jack and H sleeps on one with Henry. We are feeding the boys only once a night, and using other methods to get them back to sleep if they wake up at other times (unless those methods really and truly do fail, which doesn’t happen very often). Last night, each boy woke up only once during the hours between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. (they woke up on separate occasions though…). I nursed them again at 6 a.m., and they both went back to sleep for a while.
I don’t know what to attribute this to, but it could be a number of things. One, that I’m taking vic.odin, which probably makes them a bit drowsy, though the other night when I didn’t take any, there wasn’t a noticeable difference in their sleep. Two, they’re getting older, which makes a difference I think. Three, since I’m taking the vi.codin, my back pain has actually abated enough that I’m able to go back to sleep between wakings, which means that I’m not tossing and turning and waking them up, nor am I noticing every single sniff and grunt and thus I’m not reacting to those noises. Four, we’ve let their bedtime go a little later and they’ve also been getting better naps, so their long stretch of sleep is happening a little later.
I don’t quite count this as a victory yet, but I’m just appreciating it for what it is, which is yet another baby step in the right direction.
I won’t ask about sleep issues and how they’ve been resolved because I can recognize dead-horse-beating when I see it, but I will ask what small victories you might have to share. I commented previously on Esperanza’s blog saying that I felt like we didn’t talk enough about how awesome we are as mothers and women, and she (in her kick-ass way) decided to try a new theme for her “Paint by Weekdays” Tuesday post wherein she shares (and encourages others to share) ways in which they have rocked their own world lately. So, in a similar vein, I’m asking here if you have any small victories from this past week to share with me. You see mine: babies sleeping at least a little better. What about you?
And last thing… If you’ve read this far, here’s a little picture from Oma’s recent visit to reward your dedication: