You, Too?

It seems as though the entire blogosphere is taking a collective break right now, everyone pulling back, taking a deep sigh, and either plunging back in with renewed vigor, or happily nodding off for a week or two of continued rest.

I don’t know quite where I fall on that spectrum. I’m finding hard to tap in to the energy reserves and re-engage myself with the community I so badly need right now.

Things are rough, and I’m tired, but I really think that everything will ultimately be okay, so I’m finding it hard to complain about anything. It’s like I know that by the time I manage to actually think through the things that are bothering me, they’ll be non-issues at that point.

But, in short, here it is:
1) I’m tired of not knowing what (if anything) is wrong with me. The cardiologist does not think it’s anything cardiac. Apparently, these sort of things usually are cardiac (fainting spells, though I haven’t actually passed out– yet), but they follow very specific patterns, and I do not fit in to those patterns. None the less, I get to wear a cardiac monitor for a month, just to make sure any presyncopal episodes aren’t coinciding with anything weird, heart-wise. I will see the neurologist Tuesday, and he may or may not have a new idea of what might be causing this. The good news is that I have had very few of these spells since last week, and the ones I’ve had have been quite mild. So, who knows… maybe they’ll just go away and I won’t have to worry about it.

2) H and I are bickering a lot lately. We each seem to want credit for the hard work that we do, but we are each finding it hard to give that credit to one another when we feel like our own contributions are going unnoticed. Anyone see the Catch-22 here? Yeah. And let’s be perfectly honest, we all know that no matter how much awesome work the papa puts in, it’s very rare that the mama is out-worked. Which means I’m feeling quite pissy lately, like I’m being taken for granted. Which means I’m a shitty spouse to H. Which means he feels unsupported. Which means I feel guilty because it’s one more damn thing that I need to add to my to-do list (1. Make sure boys are alive. 2. Make sure boys are relatively happy. 3. Make sure house is still standing. 4. Make sure husband is happy. 5. Blah, blah, etc. Yar, yar, yar, on down the list, till #233– Make sure mama is semi, sorta-kinda, basically healthy and if you have time, hope she’s sane, too. If sane and healthy (HAH), then maybe, possibly worry about whether or not she’s happy, but don’t actually bother putting this on your list, because you won’t ever, ever, EVER get down to this item because EVERYTHING else comes first…

3) I’m tired. After a decent spell wherein the babies were sleeping through till at least 5:00, they (well, HENRY…) decided that a 1:00 wake up was also in order. And they’ve been waking up earlier and earlier. And I’ve been the one waking up with them, which is exhausting. H tries, he really does, but they are still firmly in the “mama or no one” phase. It’s exhausting.

So. Whine, whine, whine. Everything will resolve itself (it somehow always does, before something new pops up to take it’s place…), but right now, I’m just a bit frustrated and finding myself not wanting to jump in with both feet, finding very little time to re-energize myself or to even just put a few paltry words on the page. Whine, whine, whine.

Anyhow, enough of that. I bought a small raised bed kit. In spite of the fact that I have the lumber to do it, and have been meaning to for years, I cannot seem to get around to building my own. I finally figured out that I was simply not going to do it, unless I had something easy-peasy that would assemble quickly. So, I bought a stupid kit. And I finally got it built on Saturday, and we went and bought plants for it and got them in the ground on Saturday as well. It’s small (4×4), so we had to really limit our selection of plants. We decided on yellow squash, pole beans and tomatoes. We’ve not had great luck with squash or beans in the past, but I’m always willing to try again. We also bought our annual crop of herbs for our front bed, but we haven’t gotten those in the ground yet. And we bought a blackberry vine, which also still needs to be planted. Anyhow, we’ll see how our garden turns out this year. I’m not expecting much, but I really just needed to get my hands in some dirt, get a garden going again, etc. We’ll be gone for all of June, so here’s hoping Mother Nature does her part and gives us a little water every now and then. Alternately, I’m thinking I might see if I can find someone locally who would do us a favor (for a little cash) and come by to water while we’re gone. We’ll see, we’ll see…

Also, there’s this:

Boys At Easter
Our first egg hunt!

Henry's Egg
Henry’s favorite egg

Yay For Eggs!
Jack shows his egg to the big kids

Yeah, so each baby got one egg. They were both quite proud of their eggs, and it was really very cute watching Jack discover a bright plastic egg in a bush and snatch it to put in his basket. Henry didn’t so much get that he was supposed to take the egg and put it in his basket. He just looked at it, and looked at H like, “Um, yeah. That’s neato. What should I do with it?” Of course, once he had the egg in his hand and discovered that it made noise when he shook it, he was pretty psyched about the whole thing.

(I know, I know. What’s the “definitely-not-a-Christian-nor-a-pagan” doing celebrating Easter? H’s colleague invited us for dinner and an egg hunt with some other people and their kids, and since we didn’t have other plans and didn’t want to go to the hassle of doing a real egg hunt at our house for babies who don’t quite get it yet, we decided to join them. And it was fun.)

So, what about you? Did you do anything special for Easter? Any great garden plans this year? Where does taking care of yourself fall on your to-do list (even pre-kids, I have to admit I wasn’t high up on my own list…)? Anything else you need to comment on?

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9 Responses to You, Too?

  1. Esperanza says:

    First of all, I’m SOOOOO sorry to hear about your health troubles Kate. That is insane. I would be freaking out if I had something so intense happening and no one knew what was causing it – especially if my children’s well being rested solely in my hands for most of the day. I hope you get it all sorted (and it’s nothing serious) soon.

    I wonder if it’s some how linked to the lack of sleep. Having so little sleep for so long has got to take its toll eventually. Of course you can’t do anything to get more sleep right now but still, I wonder…

    I totally feel you on the frustrated with your husband thing. When I was going through something similar with my husband, my therapist’s advice was this: Be very empathetic and show that you understand how hard things are for him (even if they are a trillion times harder for you, just focus on his struggles). Also be very grateful for whatever he’s doing. If you do these things then he can’t feel like he’s being under-appreciated or misunderstood and he will be better able to tend to your needs. I did this for a while with my guy after Isa was born and wouldn’t you know but it really worked well. He really started stepping up and getting shit done by himself and being proactive and all sorts of great stuff. And while I still do more than him (and I assume I always will) I still say how thankful I am for what he does (because I am) and sometimes I even feel guilty for how much he does (just shows how skewed our expectations can get). So I know you don’t have much energy to give to someone else right now but maybe it will be helpful and in the end you can reap rewards for it. I can’t promise you anything but it really worked for me and whenever we come across hard times I fall back on the empathy and it seems to do wonders. It sucks to be the first one to do it, but in the end it can be well worth it.

    Your boys are so cute, as always. I hope they start sleeping more. Isa woke up at 5am for four days in a row and I thought I’d lose my mind. The days were SO LONG! I don’t know how you do it.

  2. SassyMama says:

    Oh, *sigh* I am sorry you are having a hard time.

    And yes, I also find that at times I get pissy when I feel like I am taking care of everyone else, completely drained of my reserves, and it seems to go unnoticed. I am working right now on changing my priority list… moving myself up a bit (ummmm…. a lot). I have stopped doing several things which I felt “good” mothers “should” be doing (i.e., making my own sandwich bread, canning, extensive holiday activities, etc). Some of them are things that I will pick up again when the kids are in preschool and I have a bit more time to myself. Some are things I don’t plan on ever doing again. I have kept several activities on my list just because I really enjoy them, although they do take time and energy. By reevaluating what I do and why I do them, I have found that I now have a bit more “me” time. I wouldn’t say everything is fabulous and I am never pissy:)… but life is at least a little more enjoyable for me than it was six months ago.

    Anyway, hope that helps. Above all, I think you should move yourself WAY up on the list. Your little ones need a mother who has at least some time to regroup and recharge:) Hang in there… with me!

  3. VA Blondie says:

    Sorry you are having such a rough time. I hope someone can figure out what is going on with you. I also have to wonder if it is sleep deprivation. It can do funny things to people.

    We did not do much on Easter. Baby and I went to church, and then we grilled hamburgers and let the baby run around in the back yard. It was nice to have a low key holiday.

    Your garden sounds lovely. Sometimes you just have to go with the convenience of a kit. Especially when time is short. Hubby does some container gardening, but that is about it. Usually it is just tomatoes, and we have not been able to get them in yet. I think he will want to plant them soon, though.

  4. jenn says:

    oh sister- yes… we are feeling it together! And it truly sucks that as women our needs always go to the end of the list- we do in fact do it to ourselves before anyone else can do it to us- so it’s mot like it’s a new sensation, but when you are bone-tired and done with being last, it’s just not that easy to put yourself first. Especially with a fragile ego-ed husband who despite all the physical strength can not handle not being priority #1. Even when you are begging for just 5 minutes in that #1 spot! I don’t have any answers or solutions- I myself am exhausted by propping up my hub when I don’t get it in return- been that way for quite some time & it just doesn’t work for us! He gets more selfish, not more empathetic. So- let’s just plan a virtual ‘me’ time when we tell em to eff off & do something fun together! Like maybe we rent a stupid girly movie & paint our nails at the same time in a locked room where no one can reach us…
    I hope the health issues are resolved soon- the limbo of unknown/undiagnosed health problem can be even more taxing than just dealing with said problem. And there is also depression that can come with that as well (at least in my sister’s case it did). Try to sleep and rest more- take a little more time for yourself- even if it means the dishes don’t get done for 2 days- it really doesn’t matter!

    Our easter started off horribly (my own ranting blog post!) but was very nice at my aunt’s house with the Pumpkin running around and being generally super adorable! She also got 3 eggs (all empty thank goodness) and was very much in love with them. It was a lovely visit with family- followed by a horrendous rehashing & escalation of said earlier fighting. Oh well- it ~does~ always get better before the next thing hits- right?

  5. fighttheforkmonster says:

    I can’t imagine what the stress of twins will do to a relationship. I hope that you both can figure out how to understand each other while feeling validated for all the hard work you do at the same time.

    And I hope that you figure out what is making you feel so bad. That has to be so frustrating and scary!

    On another note, I wanted to send you an email. Can you email me so I have your address? brandyshea at gmail dot com. Thanks!

  6. PJ says:

    It’s so hard when it’s just the two of you trying to make it all work. I feel like we are constantly juggling to keep everything a float! My thoughts are constantly:
    Did I pay that bill? How can I juggle the bills to make it work? Does the sitter need more diapers, wipes, baby food. Do WE need more of those things? How can I multi-task? (It’s all about being efficient, isn’t it?). Did I feed the dogs? Oh crap, I forgot to send my inlaws something for Easter… Lesson plans, charge my phone…

    Sorry. I got a little carried away there, but you get my drift. This parenting gig is hard stuff. 🙂

    I so envy you with the raised bed! I didn’t even know they sold kits. What a great idea! We have SO MUCH shade here that I have a hard time getting much to grow. I’ve tried and tried over the years. I have a great hosta collection though.

    Good to hear from you. I need to blog myself…

  7. lz says:

    Easter… well for my last childless Easter I went to watch the hunky Jesus contest in Dolores Park with J and a woman from my past. Nothing probably less Christian than that, I suppose, but hey getting to see a few hot guys dress up as Jesus and being judged by a bunch of men dressed as nuns while eating salty-caramel ice cream and a tuna and arugula sandwich is pretty good. And then freezing on a beach while a friend does your pregnancy photos and eating garlicky pizza and eating cheesecake… It was indulgence, but one of those last fleeting ones, it feels like.

    Well, I am glad it isn’t your heart, but am sorry you have no idea what caused/causes these spells. I hope they clear up or a very clear and treatable cause becomes apparent.

    And with taking care of yourself… remember me in grad school, where I thought my health was a really good thing to never think about? I will never do that again – and you shouldn’t do that to yourself either. I know you have to see to the boys and they are the first priority, but every book I’ve read about the post-natal mama time says that mama’s health is an important part of her child/children’s health. And – quite frankly, for those of us out here who love you, your sanity and well-being matter quite a lot because well, even if you are a mama and a wife, you are still yourself and deserve a good deal of love and attention of your own. If nothing else, give yourself the best treat you can every week – even if that is just telling H to watch the boys for ten minutes just so you can walk around the block every day to clear your head, do it. If you can splurge every now and then for a massage or a pedicure, all the better.

    Hugs and much love from SF.

  8. kimbosue says:

    We mama are all in the same boat!

    Hope your health issues are cleared up soon.

  9. Tara (TIMO) says:

    Between our 2 week vacation and then my sister being here for a week, I need another vacation by myself. Nav thinks things are easier when he’s around and, while certain things are, it’s mostly more difficult. The boys and I have our routine and adding him to the mix just confuses everyone. Not to mention he has different rules than I do. He’s constantly following them around cleaning up after them and saying no. I wish we were a more united front. After 5 years of marriage we had one of our biggest fights ever and it was over FB. Completely unnecessary. Just our nerves/stress getting the best of us. I’m last on his list and the boys are near the bottom. And there is nothing I can say or do that will change things.

    Hugs. The boys are looking adorable.

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