Sunday, February 17, 2013

Am I floundering?

Life is so chaotic that I thought I had posted this AND a post the day after, and obviously I hadn't.  Sigh!!  So this post was actually written on February 13th...



I tend to be a person who takes a situation and just plows through it.  I might not always be in my comfort zone, and I might sometimes wish things were working out differently, but I tend to have the mindset that ‘it needs to be done’ so rather than hum and haw and let it get the better of me, I take charge and get things done.  This is not to say that I haven’t had my share of challenges and that I don’t have difficulties with things, because I do – I’m just usually good at compartmentalizing things that need to be compartmentalized – or at the very least appear on the outside that I’ve been able to do that. 

Even though on the inside I have certain sensitivities, my family always called me ‘the strong one’, and still do.  I have family members (not just immediate family) who have called me ‘the glue that holds the family together’ and they talk about me as if they are in awe of what I do.  Particularly now, when they talk about how much I have on my plate between Andrew and his two baby sisters.  I often hear, ‘I don’t know how you do it!’ – not just from James, but from pretty much anyone who enters our home and doesn’t have experience with twins in particular.  I appear to take things in stride, and I’ve been told that I come across as very level-headed, not easily affected, and that I ‘don’t look tired at all’, despite that I am not getting much sleep to speak of.

I am definitely affected by things on the inside, but it’s true I am good at not showing it in most cases.  I share everything about how I’m feeling with James, but I rarely let on to others if something is upsetting me or if I’m having a difficult time with something.  I can’t explain why it makes me uneasy to share those things – I sometimes (well, often!) share them on my blog, since this is my journal, but I tend not to go on most of the time about my troubles with people in my life…Probably because I manage to put them in their place and keep moving.  Or, more than that, probably because I don’t have the time to NOT keep moving, I HAVE to keep moving, so I just do.

But right now, I feel as though I am floundering.  I have to be honest.  I feel overwhelmed, almost maxed-out overwhelmed.  So overwhelmed that I found myself crying at the dinner table tonight while I told James about my overwhelmedness.  (Andrew was at my parents’ and it was a rare dinner where neither of the babies was awake or fussing, so we actually got the chance to sit down together.  A very rare occurrence lately, and there I was crying!)

I LOVE our babies, and I wouldn’t trade them for anything, and knowing them both is to love them both so if I could go back in time and only have one and not twins, I would still have the twins, because I couldn’t imagine my life without them now.  I love Andrew, and I love Margaret, and I love Emily, and I love being their mom.  But I am overwhelmed.

I never imagined myself with 3 kids.  If we had ‘only’ had a second singleton, I never would have wanted a third child.  Ever.  I can guarantee I’d have never been bit by the baby bug again, I would have been fully content to have two children and be done with it.

But for whatever reason, I was meant to have 3 kids, and I was meant to have two of them at once!  I am so grateful for them and I love them SO SO SO SO SO SO much, you cannot imagine how much!  But…maybe it’s just because I’m so sleep-deprived (I do tend to feel worse later in the day, as I become more and more tired from the lack of sleep) or maybe it’s because I didn’t really sign up for this – I’m not sure, but I just feel lately like this is all a bit much for me.  Like there is no end in sight, like I am dying here and I have no one who can save me, other than James taking over every single night after dinner so I can have a teensy bit of freedom to bathe, or write, or sleep.  But how long can that go on, right, because as awesome as he is suggesting I take this time for myself and never complaining, I know he needs time, too.  I just honestly can’t give it to him right now because I feel at this point I would literally go insane if I didn’t get any break whatsoever. 

While obviously if I was extremely well rested every day (not going to happen) I would definitely see things differently, and certainly more positively - I do lean toward a big factor being the reality that ‘I did not sign up for this.’  I had always felt so grateful for only getting pregnant when I wanted to and not having an accidental baby, because I never had to fear the ‘what if’ of feeling resentment toward a child I didn’t want.  Now, don’t get me wrong here, there is no resentment whatsoever.  I couldn’t possibly resent any of my kids, and omg if you met my babies and looked into their eyes and saw their beautiful smiles, your heart would melt and you’d see exactly why it would be impossible for me to be upset with them for being here!  But it’s still true that I didn’t exactly sign up for the whole ‘having 3 kids’ thing.  It just happened.  It happened naturally and it does feel like it was meant to be.  The miscarriage I had changed me in a huge way and then suddenly I was blessed (without meaning to sound religious since I’m not) with 2 babies at once – it feels like it was truly meant to be this way for a reason.  A reason unbeknownst to me, but a reason nonetheless!  I just feel overwhelmed because I never imagined myself with 3 kids – also for a reason!  It’s a lot to handle, and particularly when two of them happen to be babies at the same stage of development.  At least when people have their kids spaced apart in age, they’re at different stages, but this is pretty intense to be going through, I’m finding.  And while on the outside I think I still tend to appear calm, cool, and collected, I am starting to get this feeling inside like I’m not actually any of those things.

I don’t know how to change the situation though.  This is what I’m living and I have to plug along, I know I do, and I will.  I just can’t lie and say it’s the least bit easy, because it’s not.

It’s harder to get help when you have 3 kids under 5 and 2 of them are babies.  Maybe it will always be harder because there will always be 2 the same age.  If we had Andrew and ONE baby, it wouldn’t be as complicated to people when it comes to babysitting, but one person doesn’t tend to want to take on all 3 kids at once, and understandably not.  But where most people say they can’t handle 3 at once, or would rather not, or would prefer someone else be there to help, too, or what have you…I have no choice, and I take it on day and night, on my own, every day and every night (with James’ help a few hours at night and on weekends, of course).  And while parts of it I love, and I truly do, and while I feel like it’s soooo special to be given TWINS, as well as such a loving and wonderful (most of the time) older child – I am soooo lucky – there are parts of it that make me feel overwhelmed, and I can’t deny that. 

Trying to make sure Andrew doesn’t feel neglected can at times be hard, or even downright impossible, because I have 2 small babies that need attention at the same time.  Sometimes they both want to be fed at the same time, sometimes they both want to be held but I can only hold one at a time (and while I DO tandem nurse them, I much prefer one on one, but sometimes I can’t do that because it takes double the amount of time, plus one would cry the entire time, which I can’t stand hearing when possible!)  They both need burped at the same time if they feed together, but I can’t burp two babies at the same time.  There are double the diaper changes, two babies to carry up to bed and two babies to soothe through the night.  At varying times.  They have taken lately – and I think this is quite possibly what’s doing my head in at the moment – to sleeping at opposite times.  I NEVER GET A BREAK during the day, till James gets home and takes over, because aside from the fact that Andrew doesn’t like me resting, one baby is pretty much ALWAYS awake.  One falls asleep, and the other wakes up within minutes or less ALL THE TIME.  It’s so hard to get ANYTHING done, I have completely had to relax my desire to keep things just so and instead ‘be ok with’ (though deep down I’m totally not) a messier house, dishes sometimes piling up, and still not feeling unpacked from our move.

…I could go on and on and on…and on and on.  And I will.  But it will have to be later, because ‘my time’ is up and babies need me now.

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