I had a few moments of clarity tonight, which is something I don’t feel a ton of lately. I’m working on getting in better shape since the twins were born, starting out slow with fast walks and leading up to jogging and hopefully eventually running. After just a few times out, I noticed tonight that I wasn’t feeling like the walk/jog was kicking my ass, so maybe that’s progress?! It sounds SO SAD that fast walking could kick my ass EVER, because I used to speed walk everywhere and I would pass everyone in my path. I was pretty fit despite not having a fitness regime beyond all the walking I did. But the twin pregnancy really did a number on my fitness level. I was immobile for so long, and then cooped up mostly inside for months when the babies were first born. I’m at an all time low with my body image and abilities, so I’m working at changing that. I drive everywhere now, whereas previous to 13 weeks pregnant with twins I walked A LOT and that did so much to keep me relatively fit. I want to get back to that point. It’s not realistic for me to walk everywhere now, and I’m certainly not going back to taking the bus now that I’ve got 3 kids, but if I can even do these brisk walks 3-4 times a week, some sit ups and other exercises on the days in between, and start jogging/running, I think I’ll get to where I want to be with my body.
It felt good tonight to be out there, by myself, listening to some music and getting fresh air. And moving. When I did start jogging, it felt amazing to be moving faster. I feel awkward because it’s not something I’m used to doing, and it makes me self-conscious. But I’m going to get over that, because I know once I do I’ll feel so much better about myself.
I realize that I have to start doing more things like this for myself. Getting out with friends more, particularly my twin mom friends because I feel like we understand each other so well. When we do get together, I feel so much better about things – it’s just a matter of making that effort to plan things. I also just need more time in general to feel like I can accomplish something for me. Whether that’s exercising, working on getting the girls’ baby books up to date, organizing the piles of things that keep adding up but I never have time for, or just napping – whatever I feel like I need to do for ME. It’s so hard to take care of myself these days, especially as the babies are getting bigger and becoming more demanding. It’s hard sometimes to create that balance.
I really don’t have many people who can or are willing to help us out. My mom is waiting for knee replacement surgery, so while she can hold a baby for me on days when she’s not in total agony and is even up for a visit, mostly as much as she WANTS to be helping me she can’t. I have an aunt and uncle who want to help, but my uncle has a heart condition that has been acting up lately and with his health being a bit iffy, they haven’t been able to look after the kids for us. (Although they’re going to this week after the girls have their vaccinations – James and I are going to go out for dinner and it’ll be the first time we’ve been out just the two of us for I’m guessing almost 3 months!) Most of our family either doesn’t live near us, is estranged from us (James’ brother isn’t speaking to us, and his mom is hot and cold, currently cold, and ‘threatening’ to move across the country…long story...sigh), or isn’t that into spending time with children. The few people who used to tell us they wanted to look after the kids for us seem to have dropped off the face of the earth. Everyone just says, ‘Twins and an older child too, I don’t know how you do it!’ and leave it at that. No offers of help. I was maybe a bit sad about that before, because I think when people do have a lot of free time or their kids are older and no longer at this stage, they either don’t realize or forget how challenging it is to never really have time for one’s self, or sometimes even more importantly, time with one’s partner. I just want to be able to go out for dinner and an evening stroll, or dinner and a movie maybe, with my husband. Seems like such a simple thing, but for us it’s basically impossible. You might argue that this is the life we chose so now we face the consequences, and I suppose that’s partially true, although I do think if we ‘only’ had one baby and not twins, more people would feel up to helping us. People are overwhelmed by TWO babies and a 4 year old. I understand why, I would be too if I wasn’t forced into it being my reality! But I manage being on my own with all 3 pretty much every single day of the week with about an hour break per day (after dinner) and help from James on the weekends. For someone seriously lacking in the patience department, someone who never in a million years imagined herself with twins, I’m doing pretty darn well with it! (And I'm so SO happy I have the 3 kids that I do!) So a few hours shouldn’t be sooooo bad for people helping out?!!!
We just don’t have anyone, though, and we’ve kind of had to accept that as a fact. So we’ve decided we’re going to sit down (one day when we’re able to sit down and discuss things without interruption – who knows when that will actually be?!) and really work out a more firm budget than we’ve been going by, so we can work at putting some money aside to hire some help. We’re considering someone for just a few hours at a time maybe 3 times a week. Not totally sure yet, it’s not something I ever imagined doing, but I feel like if I lose myself entirely, eventually I will snap. I’m doing pretty well lately and while I don’t feel things are ‘easier’ now per se, I do feel like I’m more used to what I’ve got going on, and it’s not AS overwhelming as it was in the beginning. It’s still very challenging having 2 babies at once, though. I just need a bit of time here and there to do whatever I need or want to get done in that moment! I’m kind of nervous about the process of finding someone I feel comfortable leaving my kids with, but I also feel excited by the prospect of the few hours it would give me.
Quick update on things before I have to go tuck Andrew into bed…We went to my bro and sil’s yesterday and my nana and aunt came over from the island for a visit. My aunt has twin girls too (who are in their 40s now!) It was a nice visit and all 3 kids were so well behaved. The babies are really starting to crawl now, Margaret in particular. She is getting pretty fast, too! Emily does crawl but isn’t as interested in moving around. She’s usually content to just sit and play with her toys around her. If she happens to fall over when she reaches for something too far, she’ll then roll around or crawl a bit to get somewhere else. Margaret is just desperate to be into absolutely everything, just like how Andrew was. Her 2nd tooth is coming in, so both girls have 2 teeth, although Emily’s have sprouted up quite high already! One of Margaret’s is quite big but the other one just broke through a few days ago. They are SO CUTE! They both figured out how to go from laying down to sitting up by themselves on May 23rd, which I thought was cool - achieving a milestone together! They are loving their solids and eat purees 3 times a day, they sometimes have yogurt, they love baby mum mum crackers and baby cookies. They’ll eat pieces of banana, cheerios a little bit. They LOVE smoothies, I tend to make those regularly these days and they always have some. They drink water from their sippy cups. They mostly have formula now but I’m still nursing them, sometimes 3 times a day but it’s getting more like 2 times a day as of this past week. Emily hasn’t nursed at all for I think about 3 days now. Or she will but for like 2 seconds and then she freaks out and takes a bottle right away. Margaret still gets comforted from nursing so I’m hoping to keep it up for a while yet. I try not to stress about it, if I nurse great, if I don’t, it’s not the end of the world. I still stress about it a little bit, but I’m working on just being OK with whatever happens. If they end up fully on formula sooner than later, it’s really not that big of a deal. They’re growing up so fast, it won’t be long before both breastfeeding AND formula are a thing of the past! At this point I'm just enjoying the moment that we're in.