Category Archives: Family
I want to be Supermom.
I see article after article, blog after blog, talking about letting go of the Supermom ideal.
But what if I don’t want to? What if I need that goal to avoid being Mediocremom? Isn’t it ok to strive to be the very, very best I can be?
It is a lot of pressure. I rarely measure up. But it’s a goal. It’s something I can and will continue to reach toward, stretching my arms up a little more each day. I feel like my kids deserve that. This is my career for the foreseeable future and I think I owe it to my family and to myself to work really hard at it.
Yes, I want to cook a homemade, healthy, full dinner for my family every day.
Yes, I want to volunteer and be on the board of my local Mothers of Multiples club.
Yes, I want to provide new and creative invitations to play for the boys.
Yes, I want to keep a clean, neat, inviting home for my husband to come home to every day and for all of us to enjoy.
Yes, I want to provide many opportunities for my boys to have enriching, social-skills-building activities.
Yes, I want to continue to look nice and dress well (i.e. not hang around in pajamas or sweat pants).
Yes, I want to keep my energy up and have some “me” to give to my husband at night.
There are days when I feel I just can’t do it. I look around and feel overwhelmed about what I need to accomplish. I open a jar of spaghetti sauce and dump it on some pasta without even bothering to make vegetables or a salad. I fall into bed hoping my husband will already be asleep and not looking for anything. I leave the boys to amuse themselves in the playroom for much too long. People say, “it’s ok! You can’t do and be everything! Give yourself a break!” But I feel like giving myself a break leads to giving myself excuses for not doing what needs to be done.
I need Supermom-me following me around, kicking me in the ass and telling me to put my big girl pants on.
What does being a Supermom mean to you?
That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.
The twins are really growing and developing now. At 14 months, they don’t walk or say any words or even have much in the way of language/communication skills at all. In fact, we will be having developmental therapy 2 hours a week beginning this week to help them catch up.
But they crawl faster than I can run and smile and giggle and laugh and hug each other and eat enormous amounts of food. We are mostly in a sweet spot right now, where they can play and entertain each other for as much as an hour at a time. They take two decent naps a day and sleep all night, rarely waking up. They love their mama and dada very much and are healthy, happy boys.
The stress never ends of course. As one thing gets easier another gets harder, but I have more hopeful days than not, and that’s a huge relief to me.
I stopped writing regularly here when I was going through a very difficult weaning process with them. It was absolutely heartbreaking for me and I was very depressed about it. I know that most people just don’t understand the depth of despair it caused me and it was hard to even write about it. I’m a little further removed from the whole thing now and while I’m still really sad and disappointed over what I continue to see as an absolute failure on my body’s part to adequately nourish my children, I’m feeling twinges more than stabbing pains now.
I hope I’ll have the self-discipline to write regularly now. I’ve convinced myself that I don’t need to have a long, soul-baring post every time. One of my favorite bloggers, eckids, posts nearly every day, with mostly short but interesting notes, ideas and musings. I’d love to follow her lead.
That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.
My first anniversary was yesterday. I’d been worrying over it for weeks and so was secretly glad when neither of us mentioned it. It was a tough day with the twins, and OW was working on our taxes. It was cold as hell (if hell were as cold as North Carolina in the Winter) and windy, so we didn’t even discuss having a Sunday outing.
When it was time for bed, I had a pit in my stomach as I crawled in. I was anxious and couldn’t sleep. As midnight neared, I felt like I ought to at least wish him a happy anniversary but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. Then both of the boys started screaming, so that put an end to that.
This morning, just as OW was walking out the door I said, “Happy belated anniversary.” He looked stunned. “No! What are you talking about? It’s tomorrow!” He’d gotten it into his head that we’d gotten married on Valentine’s Day. I don’t know why, because one of our big discussions when deciding on the date was that it was too close to Valentine’s Day.
He told me he had a present and a card and everything and just felt stupid about mixing up the date. The pit in my stomach came back and I felt the blood drain from my face.
I . have . nothing .
I don’t even have a card. I blurted out that I hadn’t gotten him anything and he told me he doesn’t want anything. “Besides,” he said, “I bought the gift for you last year, so I’ve had it for a long time.”
This was supposed to make me feel better but it made me feel even worse. He’d been thinking about our first anniversary since last year.
He is so thoughtful.
I am so… not.
Do I pack up the twins and wander around town today, desperately trying to come up with a gift? Honestly, it’s been such a hard week-and-a-half with Peanut Butter and Jelly that all I really want to do is run away and curl up in a cave somewhere.
UPDATE: I did pack up the twins, but didn’t roam all over town. I remembered him mentioning something he really wanted but didn’t feel he could justify the cost of. It’s the entire series of Star Wars movies on Blu-Ray. I know he’ll love it and I know he’ll force me to watch all six of them. It’s wrapped and ready to give and I feel much less stressed out.
That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.
My husband and I’s first anniversary is exactly 2 weeks away and I am starting to panic. Before I got pregnant, we hadn’t exactly discussed getting married. I mean, both of us sort of assumed that was coming I think, but he hadn’t formally proposed and I was careful never to have that “when are you going to marry me?” conversation with him. I knew it would come when it came.
Once I discovered I was pregnant, that discussion happened, and it was awkward. He insisted that we get married and that we do it before the boys were born. I told him I was very uncomfortable with the idea that he was marrying me because I was pregnant. He said he wasn’t. It was awkward. Did I say that already?
He assured me that he’d been working towards asking me. He is the sort of person who needed to have the honeymoon planned before he could even pop the question and he had actually been working on that! So we agreed that we would get married. Still, he proposed in a wonderful way, and tried to make it as romantic and spontaneous as possible. He went to my mother (who didn’t know I was pregnant) and asked for her blessing. He picked out a ring he thought I would love. He arranged for us and his mother, my mother, and my mom’s partner to go to dinner together, during which he pulled out the box, made a speech, and formally asked me to marry him. It was all supposed to be a surprise, but it’s hard to surprise me. I acted very surprised. Our mothers literally wept with joy.
We put off setting a date and planning the wedding because my pregnancy was going so badly and we were just consumed by that. In January, however, we knew we’d better get moving. I was willing to go to the courthouse, but he wanted a real wedding, in the church, with his family and friends there. We planned a lovely wedding in only 6 weeks and truly I don’t know how we did it. OW put a tremendous amount of effort into it. I had no idea a nice wedding could be so important to a man! We even had a little honeymoon on the beach in South Florida, in the town I lived in for years and years. I was on semi-bedrest so I mostly sat in the living room of our suite and looked at the beach, but it was beautiful and relaxing. Sadly, his plan for a honeymoon in New Zealand has been put on indefinite hold.
So now it’s a year later. I can’t believe it’s been a year already and I wish we could have a celebration befitting a first anniversary. A romantic weekend getaway in the same boutique hotel where we spent our honeymoon would be perfect. A close second would be a few days in the mountains of North Carolina.
I’m afraid what we will actually do is call my mother-in-law at the last minute and have dinner at a decent restaurant where you don’t need a reservation, then rush home because we know the babies won’t go down for their grandma and will likely be screaming. I don’t really have the time or energy to c0me up with the sort of creative, romantic gift I would have pre-twins. I’m even at a loss for ideas for a non-romantic, non-creative gift.
What I’m most nervous about is that OW will do something really thoughtful for me and I will have crap for him. It’s causing me a lot of stress and anxiety. Taking care of the boys is just so all-consuming. Do you have any easy-to-execute ideas for me?
That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.
OW and I had big plans for this past weekend. We had men’s night/women’s night out with his church (I’m not a member but they graciously welcome me to all of their events). We had his law school reunion picnic Saturday morning, and we planned to go to the state fair Sunday afternoon. Unfortunately, OW woke up Friday morning with a fever and body aches. Our whole weekend was shot.
I felt badly for him, and tried to take care of him, as much as he let me, but I feel an odd sort of resentment. It’s not resentment directed toward him, exactly. It’s just that I was really looking forward to having some family fun time. Ever since the babies were born six months ago, it seems like every weekend involves doing work around the house (the nursery still isn’t done) or OW either wanting to do nothing but vegetate or having to go in to the office. I was really excited about doing real family stuff. The kind of stuff real families do.
Instead, I spent the weekend bringing him Tylenol and trying to convince him to eat and drink plenty of fluids (neither of which he did). And I sort of resent it.
I TOLD him to get the flu shot. I TOLD him he had to do it now that we have the babies. I TOLD him to do it at the beginning of September.
All-mighty, All-knowing OW rolled his eyes at me. And now we’ve had a ruined weekend that we can’t get back.
Whew. That just sort of burst out.
So I guess my resentment is directed toward him more than I thought it was. I shouldn’t be so petty, but I’m alone with the twins for a minimum of 12 hours a day, every day and it’s hard. I know he works really hard but he gets to eat lunch every day. He can eat alone if he wants to, or with friends, or at a park, or in a restaurant. He speaks to grownups every day and doesn’t walk around soaked in someone else’s bodily fluids.
He’s really helpful in the mornings and evenings on weekdays. It’s the weekends I really hate. I often get the feeling he thinks he should have the weekend off. Well, me too Buddy.
I know all of this is the age-old gripe that moms have. I can’t write about it in a new, fresh, witty way. I’m just annoyed and wanted to hang my dirty laundry right out on the Internet’s clothesline. So there!
P.S. On this day, exactly six months ago, I gave birth to two beautiful, tiny, human beings. Sometimes I can’t believe it’s only been six months, and sometimes I can’t believe it’s only been six months.
That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.
I love my husband. I really do.
You knew there was a but, right?
I need to start by extolling his virtues as both a husband and a father. He gave me flowers and a card for our semi-versary. That’s right, he made a big deal out of us being married for six months. How cool is that? He is loving and attentive for the most part. He takes my feelings into consideration and respects my opinions. He won’t let me carry a heavy bag and holds the door for me.
He shines as a father too. He got up every time the babies did for the first several months when I was having to pump and give bottles (the boys weren’t up to speed on breastfeeding yet). He’ll still get up during the night if I need help. He’s rinsed out more poopy diapers than I have and he never cringes or complains. Every single morning, weekends included, he gets up before I do. He makes me an iced coffee just the way I like it, brings the vitamins and medications into the bedroom for all of us, and changes the diapers of wakeful babies while I’m still rubbing the sleep out of my eyes. He’ll throw the diapers in the dryer and unload the dishwasher for me. In the evening he is just as likely as I am to put aside a hot dinner to hold a crying babe. He’s willing to learn to babywear, and is excited about our future together as a family.
So I was perplexed and annoyed to get a phone call from him while I was in the supermarket Monday evening. The store is 8 minutes from the house. I had a list and had been methodically working my way through it for about 40 minutes and I was nearly done. The phone rang and all I could hear was the twins screaming bloody murder. “Hello? Hello?” I said. Finally, his strained voice says to me, “Do you hear that? Do you hear that? You’ve got to come home!”
I told him that I was working my way through as quickly as I could and would be home as soon as possible. I felt a twinge of annoyance at that point, but kept moving. Ten minutes later, as I was just crossing off the last few items on my list, he called again. “Come home!” he demanded. Now I was mad. I was standing in the checkout line when I got a text from him telling me to hurry up.
Now I was pissed off. What did he think I was doing? I was not dilly-dallying. It’s not like I was getting a pedicure. I was buying food so our family could eat! I make my list in order by aisle so I don’t have to cross back through the store. I was buying exactly what was on my list and not lingering in front of the cookies. I was going as fast as I effing could.
When I got home he was a wreck. I had been gone exactly one hour. The babies had been crying for 45 minutes and he was about to have a breakdown.
I mean, seriously?
What the fuck does he think I deal with every fucking day?
Whew – sorry about the profanity, but really. This is my life. It’s my life all day every single day. There is 45 minutes of stereo screaming on a GOOD day. I don’t call him and tell him he has to come home. There are days when I send him a text or emailsaying that it’s been a bad day and asking whether he could please bring home dinner. There have even been days when I’ve called him, crying, to say that it’s not fair to Peanut Butter that Jelly cries so much and needs more attention. But I do that because I need to tell someone about my pain. I don’t insist that he drop what he’s doing to come save me.
In fact, I was virtually alone with the twins the entire Labor Day weekend because he’s been painting all of the rooms on the second floor of our house (which I appreciate – he has worked really hard on home improvements and sees it as a gift to our whole family). The boys have been particularly fussy of late and he listened to me caring for two crying babies by myself for the whole weekend. I do appreciate the work, but I am offended that I was not allowed one freaking hour to do grocery shopping.
I’m so tempted to jab him with comments about how I have to deal with them all the time and he doesn’t. He likes to tell me how hard his job is. I know it is very stressful and I never diminish that. Could I get a little credit too though? And couldn’t he just suck it up and let me enjoy an hour by myself at the supermarket?
That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it
Yesterday was OW’s 42nd birthday and it got me thinking again about age. We never expected to be parents at our age. I know it’s much more common now for women over 40 to have children, but it certainly wasn’t in my life plan.
We’ll both be eligible for AARP (the American Association of Retired People, for non-U.S. folks) before our kids start high school.
Stop and think about that for a moment.
Have you recovered from the shock and horror of that? I haven’t.
I’ve been thinking about the various things that come with age. What does retirement mean to us now? What did it mean to us before? We’d never really talked about it. Neither of us has been good about putting money aside for it and now we have that plus the costs of raising children to think about. Fortunately our only debt is a mortgage, one car payment and OW’s student loans. We don’t carry a balance on our credit cards and pay cash for things like furniture, home improvements, etc. Still, we are now living on 2/3 of our former income and have a lot more expenses. Will we be able to keep up with our changing finances? It’s nerve-wracking.
The physical changes that happen as we get older frighten me a lot. I wasn’t in great shape before I had these kids. I have a good figure but that’s mostly luck. I looked great with my clothes on but not so much without. I was slim but flabby and had zero stamina. I couldn’t run (or probably even walk) a 5k if my life depended on it. OW is in much better shape than I am but he is obese and already has issues with his joints.
I feel truly compelled now to get into shape. I desperately want to be an active mom, not one schlumped on the couch without the energy to get out and play with her kids, but it’s really intimidating. I’m only 5 to 10 pounds above my pre-pregnancy weight but I’m certainly in no better shape now than I was before. When and how am I supposed to find the time to exercise? I generally do my writing in 15-minute blocks when they are both (thank you Universe!) sleeping at the same time. I tweet, do email, etc. from my smartphone while I’m nursing or just holding. I don’t know how to fit in real exercise. Plus, I’m just generally so intimidated by the prospect that it makes me wilt to even think about it.
I think OW and I are generally in good health. Aside from not being in shape (which is a big deal, I know) neither of us has serious physical health problems – so far. That will likely change as we age and I am worried about saddling our kids with our problems before they even have a chance to start families of their own. I am probably being too pessimistic about this but it does worry me. I know that the best way to head that off is to make sure we take good care of ourselves, so I shall refer myself back to the previous paragraph.
The positive in this area is that I am pretty big on eating well. We don’t follow any kind of extreme plan, but I generally refuse to make food with ingredients that come out of boxes and cans. No cream-of-something soups, no instant anything, no Chef Boyardee, no Velveeta (insert extra gagging noises here), and no pretend cheese that comes by the slice wrapped in weird plastic. Oh – and I want to make an announcement: No Totino’s Pizza Rolls shall ever cross the threshold of this house!
So now we’re faced with being 46 when the boys start kindergarten. OW and I will be 56 when the boys start high school. I imagined myself at 56 having several grandchildren, not surly teenage boys.
How in the world are we going to keep up? I will D.I.E. if anyone ever asks me if I’m their grandmother. That’s unlikely right now but 15 years from now? I’m not so sure. Are you an AMA (advanced maternal age) mom? How do you feel about it? Do you believe that we really are as young as we think we are? Have you had to change your perspective on things now that you have small children?
Bare your soul to me, please.
That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.