Finding Balance... Tougher Than I Thought.

I made the poor mistake this afternoon in my "spare" time to sift through some of the babies' early pictures. And sob. I don't remember them being that little. Not readily anyway. And then looking at their little 6 to 9 month pictures and how they were making milestones every day. Wow. Ryan had hair, but not much. And Quinn had none. And now she has some :)

I honestly don't know how we made it through this past year. It hasn't been hard per se, but it certainly hasn't been the easiest either. But certainly the most fulfilling year of my life.

But here comes the balance part. And we struggled with this in the beginning too, when Quinn was in the NICU for 7 weeks and Ryan was home with us --- how do you balance that? And still get dinner on the table? And have a husband who goes to work? And shower? But somehow we did it.

And now I find myself in a new re-balancing act. I've mentioned a couple of times that I am back to work part-time. Well, because of a few circumstances, it has been a little crazy in the work world, so more & more of my time has been devoted to that. The twins are sleeping a little less (although still 2 naps per day) but it's a given that I have to work some while they are awake. And what I do is kind of creative, so I need full-focus be able to write coherent articles that don't have anything to do with "poopies", "don't throw your cup one more time." or " stop harrassing your brother" (harrassing just may be too big of a word for 14 month olds but whatever. But I got into this because I needed this outlet - this creativeness as it may be. Brain functioning at a different level.

But for the past few weeks, it has been trying. I am stressed. When I want to play with the babies, I need to answer emails or get proofs out. If the babies are asleep, I am trying to clean up from their mess. When Matt gets home, I want to spend time as a family of 4, but most likely it includes trips to the grocery or dry cleaners (which I don't mind doing after being stuck at home all day) --- but I'm not here. We balance the feeding/bathing/sleeping thing pretty well (Thank GOD for my amazing husband who does it every night without complaint!), but then each of us do our own things to wind down. Usually me on the computer, and Matt maybe on the computer or in front of some dumb movie or TV show that I don't want to watch.

So struggling for balance between all of this. Am I giving enough love to Ryan during the day? Am I showing Quinn how much I adore her every day? Do I demonstrate my love to my husband every single day? Am I still a good employee and, for that matter, worth being employed?

I worry so much - probably too much. I worry that my kids are behind. I worry when they don't eat well. I worry that maybe I don't talk to them enough and show them colors & textures and everything they would be interested in. I worry that I don't read to them enough. I worry that they don't get enough bedtime stories. I read other blogs and I see what other kid are/were doing at this age --- and it stresses me out. I know I shouldn't compare. But should my child be able to go in and pick their clothes (with meaning)? Should they be talking like crazy and have a vocabulary of 10+ words? Because mine don't.

And maybe part of that is my fault. We are working on an efficiency system here --- how fast can I get your diaper changed before your sibling has a meltdown in the other room? How fast can we get through meals b/c we know there is another snack coming in 2-3 hours? I know I need to slow down and enjoy the ride. But that's hard to do, especially with two.

It obviously hasn't helped that we clearly live on the surface of the sun - and the temps have sky rocketed into the clear 100's. In all the time we lived in Houston, we've had a few 100 degree days, but most of the time because of afternoon showers or whatever, we mostly stay at 95ish with 145% humidity. Not sure what is worse. Dry heat of 100 or a sauna. They are both pretty bad since it's no weather for a baby/toddler to be out in, unless they are in a pool, and daytime pool activity is limited b/c well, I haven't found a float for 2. Yet. So we mostly stay inside, play with our Glad tupperware and Folger's Coffee lids and call it a day. Oh, the excitement. But it's not me I worry about - I can stay at home. I worry about the kids - their social environment, their exposure to new things... but time is limited, the weather stinks,  what can I do?

I keep thinking things will slow down and become super efficient after Q's surgery. Everyone will be older, they will be in more of a mode of communication (and Lord, don't ask me if I have taught my babies sign language - I've showed them a few things, but we are NOT pros by any stretch of the imagination), and more mobile. I will be able to sign up at the local gym and actually take them there so Mommy can sweat the stress out. I could do that now, but as it is, my nighttimes (as mentioned beforehand) are limited. I can't take them there now just b/c of timing of joining a gym and Quinn's surgery - and I have very limited energy at night to do anything but grocery, dinner for babies, dinner for us, hang with Matt, and bed.

And how do I balance all of that with me keeping sane? Somehow, I just think we will be ok - it will all work out, and I won't remember 4 years from now how stressed I was that Ryan doesn't like meat of any kind right now, and Quinn insists on feeding herself, even if it means she takes in next to nothing. I'm sure in four years, we will be looking a new balancing act, Pre-K, Kindergarten or whatever plus sports, dance, etc - and then whatever I am up to at the moment. I'm pretty sure this entire parenthood thing is a balancing act. Now I am just trying to adjust and not flounder -- or let my kids suffer in the process.

Always hopeful, even though this post may seem "down". We are GOOD. Just re-balancing.  :)

In His Hands,

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Lisa Johnson said...

Hang in there, friend. You are an amazing mommy and you are really too hard on yourself! I have never once thought if I was giving Field enough colors and textures to play with! Ha! Relax and know that taking good care of them and giving them love is the best thing for them. I know you give them plenty of that! The rest will come and the days will get easier. I do know where you are coming from with the less sleep (Field only takes one nap now!) and more messes. It is really exhausting, but this too shall pass! Lots of love!

The L's said...

I think what you are feeling is so normal. I feel it all the time (and I only have one!). I think many mothers have the same anxiety and could write your exact post. I think it is good that you identify it and acknowledge it. Parenthood is a juggling act all the time. You are an amazing mommy and your kiddos are so sweet! I think we will all look back on these days and wonder how we did it all!!

Ashley and Matt Sheehan said...

I agree with you...cut yourself slack though...they all go ofg to school knowing colors, shapes, etc :) and if they dont...then school will teach them ;)