Baby Gates and Dead Rat Monday

Close my eyes, baby gates circle me, try to look through the holes, can’t see anything, it’s all dark. My husband had a “shit night sleep” last night. I slept, was Exhausted, it was a triple whammy weekend. Allergies and PMS triggered my urge to purge and clean.  Spent the whole weekend cleaning and organizing the kitchen. It worked out that way, Jack and Fiona were off schedule Saturday. (I think I should explain what this means for people who do not have multiples. At thirteen months, one week away from fourteen months, my babies still require two naps. One in the morning, one in the afternoon. Fiona is usually a nap angel. She loves her naps, tells me when she’s tired by sucking her thumb, cuddling Tiger, sometimes crying. I change her diaper and put her in the play and pack and she’s usually content. At lucky nap times, Jack is just as content. They take a nap at the same time. Lately there have been more days than not when Jack won’t take his morning nap with Fiona. He goes down, babbles for a while, I think I’m in the clear and in a half hour he starts making these high pitched screams, not crying, it’s like he’s saying “Come get me” so I do because it’s literally the most annoying thing ever. Then we play, read books, lately I’ve been putting on a baby genius cartoon. He runs around, does the “Jack Shuffle” until his legs are so weak and tired he’s collapsing. I put him in his crib and he goes right to sleep. Then Fiona wakes up.)

My mind starts to melt. I don’t like the weekends anymore. It’s the fourth person to take care of (Alan), to cook and clean for, to clean up after, pick up after. It amplifies that part of my personality that I Hate. When the babies finally go down for their naps I just need some alone time, a hot bath or to paint. Then I feel guilty. It’s a vicious cycle. There’s no advice to make this better, there’s no solution, it just is. It’s just hard. It’s just really hard. Coping skills help, mindfulness helps, regular date nights (I prefer days) would definitely help. But the weekends are the only time Alan gets to spend with the babies. And this is the truth. This is the type of information I got in trouble for sharing with the multiples club. It does get harder. If I scare anyone who is pregnant with twins or has young twin babies I’m glad. When I wrote my first article for the twin group newsletter, “Finding Balance, Raising twins” I showed my first few drafts to my husband to proofread for me. He said I needed to add, “But it is all worth it.” He thought it sounded like I didn’t love the babies or that I was just having a really hard time. It made me very mad. I wondered why I had to state the obvious, why I can’t talk about how hard it is without talking about how wonderful it is at the same time.

I hear a little bit of complaining from Mr. Jack. Please Jack, I really need some room to breathe. And my back, with my period coming my lower back is in pain. This is reality, I love Jack, more than words can say, but I need him to take his nap with Fiona right now. I need that time alone. He’s doing the high pitched whiny cry right now. They both are.  The only other alternative is to turn off the baby monitor and just let them be. They are safe, well fed, clean diapers. They have their Teddies. I haven’t gotten to that point yet. Alan said yesterday maybe it’s because Jack hears me “Talking to myself” I got mad, not because he is imagining me walking around “Talking to myself” all day but because it sounded like he was saying it was somehow my fault Jack wasn’t taking his nap. That I have some control over the situation. He says “Jacks playing me.”

The House Finches are back, I really like them. They make me happy. There’s a dead rat in the back yard, I think Billy Killed it. Both babies are finally quiet now. Thank Goodness. I need this moment of quiet, peace. I need this moment more than anything in the world. Then I have to go bury the dead rat. Shit, they’re still not asleep.

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Thoughts on Motherhood Through the Eyes of an Artist