Sunday, July 29, 2007

Baby got mama

Having a tooth taken out in the dentist's chair is a bitch but it is nothing compared to dealing with an overtired toddler*! Okay, now that I have that out of the way, here is the positive post that I have been compiling in my head all day.

This week-end I had an epiphany. Or rather, I didn't have one which is what made it so special. You see I hate to admit it (as I'm sure you're aware) but I haven't found motherhood to be the easiest of things to master despite being told that I am very good at it. Instead I have found it to be demanding and rewarding but also very, very tiring. I am starting to realise that a big part of the tiredness stems from the intellectual participation that I have been relying on to get through the first months. I research and listen and read and ask questions. I try and make sure that I am as prepared for everything as I can be, in the hope that I don't get shown up as a fraud. Mostly it worked and the boys seemed to thrive in spite of my inabilities but I have found it rough going and both physically and mentally exhausting.

I have spent a fair amount of time trying to figure out why I have found motherhood so difficult. It isn't as if I am inexperienced when it comes to babies - in fact I would go as far as saying that I have had far more hands on experience than most new mothers have and yet the last year I have felt as though I am completely new to it. It has slowly dawned on me that most of this is tied to having twins because there have been moments when I have felt cheated of the opportunities that mothers to singles have. Going out has been a big deal (far bigger a deal than it needs to be) and I have avoided taking the boys out on my own as much as possible because I have found it so stressful.

This week-end saw that turn around though. I took the boys to visit a close friend and her daughter (the frenchies) and for the first time it just felt normal. I didn't plan obsessively first - in fact it was a really last minute decision to do it. They had both woken up very early so I packed them up, took them grocery shopping and then popped in to said friend for some tea.

When I write it down it sounds like such a non event but when I was driving away from my friends house it occurred to me that up until very recently I have been tinkering at the edges of motherhood but now I finally feel ready to accept this role and let what comes naturally happen**.


* An otherwise perfect week-end ended with Nathan fighting sleep for all he is worth. He screamed, scratched and flung his way through an hours worth of attempted convincing. Eventually it took his aunty's finer touch to get him off to sleep - not sure how this post would have turned out had she not been around.

** Please note that by naturally, I don't necessarily mean instinctual as I'm fairly certain that I will still be reading a whole bunch of stuff before making any huge decisions :-)

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Revenge of the molars...

*sigh* this teething milarcki(sp?) is becoming a serious drag. I believe that we are now dealing with the first molars. Holy mother of all that is [insert relevant religious deity here]! When does it stop. I know that we had it easy in the beginning but since their first birthday we have been forced to eat our good fortune many times over. Sleep is a thing of the past and the grumpy germ lurks around very corner.

We now share our bed from around 1am onwards. On a good night we only share it with 1 flailing, wild, obnoxious toddler. Most nights we are visited by 2. In reality this means that I'm sleeping at the bottom, the RO is sleeping at the top and the boys have 90% of the bed consisting of the middle and 2 out of 4 sides.

As if that wasn't enough, I have to swallow my fear of tooth extraction because on Monday afternoon I am having a wisdom tooth extracted - in the dentist chair!! Whilst awake!

Excuse the exclamations and the mixed metaphors, its been a long week.


Monday, July 16, 2007

Virtual congratulations...

I've been terribly remiss in my reading and have only just realised that 2 new lovelies have entered the world while I have been hiding under a rock!

Go on over and welcome Isabella and Zachary (and of course mum and dad too), may they be good sleepers, great eaters and mischevious to boot!


Sunday, July 15, 2007

And I'm back ;-)

Thank you for all the lovely comments. My friend is okay (although now recovering from a nasty womb infection) and I'm taking all your advice and being extra gentle with her. Unfortunately she will soon have to face the prospect of getting on with the practical aspects of life and I suspect that means that the worst is still to come. Having said that, she has been remarkable in her strength and her grief and I am so proud to have such a great friend to support.

Onto other subjects, the last week has in equal parts been pretty cool but also decidedly frustrating. For every great thing that has happened, some annoying hoops have had to be jumped in order to get it.

My dad arrived last Saturday and stayed for a week. This is the same father who has had a completely irrational phobia of anything younger than 9 for as long as I can remember (including I believe me). The boys manage to win him over in about 3 minutes flat and they proceeded to charm the socks off of him at every opportunity. Needless to say he has now joined the ranks of besotted (if not completely hands on) grandparents. It was lovely to see him and it was interesting that the dynamic between us has moved to yet another level and we seem to finally be comfortable in each others company without feeling the need to compete. Lucky for him, he left for Turkey this morning where he is going to spend 2 weeks on a yacht with some clients of his, we on the other hand have teething children to contend with and so the next few weeks will be anything but restful for us.

I know that I have missed a whole bunch of news on the blogosphere and for that I am dreadfully sorry. Please don't think that you've been forgotten cause you couldn't be farther from the truth :-)

Hugs to all!

Friday, July 06, 2007

The nature of grief...

I have spent a fair amount of time with my friend who lost her baby and although I know that I cannot begin to know the intensity of her grief, I have come to realise that as human beings we're generally pretty awful at supporting others. over the last week I have heard several people asking her how she's feeling and saying things like, 'it'll get better with time', and 'you have to deal with these things head on'.

Now I appreciate that the intention behind these sentiments is a good one but I can't help but feel that saying things like this only serves to make the person saying them feel better about the situation. At a time when things are so fresh and raw, the last thing my friend needs is to be told that she needs to deal with her grief. It is all that she can do at the moment to maintain her sanity. All she can do is try and stop herself from thinking about it for a few moments a day and I doubt anyone could attempt to make any sense of their emotions if they were in the same position.

I am especially astonished by the way the health visitors and midwives seem completely unprepared, even when they know the circumstances before they even arrive at her house. Surely these are the people who should know that nothing can be said to ease the pain? Sometimes it is better if nothing is said at all if the only words land up being trite cliché's.

I know that some of you have suffered similar losses and I'd like to ask, am I on the right track here? Am I correct in thinking that you can only start dealing with the grief of losing a baby far into your term once the sheer enormity of the grief subsides a little? I need to know because all I can offer my friend right now is someone to run to when she wants somewhere to hide, everything else just isn't enough.


Sunday, July 01, 2007

Multiple Round Robin - July Question

How do you deal with the challenges of sleep training multiples? How successful do you think that your strategy has been?

I have to admit that I'm being really selfish starting with this question because I desperately need to hear how the rest of you are doing this as my two are seriously testing our patience at the moment.

The first year was a breeze when compared to things right now especially once we introduced the following routine;

6:00pm Bath
6:20pm Dress and Bottle
6:40pm Bedtime story
7:00pm Settle them down to sleep

Generally this worked really well and we even managed to have a few nights where they slept through, for any new twin mums I strongly suggest that you try and introduce some kind of regular routine as soon as possible (even though they don't seem to take much notice of it in the first few months).

This last month has seen everything change though. Thomas is now being really headstrong and both boys seem to have decided that being in the cot = fun time! It is getting increasingly frustrating to try and get them to settle. The latest trick is for them to screech at each other just as they're about to fall asleep which starts off a whole new spate of awakeness. The last few nights it has taken us around 2 hours to settle the boys and I hate to admit it but I am fast losing all patience with it!

The only big difference is that both boys have had a bit of a cold and I'm wondering if part of the problem is that they may have an ear infection? I'd appreciate any advice in this area because neither of them have ever had one before so I don't know what the symptoms are.

Anyway, enough about me and mine, feel free (PLEASE!) to answer the question on your blog anytime during July and please link back here or leave a comment so that I can share in the love.