18 January 2013

Don't Get Me Wrong

This is about Laura and being busy. Most of the sentences start with "I." You've been warned.

I'm not complaining. This is mostly an observation. I'm not really a "time to myself" person. I'm more of a ten minutes to myself" person.

I prefer to be in the company of my children. They are my life's work. I enjoy (almost) every moment. It's time that flies by far too quickly, so we try to cherish it. I think part of the reason the big family comments irk me is because I truly enjoy what I'm doing. I'm not stopping my life to raise children. Raising children is GIVING life. Telling me I've had too many children is sort of like saying, "Listen Shakespeare, don't you think you've written enough great works? You're done after this one, right?" Each person we bring to this Earth takes time, effort, physical toil, spiritual work and much dedication. Don't tell me that it's not worth it. It's a labor of love, and I think that I'm finally starting to understand that phrase.

But with one month of twin-time under my belt, I have yet to meet someone in my exact situation, and yet I find many people who want to offer unsolicited advice. I don't really mind, because no two families are alike. For me as the mom of this family, I am not completely shocked to find that I have less than 10 minutes a day to myself. I am putting off twelve different "should be doing"s right now because I know that I will want this time recorded years down the road. (Are you happy now, Laura?)

Here is a typical morning thirty-minute span for us right now. Let's say it's 7am. That 30-minute span is usually pretty constant right now.

7a: Lucy is eating breakfast, cereal that she poured herself with our new cereal system. Everybody is on their own for breakfast and we've made it so that Lucy can pour her cereal and milk and then do Molly's and Claire's if we need her to. Let me just bullet from here.

  • Baby is crying. Get baby out of crib, change diaper and usually change into outfit #1 for the day. Stick paci in or hand off to Daddy who is 15 minutes from leaving for school drop-off and work. 
  • Claire is up. Grab Claire, cup, blankie and paci from crib and deposit on couch. New milk, new diaper, maybe some dry cereal, Disney Junior.
  • Pacify baby
  • Lucy's hair needs to be done. Delegate to Daddy because Baby #2 is crying. Pacify Baby #1 on the way. Daddy does hair and packs his own lunch. Rocks Baby #1 for a minute and then gets his stuff together.
  • Pick up Baby #2 - change, pacifier. Pacify Baby #1
  • Molly is done with breakfast, send her to couch with Claire.
  • Pacify both babies. 
  • Finish getting Lucy's stuff together. Yell, "shoes! coat!" several times. 
  • Pacify babies.
  • Daddy and Lucy out the door, Stone into the backyard. Pacify both babies and put an English muffin in toaster. Chug a glad of milk and fill water cup. Grab both babies (stacked on top of one another) and land on couch to tandem nurse. Push Claire off lap repeatedly while she attempts to steal pacis. 
  • Nurse babies, and change/diaper babies again. Make breakfast for Claire, put Claire in her highchair, rock babies while I'm running back and forth. Molly is ready for her second breakfast. 
  • Find English muffin. Put it in microwave. Pacify babies and hope they fall asleep.
That's pretty standard. Lots and lots and lots of back and forth tasks. I should be wearing a pedometer. Pick one baby up, put the other baby down, switch. It's just standard newborn stuff, but doubled and piled on top of three other young children.

What's getting me, though, is the fact that I have absolutely no time to do anything but take care of the kids and the house. I don't think I'm really falling short, as they're my number one responsibility, but I have zero time for texting, Facebooking, emailing or chatting. So I've essentially lost most of my contact with the outside world. I really don't mind at all, but I'm getting a lot of emails and texts and phone calls wondering what's wrong. Nothing is WRONG. I'm treading water, people! You can't swim and type an email at the same time! I'm having fun doing what I'm doing, definitely, but I have to stay pretty focused right now. I think that my friends and family assume that silence on my end means something is wrong, but it really just means that my time is like precious gold right now. I am literally doing something every minute of the day lately. My hands are actually very, very full! I am trying to spend about 5 minutes each night answering emails, but sometimes I fall asleep doing that. (The babies seem to be getting into a routine of sorts, but I'm still in recovery somewhat, so I can fall asleep almost anywhere these days!) 

So, if you've attempted to contact me and I haven't responded yet, I will. Someday. Please don't be mad at me. My vocation has to come first and right now I'm pretty much cloistered. Another few months and things will be a little bit better. Until then, we're sort of on our own in Texas, trying to manage a tribe. We gladly accept playdates and lunch dates and would love to have ANYONE over to play and visit, but try to go easy on us when it comes to meeting up for early morning dates. It takes us quite awhile to get out of the house and I'm in that phase where I have to nurse two babies before they go into their seats. You can imagine what a 20-month-old and a 3-year-old can do AFTER you've dressed them and BEFORE you've strapped them into their carseats, so much of our preparation for getting out of the house means doing things twice. And with two diaper bags and two infant carriers to get into the car, it usually takes me about 45 minutes to get everyone assembled IF we've made plans ahead of time. That might not seem like a lot, but that's up quite a bit from our 20 minutes out the door on a good day. 

So yeah, it's usually just easier to stay home. It's a bit of a sacrifice for a very social person like myself, but even I can appreciate that sometimes it just doesn't make sense to do so much work for so little reward! I think that most of this stems from the fact that getting newborns into carseats is my own personal version of Hell. 

And now I've just talked about myself and my own little situation for far too long, and somewhere in this house is a baby who needs something. 

1 comment:

Lisa Marie said...

Haha well I think you are awesome and you are my hero Laura! Yes I cannot even IMAGINE THE LEVEL OF BUSY you are at, and the babies are still so new I'd say stay put as much as you can at home and just try to rest (haha) nd enjoy this time as much as you can. You being "absent" from comp stuff doesn't make us assume something is wrong at all... Michael and I just assumed you're all very busy! We just love you and miss you! Wish there was more we could do t help but we are praying for you!