Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Unrealistic bologna

When I was in the hospital when Zach was born, the nurse asked me if I would have help when I got home. I wish I would have said, "no" to see what they were going to do/say about it. What were they going to do...send the nurse home with me?

Because I really could use it. Obviously I did not know what I was getting myself into by having 2 kids, and now I honestly don't know how I'm going to survive it. I feel so stuck. I feel like I'm never going to sleep again, never going to make it through a day without getting spit up on, never going to make it through a meal without Emily whining about how she wants fruit snacks, never going to leave the house again, never going to have friends again, etc., etc.

All the "experts" in some books I've been reading suggest that you do things like take a nap every day, get out of the house every day and go for a long walk by yourself, go get a massage/pedicure/or whatever regularly, have a weekly date night, hire a maid to help with the cleaning, have people help you with the cooking and grocery shopping, etc. That is a bunch of UNREALISTIC BOLOGNA!!!!!

First of all, neighbors/family/friends are super willing to help out for the first week or two by bringing over dinner or maybe taking the older sibling for a couple of hours. Don't get me wrong, that is a really big help and I'm super grateful for it, but you are still left to do everything else by yourself...with no sleep. Then after the first few weeks, you're really on your own...still with no sleep.

I'd like to know how these "experts" find the time to take a nap and go on a long walk, how they find people willing to clean, cook, grocery shop, do laundry, etc. for you, and how they have money to hire maids and babysitters and get regular massages? Seriously, the going rate for a babysitter in my neighborhood is like $6-$8 an hour!! Like I want to spend $30 just for a babysitter, on top of the price of going to a movie or dinner or whatever. And I have to reserve the family favor card for things I have to do like go to the doctor or to my sister's wedding or stuff like that. Then, I have to do things like go grocery shopping at night when the kids are asleep. I can't even manage to do the things I should do like go to the temple or the gym, let alone the things I want to do.

And speaking of doing things at night when they're the time they're in bed and we get the house and dinner cleaned up, all I want to do is lay on the couch for an hour and eat cookies (not a good idea for someone who needs to lose a bunch of baby weight) and then go to bed....only to wake up 2 hours later to a crying baby.

I know that being a mom is important, and I'm grateful for my kids (most of the time), but sometimes I want to be something besides a mom for a few minutes. I feel like "Christy" is long gone and it's just "Mommy" now. And I see no light at the end of the tunnel. And feeling trapped is a crappy way to live. And I really do feel like all these "expert suggestions" are a bunch of unrealistic bologna. :( Maybe they worked with one kid, but not with 2.

I know it won't last forever, I just hope I'll last long enough to see that day. And not be so exhausted (both physically and emotionally) in the process that I can't enjoy them now. There. Rant over.


Vermont 6 said...

Sometimes we just need to get it off our chest - way to go! I remember those days of long winters with young kids and feeling like I would never sleep's not fun, but I am here to tell you that you will sleep again!!! Yea!!! And that it will warm up and they will get older and more able to help themselves and you...hang in there and try to do something fun for yourself at least one day this week, maybe you will fee better, life is crazy, but your children are precious and you are awesome, things will turn around! Love you, wish I was near so that I could come and take them for you so you could have a break! Btw when my kids were young, my sister and I would swap kids each week, I would take all of hers one morning a week and she would take mine and on those mornings our kids became the best of friends and my sister and I got to do our shopping, errands and projects, it worked out quite well - can you do that with anyone in the area?

Tess said...

I don't know if you remember me...Kevin and Matt both worked for Dr Gorell at BYU and we met at Tucano's. So hopefully you don't think I'm a crazy stalker but I have to comment on this because I can relate! 2 kids = craziness. It does get better as they get older and gain more independence (at least the first 6 months post birth are such a fog for me until I start feeling semi-normal again). One thing that helps me is we swap babysitting with another family in our ward, so one Friday night we have their kids and the next week they have ours. They have kids the same ages as ours so we just started swapping the older kids and have recently added on the <12 month olds too.

Going anywhere to get out of the house, even with the kids, is such a breath of fresh air for everyone. Most days that just means a walk to our mailbox together, but everyone is in better spirits when we return. I try to not be in a hurry so I don't lose my patience with my toddler. We go to story time at the library, which is good for the toddler and also to get new books for me to read to her at home. I get so bored otherwise! Sometimes we'll go walk around the mall when it's cold out. Also, listening to the Pandora toddler station has led to some stress-relieveing dance partys. The first Thursday of the month I go to a book group sans kids. That does wonders for me. If I ever am not in a book group, I'll probably still reserve a night for myself when Kevin stays with the kids. I also like listening to podcasts or audio books to help keep my sanity.

That's kind of a mish mash of what is working for me at the moment. But it's definitely a struggle. You are not alone! I was kind of lamenting the other day that I didn't live it up as much when I was single, but then I thought about how my mom always looks at me with my young kids and wishes she were back in this phase. So, I try hard to enjoy the moment. Way easier said than done!

Beth said...

I switched my shopping to Saturdays now. that way I either have Roy come with me and have two extra hands, or I go by myself to just get out of the house. We go visit grandma a lot just for a change of scenery, and let them visit cousins a few days a week, otherwise Finn is a crazy wreck.

The Graham Family! said...

The transition from 1 to 2 kids was a LOT harder for me than 2 to 3. Maybe it's because Kate has been a dream baby, but either way, IT IS HARD! I had constant crying meltdowns like the first 6 months of Taylee's life. I was blessed with neighbors who would come steal Ashlyn from me for a couple hours here and there. I think Ashlyn and Taylee were spaced about the same as Zach and Emily. It was so hard trying to help ashlyn and then suddenly having a screaming baby (taylee was colicky for a while). I would just lose it! It WILL get better. I promise! This next year will be a huge year for Emily to become a lot more independent and Zach will start playing with toys. Then they'll start interacting with each other a lot more and that's a huge help. I do know how you feel tho. You are not alone! And don't feel like you could never have more than 2 kids!! Ashlyn is old enough and super helpful that it really isn't much extra work. She is actually probably more help than work and it is such a blessing! Being a mom is a hard thing sometimes but you can do it. Sounds like you need to have matt be in charge one night so you can get a REALLY good nights rest. It is so hard to think clearly and stay sane when you are exhausted!

audrey said...

I can't say that I know what you're going through, but just know that I'm sending you love! These two videos have helped me numerous times when I've felt overwhelmed/exhausted/like giving up. Our experiences are all different, but we're all tested and we all have similar emotions through those tests. You're not alone :). Love you!

Kristen Brady said...

One is hard because you have to learn to put someone else's needs in front of your own. Two is hard because you feel like you'll never have your needs met again. But, it does get better. The greatest thing a mother of five (now teenager and a little younger) kids said to me was, "It's okay to feel like it's hard, because it is!" This was a woman who I thought had it all together, always, and she confessed to really struggling when her kids were at the ages ours are. A few things that have made it more easy to deal with (at least for me):

1. Find another family in your similar situation and do a babysitting co-op. You each get a free night of babysitting, and your kids get to play. The baby won't care much, but Emmy will!

2. Figure out how often you personally need to just get out. Work it out with Matt - that will be his night. For me it's about once every two weeks. Shawn makes dinner and puts the kids to bed. He quickly realized this sacrifice on his part was completely worth it because his wife was much happier. I usually just go out. Sometimes I take myself to a movie (if we have money then), or you could go to the library and sit and read, or you could do anything - the point is you LEAVE your house ALONE!

3. Set realistic goals for yourself. I can attend the temple this often right now. How can I make that work for us? Shawn and I, sadly, don't get to go to the temple together right now, but at least we make our goal. I can work out for this long each day, or this many times a week. Don't expect the numbers to be the same as they were before kids - because that's just not realistic.

4. Finally, sit down with Matt and decide who will do what each night. For us we decided that I would make sure the dishwasher was started and he would unload the dishes in the morning. That's just one example - but spell it all out, type it up, and post it so you both remember. I don't know about you, but my adorable husband doesn't always remember things too well. However, if we came up with the ideas together, and then there's just a paper there to remind him, it helps him remember, he does more to help, and I don't feel like such a nag.

Love you Christy. I'm certainly no expert, just one year ahead on the kid journey, and I can tell you it does get better. It's always hard, but it's happier and more manageable.

Danielle said...

That's funny (okay, not funny, but coincidental) because just today I was saying to a friend who has one child that two is so much easier! :) Haha. For me it was, but I guess it's not for everyone. Hope she doesn't run out and get pregnant on my account! ;) Hang in there, it really does get easier. Sleep deprivation will do crazy things to you, but I swear...It gets better. I think that there will probably be a day when you look back and miss it. I know I do at least. I look at my boys baby pictures and long to have that time back. I miss having one on one time with them at night. I miss the smell of a babies head. I miss the cute voice of a toddler who is just learning how to talk. I miss the clumsy way they move and the way they totally and completely trust you. I am so baby hungry right now that I would give my right arm to have one. I know you are probably laughing at that at the stage of life you are in right now, but I would guess that in a few short years, when the kids are in school, you'll miss it. At least I do, terribly. Really, hang in there and don't be afraid to ask for help, because you don't want to look back on this time as a bad time. :)
Chin up!