Thursday, August 19, 2010

This and That

-- I've been feeling increasingly pissy toward H lately and it is SO not-productive to feel this way. He shuts down the second he starts to feel criticized, which only serves to frustrate me further. I hate the "Pain Olympics" as you well know, but dammit! *I* have the harder job here, and I think that entitles me to ask for help as often as I need to. And when I don't get the help I need, I think it entitles me to DEMAND it as necessary. I know that he's sensitive, but I wouldn't need to be bossy if he would occasionally offer to help.

And now I feel shitty because he really, really, really, REALLY does a lot around the house and always has. He cleans, he irons, he does the dishes, he folds laundry, vacuums, etc. I don't do any of those things with any regularity (I occasionally do the dishes and I fold laundry about half the time), but then again, he's the compulsively tidy one in this relationship.

Anyhow, I guess I just feel that if I ask him to watch a baby, that means that he should, I don't know, INTERACT with the child. If I wanted to ignore whichever child, I could do that without his help, I think. It's pretty easy: Put baby in swing. Leave the room and go work on the computer.

So yeah. I do talk to him about it, but it gets so frustrating to ask for every single individual task, to have to be so specific when I ask him for help, and then to be told I'm being bossy or aggressive(!) by being so specific.

But enough about that. I have read your comments on the topic, and I know I'm not alone in this assessment of the state of things as a mother to young children. This too shall pass eventually (I hope).

-- I had a tiny, non-cancerous (we presume) tumor removed from my arm yesterday. It's been annoying the crap out of me for a couple of years, only because it's on the outside of my arm close to the elbow and it hurts like hell every time I bump it on something. It was inconvenient to have it done at this stage in the boys' lives when I really need to freely use both hands (and when my neck/back are seriously wonky and my wrists are still suffering from the Mother's Thumb thingy), but it really needed to be done, and I just couldn't squeeze it in last summer before the IVF cycle started.

It's weird to think about last summer. After we came back from Germany, I just happened to have my annual physical scheduled, and because of that, I ended up having several annual maintenance type appointments scheduled after that (optometry, dental stuff, dermatology, etc.), and all of those appointments were squeezed in before the start of my IVF cycle, so it's now a year later and time for the next round of annual exams (the thorough dental cleaning/exam, the eyes checked, the pap smeared, whatever). And so, with each office sending me the reminders to schedule appointments, I can't help but think what a completely different place I am in now as opposed to last year. Last year at this time, I didn't even know precisely why we weren't able to conceive, or whether or not the whole RE thing would work. And now? Instant 4-person family...

-- I've been thinking a lot lately about the whole woe-is-me, this-crap-is-hard schtick that I keep repeating (here and in my head and to anyone who asks). And the fact is, yes, it's hard, but it's going to be hard whether or not I'm sitting on my bed nursing for hours on end, or if I'm at the grocery store or if I'm in the kitchen with them, or in the play room, etc. My point being that I don't have to sit in this spot right here hating how hard things are-- I can hate how hard it is in many, many different locations! And somehow, that makes it less-hard, I think. This morning, I got up, got the boys dressed, plopped them in bouncy chairs in front of me in the playroom, and then described to them in detail the purpose of each piece of laundry as I folded it. And that lasted for about 30 minutes, during which time I only managed to fold half of the laundry because I had to keep stopping to bounce or tickle or peek-a-boo the babies to keep them from sobbing (though they eventually sobbed anyway...). But! I was NOT sitting on my bed with a nursing pillow on my lap! I was not cajoling a boy into non-sob status within a five-foot radius of my bed! I was in a whole different room, and that (somehow) helped. Yes, inevitably, we ended up back here nursing (what can I say? It's easier to nurse two of them in here, and then they fall asleep and who am I to wake them, so here we sit), but it somehow just occurred to me that if they are going to scream/cry/grouse anyway, we might as well all go do it in a place where *I* am comfortable and not-bored and able to get some things done, too.

-- Along with the whole Might-As-Well-Cry-In-The-Playroom idea, I decided I also need to quit complaining about not having local friends (though JJ, I am TOTALLY going to start hounding you for a meetup, as soon as we get just a bit more into a schedule so I know when during the day the boys are least-likely to melt down... And then the rest of you NC-ers better look out, too, because I'm going to demand another NC meetup very soon!) and start reaching out to some local groups. Book Babies is GREAT, but if you've ever been to a meetup, you know that there's lots of hand movement interaction and bouncing and baby-dancing, etc. and I cannot do that by myself with two babies (though I keep trying anyway-- this week, I'll try one in the Ergo, and one on my lap). So I need other kinds of interaction.

I thought I'd check out the local MoM group again, but featuring prominently on the About Us page of their website is the note saying that the motto of the national Mothers of Twins group is "Where God Chooses The Members". And if you know me and my situation, you know why that might rub me the wrong way.

I don't want to get too far down the religious debate path (especially where faith and ART science meet), but frankly, regardless of your personal beliefs, I'd argue that science has a fair bit more to do with a majority of multiple pregnancies these days (even if God moves the hand of the scientist, to say that God chooses who has multiples or not completely discounts the fact that the RE and the patient are the ones who create the circumstance by which the multiples occur). It makes me feel as though by promoting that motto so prominently, they are essentially showing some variation on that Asshole L&D Nurse's point of view of preferring "natural" twins. And that doesn't work for me.

And joining a group where members subscribe to the notion that God chose them to have multiples just doesn't work with my personal (lack of) religious beliefs anyway. I mean, even if I did subscribe to a particular faith, it couldn't be one of a puppet-maker god who had his or her hand touching all aspects all the time of every person's life. That aspect alone is philosophically divergent from my core beliefs, even if the belief in a god were part of those core beliefs.

So. It's not that I take issue with religion or belief in God, etc., just that I don't know that I want to be part of a group that attempts to appeal only to people who would agree that they were chosen by God to have a particular path in life when I feel very firmly that God did not have anything to do with finding myself on said path. Again, that's a perfectly valid belief for plenty of people, even those who pursue ARTs, but not for me.

-- I REALLY want to have Lasik done. I am so flippin' sick of wearing glasses. The boys are apparently sick of it too, if I correctly interpret the frequency with which they rip them from my face.

-- It's probably tacky to say so, but I find it hilarious that Henr.y has learned to lift his leg when he farts. Um, toots, that is. I was informed that babies don't fart, they toot. So yeah, he "toots" like a real boy. Frickin' hilarious.

-- Tara over at Turkey In My Oven always finds the coolest stuff on the internet. Like the fact that you can have the President send a birth greeting to your child. I totally did not know this! Even though I am not Obama's hugest fan, I think it would be cool to have the card for the section of their baby book where it asks you to write about what was going on in the world when they were born: Who was President when you were born? Um, THIS guy was and he sent me a card telling me how cool it is that I was born!

Um, I think that is enough for today. What's up in your world? (Oh, and I asked it over on Facebook, but if any of you have any tips for trimming baby fingernails, please chime in and let me know. I've already cut J.ack two times so that makes twice out of two times I have attempted to use the baby nail clippers so far...)


Brandy said...

I say try the MoM group and if it turns out that you don't like it, then you'll know for sure. I totally get you on the "god blessed and picked me to have multiples" crap. I would think a lot of the mothers in the multiples group are there because of infertility treatments especially when you get to triplets and above.

I remember that I used to babysit a 2 year and newborn twins when I was 16 (what in the hell was that mother thinking letting me watch her babies along???). Her twins were "natural" fraternal twins, ie they didn't do treatments. She was not thrilled at the thought of twins at first because they only wanted two children total. One time she was complaining to me that everyone asked her if they were IVF babies. So I guess both sides get it.

I saw a woman at Costco yesterday who had identical twin girls, toddler age and how much attention she was getting. After reading so many twin blogs and seeing how it goes down in public I make sure not to fuss over multiples that I see in public. Yes they are cute and I'm totally impressed with them, but I've gotten a little insight into how incredibly hard it is and the last thing a mother of twins needs while she's grocery shopping is for me to stop and ask her stupid questions that are frankly none of my business.

But I digress.

Glad you're getting the hang of dealing with the crying even if it is being in another room while they're still crying with you.

Sue said...

It takes a while for everyone to get used to having a baby or two in the house. It's a big adjustment all around. I'd also suggest you just let H. interact, or not interact, with the babies however he may choose. I know my husband often felt like I was micromanaging how he interacted with our baby. Dads have different styles than Moms do and that's just something you have to learn to accept (even if you still think your way is better). My husband had a tendency to sit in front of the computer with the baby. Not exactly my style, but whatever. One day I will be able to send them out on camping trips together while I stay home and enjoy having the house to myself.

Rachel said...

Cutting nails is my least favorite task. My serious suggestion is: don't. Make H do it while they are nursing. The only way we can get the fusspot's cut decently is if she is thoroughly distracted.

Anonymous said...

Wanna trade husbands? Seriously. Though I doubt mine would notice. I hope your H has a much less steep learning curve than Nav.

Sounds like you conquered one of your demons. Nothing like a change of scenery (even if it's the same couch you've sat on a million times before) to get a different view on things. And laundry is the best distraction ever. Still works at 9.5-months.

Wow, that MoMs group sounds...special. Even as someone who has "natural" twins after infertility, I don't believe I was chosen for anything. In fact, if it weren't for my infertility and wonky egg dividing in half, then I wouldn't even have twins. I'd still give them a test drive and hope that's more of a corporate philosophy versus the actual feelings of the group.

Just wait, glasses are not the worst of it. My boys can pick my nose. Yes, it's as lovely as it sounds. Glasses, hair, jewelry, strings on pants, it's all fair game. And annoying. And painful.

My fingernail cutting advice is to use adult clippers not baby ones. Those are way too small and not sharp enough (they seem to tear at the nails not cut them). Also I sit the boys in my lap facing out. Easier for them to look around and it feels more natural that way for me.

Thanks for the comments and shoutout. It is nice to know someone out there is feeling similarly.

jill said...

Change in scenery is definitely important. I know it's not the same but when I work from home, if I sit in one spot all day while I'm on the computer, I feel like crap. Expecially if I don't even get dressed. If I get up and move around a little in between working - take a shower, get dressed, get lunch and eat away from the computer, etc, I feel much better.

Sorry about the husband discontent - it makes it so hard that women usually want to talk about it and men usually want nothing to do with the talking.

A card from the president (even if it is a little cheesy) would be awesome to have for their baby books! You should totally do that :)

Kait said...

Mi.Vida and I are working through similar issues, but unlike in your house, in mine Mi.Vida does next to nothing. That isn't entirely true, the kitchen is his domain. He deals with the groceries, our CSA box, and the cooking. He also does a lot of "straigtening up" in there. He does not do a lot of cleaning and we probably share dishes duty, but the kitchen is basically his responsibility. I do everything else. I've been trying to figure out how to balance asking him to help out with the baby when he comes home. The reality is, Isa prefers me. She will scream for ages with him then just stop with me. He's still not completely comfortable with her and I think she sense that. He also hates hearing her cry and is anxious to give her to me when she does. So it's been hard. When he does have her, and she is in a good mood, he's GREAT with her, playing and engaging with her all over the place. But he's also very tired when he gets home and it's hard to figure out if I should ask him for help. I know he's worked all day too, just like me, and it seems unfair to throw her on him so I can take a break. He hasn't had a break either... I don't know. I'm working through it in therapy. If I figure anything amazing out I'll let you know. I don't expect it to get much better anytime soon and I'm TERRIFIED for how it will be when I go back to work, but for now I'm just trying to be patient. We shall see.

Beth-Anne said...

It'll get easier, hormones are a bitch! On the Lasik. I've heard that you should be at least 6 months postpartum. Check with your doctor.

VA Blondie said...

I had similar thoughts about my Hubby when I was post partum, too. And my Hubby was also a star around the house. I think some of it is normal, and will likely pass as you figure things out. I finally had to let go and let him do it the way he wanted to. I was at least getting a break!

I do not clip baby nails. I file them down when baby is sleeping. I am too afraid of nicking the baby.

Ellen K. said...

Huh. The local MoM group here doesn't have anything along religious lines, but that hasn't stopped me from not joining them because of their snotty membership policies.

I remember one night, when the girls were less than 6 months old, I went to book club and D. stayed home. When I got home, all he did was b*tch about how he wasn't able to work on iDVD and watch the girls at the same time. No sh*t, Sherlock.

My best friend says that she wants to leave her husband within 3 months of each baby's birth. It's standard. But it sucks.

SassyMama said...

Like VA Blondie, I have always filed the triplets' nails, and only recently started clipping. So consider the nail file instead of clippers for a while...

And I am glad you are finding small ways to make your days a bit better. Sometimes even a temporary change in scenery can do a mother good:)

the Babychaser: said...

I'm way too busy to write more than one comment, though I have a million responses. But I'll leave it at this: I have cut the tip off of a finger of each baby, and my solution to the problem is that I don't do the trimming at all. J does it. And I can't even be in the room for it. Freaks me out.

Check out the MOM group. The slogan probably was designed by someone a long time ago who thought it was funny and no one else has noticed or cared. (You know I TOTALLY get you on the religion thing.) Even if you don't like them, I GUARANTEE you'll get access to a lot of great cast-off gear and clothing.

Gotta run. More work.

Anonymous said...

so. i'm late. just catching up after vacation.

sounds like lots of stuff is going on!

you are my hero taking the kids out by yourself. i STILL don't do that. i'm scared shitless to do that! seriously. people say that it gets easier....i'm waiting for that to happen. college?

i remember the stage when i had to tell B that he needed to PAY attention to the kids, not just sit on the computer. it was tough, but finally got through :) lol.

you could try the MoM group. my group changed it's name here to not be associated with the national group as much. wonder if the whole "god's plan" thing is why? hmmmm....

missed reading you. xoxo!

Anonymous said...

also: can you pls send the link for the president thing? i can't open tara's page. i'm not cool enough to be an invited reader :)

JJ said...

Just got back from a week away with Mook--so I definitely plan on getting some ideas together for us NC bloggers--AND for you and I to get together--I know schedules are hard! Once you think you have one, it will change :) Ill be emailing you soon!