Putting it All on the Table

I’m taking a deep breath & opening up today. I’m admitting that I’m struggling a bit. I’m having a harder time than I’d like to believe. Is it delayed PPD/PPA {don’t think so}, just rage, loneliness or my newborn rose colored glasses wearing off?

Conversations more often than we like start & end between the husband & I with sarcasm, tension & defensiveness. Even silly non-essential ones. Our guest bedroom has been used more than I’d like to admit due to sickness {the real kind & the sick-of-each-other kind} in the weeks since his CA trip.

I’m less than okay with the entire paragraph above. But I’m not sure where to go or what to do about it. We have different parenting styles but that usually works out- I’m laid back, he can be a worrying helicopter. We level each other out in that department.

I know I’m partly to blame for all the rage that spouts out when things aren’t going my way or aren’t going as planned. I’ve always been someone who likes to be in control.

I strongly dislike sickness & sleepless nights. By now, I should be used to them. I don’t do well on little sleep or when hungry. I’ve also found I don’t like having to be a nag or repeat myself for things to get done. I also don’t do well cooped up inside for an entire day.

Week before last, Lucy had a stomach bug & J started getting a man cold. Man cold got worse with added sore throat last week. Dr said not strep Thurs. Add in temps over 101 all weekend for him & both Lucy & Zach not sleeping through the night all week. Oh & throw in a blister/crack on my nipple that causes me to yelp upon any contact to it aka nursing or pumping. Mix that all together & you have a houseful of tired, grumpy adults & kiddos making a great recipe for a rainbow, joy-filled weekend {insert sarcasm}.

The blister makes me want to throw in the towel on pumping/nursing. But it’s the only thing that gets them back to sleep {sorta} quickly in the middle of the night. What do parents who don’t nurse do? Heat bottles? Rock/walk babes back to sleep? We’re only planning to keep up the formula/breast milk for another month, so I’ll need to figure this out too.

I posted before on co-sleeping & how we like it. Now I’m starting to resent it. I don’t resent the extra cuddles, but I can’t say I love sharing my pillow or getting kicked in my sore boob all night. Or that Z hasn’t wanted to nap in his own crib anymore & both fight like hell sometimes in the middle of the night. Plus, it’s another excuse why husband & I aren’t co-sleeping: our bed full of babies so he escapes to guest room. Or we separate bedrooms each with an overtired, fussy kid hoping it buys us an hour of sleep.

We had a break with family help just two weekends ago at the beach. It was a good weekend besides me raging a bit over a lost Lucy beach hat & MIA beach quilt {both eventually discovered}.

I often feel like I’m on my own even though I know I’m not. I know & appreciate the fact that my husband & family are way more involved than so many other multi-mommas have it. That said, I still often feel like I’d love to run away. Like I need a break more than anything else even though I get one while at work & escaped to a beautiful baby shower Sat morning. And when I am away from them, I miss my babies & husband something fierce. It’s like I’ve forgotten how to have conversation not about them {maybe also why I feel out of the loop with my friends?!}

It doesn’t help that a baby or husband being sick or out of town has stopped me from being able to attend the last few girls’ night gatherings I’ve been included on. Maybe I wouldn’t be furiously typing this if I’d had a place to share my feelings over margaritas.

I don’t want a divorce or broken family. My husband is the best daddy, & I think J is ridiculously handsome & don’t want to be having disagreements with anyone else. I don’t want to run away or be away from Z & L for long.

I do want fun, family days- trips to the beach without stress & tension, afternoons at the park or just on the back deck with their baby pool & water table. I’d like a date night with hand holding & eating baby-free. A girls’ night {or dare I wildly dream, weekend} where I don’t have to worry about my three at home. Am I crazy? Am I asking too much?

Family, no need to worry & call. I’m okay. We’re okay. Just needed to vent & get this off my chest. I already feel better just from online support.

12 comments

  1. Beth Anne says:

    Oh, Suz.

    If everyone were this honest, I think we’d all admit to having these feelings & stages in life. Parenting is hard. Marriage is hard. Two parents in a marriage? Whoa, nelly. It’s a complete shift in the relationship & a really hard adjustment. (makes you kind of ::blank stare:: anyone who wants to have a baby to “save a marriage,” right?!)

    What I always tell myself is that “it’s just a season.” Not to discount the frustrations or brush off the need to work on them, but as a reminder & a hope that things will be better. Things will be worse. Life ebbs & flows & so do relationships. I know that if I work hard, if I keep my chin up & keep moving forward, I’ll be out of this season soon.

    & so will you.

    Also, let’s plan that girls weekend. I think we all need it.

  2. Megan W says:

    I feel you on so many levels. It is so, so hard, and I only have one. And the part no one tells you about having babies? The disease. We’ve been sick with a horrible stomach bug all weekend and I literally did not step foot outside the house for four days, only to get to leave today and go to work (although I was happy to do that and feel semi-normal again!). I don’t have any advice, just wanted to say that you’re not alone and I also truly believe in “this too shall pass.” It will pass and as long as we make sure to take care of ourselves in the meantime we’ll be fine, right? Right?? :)
    Megan W recently posted..Ava: 8 Months

    • Suz says:

      Oh the sickness! I heard of it before kids but like so many other things its so different experiencing it. I’m thankful for my rock stomach & immune system & hoping it wears off on Z & L soon.

      Thanks for your comment. And yes, this too shall pass!

  3. Gassmama says:

    I just wanted to say that you are not alone. When it’s great it’s great, and sometimes it’s just hard. You admitted and wrote what we all go through. Just want you to know I am hear to listen whenever you need to talk/write.

  4. Laura Case says:

    Hey I hope you don’t think I’m this pushy twin mom who’s always like “been there, done that” but… we found the second year with twins to be the absolute hardest year on our marriage. We had/have an awesome marriage but that was year was BRUTAL. We were like roommates, roommates who griped at each other, only really spending time together eating dinner in front of the tv once the boys were in bed.

    After the first 8-9 months, the feeling of “we need to stick together because preemie twins are SO HARD” just goes away and you’re exhausted. Working all day, evenings filled with babies, sleepless nights, and unending illness. Constantly more on the to-do list. My boys’ first year in the toddler room they were just as sick because we had two babies walking around sharing germs.

    Anyway talking about it with other twin moms, they all experienced the same thing. We were so focused on the babies the first year because we HAD to be that we lost a little of our connection. So we just had to talk about it and work on our marriage. We stopped watching tv after bedtime and talked. We made a plan for who would get up with the boys and when. We made a plan so each of us would get a full night of sleep. We started planning dates. It wasn’t fun to have those conversations but they were necessary for the long haul.

    As for your specifics on the nursing at night time, we decided to CIO to break any sleep associations they had with feeding to sleep. Our thought process was that they already wake up every.single.night and cry, why not limit the crying to a couple of nights? It was like a reset button – to get them sleeping in their own cribs, soothing themselves to sleep, and soothing themselves when they wake up. Then when they were sick and cried, we knew they really needed us. It’s not for everyone though. We NEEDED the sleep for us, for our marriage, for our happiness.

    Also, between Jon’s travel and the kids, I found it incredibly difficult to get out of the house. Instead I hosted girlfriends at my place. It led to a group of 6 of us who get together every other week at our houses for the last 5 years. Again, not that this is for everyone, but we had to be creative about the new life we had.

    Hang in there mama. It truly does get better.

    (Because this comment is so long, I won’t get into how Jon travels, always has, is gone right now, and how hard those transitions can be between “Laura in charge” and “Jon’s home” are! But feel free to email me offline!)
    Laura Case recently posted..Old friends

    • Suz says:

      Never ever write/say/think you’re the pushy twin mom! I love hearing your twin mom experience & look forward to & hope you continue to add your much wanted two cents.

      I see why you’d say year two is different harder. I laugh as we sit here watching TV, playing on our phones & barely talking.

      I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a few weeks of no sickness before we transition to whole milk.

      I think we’ll be starting modified CIO shortly to get them unused to nursing back to sleep. Right now, they won’t sleep through the other crying, so there’s that.

      Thanks again. Oh & I feel you {in a very small version} on the travel. For the two weeks J was gone & my dad was here, what I said went. While easier with him back in a lot of ways, it was definitely an adjustment going back to coparenting.

  5. Kristi says:

    I think just putting it out there is a great start to improving things. We have two- an almost 4 yr old and an almost 2 yr old. Things are just starting to get easier. Kids are tough on a marriage period. I don’t care how great each person is…. two more people with needs is just plain hard. Some nights we talk. Some nights we don’t speak. But I have learned that communicating makes everything easier.

    I thrive on sleep so at 6 months with my second and still nursing we did CIO. I felt like I could handle anything if I got a solid stretch of sleep. It was rough for two nights but we are all still sleeping I am happy to report which makes anything tolerable.

    Maybe start with a date night, then a night away for you and then maybe a weekend once you get them sleeping… baby steps.

    Also, I think you have to carve out “me” time for both you. Maybe it won’t be a weekend away but if that is the gym for an hour or coffee and a book you each need that time doing something you want. We both go to the gym once on the weekends and NOT during nap time. Nap time we both do what we want.

    Lastly, Laura is spot on. The second year of daycare is no better. I think until they are 2ish and things stop going in their mouths and the drool stops, the illness will continue. It is one of the negatives of daycare. Just a warning.

    You can do this. I know it. And those babies and Jason are lucky to have a mama so open about her feelings… hang in there!
    Kristi recently posted..Is it a Phase? Please say YES!

  6. Diana says:

    I love the refreshing honesty you bring out there. I remember feeling like this at the end of Bella’s first year. I went to my doctor and dumped it all on her. The best thing she said was, “Uouve had a hard two year. Hard pregnancy, hard birth, hard year with a sick baby (severe reflux). So really – try to remember you’ve been in two years of a almost constant high stress situation.”
    Suz – you have even more. And I know you “know” this, but maybe validation from another mama watching and reading might help a little too! You’ve had several years of high emotions and worry and stress. You and Jason have been through amazingly hard times. Just because they turned out well doesn’t mean that stress in getting there didn’t take a toll on you both.
    It’s hard – I never could wrap my head around the stress two would bring. I admire you for doing SO much with them this past year. I don’t have any advice but that most of us go through this and to really give yourselves that time to reconnect and catch up from a pretty crazy few years past.
    Oh. And I’ll be there soon for play dates. :) So really. That will help. ;)
    Diana recently posted..One Year of She Reads Truth

  7. Diana says:

    Also I’m sorry for the horrendous typos. I’m on my phone. O_o
    Diana recently posted..One Year of She Reads Truth

  8. JayB says:

    tl;dr – marriage and kids are a lot of work.

    Try to make sure that you aren’t adding to it in the form of self-inflicted problems.

    Happy Father’s Day to me.

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