Monday, April 22, 2013

What Will the Neighbors Think?

When Joe and I were dating, I was in the process of buying a new (to me) car. We were out to lunch with his parents and we got on the topic of cars and what we did drive, what we have driven and what we would want to drive. His dad confided in me that he had always wanted to get a (fill in the blank, because I can't remember for the life of me) car but never did, because what would people think?

Let me preface this by saying that my in-laws are good, hard-working people. My father-in-law has had a long military career and has been a teacher for over 20 years. I remember thinking, how stupid? Why would you not buy something that you want, that you can afford because of what someone else might think about it?

I get it now.

There are days that are so long, and so hard, with three babies that I have come to resent my life and where it is right now. I know it is temporary. And please, if you are struggling with IF, please know that I know how lucky I am and that you would trade places with me in a heartbeat. I am not meaning to sound ungrateful. But life. is. hard.

We had another music class today. When it was time to leave, Ryan laid face down on the floor and wouldn't move. Reese refused to wear shoes, again, and though she was standing, she wouldn't walk. Lola is no longer content to just sit in a car seat and sleep for an hour, but if I take her out and hold her during our activities the twins get wild. Whether that's from knowing I don't have a free hand to lasso them in or jealousy, I really have no idea. With three classes left, I don't know whether to suck it up and keep going or just skip the last three altogether. What I do know is that I get in my car on Monday afternoons, after running around like a crazy person to get out the door and then taking them to this activity, and I think to myself, I fucking hate my life. Really, that is my exact inner monologue.

There are parts of life that are amazing. Like yesterday when we brought the twins to a toddler amusement park and I got to watch them ride the carousel. Or last Friday, when I took them outside to paint and they painted together and played so nicely. Or this morning when Reese leaned in and gave Ryan a kiss for absolutely no reason.

But the beauty right now is often buried under 60 loads of laundry, a sink that is never empty, a house that is always disheveled, a bill that I somehow forgot to pay, errands that I avoid running because I would have to go to a store with three babies alone. The list goes on and on. Each night we put the kids down to bed at 8 p.m. and we spend the next 2+ hours cleaning, folding, sorting, paying, sweeping. At 11 p.m. we sit down to watch the news and go to bed. We are tired. I am tired.

Joe and I were talking the other day and I told him that I feel like we have nothing to look forward to. Does that make sense? Before we had kids, we would work our asses off (in a completely different way) and there would always be some sort of carrot that would serve as motivation. A vacation, saving up for something big, I don't even remember what else motivated us anymore because it's inconsequential. But we felt motivated. Our lives now feel robotic. We are so swamped that sometimes we don't get to take advantage of the beautiful moments with our family, and with each other, because life gets in the way.

I started freelancing again at the beginning of the month and I am taking a few classes as I start to get things in order to start my own business. With our marriage hanging in the balance, I need to start working again. To know that, if push comes to shove, I can provide for our family alone. What this means is that the little free time (me time) I had before is all but gone. This move is a good thing for me, in so many ways. But it also means that I'm stretched thinner than I maybe have ever been.

Tonight we sat down and evaluated our finances and our lives to see if we can afford to hire an au pair. To even type that is hard for me. Because what will people think?

Will they think I can't parent my kids? Or that I don't want to? That I'm lazy? Or hoity toity? It overwhelms me.

I love my babies more than anything in this world. I want to provide for them. But more than that, I want to be present for them. I want to be able to put down my chores and sit with them and read the same book seven times, without looking at the clock knowing that I need to get dinner started or laundry folded. I want to connect with my husband before we fall down exhausted on the couch.

I don't even know if this is a path we will go down. There are a lot of moving pieces to consider and some other things that need to happen first. The idea of another set of hands is almost too good to be true. Maybe by the time we readied ourselves for that kind of help, we'd already be over the hardest part? I have no idea.

All I know is I'm exhausted. I miss my kids. I miss my husband. I miss myself.

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