So my posts have been pretty sappy lately, all cutesy pictures and I’m-so-lucky gushing. These posts are not untrue but they certainly don’t paint a complete picture. Of course there are hard parts. Some stuff is really fucking hard. And I haven’t written much about any of that yet, but I’m going to soon.
I already have half of a post written on what a difficult transition this has been for Osita. I want to finish it and post it but I’m struggling with whether or not it’s my story to tell. I’m not sure yet if it will see the light of day. I’m just not sure how to tackle the issue of her story vs mine, especially when they are so intricately intertwined.
Not surprisingly there are also stories of breastfeeding woes. The only way I’ve gotten through the last ten days is on a steady dose of 400mg of ibuprofen twice daily. I’m having oversupply issues again and I’m terrified that it will cause me to get thrush. I really don’t know if I can battle that horrible shit again.
And of course there is the pure, unadulterated exhaustion. Having a newborn and a pre-schooler is a totally different ballgame. There are so few times to sleep, especially now that Monito isn’t passed out 20 hours a day. I can’t tell you how soul crushing it is to finally get him back to sleep at 7am and crawl into bed, only to hear Osita call out that she wants me to come get her. It has made me cry on more than one occasion.
On top of the exhaustion is a feeling of isolation. Today, per Osita’s million requests this week, we went to the Discovery Museum with Mi.Vida’s parents. Mi.Vida kept hanging out with his mom and dad while I was in a different spot with Osita. I realized half way through the day that I was really resentful of being left alone with her. I spend so much time by myself (with my children but not with adults)–the long nighttime hours drag by especially slowly and are incredibly lonely–that I crave adult conversation when I can have it. I finally confronted Mi.Vida about it today and I kind of lost it for a minute. It wasn’t until then that I realized how lonely I’d been feeling.
Ironically, the lonely feeling seems to be compounded by the fact that I never seem to get a moment to myself. The truth is that when both kids are both home I never get a moment’s rest. Whenever I’m not feeding or tending to Monito, I’m with Osita. She needs as much mommy time as she can get so the minute I can hand off my baby boy I’m with my little girl. Mi.Vida gets down time when Monito is sleeping and I’m with Osita, but I never get a moment like that. And when I do–during the afternoon nap or in the two hours between when Osita is asleep and I usually go to sleep–I usually end up crashing myself. It leaves very little time for reading blogs, let alone commenting or writing my own posts. After the six days of Osita being home (due to her stomach flu and then the weekend) I felt completely cut off from myself. I’m sure the postpartum hormones weren’t helping much. Sometimes I feel panicked that I’ll never get a chance to find that quiet space I so desperately need. I don’t know when I’ll manage to see my friends because I know Osita will have a hard time if I go away on a weekend. I’m sure things will calm down in the next weeks or months and I will carve out some space for myself, but right now it can feel suffocating.
Thank god for Osita’s school. I don’t know how SAHMs do it, seriously. I so cherish those six hours of uninterrupted time with Monito. That is when we get to cuddle and snuggle and gaze into each other’s eyes. And it’s when we get things done. That sizable chunk of my day represents freedom and I have to admit, I revel in it. I don’t know what I’d do if I were home all day long with both of them.
At this point I spend about two hours alone with both kids in the morning and three to five hours in the afternoon/evening (depending on whether Mi.Vida comes home in time for Osita’s dinner and bedtime). Those hours are definitely chaotic but I’m learning how to manage them both. I’m lucky that Monito seems to be a pretty chill little guy and he’s willing to spend some time in the swing with a binki, plus he loves to be worn in the Moby. Slowly but surely I’m learning how to get it all done when I’m on my own, which is good because Mi.Vida’s night schedule gets crazy again next week and I’ll be putting them both to bed by myself four out of the five days.
Of course, for every difficult moment there are also incredible silver linings. Tonight Mi.Vida had dinner and drinks with a friend who is in from out of town and I had to bathe Osita and put her to bed by myself with the baby at home. While breastfeeding on the toilet was not my favorite experience, and I felt horrible when we got out of the shower to hear Monito screaming in his swing, reading books with both my babies was pretty amazing.
I suppose that is what parenting has always been about, the high highs and low lows. And now it’s all just amplified, multiplied, bigger and more stringent.
As Mi.Vida keeps reminding me, this is what I signed up for. He’s right. And I never regret it, not for a second.
But that doesn’t mean that sometimes it’s not really fucking hard.