Friday, September 9, 2011

Get the Balance Right

When HN left our family, I panicked. I posted an ad for a nanny and the sheer amount of responses I received left me overwhelmed. As a slogged through them (over 200) and did a couple of interviews, the weeks kept passing.

Me and the kids. Figuring it all out. It was a lot, sure, but I was doing it. There was a feeling of pride that finally, I was doing this--I could do it alone.
Chicken was also able to help from time to time. Her work was flexible enough that she could take an hour or two in the afternoon and either give me a break or we'd go out and do something together and then she's work in the evening.

The summer continued. The boys were getting easier. The one-on-one time we spent and the message they got from ONLY me was really soaking in. They were better at listening and doing what I asked them to do and NOT doing what I asked them not to do. They didn't run away as often when outside. Things started to click, really click. Taking them to the playground was fine. It was all going OK.

But still, around 4pm, I needed a break most days. And as the summer went on I started to get antsy when Chicken couldn't take them out because she was too busy. I started to get short tempered and I found myself yelling at them a few times. That was horrible. I wasn't having as much fun. I hadn't had any time off to do anything. My to-do list just kept growing. I was exhausted and for the first time in my life I started to feel stiff and old when I woke up in the morning.
I had no time to get to the doctor or the dentist or anything that my double stroller couldn't fit through the door.
When Chicken could take them for an hour or by the time they went to bed, I either had to cook or I just wanted to sit/lay down and do nothing.

I remember one day Chicken asked me if I could "vacuum and mop on my break". I thought I would kill her. I did neither.

And then, by the end of July, Chicken started working non-stop. No more breaks, no more Chicken help. She worked all day and all night.
And my meds...well, I wasn't feeling so great anymore. It was a nice 6 month Vitamin Z run, but I had to up my dosage and admit that I couldn't do it all.

Finally, after 3 months of doing it solo (because while Chicken tried to do as much as possible, I certainly did feel at times that I was a single mother raising twins PLUS cooking, cleaning and shopping for another adult as well), I felt like I was cracking.

We have zero family help around us and there aren't any friend knocking at our door offering their services. I needed a nanny. I needed to do something for me. I needed a bit of time for Puff. And holy crap do I feel guilty about that. I feel like I should be able to do this by myself and not complain and not crack and just get it all done--perfectly.
I can't.
I also feel guilty that we are in a position where this is an option for us when it's not for most. I never saw my life this way and sometimes I feel very undeserving. I used to be the one taking care of someone's kids and cleaning their house and now I hire "me". It's weird.

I need to enjoy my kids and provide a good and loving example for them. I need to be a loving wife and supportive partner. I need to take better care of myself.

The other day I came home to find my hair only 1/2 in a ponytail, blood smeared on my forehead and my tits hanging out of my shirt because it had been pulled so far down by one of the kids. Oh, and I only had one sock on (that part I knew, but didn't want to run to the bedroom to find the other one). In a nutshell, I'm a hot mess. I didn't think I'd ever take the garbage to the hallway looking like this, let alone go OUT for hours and SEE other people. I'm skinny and I've got nice cleavage. That's about the only thing I've got going for me right now. I don't have any photos of me with the kids because I HATE the way I look. That has to change.

So, two weeks ago when Chicken had worked 22 days straight--I found a part time nanny. She's not hot, but she's awesome. She only speaks Spanish to the kids and they are already asking for "mas". She helps me out in the kitchen and cooking and cleaning and the kids laugh and play with her. She can handle both of them outside and asks all the right questions.

But the best is that I am enjoying my kids again at 4pm and at 6pm and again the next day at 9am because at 9am MsP is in the kitchen cleaning up the breakfast mess and all I have to do is play with my kids instead of trying to do it all while they want Mommy and they want to go outside, etc. It's awesome.

And, as Chicken said last night "between the meds and the nanny, you're so much nicer again". Which I'm pretty sure is a nice way to say, "I'm glad you aren't such a bitch anymore".

It's all about getting the balance right.

Hopefully you'll be seeing a bit more of me around here. I sure do miss you and I miss writing.


Marcia (123 blog) said...

I miss you!!!!!!!!!!!!

So glad you got MsP and that the boys love her.

I'd love to know how you decided on her though, esp after all that talk earlier this year :)

The boys are looking all kinds of cute - sooo big.

Amy said...

Good for you! I did almost 15 months alone with my boys, and I'm exhausted. I started back at work part time this week, and we got a 2 day a week Nanny. Boy was I shocked to come home from work to find a clean house and 2 smiling boys!

I hope your Nanny works out for you, and I hope mine works out for me...

Next in Line said...

That is fantastic that you found your balance again. With chicken working much somethings gotta give and an extra pair of hands sounds just right.

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear your voice again and thrilled to hear that you are feeling more balanced. Yay for the Nanny!

Anonymous said...

happy things are on the up and up. it's always nice to hear what you and the boys are up to. glad you were able to see things need to change... sometimes that is the hardest part!
and i'm pretty sure that is what i look like just about everyday :-)

eeny meany said...

I'm so relieved for you that you found a way to have time for nurturing yourself. I can't imagine what it's been like juggling it all. You've been a machine! I hope the goodness continues.

chroniclesofconception said...

I'm so happy to hear you're going to take some time for's so important and it is SO easy to neglect yourself with young kiddos. I know all too well. Going to the dentist tomorrow after 3 years. Absurd! The new nanny sounds fab...looking forward to reading more great updates to come!!

Anonymous said...

I think finding any kind of balance with young children is about the hardest aspect of motherhood. I'm so glad you've found a nanny (who sounds fabulous) and that you're getting that headspace. It's so much easier to be a better parent--hell, a better person--when we have some breathing room. Enjoy!

Marilia said...

Oh the guilt that follows us everywhere. If we can´t do it all by ourselves, if we have help, if we want some time alone, if we have more than many others... I still haven´t learned to deal with the guilt, and now a child expert says that our children can sense our guilt and feel that it´s their fault, and therefore they feel guilty too! So we have to learn to feel secure even if just for the sake of our children. Where is the blueprint for this? (sorry, just venting a bit, that´s what blogs are for too, right?)

Good to know you have some help and can enjoy yourself and take care of yourself. It´s hard to use the word ¨ourselves¨ when caring for children, but so necessary. It should be in the everyday to do list.