Friday, August 31, 2012

You Know You Are a Parent of Twins When

Knowing that there are a few fellow twin moms who read this blog, I couldn't resist sharing this link from Twiniversity (a national twin parents' organization).  I could definitely relate to quite a few of these, especially the ones below.

You know you are a parent of twins when:
  • you buy everything in bulk, diapers, wipes, baby bottles, etc… (Amazon and Costco get a lot of business from us these days)
  • no one can ride in your car because the car seats take up all the room
  • you shop on-line just to avoid taking the twins to the store (yes, and also, MM and I almost always stagger our errands to avoid taking the boys to any stores.  They're 7 months old and have been to the grocery store once and never to Tar.get, Costco or BRU.)
  • perfect strangers ask if you have had fertility treatments (unlike a lot of twin moms, this question doesn't offend me in the least, and I always happily respond "Yep!")
  • you suddenly find yourself feeding two babies with the same spoon (I've done this but I more often feed them simultaneously with a spoon in each hand.  And no, I'm not ambidextrous, so the baby getting fed with the left hand gets a little messier than his brother.)
  • you know what the word “singleton” means (Ha!  As a nurse, I knew what this meant before twins, but still worth a chuckle)

Thursday, August 30, 2012

I need a wife

Note: This may or may not be genuine; see Snopes.  I think it's funny, nonetheless.  Also, as you read along, it will become obvious that the "good wife" is more likely than not someone who is not employed outside the home.

How to Be a Good Wife (circa 1955):
  • Have dinner ready. Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal ready on time for his return. This is a way of letting him know that you have be thinking about him and are concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they get home and the prospect of a good meal is part of the warm welcome needed.
Hmm.  I think I've mentioned here before that I don't really cook for MM.  Fail.
  • Prepare yourself. Take 15 minutes to rest so you'll be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your make-up, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh-looking. He has just been with a lot of work-weary people.
Yeah, I pretty much gave up wearing makeup, except on special occasions, when I got pregnant and haven't really resumed wearing it.  I can't remember the last time I put a ribbon in my hair, and I'd be surprised if I am "fresh-looking" when MM rolls in around 7:30 p.m., after caring for our sons for over two hours alone during their fussiest time of the day.  Fail.
  • Be a little gay and a little more interesting for him. His boring day may need a lift and one of your duties is to provide it.
I do try to be upbeat and positive.  Some days are more challenging than others.  I'll give myself at least partial credit on this one.
  • Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives. Run a dustcloth over the tables.
Ooh, MM abhors clutter and would love it if I did this!  But I don't.  The only time I will definitely clear away clutter is on the one Wednesday a month when our cleaning lady is coming.  Fail.
  • During the cooler months of the year you should prepare and light a fire for him to unwind by. Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift too. After all, catering to his comfort will provide you with immense personal satisfaction.
We don't have a fireplace, and we live in a desert climate where it would only be cool enough to merit a fire maybe 15-20 days out of the whole year.  I won't say "fail" to this one; I'll say it's inapplicable.
  • Minimize all noise. At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of the washer, dryer or vacuum. Encourage the children to be quiet.
Hahaha.  MM seldom comes home to the washer, dryer or vacuum running, but it's not uncommon for him to come home to one or more babies fussing or crying.  Fail.
  • Be happy to see him.
Hey, I do this one!  I'm always happy to see MM. . . especially if both boys are crying.
  • Greet him with a warm smile and show sincerity in your desire to please him.
OK, the warm smile I can do. . . not too sure about the rest.  Probably another fail.
  • Listen to him. You may have a dozen important things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first - remember, his topics of conversation are more important than yours.
Hey, I do this one!  Well, at least most of the time.

  • Don't greet him with complaints and problems.
Hmm.  I usually don't complain right out of the gate, as soon as he arrives, unless I've had a particularly hard evening with the boys.
  • Don't complain if he's late for dinner or even if he stays out all night. Count this as minor compared to what he might have gone through at work.
MM almost never comes home late, and on the rare occasions when he does, he always gives me a heads up in advance.  So if he did come home late once in a great while, I probably wouldn't complain.  And I really can't imagine his ever staying out all night; that would be completely out of character for him.
  • Make him comfortable. Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or lie him down in the bedroom. Have a cool or warm drink ready for him.
Hahaha.  I generally put him to work doing something baby-related the moment he walks in.  Fail.
  • Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soothing and pleasant voice.
See above.  I do generally speaking in a low voice, to avoid disturbing AJ & MJ.  Otherwise, fail.
  • Don't ask him questions about his actions or question his judgment or integrity. Remember, he is the master of the house and as such will always exercise his will with fairness and truthfulness. You have no right to question him.
I guarantee MM would laugh out loud if he read this one!  I question him ALL THE TIME (and vice versa).  Friendly debate is a feature of our relationship.  And the idea that he is the "master of the house"?  Um, OK.  Fail.
  • A good wife always knows her place.

OK, after writing this, I've realized two things.  I'm not a very good wife by these standards. . . and I could use a wife like this myself!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Perspective and priorities

(Needless to say, this post is days late. . . not unlike AF was apparently.)

Two years ago, seeing this screen would've gotten me very excited about the possibility that I might be pregnant:

Now?  I'm so busy that I didn't even check the iPeriod program until AF had arrived and I went there to record the event.

If you're still in the trenches, take heart: you will eventually get to this place of too-busy-to-care-whether/when-AF-arrives, too.

Things (I Think) I Should Care About (But Don't)

  • Hurricane Isaac and whether/when/where it will make landfall
  • The Republican Convention
  • The election in general
  • The price of gasoline
  • Billing eight hours today
Things I Do Care About:
  • Whether our local daytime high will be under 100 degrees at any point this weekend (MM won't allow the boys to go to any outdoor venues if it's "too hot," which he defines as daytime high over 100)
  • Starting the boys on a new food this evening (I'm debating among prunes, peaches, and mangos)
  • Getting my expense reimbursement in for yesterday's work-related trip
  • Whether the coffee shop in our plaza still has any chocolate croissants left
Boy, I sure am deep!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Loose ends

Now that I'm blogging less often and only as time permits (and the mood strikes me), I've realized that I've neglected to follow up on some topics I've raised in earlier posts.  (Neglecting to follow up seems to be a theme in my life these days.)  So on the off chance that any of you have been waiting in suspense to learn what happened, here's that information.

  • Homemade purees: as I wrote here, I made my sons some homemade baby food.  I made them carrots, peaches, peas and sweet potatoes.  Neither baby liked the carrots much, and they haven't had the peaches yet (they keep in the freezer for up to 3 months, and I think I'll be debuting them next week).  AJ hated the peas and loved the sweet potatoes, while MJ thought both were OK (although I think that sweet potatoes give MJ loose stools, based now on two different trials of them, so he won't be getting them much for a while).  I haven't made them any new foods in a few weeks, due to lack of time this month to do so, but I fully intend to do so again in the future.  (It'll actually be more fun now because they've tried enough things that they are able to eat combinations of stuff!)
  • My "aches and pain" that I posted about here are actually quite a bit better these days.  I still have the area of numbness on my lower abdomen, the occasional twinge of pain and the keloided area on my incision site, all related to my c-section, but my back and hip pain has improved considerably.  Interested to know what made the difference?  Did I do physical therapy?  Acupuncture?  See a chiropractor?  Change to a job where I don't have to sit so much?  Nope.  I bought a foam roller (this one) and use it a few times a week, more often when I have tightness.  That alone has made a TREMENDOUS difference.
  • On a related note, remember a couple of months ago when I posted about getting back on the weight loss wagon?  Yeah, that hasn't really happened.  I went to the gym all four mornings the first week our nanny worked for us, and I haven't gone again since, for various reasons (boys waking earlier than expected and throwing a wrench in the works, preferring to sleep longer, and sheer laziness, to name a few).  And believe me, you don't want to hear about my eating; it's not pretty.  (Suffice it to say, it includes way more candy and processed foods than anyone who wants to lose weight and be healthy should be consuming.)  I really do need to renew my commitment to this, though, and find time for it in my schedule, for all the reasons I wrote about in my earlier post. 
  • Remember when I posted about my desire to clone myself in order to get everything done?  I think I've just accepted that, for the time being, I can only do what I can do.  Truth be told, the vast majority of my friends are really, really understanding of the major limitations on my free time these days, and so is my family.  (Plus I do my best to call my loved ones during my commute, in an attempt to keep somewhat in touch.)  Work is the only area that wouldn't be understanding if I didn't get everything done, and so I devote the time I need to devote to that area of my life, fitting it in with MM's help and support.  (I am so, so lucky to have a husband who is very hands-on and helpful, not only with our sons, but with everything.  I couldn't do this without him.  Seriously.  Dude deserves a medal.)  All the other things that are falling by the wayside--reading, volunteering, socializing--will still be there when our boys are a little older.
  • My Quest for the Perfect Post-Partum Panty continues.  On the advice of commenters here and others, I've recently ordered four different brands/styles online and will be test-driving them shortly.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Do What You Love

I've always found the advice "Do what you love, and the money will follow" to be unhelpful and, frankly, a little perplexing.  I mean, unless you are a performer, or an artist, or the next Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, doing what you love for most people would be a one-way ticket to the poorhouse.  The fact of the matter is, few people *love* doing what most well-paying jobs require.

Any time anyone ever offered me this quote as advice, I quipped in response "I don't know of anyone who will pay me to read novels and pet my dog all day."  I mean, historically speaking, those are the two things I've loved doing the most.  Honestly, I think I'm in the majority here, not the minority, in having the things I love doing be things that would in no way equate to a paying job. . . let alone a job that paid a livable wage.

I am now several years into my second professional career, and in my years of working, I have known a lot of nurses, doctors, therapists of various types, and now lawyers, as well as other professionals.  Very few of them *loved* what they did for a living.  Notice I didn't say "none."  The ones who did love their work certainly stand out in my mind.  But they were distinctly in the minority.

Do you think my experience is peculiar to the fields in which I've worked?  (Nursing/healthcare and law.)  It's a well-known fact in the legal profession that a lot of people hate their jobs, and I recently read an article that nurses are among the most dissatisfied with their jobs.  Do you think that, in other fields, more of the people love their work?

Don't get me wrong.  I don't hate my job, and there are certainly aspects of it that I like and enjoy (as well as others I do not).  There was aspects of being a nurse that I enjoyed, too.  (Although, for me, there were more things about that particular job that I disliked than liked.)

But I don't love my job.  I really can't imagine *loving* a job.

I can say, without a doubt, that I love being a mother. But yet again, it's a job no one will pay me to do. :-)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

PAIL Bloggers August Monthly Theme Post--Screen Time

(WARNING:  Children mentioned.)

If you know me in real life or have been reading this blog for any length of time, you probably already know that I am a reader and a planner.  Being both a reader and a planner, I naturally was aware of the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation that discourages media use by children younger than 2 years of age long before our sons were born.

You may find this hard to believe, but I have a couple of friends who are parents and have actually abided by this recommendation.  Really.  They got rid of their TVs when their children were born, or moved them to an area of the house where the children never are, and their children watched no TV whatsoever until they were older.  That includes videos.

From what I've read on this subject, the most troubling possible side effect of early media use is that it can adversely affect brain development. However, this possibility has not (yet) been borne out by research. In fact, even the AAP admits "no longitudinal study has determined the long-term effects of media use on infants and children younger than 2 years."

Given that my greatest concern is the possible adverse effects on brain development, it's the act of watching TV itself, and not just the content of the program(s) being watched, that's a problem.  Sure, it's probably wise not to let your infants watch slasher films, or action movies with gunfights and car crashes, or war scenes.  But if the danger is its effect on brain development, it seems to me that that danger would be just as present with a Baby Einstein video or Sesame Street as with adult dramas.

If I were the only parent to our boys, we simply would not have a TV in our house. I have lived entirely without TV for a few long-ish periods in my life, and frankly, I didn't really miss it. Since MM and I have been married, he has picked the TV programs which are on in our house 99% of the time.  I only exercise "veto power" in that I don't permit him to force me to watch shows I don't want to watch.  (To avoid possibly offending some who also like those shows, I won't mention any by name.  Suffice it to say, they are all "reality" TV shows.  I do offer to leave the room, though, so he can watch, so I don't "forbid" him to watch those shows.)

Nowadays I don't really have time to watch TV, even if I wanted to.  So it would be no hardship to me whatsoever to eliminate it completely from my life.

However, my sons have another parent, MM, who loves TV and scoffed at the mere suggestion that its viewing be limited in our home. There is literally no chance that he would let me remove our TV from our house.  He won't even let me cut out our extended cable because he "need[s] [his] sports" and claims he has "given up almost everything already."

Our "family position" is a compromise between MM's position (all TV, all the time) and mine (no TV, or extremely limited TV).  He has (mostly) agreed that anything which is not rated "G" cannot be on when the boys are awake (although I have to remind of this from time to time), and I have given some and let the boys watch a few minutes of a Baby Einstein video or SportsCenter while their food settles after a feeding or so that MM can take a shower in the mornings.

The result?  At this point in their lives, I think AJ and MJ have watched more ESPN than anything else.  That is, to the extent that they actually watch what is on.

During the eight hours a day, four days a week, when our nanny is with the boys, the TV is off.  One of our house rules for the nanny is "no TV," and believe it or not, she was happy to abide by it.  (Her last family allowed their children to watch far too much TV, in her opinion.)

When the boys are older, we will continue to limit their TV viewing both in terms of time and of content.  We intend to do the same with computer usage and video games, too.  It's our intent that the boys will spend the majority of their time either engaged in active play, reading or away from home for various activities (sports, music lessons, etc.).

I don't think there is any real harm in babies watching some Baby Einstein videos or other age-appropriate programming, but I don't believe there is any huge benefit to it either.  (At least, no controlled study has thus far demonstrated any benefit.)  Talking and playing with children is of more benefit to them in their learning and development than any media, in my opinion.
In the interest of full disclosure, I should say that my views are based primarily on the research, AAP recommendations and reading I've done. Growing up, my sister and I watched A LOT of TV. I mean, A LOT. The TV was on in the mornings before school and as soon as we got home until we went to bed. We also got an Atari gaming system in our teen years and played it a lot.  And we both went on to be scholastically successful. So based on my own childhood experience, I can hardly condemn TV or media.

Friday, August 17, 2012


(WARNING:  This post has nothing to do with infertility, but mentions pregnancy and the body changes it causes.  So feel free to skip if you don't feel like reading about that.)

As I've mentioned in several posts over the 3+ years I've been writing this blog, I've struggled with my weight throughout my adulthood.  I am fat, chubby, overweight (obese, if you'd prefer the medical term). . . choose your descriptor.  I am just under 5'5" and wear a size 16, comfortably most days.  My BMI is consistently over 30.

I'm not looking for weight loss advice, though.  (As I often say, lack of knowledge and information is not what's keeping me fat.)  I'm looking for underwear advice.

So because my body was never great before my twin pregnancy and c-section, I figured it wouldn't be too much worse afterward.  Boy, was I wrong.  I'd venture to say that anyone who saw me fully clothed would not perceive a difference in the way I look now and the way I looked before, but the shape of my belly in particular has changed for the worse in a big (pun intended) way.  (I've also lost a lot of the muscle tone I had pre-pregnancy due to months of activity restriction while pregnant and lack of time for exercise since delivery.  But that's another topic for its own post.)

It's true that I have always had a fat stomach.  I mean, someone who is my size has to have fat somewhere.  But it used to be fat that I could "suck in" or restrain with Spanx or the like.  Also, more of my abdominal fat was above the belly button and therefore easily concealed by loose fitting shirts and dresses.

Now I have a lot of fat (and loose skin) below my belly button.  And it's the type of fat that cannot be restrained by Spanx or sucked in.  And it shows in nearly every pair of pants and skirt I own.

[I suppose weight loss could potentially make a difference in how much fat I have overall, but I'm not sure it would make a real significant difference in this new post-pregnancy distribution of my fat.  In any event, at present, I am in no position (or, frankly, frame of mind) to vigorously pursue weight loss through diet and exercise changes.  I hope to be someday in the not-too-distant future, but currently I'm lucky to find time to eat when I'm home, let alone time to prepare healthy meals and snacks, and time exercising would be either time spent away from my boys (not going to happen, as I am already away from them 50-ish hours a week for work) or time taken from the hours I currently spend sleeping.]

So, accepting that my body is going to be like this for the forseeable future, I am in search of workable underwear options, specifically panties.  I'm finding that most of the styles and brands I wore before I got pregnant no longer work for me, and I hate being uncomfortable every single day.  (I've given up on trying to look "not fat" except on rare social occasions.)

Another complication is that I have an area about 3 inches square starting a few inches under my navel that has been numb since my c-section and continues to be numb.  So I try to avoid panties that bind or cut into that area because I don't think it's good for my skin, especially when I don't feel the pressure there.

I have generally favored hipster-style underwear.  Briefs cover too much for my taste and feel too "granny panty"-ish for me; bikinis have always rolled down under my fat roll (sorry for the visual) or cut into me; I hate the feel of thongs; and boy shorts always bunch up on me.

With my fatter lower abdomen, many of my hipsters now roll down also, the same way bikins always have on me.  One brand I used to wear and love (example here: has apparently been discontinued (and I'm skeeved out at the idea of purchasing panties on ebay).  All the pairs I still have are worn and in need of replacement.

In digging through my underwear drawer, I found a pair of Jockey hipsters I bought 4-5 years ago and forgot I had, and I love them.  They are super-soft, and they stay put without binding.  But I checked the Jockey website, and it appears that the style has been discontinued.

I've also tried Hanes, Soma Intimates, Cacique (the Lane Bryant brand) and a few other brands of hipsters without success.  Spanx still work--thought not as effectively as they once did--but I'm not going to wear control panties every day.

So how about it, ladies?  Anyone out there have a great brand/style of hipsters they want to recommend?

*On a completely unrelated side note, can I mention that I hate using euphemisms for things?  I have always been plain-spoken and blunt.  I never say "pee-pee" for penis, "making love" or "making whoopee" (or anything else) for sex, and I don't say people "passed on" when they actually died.  So I used the term "unmentionables" to be funny/ironic because it's a term I'd never use in real life.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Time flies when you're having fun

Seems like I rarely have time to post here these days, and time to post in the evenings, when I could include photos, is even more rare.  (When I leave the office, I sometimes joke that I'm "off to my other full-time job."  Except it's more of a true statement than a joke because taking care of our boys *is* a full-time job. . . just one I share with MM and with our nanny.)

A few quick updates on what's going on in our world:
  • AJ and MJ will be 7 months old on Sunday!  It's hard to believe we are more than halfway through their first year already.  So many twin moms have told us "it gets easier" after the first year; we shall see.  Although the past several months have had their challenges, it really hasn't been that bad in the main.
  • The boys are at a really fun age.  They notice everything--they are particularly fascinated by our dog and by our iPhones--and they grab for anything within reach, including toys, food, the dog's fur, remote controls, etc.  Everything they grab goes in their mouths.
  • MJ has been rocking back and forth on his hands and knees for a few weeks, which I am told is a step toward starting to crawl.  He rolls around everywhere, and his latest obsession is trying to tear apart, and chew, the foam tiles which make up their play area.  He gets upset if you move him away from the edges or take the tiles out of his little hands.  He can sit for a short while without support but usually opts to quickly slide to the ground so he can roll away from you.
  • AJ can roll just as well as MJ but prefers to stay put most of the time, except when he rolls over to change to a more comfortable position or to get a toy that's just out of reach.  He can sit without support longer than MJ--maybe because he is about 2 lbs lighter?--and has shown less interest than MJ in moving himself any distance.  (I joke that his attitude is "Why should I learn to crawl?  If I want to go somewhere, I'll just cry until Mama picks me up and carries me there.")
  • They have been eating solids for over a month.  They've had three kinds of cereal, carrots, peas, sweet potatoes, avocado, banana, pears and apples.  So far, MJ has appeared to enjoy everything he's tried except carrots.  AJ is more finicky: he hated every kind of cereal (they've tried rice, oatmeal and barley) and will not eat it unless it's subtly mixed (in small quantity) with fruit.  He also was not a particular fan of carrots or peas either.  He loves sweet potatoes, pears and apples and is OK with avocado and banana.
  • A little over a week ago, I had to (tearfully) breakdown and buy them some commercial baby food.  (Given the other demands on my time this month, there was just no other way to keep starting them on a new food every 4-5 days, as I simply did not have the time needed to devote to preparing the next foods they were starting.)  I haven't given up entirely on homemade baby food--I still want to make their food as much as I can, when I can find the time--but I've been really happy with the Plum Organics line of baby food.  So convenient, and the boys seem to like the taste.  They've also tried Earth's Best (which they did not seem to like quite as much) and will be trying Ella's Kitchen shortly.
  • I've switched over to using cloth diapers about 80% of the time.  (MM refuses to cloth diaper on the Mondays he's with the boys or any time he's in charge of them on weekends, or it would be 100% of the time.)  Our nanny helps with the washing, etc., on the four days she's with us, and I take care of the diapers the other days.  It's working out well.  We are using mainly bumgenius and a few fuzzibunz diapers, and they are so cute!
  • Lots of people ask us if having twins is "twice the work," and I read a great comment from another twin mom about this recently.  It's more like one-and-a-half times the work.  I agree with this because the hands-on care is twice the work--each baby has the same needs as any other baby--but the baby-related activities, like shopping, meal prep, laundry and the like, don't take that much more time for two than they do for one.  So that's my take.
  • Life in general is very, very busy. Work is busy, the boys keep us hopping, and in the small amount of time not devoted to either work or parenting, I try to keep up with chores, shopping, friends, family and our dog. Whew!
  • We are enjoying the boys tremendously and feel fortunate every day to have them. They are both really happy babies who generally sleep well and are pretty easy to take care of. (I often say that the only hard thing about them is that there's two of them. If we had either of them alone, we'd be talking all the day about what a good baby he is.)

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Ah, social media

I've posted here before about the pitfalls of using Facebook when TTC.  Pregnancy announcements and ultrasound photos from old coworkers, friends and acquaintances leap onto our news feeds without warning, leaving us feeling slapped in the face or gut-punched.  Some fertiles even post photos of their HPTs seemingly not long after the pee has dried.

In addition to that downside to Facebook, I've also been annoyed by other things about it.  The memes that people post talking about how much they love their kids/husband/siblings/parents/best friend.  The (seemingly non-stop during election season) religious and political posts.  The game invitations (most of which I have, thankfully, figured out how to block).  The friend requests from people I don't know, or from people I do know but have no interest in reconnecting with.

Don't get me wrong. For the most part, I actually enjoy Facebook. I like seeing photos and posts from old friends, and I've reconnected with at least 20 people through that site that I likely never would've heard from again otherwise.  It's a fun way to connect with people who I don't see every day.

My latest annoyance/puzzler on Facebook is the ads.  From what I've read, the ads you see are supposed to be targeted toward your interests, which Facebook gleans from the things you post.  So when I see ads for baby products or for Weight Watchers or for activities in my city, I get it.  I live where I live, I'm fat, and I have two babies.

I'm also not surprised when I get random ads for products I don't use.  It's not a big leap from my "liking" a page for Hatch Green Chile to think I might like to try a new salsa.  (Plus, I live in the Southwest.  Who here doesn't like salsa?)  I may not drink alcohol, but ads for various alcoholic beverages likewise don't surprise me; I figure they're just targeting women in my age range.

But some of the ads really leave me scratching my head.  One I've seen nearly every day for the last month is for "chronic constipation."  I've been getting another one for HIV treatment.  I saw one this morning inviting me to participate in a clinical study for epilepsy.  I suffer from none of these ailments and am not too sure why Facebook thinks these ads would interest me.

More disturbing to me, I've also gotten a few ads for marriage counseling!  I am 100% certain that I have never posted anything even remotely negative about MM or our relationship on Facebook: I'm not one to publicly air my dirty laundry (well, except for on this blog), and both MM and I loathe spouses communicating with one another through Facebook (you live together, just talk to each other. . . or email, text, etc.), so I don't even post "my husband is the greatest" type stuff on there.
Maybe the site just assumes that anyone who is parenting twins must have a marriage on the rocks?  I don't know.  It's a puzzler for sure.

Rest assured, my marriage is happy.  I suppose we could all benefit from marriage counseling at some time or other, but I don't think I'll be clicking on any of those Facebook ads any time soon.

Monday, August 6, 2012


WARNING:  parenting and children discussed.


No, this post has nothing to do with cloning as a means of reproduction.  Rather, I am thinking of cloning myself in order to be able to manage everything in my life.  (Although that idea didn't work out too well for Michael Keaton's character in this movie.)

My life is incredibly full, and I am very happy.  It just seems that I no longer have enough hours in the week to get everything done.  Between the minutiae of daily living--laundry, pet care, meals, etc.--and work and parenting, I seem to have no time left over. 

Work obviously sucks up a large portion of my waking hours, and taking care of the boys seems to use up most of the rest of that time. I don't want to "outsource" any more of the boys' care than I already do, since that is the part of my time that I enjoy the most, and I can't realistically cut back on work. 

Being more efficient at work wouldn't even solve the problem, since I am required to bill a certain number of hours every year.  (One of the evils of private practice, in my opinion. . . . no real incentive to be efficient since the client is paying for your time.)
Yesterday I neglected to call one of my oldest and dearest friends for her birthday.  I didn't forget her birthday entirely--I had mailed her a card a few days prior--but I believe this is the first time in over 20 years of friendship that I haven't called and sung her the birthday song on her day.

I neglect other friends by not returning their phone calls or checking in with them.  I have a dear friend living across the country whose father is slowly dying of cancer, and while I have called weekly on average to check on her and have sent her a couple of "Thinking of You" cards, I wish I could be doing more.  A year ago, even at the height of feeling crappy while pregnant, I would've been doing more.

My father wants me to visit him in September, and I would also be able to see the friend mentioned in the paragraph above if I did (she grew up in the city where my dad lives and will be there visiting for her mother's 80th birthday).  But the thought of how behind I would be on everything at home if I went away for a weekend is more daunting than the prospect of a six-hour car trip with the boys.

I haven't even attempted to take on any new volunteering since getting pregnant a little over a year ago.  (Coincidentally, my six-and-a-half-year commitment as a court appointed advocate to a little girl in foster care ended the month before our IVF cycle.)  I miss it, and I feel like a bad person for not being able to fit it in.

I've thought about cutting back on sleep, but that's not realistic for me.  I need at least 7 hours a night to function, and if I get over-tired, I can't concentrate at work and am more prone to migraines.  (I was hit with a bad one last Friday, and I wasn't even sleep-deprived.)  As it is, I have not followed through on my plan to work out four days a week, choosing to sleep an extra hour a night instead.

Hmmm.  Cloning is not the solution, obviously.  I don't know what is.  Probably just accepting that I can't do it all. . . . . and because work and parenting are non-negotiable, accepting that I am going to be a crappy or absent friend/daughter/volunteer for a while.