...a year can make...
A year ago, I was sitting in my hospital room, at 20w5d pregnant, and praying for 7 more weeks of pregnancy- which I got, I might add! Maybe I should have prayed for 17 more weeks, LOL! Now, I'm sitting on the floor playing with Bobby while Maya finishes napping. A year ago, I was preparing for another extremely premature delivery, while trying to find the hope that Bobby and Maya would be alright. And now, I'm sitting here, 12 months later, with ten month old twins who bring countless rays of sunshine into my life, who give me a glimpse of how Nicholas, Sophia, and Alexander might have been, who show me the beauty of life in all its ways.
Things around CasaHaytko havent been easy recently. I pride myself in being honest in this space, even when I dont necessarily want to be. This whole raising babies-after-loss/raising twins period recently took a turn. A lot of it was communication- as in a lack of. Peter and I both, I think, had the expectation that, because we are so grateful for the privilege of raising living children, that we would somehow bypass the difficult stage. Well... Maybe it was postponed, but it knocked on our door, the same as it appears to do everyone else's.
We expect the other to know what we are thinking and to act accordingly and, when things dont go according to plan, there have been some fireworks. Not to mention, we've viewed each others time as the non-primary parent as different from how the other sees it. (And by non-primary, I mean, for example, the time when Peter is at work, or I am at the gym, etc... the time when we are not the parent doing the caregiving). It's all been coming to a head and I have had neither the energy nor the inclination to blog or read. (On top of that, the business of two mobile babies!).
Two Saturdays now, Peter's parents have watched the kids so that we could have a "date". We went last Saturday, and, over breakfast at the end of our 12+ mile bikeride, we had it out and put our feelings on the surface. And it was good. I'm not sure the people around us thought it was. We werent raising our voices, but we were terse, and I'm sure they could hear that (at the least!) But we were able to air our laundry and start fresh. But it's going to be a journey, and we know we are just at the beginning.
Peter and I were always so connected. We were able to fit into each other well, and didnt have any serious miscommunication issues. Now, a lot of the time, we misread the other person, dont communicate what we need or want, or worse, assume the other person was trying to piss us off by their words/actions. We both are guilty of different things to varying degrees, but it was something that we needed to nip in the bud. And so, we have taken that first steps. Weeds still grow in gardens, but we are realizing that we need to take the time to prune our plants. We cant just expect the weeds to be trampled on their own. And, in some ways, some of the weeds are just flowers not seen before. And we have to be willing to accept those.
Some of the problem stems from just not knowing what to expect and from having our "parenting" pre-Bobby and Maya to be such a different experience. And now, we are adjusting. Adjusting to two babies at home. Adjusting to one income. Adjusting to a housewife and mother who cant- at least yet- be Donna Reed and have the house clean and dinner on the table because there just isnt time. Adjusting to a dad who is tired after a long day of work and needs some "him" time that isnt in the context of his employment.
(And it doesnt help that Peter's work department is going through some changes, but that is a post for another time...)
And, truly, some of it is just me, plain and simple.
I'm having a hard time dealing with failing to meet my own expectations. My house is usually not straightened up on a good day, messy on an average day, and downright dirty on a bad day. I mopped the kitchen the other day and, I'm ashamed to admit this, but it has been months... Like March... Since that was done. I just havent had the time during the day to keep on top of things and, in the evening, I'm too damn tired.
We are so busy. ALL THE TIME. Last Sunday, was the only weekend that we werent serving at church (and someone actually called to see if Peter could serve for them!). He declined and we took the kids to the Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa, about half an hour away. We missed the English Mass and so, we went to Confessions and attended the Polish Mass instead. We dont speak Polish, but the joy of the Catholic faith is always being able to follow along. (And, when you are in church as much as we are, we know when the prayers, etc, are taking place.) Thanks to an English guide, we were able to follow along with the readings. The only part we "missed" was the homily, which was delivered only in Polish. But that was okay. Because we heard a different homily. One that helped us in our current trials and frustrations, and gave us peace. It was such a beautiful time. I'd like to go there whenever we arent serving.
But... Being Busy. Yes.... So busy. All the time, it seems. And we need to start practicing the art of saying "no". I think, in some cases, we say yes because we cant imagine saying no, and then, dont realize the burden we put on our own shoulders. But we have to start saying no. And start making time for our nuclear family, too.
It means not taking on a race a month, and limiting myself to a few a year. It means not going to the gym more than twice a week. It means weekly, having some date time for ourselves that is not cleaning the kitchen at 11:30pm, after the kids are in bed and we are feeling like burned toast. It means not blogging- and not blog reading- as much, in order to try and get our lives in order.
So, friends and family, if we decline invitations or dont invite you over as much, know that we are working on reconnecting to one another, and trying to enjoy the limited family time that we have together. It isnt that we dont adore our time with you (and it isnt that we will be hermits, either, lest someone read this and think we're never going to see them again!), we just need to readjust our priorities.
I will keep up with blogs as I can, and that may mean not being able to comment on every blog I read, so that I can read more in my limited time. I have hundreds in my reader, but only a few dozen that I religiously comment on, but please, feel free to email me directly with your news, too. I just... I dont have the energy, I'm sorry. And I cant find more time in my day. And I need to stop stressing about it. Right now, blogging has become a stress and I dont want it to be that way. I just dont want to feel like I "HAVE" to blog every day. I'd rather do it when I have something to share or something worthwhile to post.
But, I confess... I miss you when I'm away. I miss keeping up with what's going on here or there, or with pregnancies or babies or baby making or adopting or just your every day goings and comings. There are few people I keep up with via the phone (I'm not a phone person and I dont care for it, honestly), so electronic communication is the better part of my not-in-person dealings. So, it's hard to feel like I'm missing things!
We waited so long for these times. These times of stress and in-the-trenches parenting and spousing. And we dont want to let it pass us by and we feel empty at the end of it. I dont want to lament blogging or visiting because I had to pick up puffies on the floor, or soak food-stained clothes because Maya or Bobby decided to attack their lunch. I dont want to rush through watching their adorable faces when they enjoy yogurt or guacamole or one of the countless things they love to eat, because I feel like I need to prepare for this or that. I bought myself a Life Is Good shirt that says "Mom" on it... It's not the style of shirt I would wear (I dont do T-Shirts) but it feels so good to slip it on and go about the day.
T-16 days til the Triathlon!
20 months... Today, sweet Alexander, would be 20 months... As another month passes towards Bobby and Maya's first birthday, another brings us closer to his second birthday... And that is crazy to me... How did this much time go by?
Okay, so this was all over the place... But a good way to start playing catch-up. :)