One of the hardest things about being a stay at home mom is that I never get a break. I’ve had horrible neck and shoulder pain for 4 days, but it doesn’t matter. My son was vomiting all day on Saturday, so I was right there with him…and then I got sick. I haven’t left the house in three days, and I’ve been living in pajamas. But I can’t call in to work tomorrow. At least my toddler is feeling better, so he is going to go to the babysitter’s house.
Last Tuesday, I went out to dinner with two of my close friends from my teaching days. We all had baby girls last year, so there were three adults, one toddler, and four baby girls. My toddler was literally climbing the walls (a short dividing wall), and we all spent most of the time feeding and dealing with our own kids. I had to hold Baby B because she cries if she’s not being held. By the end of the meal, I wondered why I had even bothered to spend money going out when I didn’t even get to have a conversation with my friends.
I know it’s important to spend time with other people, but I feel like none of the time I spend with anyone is quality time. It’s really discouraging. I can’t even speak a full sentence. My closest friends and I communicate mainly through Facebook and text messages. There are days when my husband and I don’t say anything that’s not kid-related, let alone snuggle. All of my kids want my attention, and they need my attention, but how do I give it to everyone? As I held my Baby A last night and rocked her at bedtime, I realized that I miss that. It’s so rare that I can snuggle with her. Baby B usually takes all the snuggles and needs all the attention. My toddler still has someone read to him and snuggle him until he falls asleep, but the majority of the time, I feed both babies in their Boppy pillows, then Baby A goes to sleep on her own while Baby B finishes her bottle. Then, Baby B gets snuggled to sleep. She snuggles and nuzzles all night, because she needs that comfort in order to sleep well. The time I can spend with Baby A makes me both happy and sad, because I can’t be with all my kids at the same time, and it seems like little A gets the shortest amount of time from me.
I feel like I’m a full-time mom to Baby B, a part-time mom to my toddler and Baby A, and a per diem wife to my husband. I don’t know when the dynamic will change, but it has to — for the sake of my sanity and my marriage. I don’t know when I will be me again, or even if the “me” I once was is still there. It’s so hard to try to keep up with everything, and I can’t; I feel guilty constantly. My husband and I have to get some time alone together to reconnect without the kids interrupting. We have a long weekend in NYC planned for our fifth anniversary in December, and I can’t wait. I am sure I’ll miss the kids, but we need that time together.
In other news, Baby B saw the neurologist last week for a follow-up visit. He seemed happy with the progress she’s made through therapy, and he said he would contact our insurance company to try to get her more than the 90 allotted therapy visits per year. However, he was not hopeful that it would be granted. He’s ordered a swallowing study to see if she’s aspirating when she swallows. In his words, “that’s what usually gets kids like this [with brain injuries] later in life.” I, of course, heard that as “that’s what usually kills these kids,” but my husband heard it just as “that’s what causes problems with these kids.” Either way, we don’t want her to have problems, and we certainly don’t want her to have to be tube-fed. If only the insurance companies would see the progress she has made since beginning therapy in May. We will still get her the therapy she needs, but it would be wonderful if the insurance would cover it without hassle, like they should. I’ll just send them a video of her with her big smile and bright eyes, and they won’t be able to say no. Or I’ll just fight them until they say yes, but I’m hoping we don’t get to that point.
OH! And Baby A is getting her first tooth — the bottom right tooth. Plus, she is saying, “MAMA!” She’s said “Dada” a few times, but mostly she says, “Mama.” I’m so proud and happy, and it makes me feel even more guilty that I don’t snuggle with her more. I know that Baby B needs it and cries whenever she’s not being held, but I want to hold all my kids and snuggle all of them equally.