A stranger in a strange land


In my last update from Twinsanity I mentioned that my 3-year-old daughter was now home full time after spending the last 5 months in daycare. Being able to send her to a trusted caregiver was a blessing and a luxury: had the twins been born 12 years ago, I would have had 4 kids under 5 and no money to hire extra help.  But every good thing must come to an end… In fact, I was starting to feel a little too spoiled: yes, twins and a 3 year-old is busy but such is life. I was sliding into a comfort zone I was not that comfortable with. She’s my daughter after all and her place is at home with me, regardless of how great our caregiver is.

But finding myself suddenly home in the dead of February with 3 children under 3 was, how can I say, not without its share of learning curviness.This season of my life is typical of the twinventure so far: a strange walk in a strange land. When I got pregnant with my 7th baby, I didn’t realize that it would take me to places never visited where nothing was familiar.

I am still learning to spend my days with 3 very young children. Failure to put 2 and 2 together often blinds me to the logistics of going anywhere and doing anything. A cloak of anxiety comes over me when the implications of parking, walking, waiting and feeding away from home come together. This week I found myself in a small dentist’s office for a pre-surgery appointment with my daughter and the three little ones. Things went well but I was a ball of nerves. With twins and a toddler, you are always half-an-inch away from complete pandemonium.

Before leaving that morning I was still feeding the babies while we should have been driving, biting my lip thinking “I’m not liking this life very much…” My little girl, who was dressed and ready to leave, had gotten tired of waiting, undressed and changed into a gymnastics outfit. That’s when I looked around and surveyed my Dominion. The granola bar wrapper, — trash — dog fur, crumbs, an Oreo cookie tossed after the cream was licked out, the old couch with the fabric coming apart for too much gymnastics, the computer desk covered in random homework junk, the butt-ugly built-in shelves that my husband insists I cannot set on fire. All of a sudden I had a lump in my throat and I was thinking: “I am a prisoner of this house that I can’t neither clean nor leave.”

I feel like a stranger in a strange land. Since Sarah came home, I have been stuck in a kind of stupor trying to maintain my level of busy-ness, my habits, my routines and failing on all counts. I need to completely redraw the map of my daily life and find new ways to care for my children, my house and myself.  If I only knew where to start, in this strange land!

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One thought on “A stranger in a strange land

  1. I sort of know what you mean, though I never had it as busy as you with twins. You need to re-engineer your day, rather than just trying to add new kids to your old schedule, because the old schedule just doesn’t work with your new kids. And I understand your travel anxiety. It’s made worse when you are out and about with something unusual — twins, or a large number — because everyone stares and counts under their breath. Nothing like being in a fishbowl to make your blood pressure rise.

    I once heard some advice on TV to a mom who felt she got nothing done, to just try to do one thing, the same thing, everyday. Something like make the beds. Even if it takes until 5pm, all the beds get made. Then, when that become manageable, to add one more thing. I tried this once when I was so over-whelmed I thought I was drowning, and it worked for me.

    Hope things improve — don’t forget, spring is here soon! 🙂

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