Sunday, September 23, 2012

Control Freak

Where does your motivation come from because I don't have any and I'd really like some of yours.

I love hearing about people getting in shape and seeing their before and after pictures.

I love seeing when someone I know has transformed their body and themselves and lost weight.

Sure, there's a jealousy there but it's not a malicious jealousy but rather this feeling of, "well I can do it, too. they did it, I can totally do it."

And then they talk about their desire to look better or feel better about themselves.  That desire propelled them and kept them away from the frosted brownies from Shop-Rite.  That motivation to feel good and be healthy helped them put their sneakers on each day and head to kickboxing or out for a walk or a run or propelled them into Zumba.

And I know none of those were easy.  I know it wasn't all rainbows and teddy bears for them.  I know they had to work at it each day.

I know it because I've done it.  I've motivated myself.  I've been so unhappy with myself and uncomfortable in my own skin that I've lost weight and gotten in shape.  And it was hard but I did it and it felt great for so many reasons.

But now, almost a year (like two weeks away from a year) after my twins were born , I'm unhappy in my own skin.  I'm uncomfortable in my "fat" clothes.  I live in baggy t-shirts and yoga pants- sometimes for two or more days at a time.  I can't keep myself away from the frosted brownies from Shop-Rite. I can't bring myself to head out the door each day to exercise or at least walk for a bit or, um, anything.

And please don't tell me to be easy on myself.  Sometimes, when there is hard work to be done, you don't get to be easy on yourself.  You don't get to mill around and take your time.  Sometimes you have to get your ass in gear and just do it.

But I can't seem to do that.

I feel like the weight of the world has been on my shoulders lately.  And, like every good emotional eater, I've allowed the weight in my ass to show how much the world actually weighs.

And while other areas of my life are pretty good, I am unhappy with myself and I can't take control of that.

Like everyone who struggles with food issues, I'm in control when I dive into those frosted brownies.  Luckily, they rarely make their way into my house.  And right now, they are gone from my house because, well, my 7 year old and I just polished them off for dessert.

I think that I literally just stumbled upon my own issue as I was writing this post.

I am not in control.  Sure, I make our bed each morning so that I have some semblance of control in an otherwise pretty out of control life with 4 kids and an overworked husband.  But other than that, things are out of control.  And I don't mean spiraling downward or anything to that extreme but just slightly above normal chaos.

I am not in control when one or both of my twins are screaming for no specifically known reason.  I am not in control when my 7 year old talks back and not only gets me angry beyond belief but also makes me think that we're doing this whole parenting thing wrong.  I am not in control when my 5 year old has ANOTHER tantrum because she hasn't gotten her way about something.  I am not in control when the doctor calls to let me know that one of the girls has a severe food allergy.  I am not in control when my thoughts and weekends are occupied by things that weigh me down more than I need or want right now.

I am in control when I put the food into my mouth.  More often than not, lately, I'm putting the wrong foods into my mouth and I'm not meeting those extra calories with exercise, as I know I should be.  I am in control when I send my 7 year old or my 5 year old to their room indefinitely for their behavior and then leave them there 5 or 10 minutes more than they actually deserve.  I am in control when I allow the twins to cry just a little bit longer or louder than I probably should because I need to sit in the bathroom for a few more minutes and gain just a tiny bit of peace.  I am in control when I turn my phone off or ignore a call or a text or a message or anything having to do with anything that I just can't or don't want to deal with it right then.

I am in control of everything but me and what I need to feel good.  And that is extremely upsetting to me.  I have completely let myself go and brought about my own unhappiness and I just don't know how to get control of it all.

And the biggest worry of all, is that sometimes I just don't care.

My kids are fed, healthy (for the most part), happy (I think), and getting used to life in a new school and town.  My house is not always clean but it's becoming more and more organized (sort of) and clean (sometimes) as the weeks go by.  The seemingly important things, my family, my marriage, my home, our health, are intact.

It appears though, and again this is an almost instantaneous realization, I am not.

And the fact that I even wrote this and put this out there shows that I do care a little, but I really struggle to care.  And that upsets me.

But I'm not sure if it upsets me enough to do anything about it.

Or if I'm just seizing control of something by choosing to ignore it and hope that `it all gets better on it's own.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Good Things, Not Bad

*Warning: Uncharacteristically sappy post ahead*

Not to brag, but we've been pretty lucky with our kids and their sleeping.  I know some of you are going to read this and get out your voodoo dolls and start wishing pain upon me and my children for this but I won't hide the fact that I'm grateful for their sleep patterns.  My older kids were both sleeping through the night by 3 months- my 5 year old was sleeping through at 6 weeks!

When we brought the twins home I was prepared for endless months of babies being awake and feeding.  I envisioned one baby being awake and screaming and then just as she went down, the other baby waking up and the whole thing being a vicious cycle.  And that cycle did exist, briefly.  I would say the number of times where one baby would go down and the other would promptly wake up was less than 15 total but they were some long nights.  Luckily, though, the girls started sleeping through the night at around 12 weeks.  Later the our other two but let's remember the twins were ripped from my womb, rightfully so, about 7 weeks too early!

Now that the girls are turning 11 months- TOMORROW- our sleepless nights are even fewer and far between than ever.  We're in the lucky minority, I know that.  Our sleepless nights with the older kids usually involve vomit, nightmares or fevers.  With the girls they involve fevers, teeth or growth spurts.  Last night was an example of a night that involved teeth, growth spurts and playtime.

And I am feeling it this morning.

Despite the fact that I got maybe 3 hours total sleep last night, I woke up this morning (to screams of anger from two hungry babies) in a surprisingly good mood. (Talk to me around 6pm this evening and I may be singing a different tune).  Last night was actually pretty special and emotional for me.

The girls woke up just as I was heading to bed...that was around 12:45 in the morning.  First it was our little firecracker and I promptly removed her from her crib to our room in the hopes that her screams wouldn't wake her sister.  It didn't work.  For the next 25 minutes the husband and I changed diapers, made bottles, sent our 5 year old to our room to sleep, rocked babies who had big, wide open eyes and searched, in vain, for our Vicks Vapo steamer to help with the girls stuffed noses.  It was at that point that I sent the husband to bed and hunkered down in my 5 year old's bed and attempted to get the girls to sleep.

I spent the next two hours singing the same song over and over and over again.  If you've ever watched "Sesame Street" you know the song "Sing".  This song calms all of my children like you wouldn't believe.  It's a song from my childhood, something my grandmother and my mother sang to me.  Something my mother and father sing to my kids now.  It's a special song with a great message.  I love it and so do my kids.

So I sang it....for hours.

And I took turns rocking each of the girls.  I patted bottoms and gently rubbed heads.  I bounced and swayed and ssshh'd.  And they did finally quiet down and sleep...after I had fallen asleep and they had sufficiently played in their cribs.

In those hours that I sang the song over and over again I routinely teared up.  The line, "Sing of good things, not bad...sing of happy, not sad" brought tears to my eyes almost every time through.

The girls are turning 11 months old tomorrow and just yesterday I placed the order for their first birthday party invitations.  To say that I thought we might never get here is an understatement.  And I don't mean because their first year was impossibly hard- it wasn't.  It was hard but it didn't break me, as I thought it would.  But a year ago when I was pregnant and worrying about whether or not my girls would be born early or have issues I would routinely go to this place where they were the worst case scenario.  And I know that's not healthy and it's pessimistic and a whole host of other things.  But when you're pregnant with twins and you've got information and statistics and stories flying at you from every angle it's hard not to go there.

I never imagined that our first year would fly by as it did.  And as I looked into my littlest ones big blue eyes last night I thought of all of the possibilities that could have been and that weren't.  And I realized, again, how incredibly lucky we have been.

Every. Single. Child is a miracle. Our girls, and our two older kids, are incredible miracles- for so many reasons not spoken here.  But these babies, these twins who were so unexpected and who changed our lives in so many ways, have brought us so much since entering our lives on the ultrasound screen so many months ago.  And last night as I sang them to sleep and thought of good things, not bad, happy things, not sad, I couldn't help but get all misty eyed thinking about how far they've come and how far they've brought us.

There's a whole new set of sleepless night that lay ahead of us in the next 18+ years.  There are still challenges ahead that could be easy to overcome and some that could very well be almost impossible to tackle.  But if the past year is any type of indicator, the strength and joy that we derive from these little people- all four of them- is what will propel us through those times of challenge and will bolster us through the times of struggle. And they'll only enhance the already ever-present moments of  laughter and love and joy.


Sing, sing a song
Sing out loud
Sing out strong
Sing of good things not bad
Sing of happy not sad.

Sing, sing a song
Make it simple to last
Your whole life long
Don't worry that it's not
Good enough for anyone
Else to hear
Just sing, sing a song.

Sing, sing a song
Let the world sing along
Sing of love there could be
Sing for you and for me.

Sing, sing a song
Make it simple to last
Your whole life long
Don't worry that it's not
Good enough for anyone
Else to hear
Just sing, sing a song.

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