having children means being subjected to the advice of others. be they family. friends. well-intentioned (or not so well-intentioned) strangers. random passersby. nearly everyone has an opinion on something you are doing with your child. this begins while you are pregnant and ceases – well – perhaps never. for the most part i ignore comments made by others. or at least i try to.
grandma tends to be a big offender in this area. every time she has visited she comments on one thing or another. one of her continuous comments is that she can’t understand why we would put the babies to sleep on their backs. and this isn’t just once a visit like she forgot – it’s multiple times. i explain the risk of sids and the major decrease since the back to sleep campaign started. she clucks and says well i still think a baby is likely to choke that way. legitimate concern. luckily my wigglers are a bit projectile so i tend not to worry quite as much about this. and honestly i worry about a lot of things so its saying a lot that i don’t worry about this one… this isn’t to say i don’t appreciate hearing what others have to say. sometimes. but if it is about how i should be raising my kids i am probably not all that interested.
one of the more fun ways people try to give advice is by talking to the child – or in most cases – baby directly. saying things like – my aren’t your fingernails long? or your little feet must be freezing. or you should really have a hat on shouldn’t you? as they give you a sidelong glance (or glare) while evading eye contact. i remember a few of these comments from when hook was little. and i certainly get them now. with grandma i just say so put some socks on him or go ahead and cut her nails. but with strangers this doesn’t work quite so well. a few days ago we were at the zoo. the wigglers were getting a bit antsy in the stroller so m and i each took a baby out and held them. grandma pushed the now empty stroller. as we stood by the tiger lair a woman passing by with her infant in a moby commented to her male companion – “wow give that baby some head support.” really? did you have something to say to me. my babies are four months old. they have pretty darn good head control. and not for anything we weren’t exactly whipping either baby around haphazardly. both m and i were perturbed. and amused.
i have found after having children that i am so much less judgmental with other mothers than i was before my kids were born. i (or perhaps we) had all these preconceived notions on how things should be done. when a baby should start food. how they should learn to sleep. whether they should watch television. what they should wear in what weather. how much they should be held. etc. etc. and then something happened. we had little people to take care of and we realized that so much of your time is spent muddling through. trying to figure out how to get by doing the best you can. so i like to think i am less judgmental. if you love your child and you take care of your child that should be enough. how you fulfill those things (for the most part) should be up to you.
it seems crazy to already be thinking about whether or not we want to try to have more kids. one of the first things I said after leaving the hospital with the wigglers is “even with how crazy the birth turned out to be i would do this again”. Somedays we are so sure we would like to try for another. Other days we are nearly positive our family is complete. there are so many things to consider. so many things that need to be weighed. and part of me doesn’t want to even think about it right now because I feel like it is thinking past the wigglers and that this is somehow taking something away from them. and I wonder how we would deal with a baby (or possibly two) with young children. hook has been great with the wigglers. incredible really. but he is six. And if we chose to try again we certainly won’t wait six years (not that we really waited this time either but things happen on their own schedule). i loved being pregnant. it was an amazing experience. a petrifying experience no doubt but it was so gratifying and so fantastic. to feel babies moving inside of me – nothing like it. even with the weight gain and the morning sickness and all the uncomfortable sleepless nights and the heartburn and itchy skin I would do it again in a heartbeat if that what we decide is right for our family. but how do you know? I worry that the more kids we have the less opportunities we will be able to provide for them. I worry about hook or the wigglers feeling overshadowed. I work about finances and college and feeding teenagers. And then I think about the power of siblings and the strength of family and it all seems worth it. of course in the midst of these discussions we received a bill for the store of our embryos. the potential siblings to be. and it’s hard to think of them now as just embryos. Because two of those embryos became our living breathing world changing children. so we can’t just let them go…
the wigglers were conceived. what started out as two tiny little eggs. and two carefully placed swimmers. resulted in dreams come true. yay for conception day!
***thinking of the lovely mamas to be over at Defining Family
yesterday i ran a 5k. my first 5k since wigglers arrived 15w2d ago. and the first run of more than 2 miles in the past year. i had always imagined running through my pregnancy but with twins my dr suggested I refrain. so i did. i honestly believed that once the wigglers arrived i could jump right back in. i would just put the babies in bouncy seats while i hopped on the treadmill. Naps would give me time to get in a workout. it all seemed so perfect in my mind. what i neglected to account for was the human factor. the wigglers are – well- babies. they have their own agenda. and often two different agendas at that. two sitting in bouncy seats simultaneously is rare. napping at the same time would be miraculous. and even when these stars magically align i still need to throw on some shorts and running shoes and get a move on without disrupting anyone. we won’t even bother discussing the fact that i am usually too tired to even consider it. exhaustion and heavy equipment should not be near one another. some days its a wonder i can even work the toaster. nights could potentially be the answer but after diligently trying to get the wigglers to sleep for what can sometimes take over an hour usually i just want to eat something and perhaps read hook a bedtime story. so yes getting in a run has been tough. it’s good for me and i should do it more often. it clears my head and increases the love part of the love/hate relationship i have with my post pregnancy body (love what it was capable of/hate the belly that will seemingly never go away). anyhow i have run maybe 5 times in the past 8 weeks. all slow plodding efforts that consisted of a lot of walking. but it was slightly easier each time. so for motivation i registered for a 5k – it was the same event i ran last year (except i ran the 10k). and it turned out to be the last race i ran before i got pregnant. so it holds a special place in my heart. i went in expecting to run some. and walk some. and with the only goal being to finish. i woke up saturday morning after having been up 4x during the night not feeling super thrilled about the run. but once i kissed the kids and m goodbye and my friend picked me up something shifted. i was happy to be back at it. and so we ran. and didn’t walk a single step. things started to click back into place. and my head felt a little clearer. i wasn’t fast but i was consistent. i felt like i was getting back into my own skin. and i finished feeling a sense of accomplishment. so while it wasn’t really a comeback it was definitely a step in the right direction.
Joining the 2011 Color Photography Project organized by An Offering of Love a little late…