Dear Friends and Family: Don’t Take It Personal

I’m trying to recall last time I got a decent nights rest. I can’t remember. I think it was sometime in early 2014. What I can remember is sitting on my family room floor a few months ago with my husband next to me, laying face down, exhausted as usual, and barely able to move his lips to speak. My husband rarely talks to me – he mumbles through extreme fatigue. As we enjoyed the few minutes of “husband and wife time” which is usually ten minutes or so before our children come to jump on us or complain of yet another Charlie horse on their nose (six year olds…) I said to him: “This is our life now. No sleep. Always busy. No down time. Falling asleep before we can even have a decent conversation. Can you handle it?” He answered my question with a smile and a weak thumps up. With that, I let him fall asleep on the floor and went off prep for the next day.

This is the shot everyone sees. Sweet isn’t it?

This is the shot only John and I see. Trying to get twin boys to sit still for a picture…well, you get it.

This IS our life now. Everything changed after John and Phoenix graced us with their presence. When we were told that we were having twins, we took the glass-half-full approach (who wouldn’t? It’s twins! How exciting!) and thought “OK, it can’t possibly be THAT tough having two at a time.” By God we were wrong. We were so unbelievably wrong.

As a military family living a thousand miles away from our closest relatives, we are raising our twin sons and our two girls without any extra set of hands. We noticed immediately that raising multiples is a non-stop, no-rest, no-sleep 24/7 job. Yes, parenting is a 24/7 job, but I don’t think I can properly explain just how much tougher it is with twins. I’m sure most of my friends and family roll their eyes and are on the verge of telling us to “Shut up already. We know. You’re always tired.”

John was supposed to head out to watch a game and have a drink with a buddy. He took the boys up for a nap. He never made it made it the sports bar that day.

Yes. I AM tired. That’s an incredible understatement. I thought I understood the meaning of that word before the boys were born. I had no idea. Every waking moment of my life since their birth has been filled with tasks and chores and errands, and I’ve found myself dedicating a good 90% of my life to my children. My husband and I schedule time together. We actually SCHEDULE it (and still cancel on eachother.) So with this considered, I know I’ve missed lunch date invitations, birthdays, replied to texts two weeks after they were sent, read messages on social media and mentally replied, and quite honestly downright neglected some of the most important people in my life. Ready for my apology? Here it is: I’m sorry. It’s not personal. It’s called “life with twins.”

How I am able to enjoy my husband’s company nowadays. Drinking a semi-warm cup of coffee with our faces on it. (We look creepy in the outdated picture but I don’t complain.)

I’ve always told my children (and husband) that it’s important to nurture positive relationships. When someone extends their love and kindness to you, cherish it. Do not take it for granted. Part of being decent human being means acknowledging those who show you love and support in good times and in bad. For the last couple of years I’ve failed at following my own advice. I’ve failed at maintaining contact. If I sent you this article directly, its because I wrote it for you. Please don’t take it personal. Please understand that one day, perhaps sometime before someone invents teleportation, I will be able to visit you. I will be able to sit down with a cup of coffee and call you to catch up without being interrupted every few seconds (those darn Charlie horses Eva likes to gets), but it’s just not right now. I’ll get my crap together and start sending holiday cards and updated pictures of the kids again. I used to be so good at even the simplest “I’m thinking of you” gestures. Not so much anymore. Sorry, sorry a million times, sorry.

“But you’re always posting on social media..?!” Ah, yes my Instagram page and Facebook feed. My connection to the outside world in between bath time and feedings, and my kids endless needs. A world where I’m not surrounded by tiny humans that don’t speak adult. My Instagram page (which is my preferred social media platform) connects me with family, friends (other parents trying to keep their heads above water) and allows me to share the goings-on of my daily life as a stay at home army wife with four kids. It helps me maintain relationships and see what everyone is up to…the best part? It’s at my leisure, on my own time. Im not obligated to reply to messages instantly or juggle a tray full of toddler meals while I struggle to keep my phone against my ear. By the way, I love how “all day” means I’ve made three posts in one day. Does it really take people 8 hours to post one picture and caption? Takes me 30 seconds tops. I give lessons on it so drop me a line if you’re interested. I’ll get back to you as soon as I can. (Within a month).

John and Phoenix eating their bedtime snack on the bathroom floor right before their baths. Because time got away from mama…who looked just as crazy and frazzled as they do in this shot.

Life gets pretty busy sometimes. Not just for parents of multiples, or parents of singletons, but for everyone. But believe nothing is impossible and you can prioritize and make time for what’s by truly important to you. What I’m doing with this article is acknowledging that and bringing to light the fact that I need to make my friends and family a priority in the coming new year. I thank those who didn’t give up on me and took no offense when I replied to a text 17 days after you sent it. (By the way, I just sent out Easter cards from earlier this year. You should get them after the new year.)

We rarely get moments like this one. I love this. Our four kids all together with a bit of downtime.

So again, when we seem unable to give you any of our precious, precious time, please don’t take it personal. Or do. Whatever. Quite frankly, we are too damn tired to really care. Just kidding, we love you and really do care. It’s the exhaustion talking…

*I love connecting with other parents! Follow me on Instagram at www.instagram.com/thewaldonkids I’d love to hear your feedback and comments!

 

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