I know I often gloss over many aspects of raising twins, touting it as the best days of my life. And while these days are nothing short of amazing, it is really hard work. I commend moms who stay home with their twins full time and remain sane, because in reality while I don't leave my home every day to take care of someone else's 36 small children as I used to, this IS indeed a JOB and it is hard work.
A few days before the holiday weekend I hurt my back. Though it wasn't too bad, I was noticing the pain when I bent down to pick up the boys and felt stiff in the mornings. I didn't think too much of it and we hopped into the car on the morning of the 4th to head down the freeway to see our families for the holiday weekend. 2 hours in the car without a ton of leg room was a horrible idea in hindsight. I spent much of that Thursday in a lot of pain. I nursed it, took pain medication and by the following morning I was feeling much better. We took a walk that morning in an effort to loosen things up and I was feeling pretty well on Friday. By Saturday and Sunday I was able to do most things and was really in little to no pain. Then after meeting family for breakfast on Sunday morning we hopped back in the car and drove home. When we arrived back, I jumped out of the car at a neighbors house where we were watering the lawn, and then when I got back out at our house I felt it-- the pain was back. Not horrible, but I still declined getting the boys out of the car or unpacking the car just in case. I spent about an hour unpacking a few things in the house, starting the laundry and feeding the boys lunch. After we'd completed all of our chores from returning home Hubs and I sat down with some food and watched a show on net.flix. Against my better judgement I decided to lay down on our very soft sofa to finish the show. Possibly the worst idea I have EVER had. Ouch! I started feeling like I needed to use the restroom so I tried to get up... not happening. Feeling pretty fearful I was going to wet my pants right there on the couch, I started trying to get myself to the floor to crawl to the bathroom. After probably and hour, some crying and a lot of pain I made it to the bathroom to take care of business. This was obviously way more pain than I had been in previously that weekend so I started to get worried. I tried all of my husband's low back pain tricks and nothing really helped I was in so much pain that I wasn't even interested in eating.
***sidenote, while explaining to my husband that this was the worst pain I had ever been in, he got a puzzled face, and said 'even childbirth?' to which I reminded him I'd been drugged and cut open.... Really? It hasn't even been a year yet and you've forgotten? Hilarious conversation!***
Not only was I hurting, I was also starting to feel guilty that Hubs was going to have to take care of the boys on his own while I healed. I'm not sure why this was such a worry to me. I've done it many times when he needed to be rested for work or wasn't feeling well- while hard work, it is in fact doable. I think more than anything it is just hard for me to give up the things I do every single day for my babies.
Anyway, that was Sunday, and I was in no shape to be left alone with the boys on Monday, so Hubs worked from home to help us. Then Tuesday my Mom came and stayed until Thursday evening so Hubs could go into work for a few days and then he stayed with us again on Friday and obviously through the weekend.
I add that whole story, because it really wasn't until I was laying on a lawn chair, with ice on my back in my living room that I realized just how hard my job is. (We don't furnish our living room with outdoor furniture it was just the only thing other than my bed that I could stand being in) When it was hubs taking care of our boys it was different, more effortless. He does it most evenings and on the weekend, so while it is still a lot of work he is somewhat used to it all. However, watching my mom who is not used to taking care of two 11 month olds all day- I was exhausted just watching her. She really did a fantastic job, but when I'm in my day I don't really notice all the millions of little things I do for the boys all.day.long. I thought MANY times, how do I do this everyday? I'm in no way trying to toot my own horn or make stay at home moms sound higher or mightier than those moms that go back to work. I'm just trying to be real- this is hard work. I vow now to no longer feel like I've failed the day if there is a load of laundry in the washing machine that is going to have to be re-washed the following morning or if my kitchen is a mess, or if I fall into my bed at night and just barely kiss my husband good night. Because I'm doing big work around here. I'm raising two little boys into what I hope will be strong, hardworking, loving men someday. And really, all those other things are of little importance when I look at the bigger picture.
Sometimes it just takes a living room lawn chair moment to bring you back to reality and remind you how well you really are doing and also what is really important.