Monday, August 30, 2010

Don't Blink

I blinked, and now my babies are here. Emily is cutting her first tooth at 12 weeks, Drew is trying to roll over, and I am going back to work in a few short hours.

I should be sleeping right now. After all, the babies are down, they are sleeping through the night, and I have to be up for work for the first time since May. Instead, I am running on nervous energy. You’d think I was nesting all over again. I have cleaned the house, made bottles, washed clothes, and even planned meals for the week. Do I think that if I don’t sleep I can prolong the inevitable? Or am I struggling with my own ambivalence about returning to work and leaving the babies?

I never seriously entertained the idea of being a stay-at-home mom. I always planned to go back to work for a variety of reasons, all of which you have probably heard before. But then Emily and Drew arrived.

Suddenly my days didn’t revolve travel, meetings, coaching, and emails. They revolved around feeding, diaper changing, rocking, playing, and loving the two most precious babies in the world. It was a never-ending, all-consuming job. Honestly, much of the last 12 weeks is a blur--an awesome blur--but a blur. Marty and I ran on no sleep and leaned on family and friends to prop us up when we felt we might fall down from exhaustion. I was up early every day, and I moved all day long. I think I felt I had to be super-mom because my time at home was limited. I always felt like I should have a baby in my arms, whether I was feeding, rocking, talking, or playing. If I left them in the swing to wash bottles or take a shower, I felt like I was misplacing my priorities. By the end of some days, I was in tears, not of happiness, but of exhaustion and frustration. I couldn’t wait for Marty to relieve me so I could nap even if it was just for a few minutes. Surely, this was the hardest job I have ever had.

People have told me that going back to work will make my time with the babies even more special. I’ll be so happy to see them, and they’ll be happy to see me. I will appreciate the opportunity to feed them instead of secretly groaning that it’s time to feed--again. I will benefit from the adult company, and my babies will benefit from a saner mom. The truth is I am torn.

There’s a small part of me that is ready to go back. Secretly, I long for a quiet car ride, an uninterrupted lunch, and a reason to take a shower. And, that small part of me makes me feel terribly GUILTY. What kind of mom wants to leave her babies?

There’s a bigger part of me that hates the thought of leaving my babies. I know once I am back at work, time will fly by. I saw a quote at the doctor’s office the other day that said, “The days are long, but the years are short.” How true it is. Despite all the hard work, we developed a routine and a flow to our days, and I am sad that our babymoon is over. How much will I miss while I am in a car, at a school, having lunch, or rushing around to balance having a career, running a house, and raising twins? And, this big part of me also makes me feel terribly GUILTY. What kind of mom would leave her babies?

I know the babies will be in good hands when I leave in seven hours, and for that, I am grateful. I am going to try not to call every hour, and I am going to try to have conversations that don’t revolve around how sad I am. However, I will come armed with 300 baby pictures on my I-Phone. People may wish me back to maternity leave.

As with so much recently, I guess we’ll just have to wait and see how things play out. As Kenny Chesney sings, I am going to try to slow it down and take it all in. In that spirit, here are two videos from this weekend that show our amazing babies.

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