Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Recharge

Today was a good day, full of anticipation. After Dan came home from work, I got dressed up in my new shirt ( I know! A new shirt! When's the last time I had one of those?), nursed the boys, kissed Danny and the Mags goodbye, and headed off to my friend Jo's apartment for an evening of chatting and laughter with the girls

We each had brought something yummy and boy did I enjoy sitting and catching up with some of my dearest friends. The problem: the twins wouldn't stop fussing. I bounced one of them while Jo rocked the other. Then Sarah walked around with one while Kenna swiveled with the other. Then Vhari burped one while I nursed the other.  It was a lot of crying, juggling, and spit-up. 

I'm sure the girl's didn't mind the fussing because they are kind and sweet and good like that. But I was going insane. I had so looked forward to enjoying myself and here I was frantically trying to pound the burps (or toots, I'd have taken anything at that point) out of the universe's gassiest twins. It was not what I had anticipated the evening going like.

I returned home stressed, saddened, and exhausted. I had so been looking forward to a break, but instead it was a mess. I had a good cry and wondered what I should do. Elder Ballard's counsel to mothers came to my mind, "Water cannot be drawn from an empty well, and if you are not setting aside a little time for what replenishes you, you will have less and less to give to others, even to your children."
Wise counsel. And yet, I had been trying to replenish myself and it certainly did not work. Folks, I need me some water in my well.  What do you do to replenish? I could certainly use some advice. What can I do to replenish myself despite the chaos?

12 comments:

K said...

This is actually a hard question. I think that you could have left the twins home to go - for less time, perhaps, but more intense Megs time. Lorri pumps enough for an evening. And Dan can survive for two hours alone, if you can do it for a whole day. I don't mean to sound mean about that, but I used to try to explain to Guy that being alone for endless hours with three kids under four was harder than going out to the studio to mess with music and grown-ups and technology and have conversations - and be able to use BOTH HANDS at the same time.

He didn't really get it. And I was kind of afraid to leave him with the kids because if you're not the 24-7 guy, there are going to be things you don't know - the little needs, the patterns of doing things, the dangers and risks - stuff like that.

Still, fathers need to spend time with kids because time with kids teaches you a maturity you can't get any other way. A job won't do it. Kids do it. Helpless, ceaseless service, focus and patience do it.

So that's suggestion number one.

Honestly, it's very, very hard on you to have babies. That's just reality. I'm telling you this from the standpoint of a woman who loved her children fiercely-you know me. I even kept them home from school and taught them all the Rs myself because I loved being with them so much.

But there were so many times when I was used up and exhausted. And leaving to find water made me feel guilty and worried. So I had to get the water out of the fam. Like, when they were older, I'd announce that i was going upstairs to eat my lunch in my room and nobody was to die, escape or discover pornography for at least fifteen minutes. No using the word "mom."

Fifteen minutes, lying in the sun on the floor of my room on the far side of the bed from the door, eating my sandwich and reading a novel. Woo HOO. It did me WORLDS of good.

Stepping out into the studio for ten minutes while people watched MR. Rogers did me good, too. I think Facebook or Blogging would have done pretty much the same thing that way. You get to be publicly funny and witty when you write - just know how much joy and delight you give everybody who reads you. Because knowing you've made people laugh is pretty refreshing stuff.

Managing the studio was a pain in the back end, but it was also my business and that made me feel like a grown up, too. So, like, managing your money and stuff - that can help.

Ginna does it by seeing through her camera.

I don't know if any of this makes sense. But yeah, it's important that while you are submerged and saturated with being Mom, that Megan also gets to play.

Jill_ums said...

I know!! Let's go to a football game on Saturday!! And I'm sure the boys get the gas from their father. It must be hereditary. Like father, like son.

Amanda D said...

I'm sorry that your night didn't go as well as you had hoped. I hope it works better next time.

I think you get a good bottle of bubble bath and lock yourself in the bathroom with a mug of hot cocoa. Just soak and sip. :)

EmmaP said...

replenishing the well is good. i think it is easier said than done...i needed replenishing myself - so "desperate housewife" & I were gonna do a midnight wal-mart run, and instead we ended up witting in my van, in the wal-mart parking lot for over an hour talking. at the end we couldn't remember what we were even gonna buy. but i think we both just needed some time away from the "norm" for some adult chit-chat and good sisterly love... oh - and then we treated ourselves to mcnuggets at the drive thru on the way home, lol!

Willeyes said...

I wish I had some sage advice. I need it myself...so let me know what you figure out:) In the meantime, a party is in order:) Can't wait to see you!

Kirsten said...

Megan-I am so sorry...I know all too well what that is like, but it is true and very important to have time to yourself. It isn't a want it is a definate NEED! Infants and toddlers are very intense...I can't sit through a dinner without my food being cold, wiping two bottoms, refilling a million drinks, etc. I sometimes think I might go nuts!! Things you could do to recharge:

1. Leave the twins at home! ;-)Even (and don't tell anyone I said this) if it means giving them a bottle once in a while!

2. Go on a hot date at least once a month with your hubby...to the dollar movies, bowling, get a frosty, play tennis or frisbee, dance dance revolution (j/k), etc

3. Go get your haircut by someone you trust...make sure they shampoo it and style it...alone time and you'll feel like a million bucks! Get a frosty afterwards! ;-)

4. Ammon and I switch nights going to the temple so we can use our once a month date nights for dinner or a movie. I miss him when I go alone but it is nice to sit there and just have some quiet time. Then pick up frosties for the two of you on the way home (can you tell I am all about the frosties??!)

5. Switch baby-sitting with a friend, even for an hour. This might be too crazy right now, but in a couple of months-you take her kids for two hours, then she takes yours. It is heaven!!!

6. Start a recipe swap with your friends once a month. Good food + good friends = relaxing, fun times!

7. Attend a girls night with Becca, Me, Beth and anyone else when we get into town!!!!!!!! ;-)

We luv ya lots and you are doing a great job! It won't always be like this-I promise!!

the fellers said...

My advice....do that again, but leave the kids home...or with your mom...or something...or have someone come over and help Dan (he will probably hate me for this advice...hehe)...but I always tell Shon, You get to leave during the day, I know that you go to a job, but when you come home, you can leave that at work, and then come home, then leave again in the morning, me...I am home all day...and night...with the kids, I love them, but I need to get away, ALONE with friends or just alone or whatever...but you need to get out alone...I hope that you can do that...I know...go get a pedicure! I LOOOOOVVVVEEEE pedicures!

The Tuck Family said...

The only advice I can give you for this moment in your life while the boys are teeny is when they gown down for a nap stick in a show for the Magster (I know I'm a selfish Momma)....and go do your bliss for as long as you can, whether it's a shower, sipping hot cocoa, or reading, whatever....do it! Also, I agree with everyone else on the leaving the boys at home, if Dan needs the extra help he can have a friend over or family member come to help. You don't have to be Super Mom ALL the time!

Moms need a physical and more importantly a MENTAL break from it all, you have a great and loving family who I'm sure would be more than willing to help at least once a month....I know your Mom! Just do your best to steal little moments away during the week and plan a once-a-month BIG to do whether it's by yourself or with Dan or friends and write in big letters on your calendar color it creatively gorgeous like I know you can and when you feel low look at what your working towards.

Hope that helps.

Kristin said...

A little formula in a bottle plus a nice daddy would never hurt.

Beth said...

Wow, Megs, you have good friends. It is so intense, huh? I agree and I don't even know how hard your job is! I miss sleep. I feel like crying about it right now.
But I never know what's going to allow me to recharge, but sometimes it's being with friends, taking a walk by myself, going to a store OTHER than Walmart, even if it's just to look, or going on a date.
Tell me what I should do when you get this mothering thing figured out.

Jennifer said...

Elder Ballard is TOTALLY right! I love that quote. And I love the advice your amazing friends have given. I can't say anything better than they did. I would especially echo #1 going somewhere (anywhere) by yourself (meaning not with kids), #2 having a regular date night with Dan, #3 consider a bottle for the boys. (When mine were little, I gave them a bottle once or twice a week, just so they got used to it and I could have that as a back-up plan if I needed it. It was fantastic.)

The main thing that helps me, personally, to REPLENISH is simply doing something where I'm not the mom. Mostly, it's adult conversation, whether at Enrichment meeting or out to dinner with a friend or whatever. I feel like ME, not "the mom." It helps me be more in touch with myself. Dates with my husband do the same thing, but in a different way. (As Marjorie Hinckley said, "Women need women.") Really, whatever I can do without being "the mom" helps me, even if it's just for an hour.

My spectacular advice: Listen to your friends. They gave perfect advice! :)

Tiffany said...

You do have GREAT friends and I'm positive they didn't mind one bit helping you out last night. I wish I could have been there!
I love the ideas people have said already- if I was there, I'd take you to get a pedicure!

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