The Sweetest Exhaustion

I just returned to the office after sitting around a table filled with dead people.  About 50 or so dead people all laughing and a couple crying – usually me – just grateful to be alive due to sobriety.  You get a brand new appreciation for how bad it was when you hear someone talk who’s got 10 days of sobriety.  I’m normally a grateful person.  After most meetings, my gratitude increases by a gazillion.  Today I had the pleasure of meeting a woman who reads this blog and is struggling.  She is a mom.  She is just like me.  And she is fighting for her life.  You never know when the last drunk or high will take you out.  Sobriety is HARD WORK.

I worked from home yesterday and having done that for about a month now (one day a week or so – mostly I go into the office) with two babies in my care on top of a demanding 9 hour work day, I was EXHAUSTED by the time 5pm rolled around and I could turn off my phone and computer and call it a day.  AT WORK.  Then I had a few more hours of home/baby time before sleep.  Now I know there are a ton of you Moms, Dads and Caregivers out there who already know this lifestyle and how exhausting it is.  My hat is off to you.  Like most things though, you have to bear with me as it’s my turn to go through this and learn it all first hand.   

I used to think I knew tired.  Work was challenging but not tiring.  For years I couldn’t sleep without being blackout drunk.  Then after getting sober I couldn’t sleep without reading or sleeping pills and staying up way too late.  Then, I didn’t sleep my entire pregnancy.  I was too nervous about babies being healthy and excited and too uncomfortable the last few months.  I thought I just wasn’t the type of person who needed a lot of sleep.  But now, I sleep more than I have in years.  I go to bed at 10pm after our last feeding and sleep like a rock until about 6am when the first baby stirs.  I mean, I SLEEP.  The restorative, thankful, lovely sleep of someone who has spent all her waking hours REALLY expending herself. 

I mean, we really have a lot of jobs.  These are some of mine –

  • The most important job is staying sober and helping other alcoholics.  You have to give it away in order to keep it.  One day I want to be able to tell my kids my story and they will know that mommy going to meetings is just a normal every day occurence.  They won’t ever have to see me drink if I keep doing what I’m doing and that’s the goal.
  • I am a mommy to two 6.5 month old babies.  Nuff said.
  • I have a full time outside the home job in a corporate office.  You know I’m a Big Shot, right?
  • I AM MAKING THE BEWBIE MILK 24/7.  Almost the best thing about being a bewbie feeder is I can, at any time to anyone, say, “DON’T BOTHER ME, I’M WORKING” and it’s true.  I am making the milk.  Side note, are you hydrating?

When I was on Maternity Leave and spent all day every day with the little loves, I was so physically and mentally tired at night I would hit the pillow at 10pm and crash no problem.  Don’t tell my employer, but being at home with two babies is way more tiring than going into the office every day.  Babies are tiring.  Work AND babies. CHRIST ON A BICYCLE.  Picture running around a track all day long non-stop with two 17 pound squirmy bags of loud fun that you have to feed and play with and change and rock and cherish every second with, PLUS trying to answer the phone and work on documents and figure out travel for executives.  You feel me?

I don’t have time or energy or desire to focus on nonsense.  All I have time for or I should say all I choose to have time for is living in a moment and loving on these babies. It makes life so much simpler when I choose that. All the energy I used to spend getting angry and arguing about what? Nonsense.   I pick my battles and my battle now is raising healthy well-adjusted kiddos and being happy joyous and free. I will be 40 in August and just had two babies.  What the hell was I thinking?  I was thinking it would be exhilarating, and guess what,  it is. 

Some moments captured just yesterday if you’ll indulge me –

My boy keeps reaching up and touching my face and looking in my eyes.  He caresses my breasts while I’m feeding him.   Those are the sweetest flesh moments I’ve ever felt. My girl has the softest roundest head and when I hug her, which I do as often as I can, I just breathe her in.  Her cheeks are so round and full that I can feel her smiling even while hugging her and not seeing her face.  And she has this way of breathing that I will forever remember.  It’s a bit quickened sometimes and through her nose and it is the sweetest little gift that only her daddy and I get to share.  

They are eating real food now.  Sweet potato and oatmeal and peas and avocado.  They are really good at it and seem to enjoy it and I just have a blast watching their little faces and enjoying how much they are enjoying this new development in their lives. As with everything with these two, I have the honor and the priviledge of being their mom and experiencing all their firsts with them. 

She can crawl or tries to, moving in circles and scooting backwards and more forward every day while he’s a professional sitter on his own.  She winds up under the couch before you can blink and eye and when you peek under there to get her, she just gummy grins at you.  They each have separate but equally astounding skills.  I put them in the pack and play by themselves while I’m working  for about an hour and I hear them  just talking and touching and smiling and rolling and cooing with each other – entertaining themselves.  They look at each other and smile.  It is the cutest thing I have ever had the pleasure and gift of watching.  They touch each other’s faces in curiosity and want to know more.  She touches his little helmet and wants to know why it’s not moving for her to play with.  Twin moms have told me this would happen.  That when they got old enough (is 6.5 months old enough?) they would play with each other and not need me every single second.  I’m beginning to believe the hype.  I don’t think they need me anymore.  My work here is done.   I watched without them seeing me for about half an hour with smiles and tears rolling down my face.  It was the coolest sight to behold.  And then he smacked her and that took care of that.  But the moment was there and I got to bear witness to it.

Never in my life did I think that a 10 minute bath with a baby could entirely erase any negativity I felt the whole day.  And I get to do it TWICE!  It’s impossible to think or feel anything but absolute joy when bathing babies.  They love it so damn much that you are required to love it with them.  The kick kick kicking and the flailing and the squealing, good lord.  It is too much!

My life is so full. Fuller than I ever imagined it to be.  The moments are why we do it.  Why we kill ourselves to get it all done so we can be our best selves for our kids and our partners and most importantly for ourselves.   I am exhausted a lot of the time.  But it the sweetest exhaustion I have ever felt and I am so grateful for every second of it. 

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They just like to hold hands. 

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