incompetence

“Mine are three. It doesn’t get any better.”

That’s what she said to me as I wheeled my two baby girls into daycare this morning. “I’m sure they keep you busy. Mine are three. It doesn’t get any better.”

Well, I guess there’s no “It gets better” project for twin moms.

Which sucks, because for the last few days I just feel like life is hard. I feel incompetent. Like, not only can’t I do it all, but I can’t even do the little bit that I want to do. The little bit that I thought was achievable.

All I want to be when I grow up is an English professor. I’m beginning to think it will never happen. I’m beginning to think I won’t even get my freakin’ masters, let alone a PhD, because it’s all I can do to take two classes per term and stay on top of my coursework. A full load for most people is three courses, but two seriously puts me at my limit. And don’t even get me started on studying for my comps exam, which I’m supposed to be doing somehow on top of and outside of my course work. I truly cannot find the time. Not that I know where the time goes, except that there is always someone to be held or fed or changed, forever and ever, amen. Sometimes I manage to make dinner, or do a little laundry, but please don’t look at the tumbleweeds of dog hair on my floors or my dirty toilets and sinks. We’re just getting by here. Every night that we put two babies to bed feels like a victory.

And yet a few of my profs found out I hadn’t signed up to take the comps this term, and they told me I should take it, so I decided to give it a try, despite the whole not studying thing. And then I had a disaster morning and a baby peed on me, and a car seat came unbuckled in my moving car, and earlier daycare drop off was a nightmare, and I was ten minutes late for the first day of the test, and the door was barred to me, and there were many many public tears. And then someone fought for me, and I got to take it after all, and I’m still pretty sure I failed. And I still rallied for Day 2, the essay portion, and I think I did ok on 2 essays, but I needed to write 3, and I just didn’t have an answer for any of my other options, so I came home, and went to bed. I am not used to feeling this incompetent

I can try again in the spring, and I will make a study schedule and try again in the spring, but I just feel so defeated. I feel like it is such a battle to just make time for my academic pursuits, and I know that it’s not going to get any better, and then I wonder about all of it, and what I’m doing with myself. And we have to maybe move again at the end of this year, and I have to maybe start a new life in a new place all over again, and make a life for two small people, and it’s just exhausting.

I feel like a broken record lately, “But I have two babies.” Two babies. So small. I underestimated them. Perhaps I overestimated myself. It’s just so very hard sometimes, and I can’t even really explain the hardness, except to say that it is. And right now it feels a little too much for me. Two classes I can do very well on top of two babies, but graduating might just prove to be too much.

So there’s that.

I was afraid to even write this because I know my family reads this now, and I know they will freak out and also give me a bunch of platitudes about how I can do it. But I just need to feel my feelings, right now, and this is what I’ve got.

 

happy morning

I’m told that as a small child, I used to stand by my parents’ bed saying HAPPY MORNING until someone woke up. Sure, it was the crack of dawn, but who can be mad at someone who is just so HAPPY that they insist someone wake up and share that joy with them?

My girls have inherited the morning happies, and I am so very glad.

Pre-babies, I often enjoyed quiet lazy mornings with Tinycat, who, much like toddler Ernie Bufflo, would meow by my bed until I grabbed some coffee and joined him in the living room (lazy mornings are the perks of a grad student schedule). He didn’t need me to play with him or feed him, he just wanted me to BE with him in the living room, internetting while he lounged in a sunny window. It came to be some of my favorite time of the day, and I wondered what mornings would be like once we added two tiny people to the family.

It turns out, they’re just as lovely. Now, I know this is one of the perks of newborns– they’re sleepy folks. My girls tend to wake up very happy around 6:30 or 7, have a bit to eat, and then spend a few minutes making smiley faces and happy squeals until they are just SO TIRED, at which point it’s time to nap until 10:30 or 11. I am enjoying these morning naps as hard as I can right now. They nap in the living room with me, while I sip coffee with Tinycat and catch up on my internetting, pausing occasionally to gaze at my gorgeous, sleeping girls. I realize that all too soon, my mornings will likely look radically different, so I’m savoring this as long as it lasts.

In fact, I’m pretty much enjoying the whole not-so-newborn phase right now. The girls are waking up only once in the night; they’re still sleepy, snuggly, and portable; and they are starting to be more interactive in terms of reacting to us, smiling at us, and making cute little noises. Sure, sometimes the day to day routine is mind-numbingly boring. Most evenings one or both of them has a VERY angry witching hour(s). And I still get barfed on an awful lot. But overall? Life at 2 months is very very sweet.

Claire naps in her Boppy on the couch.
Etta naps in the swing.
Tinycat naps in the recliner.

before and after: vintage patio set

This summer, I saw this refinished vintage glider on Shelterrific and immediately knew what I wanted for the empty end of our front porch:

The only problem was, I wasn’t willing to shell out hundreds to thousands of dollars for a refinished vintage glider. So I knew I’d need to find one I could refinish myself– and I’d just finished fixing up and repainting a wooden table and chairs I’d found by the side of the road, so I was inspired.

A little bit later, I found the following rusted-out glider with a matching chair on Craigslist, $300 for the pair.

I convinced Jon they could be our anniversary present to each other.

Then, in August, I found out that our real anniversary present to each other was BABIES. So stripping and spray painting was no longer on the allowable list for me. Thus Jon inherited what was supposed to be my project. He sanded and stripped and took apart and repainted and replaced hardware, and generally worked very very hard to execute my vision for the glider and chair. And THIS, this beauty you see right here, is what he achieved:

If you need me, I’ll be on the front porch.