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My father-in-law is downstairs right now, ready to attend to any screaming baby who might rear its face until 9pm, when I will go feed the munchkins again.  I have been mentally formulating a blog post over the past few days, but have not had time to sit down and write it.  This is fairly standard with new motherhood, especially new mother-of-twins-hood, I imagine.  But when I have 15 or 30 minutes before the next feeding, the babies seem relatively stable in their sleep, and Mr. Apron doesn’t need me for anything, I find myself conflicted with what to do with that time.  I don’t immediately think “Blog!” and dash upstairs to the computer.  I don’t even immediately think “Shower!” and run to de-stankify myself.  I do feel torn between the many things I could choose to do, some of which seem frivolous or indulgent.  As a matter of fact, if I choose do something not for the babies, I tend to feel guilty.

People who come over to visit with us and meet the babies often happen upon us at a period of low activity.  The twins typically sleep for the two-hour “slot” we have permitted a friend, coworker, or family member to hold court.  They look adoringly in the Pack ‘N Play, coo at the angelic faces, and ask us, “Do you just stare at them all the time?”  “Oh, yes!” we obligingly reply.  But we don’t.  If they’re out for any period of time, we’re running around like chickens with their heads cut off, throwing together quick meals, decanting breast milk into bottles for night-time feedings, tossing a load of laundry into the washing machine, dryer, or into disheveled dresser drawers.  We’re planning our next quick between-feeding errands to the grocery store, pharmacy, or take-out establishment.  And do I sometimes feel like a bad parent, or at least a detached parent, for doing so?  I do.

I’m very practically minded most of the time  So it makes sense that when the babies are angelically napping, I’m kicking my productivity into high gear.  I bet most parents of newborn multiples do so, out of necessity.  Sometimes I will grab that shower, leaving Mr. Apron on call for errant whimpers or explosive diapers.  But I’ve only chosen to use that time to write once.

Choosing to blog, to send some of my musings longer than a status update (or a tweet, but I don’t do that) into the world seems like an indulgence I can’t afford when we’ve eaten pasta or cookies for every meal in the last week.  At least it’s a balanced diet – chocolate chip cookies, store-brand oreos, regular oatmeal cookies, or steel-cut oatmeal cookies.  But to write?  What purpose does it serve?  Does it get the babies fed or changed any more efficiently?  Does it prepare me to be more patient with my children and husband and self the way an hour-long afternoon nap does?  Does it put a dent in the thank-you note pile? Or help the house feel less like a zoo?  Does it make sure we have food in the house?  Does it make all those necessary phone calls to doctors’ offices, blood labs, window installers, and health insurance companies?  It serves no rational purpose, and hence, feels gratuitous, or downright indulgent.

A few months ago, I blogged about preserving a “me-ness” (and of my husband’s and my desire to preserve a “we-ness”) once I add Mother to my list of titles.  I hoped I would not lose track of my own self, of my hobbies and my interests. I vowed that my identity as a mother would not supplant who I was in the 30 years before.  And in the throes of the sleep deprivation and complete disorientation of the first six weeks of my children’s lives, when I am utterly consumed with their pooping, peeing, sleeping, and feeding, I must find a smidge of “me-ness”.  Perhaps stealing away to blog while my father-in-law gazes adoringly at his (sleeping, of course) grandchildren is my way of doing so, even if it comes at the cost of clean laundry, a hot (or re-heated) meal, or showing timely gratitude for baby gifts.

P.S. I bet you wouldn’t mind another picture, eh?

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July 2020