Like a constant nails-on-chalkboard, are the whines of my children.
“Moooommyyy! I want thaaaaaat cuuuuuup!” “Mooooommyyyyy! She’s not giving me thaaaaaat!
and of course, my personal favorite – the wordless whine:
“uuuueeeeerrrrrraaaaaaaaaaaaaa” ad nauseum.
For those of you who are fresh and young and don’t know anything other than whiteboards, and don’t quite get the reference to nails-on-chalkboards, it is also comparable to a needle scratching on a record…..oh, wait, that’s kinda carbon-dated as well, isn’t it? Feedback squeals on microphones? Do they still have microphones these days?
I’m 43. When my twins are 14, I’ll be 53. When they graduate from college, I’ll be 63.
I’m old. I have lots and lots of gray & white hair, I’m starting to get wrinkles on my face, I can feel them crawling into place, like chronological caterpillars.
I find that I keep saying things like “If I was only 10 years younger…”
More and more, these days, maternal age at first birth is increasing. Whether it’s due to the time lag between realizing that babies aren’t coming naturally and the final successful attempt at IVF, or because our modern world requires that a woman have a secure, established career to fall back on, should her mate scamper off, women are putting off childbearing until later and later in life.
And while many of us are truly happy to have our little bundles of joy at last, it is inevitably more exhausting for us than for those lucky gals who are able to have offspring while still in their 20’s.
If I don’t dye my hair, I occasionally get looks and comments referring to me as the twins’ grandma (they have one of those already, and she’s nifty, but she’s not me.)
It’s harder to do those all-nighters in my 40’s, to keep up with one or more sick children, than it would have been in my 20’s, or even my 30’s.
I constantly reflect about how much more I would have been able to offer my girls in terms of quality time, if I wasn’t so tired, old and worn-out feeling.
And I read about the mom who bounces back the day after giving birth to sextuplets, and is running a marathon – looking perfectly slim – one week later, while simultaneously breastfeeding her new babies as she sprints across the finish line!
My abs are shot. It’s called diastasis recti, and it’s what happens when the swollen womb causes the abdominal muscles to split. I still look pregnant, and I have to constantly tell people, no – I’m not expecting more kids, that’s my internal organs protruding thru the split abs.
My back muscles have to do the work of my out-of-commission abs, and it’s more exhausting on the body overall, especially at my age, not to mention more painful.
There are many nights that I like awake trying to get to sleep, but can’t because my back and other muscles won’t stop spasming and twitching.
I love my girls, and they are worth all I’m going thru, but I am longing for the day when they are in full-time kindergarten (still a year away), and my husband has promised me a present of surgically getting my abs reattached to each other (which requires a minimum 2-week recovery period). So all I’d have to do is drop the twins off at school and pick them up when day is done. We might even spring for after-care during that time.
And hopefully by then the girls will no longer ask me to pick them up and carry them. They are quite hefty now, as it is, and I can no longer pick them both up at the same time.
It’s also hard to diet, which is also something I need to do – get rid of the 27 pounds of ballast I’ve got – before the surgery. With no abs putting pressure on the stomach, it’s very hard to know when you feel full, because the stomach has ample room to expand. You never feel full, always vaguely hungry, and it’s too easy to overeat.
Ok, my own little whine-fest has come to an end. I recommend a nice dublin cheddar to pair with all of that, or a creamy brie with a little whole-berry cranberry sauce to dab on it.
Recommended Reading about diastasis recti: