Month: December 2015

New Year’s Resolutions For A Highly-Motivated Twin Mom

When it comes to resolutions, we all fall into one of three camps. There are those who look at the new year as a chance to evaluate how their life is going, identify what they want changed, and formalize their resolutions on paper (or screen). So what if they failed in the past? That’s no reason to quit trying.

There are those who forego resolutions because they know they’re going to give up in two weeks anyway. They view written goals as personal ammo that’s going to come back to mock them later.

And there are those who have their lives so perfectly orchestrated that they don’t need goals. Everyone else hates these people.

Disregarding the last group (because I hate them too), there are those two chunks of philosophies infiltrating pretty much everyone’s thoughts to some degree or another this time of year. And while I’m tempted to fall into the second group (which is ever-growing with converts from last year’s failed resolutions), I can’t seem to give myself permission to.

Experts say that resolutions should meet each of the following criteria:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Realistic
  • Timed

So, without further ado, my 2016 Resolutions, also known as the Dream Sheet, Register of Unrealistic Hopes, and Things My 26-Year-Old Self Will Thank Me For.

1. Eat two full meals a day (coffee doesn’t count as a meal; smoothies might if they incorporate kale or oatmeal)

2. Work out once a month

3. Shower twice a week (bonus points for actually blow-drying hair afterward)

4. Read all recently-purchased books before purchasing more

5. Consider actually cutting the twins’ fingernails occasionally, before they put one of their eyes (or one of my boobs) out of commission permanently

6. Write (AND MAIL) thank-you cards for all baby gifts that were given to me since… last August

7. Sweep all floors biannually

8. Purchase stock in coffee

9. Find a source for pure caffeine and spike Manny’s peanut butter

10. Set regular office hours for freelance work, starting with 10 minutes a day twice a month. No exceptions.

11. Sleep a minimum of 3 hours each day. On days when this is impossible, make up the difference within the two following

I hope you’re inspired. I know I am.

Crunch. Crunch.

This year, I spent Christmas Eve baking homemade bread, wearing Davey in his Moby wrap, and browsing cloth diaper sites. While my dough was proofing, I started hearing something. And it wasn’t the sound of footsteps through snow–not this year. But it sounded similar. It was the music of a subculture that I’m just getting to know.

Like every other millennial, I’ve always hated the idea that I might be normal. But I didn’t think I’d end up in a weird off-the-beaten-track hipster category along with millions of my peers.

Last summer I intended to write a post about knitting. I had just finished a pair of socks I wanted to show off. If I had written the post, it would have certainly said something about how knitted socks are better than cheesecake, oversized hoodies, and flavored coffee combined.Screenshot 2015-12-28 11.34.25

Before I had the twins, I fell prey to the cloth diaper addiction. It’s a thing. Cloth diaper collecting is not unlike collecting handbags, high-end candles, or essential oils, but it’s arguably more useful and economical. It makes me different (except for the other tens of thousands of moms who also decided it’s a great idea and brought it back into vogue). It saves me money (for now), makes more sense to me, and keeps my babies’ bums comfortable (who wants to wear paper underwear?).Screenshot 2015-12-28 11.33.41

I also discovered that I can’t really get through a day without wearing my babies–at this point, it’s usually in their Moby wrap, though I’ve decided I need a soft structured carrier like a Tula. And possibly a few ring slings, for good measure. Babywearing makes it possible to cook, clean, do laundry, and even write my articles while holding a sleeping baby (they almost inevitably fall asleep when they’re wrapped). Which means that babywearing enables me to keep more of my sanity than I would otherwise.

Screenshot 2015-12-28 11.39.20

Last summer Manny and I bought a farm share and drove thirty minutes once a week to pick fruit and veggies and collect our massive box of fresh, locally grown organic goods. It just made sense. We also drive another twenty minutes out of the way to a local dairy/ice cream shop to get a couple of gallons of raw milk every week and a half or two weeks.Screenshot 2015-12-28 11.34.00

Once, shortly after the twins were born, we ran out of raw milk and didn’t feel like driving all the way to Amherst to collect some. Crisis. So we bought organic homogenized milk from the store. It was disgusting. Seriously, after getting spoiled on the super-creamy, fresh raw milk from Cook Farm, neither Manny nor I could stomach the storebought stuff. We ended up throwing it out.

For all the trouble I went to during adolescence to try to avoid labels, I’ve stumbled into a big one without even realizing it. It turns out that my particular combination of “logical” choices identifies me as a Crunchy Mom.

What does that even mean? Urban Dictionary has a helpful entry. There are even quizzes you can take to determine your level of crunchiness. Apparently I’m only somewhat crunchy because I’m not politically liberal, I like to travel by car, and most of my decisions have nothing to do with greenhouse gases or landfills.

Somehow I’ve fallen into the new trendy subculturey group of cloth diapering, baby wearing, homebirthing, raw-milk-drinking, crop-share-buying, knitting, intactivist, who-knows-what-else mothers. They call us Crunchy. The fact that I practically live in Birkenstocks (with handknitted socks in cold weather) adds bonus points in my favor. In fact, the only thing going against my crunchy status is my unrelenting love of frozen pizzas and my fairly conservative worldview, which I’m sure most hard core crunchy moms would frown upon.

All I need is a set of these bumper stickers to finalize my admission to the Crunchy club. And here I thought I was avoiding labels.

The struggle is real.

I don’t have time to do this at all. So I’m doing it right now.

My best friend in college had a habit of getting herself in over her head–or at least, signing up for more than seemed humanly possible. This irked me because (1) it was stressful to watch her running around like crazy trying to do everything, (2) because she made it look easy to do the impossible, and I felt pathetic in comparison, and (3) because I wanted to do things with her in my free time but it seemed she rarely had any free time.

“Do you have anything going on Saturday?” I’d ask.

“Oh, I have about seventeen hours of voice, guitar, and piano practice, two papers to write, and homework for eight classes,” she’d say. “But since there’s no way I’ll get it done anyway, we might as well go on a hike.”

It seemed so illogical and fatalistic at the time. You don’t have time to do it all, so you’re just giving up? She’d set those tasks all aside temporarily to do something else every now and then because otherwise, she’d NEVER do anything else, and she knew it. She wasn’t just giving up.

“If I had time to get it done, that would be one thing. But it’ll never be done, it can’t be done, there’s no hope. Let’s go.” That’s not a quote, but the sentiment is the same.

So we went.

She knew that if she always did the “important things” first, the important things would never really get done.

I didn’t understand then, but I totally get it now. That’s kind of why I’m writing this blog post. I don’t have time to write it any more than my friend had time to spend her Saturday doing a ten-mile hike in the mountains.

I have diaper laundry to stuff, fold, and put away. I have articles to write, and now would be the ideal time to write them. I have books to read, gifts to wrap, gifts to make, and to top that off, suddenly it’s three in the morning and I’m realizing that if I want to get anything done tomorrow, I must sleep now. In three hours, the sun will start coming up, and I have to capitalize on all the daylight hours I can during this bleak time of year when the days only last ten hours to begin with. Later, I’ll wonder why I wasted this hour.

I don’t have time to do anything but what has to be done, but if I only do what really must be done I’ll never catch up, and I might never end up living.

An accurate description of twin life.

You know how sometimes in life, everything seems to be going incredibly well and then it all falls apart so thoroughly it’s almost (but not quite) laughable? Your car breaks down, you lock yourself out of the house, you get bacon grease on your favorite pair of jeans (or realize that your favorite pair of jeans isn’t fitting nearly as well as it used to), and the barista at Starbucks butchers the drink that was supposed to make it all seem better. Nine Weeks

It’s all smooth sailing, and then you hit a tropical typhoon.

Life is a walk in the park, and then the sidewalk craters and the only way around is through a muddy, mosquito-filled bog.

That is currently my life, except it happens multiple times a day on a much smaller scale. I’ll be baking homemade bread in the kitchen with a content baby sleeping in his Moby wrap on my chest and another sound asleep in the living room. This twin thing isn’t so bad, I think. I feel like supermom, I think.

And then the twin strapped to my chest spits up down the front of my shirt. At the exact same time, his brother explosively poops out of his diaper. Both start screaming at once at just the moment when the bread needs to be shaped into loaves to go into the oven before it starts to rise again. And I realize that I desperately have to pee.

In each moment, it’s hard to believe that the other moments exist. When I’m supermom, it feels like I’m always supermom. When I’m covered in baby vomit and trying to soothe two infants at once, it feels like… I’ve been stressed and covered in baby vomit for nine weeks.

That is my life. It’s beautiful and often very, very messy.