A typical bedtime used to involve laying the girls down, then having to go into their room a few minutes later and change their diapers, lay them down again, then possibly one more time after that. Little did I know I would come to think of THIS as the good old days.
Siren stopped wanting to go to bed in the last couple of weeks. At first I thought she was just having a bad night, then a bad couple of nights, and now I don’t know when it’s going to end. Imogen was being a trooper through it all at first, but now it’s seemed to jar something in her as well, and nobody around here is getting much sleep.
Siren has been sleeping in the guest room because the girls *seem* to do better when they are separated, but it doesn’t seem to be helping tonight. We got the girls into their cribs at 8:00. Almost immediately Imogen started calling out “Mama!” Will went in and changed her diaper. Siren started crying, so I went into her room, picked her up for a minute, and then laid her down again.
A mere few minutes later, Imogen said, “Mama! Mama!” I let her call for me for about five minutes, then I went in to lay her down again. She asked me to change her diaper, but I checked her, and she was dry.
Siren heard me in with Immy, and started to cry. I went into Siren’s room, picked her up, then laid her down again. All was quiet for a couple of minutes.
A little bit after that, Immy called out again. I let her call for almost 10 minutes, then went upstairs, picked her up, and laid her down.
A few minutes later, Siren started crying because her musical puppy had stopped playing music. (It goes for 20 minutes.) I picked her up, hugged her, started the puppy, laid her down, and left the room.
And then, a few minutes after that, Imogen started calling out “Mama! Mama!” HER puppy had stopped playing music. I picked her up, started the puppy, and laid her down.
And now I’m waiting. It is now 9:05 p.m. I have spent an hour picking up and putting down tiny children, with very few minutes in between to try to get anything done. The house is a mess (and the toys MUST be picked up so that Nieve doesn’t eat them when she’s in the house during the day tomorrow.) I need to pack things for the girls because they are staying at their grandparents starting tomorrow. And I have the ever-present stack of grading that never gets done because I have lost an hour (or more) at night to put the girls to bed multiple times.
I hate that I only seem to write when things aren’t going well…but things aren’t going well. I am EXHAUSTED all of the time. I almost fall asleep on my drive to work in the mornings. The last three weekends I’ve stayed up late Saturday night, until about 4 a.m. Sunday morning, to try to get grading done. Morning workouts have disappeared, and my evening ones have been very spotty the last two weeks.
I just have to wonder if I can truly be a good mom and a good teacher simultaneously. It seems like one area always has to suffer due to the other. Never mind that ANY free time has gone out the window. I just feel like I’m teetering on the edge.
Hopefully this week will help, though. Tomorrow Will’s parents are going to pick the girls up from daycare and take them back to their house for the rest of this week. It’s conference week at my school, so I have to be at the school until 7:30 tomorrow night, and then I have conferences scheduled throughout the afternoons for the rest of the week. Will is going to a workshop in Portland Wednesday night, and will be gone through Friday night, and I just didn’t feel like I could deal with conferences and the girls (and their lack of going to bed) all by myself. My “big plan” Friday is to come home in the afternoon and go directly to bed.
I guess I find myself wondering the same old question: if I didn’t teach, what would I do instead? What kind of job could I get? Could I make enough money for us to get by? Is there something I could do at night so that the lack of money could be compensated by not having to pay for daycare? Teaching is going well. I have a nice schedule this year, and I like my classes. But even under the very best of circumstances, teaching is a lot, A LOT, of work. I’m at school from 7 a.m. – 4 p.m. minimum, until 4:30 or 5 when Will picks up the girls, and then i go home and work for two, three, or more hours, and I always feel like it’s not enough. I know that it will get better as the girls get older, but I hate feeling like I’m missing their young years, wishing them away, because my job is so consuming. Yes, we do get the summers to compensate, but they go so fast. It’s hard to try to live your whole personal life in the two months of the year you have any free time.
As I was writing this, Siren woke up again, and I had to go lay her down. I will wrap this up soon, and then I will start the laundry, and then I will grade vocab quizzes, and then I will grade essays, and then I will pick up the foam blocks in the living room, and then I will pack the girls’ diapers, dishes, toys, and other necessities for their trip, and then around midnight or 1 a.m., I will go to sleep, and I will wake up at 5 a.m. tired.
And if I wasn’t teaching, I could just go into the guest room, lie with Siren in the guest bed, and I could snuggle my baby.