Saturday, November 18, 2006

Where I've been

I've been slightly jealous of everyone who's doing NaBloPoMo lately. I've never been the daily-posting type, but I have so many things to tell you all right now -- quitting my job! baby smiles! breastfeeding horror stories! two-month checkups! baptisms! baby sleep schedules! There are about ten posts floating around in my head, and I would've loved to have a motivating force to post every day, but I knew it wouldn't be realistic to do that in November, since I've been a single mom for about three weeks now.

No, G and I haven't split up, nothing horrible like that, but something has most definitely come between us -- his job. G's a computer programmer, just like I am (was? identity crisis here...), and he's been in a major deadline crunch due to the complete revamp of his company's website/ordering system/customer management system. The original deadline was October 1, which got pushed back to November 1, which got pushed back a couple more times, until it turned into today.

Accordingly, he's been working eighty-hour weeks since October, and the last three weeks have been more like 100-120 hours. There have been plenty of nights where he didn't come home at all, and on most of the others he's gotten home between 1 and 3 -- it's a red-letter day when he makes it home before midnight. He sometimes catches me in the middle of a night feeding and helps soothe or diaper a baby, but other than that, I've been completely on my own.

Being a single mom of infant twins is just about as much fun as it sounds like. Thankfully, I'm no longer working outside the home, so I can pretty much let the babies determine the shape of my days. I nap when they nap (and sometimes when they don't, but are content to lie down with me), so I'm getting enough rest at least, and that's keeping me sane. Some days, though, I'm about ready to cry when I think I've finally gotten them both to sleep and one wakes up (and usually wakes the other). They continue to be remarkably easy babies, but they require more interaction these days than they did as sleepy newborns, and I am clearly outnumbered.

I have handled it well for the most part, but I don't have many more days of patience left in me. Last night was the first time I really felt frantic, when they stayed awake way too long and got overtired and even putting them in the car didn't work (they'd be content as long as we were moving, then cry at every stoplight). I finally brought them by G's office, a habit I've gotten into after he went five days without seeing them awake at all, then came home and deployed the Weapon of Bath Destruction. They were more or less asleep by midnight, but I nearly cried when I came into the bedroom to go down myself and saw Claire's eyes crack halfway open. I thought to myself, I can't do this for more than another week or so, and I was pathetically happy when I called G at 7:45 am to hear that the website had successfully deployed.

I've tried really hard not to be bitter, because I do understand what he's going through. It's an unfortunate feature of our business, these insane release marathons, and I've been through my share of them -- June 2004 and November 2000 are completely missing from my personal history. I've gotten so physically burned out that it took my wrists months of physical therapy and steroids to recover, and so mentally burned out that I left the consulting world and took a "real job". And it's not like I didn't know this was coming -- it was made very clear when he was interviewing in May that this was coming, and I'm grateful that it's happened now rather than when I was busy giving birth.

I've been as supportive as I know how to be -- I've brought G food and clean clothes, woken up to rub his neck, even baked batches of cookies for all the programmers. (Which really threw me for a loop, realizing that I am the cookie-baking stay-at-home-mom of Hillary Clinton fame...) G tells me that he knows how non-fun it is for me, and while I don't deny that, I make sure to tell him that I'm not mad about it and that I'm coping OK, and that I hate seeing it be so tough on him. Still, though, the little voice asking if it's my turn yet has been getting louder and louder.

Fortunately, it is almost over. G will continue to have another tough week or two, but it should die back down to the eighty-hour level, and I expect it'll be more or less normalized by Christmas. This still leaves me largely alone to deal with the evening fussies, but at least I feel like the end is in sight, and I'll get my husband back soon. He came home at 5:30 PM today -- actually, I went and picked him up, because he was too tired to drive -- and even though he promptly zonked out on the couch, it still felt like a parenting team again. I even got to go to Wal-Mart without either taking the girls with me or calling my mom to come watch them (a subject for yet another unwritten post)! I know that doesn't sound like a big deal, but it was freakin' awesome not to have to deal with the cart plus double stroller, or the fifty million comments from strangers.

Oh, and did I mention I'm also studying for comprehensive exams for my computer science MS, which are scheduled for 12/7, and trying to do the odd bit of consulting work? Oh, well, at least my life isn't dull!


Claudia said...

I feel your pain. In addition to his full time job my husband has been in grad school full time and has been traveling tons as well. I have had many days and nights where I have thought I just couldn't go on anymore. But I did, you do. What other choice do you have, right? Glad to hear things should be easing up a tad, hope you get a much needed break.

Eva said...

Oh my goodness. I can't imagine taking care of these two solo. I'm not sure how you're managing and holding it together as well as you have. and i totally hear you on the advantages of solo runs to the store. hope things are settling down now.