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More Difficult Than Twins

The first few weeks without J’s parents weren’t too bad. I really thought that I could do this.

But in the past week, Claire has started to act up.

My parents think that it’s because up until now, Aerin was still a young infant — just kind of there, taking up room and requiring only the most basic needs met. But now that she is really starting to become interactive, not only demanding more of my attention but also garnering more from others as well with her smiling, cooing demeanor, Claire has begun to take notice.

And she does not like it.

Before, she wouldn’t mind if Aerin would play with her toys or her old baby products. She wouldn’t mind to see Aerin strapped to my chest, just as long as I was still paying attention to her too.

But now, she cries when she sees Aerin lying in her old activity gym. She demands to have Sophie back (even though she has never taken much interest in the popular teething toy). And whenever she sees me with Aerin in the Bjorn? She will whine for me to pick her up too.

She has even begun to hit me and her little sister!

This was what was the most upsetting out of the numerous things that went wrong last week: knowing that Claire — now a year and a half years old and at a stage where she requires much love and attention to thrive and be happy — is not receiving nearly as much care as she deserves.

There is also the fact that Aerin, who is now 5 months of age, needs a lot more from her caretaker(s) as well.

J and I have decided that I need help. But finding a part-time nanny to lend me a hand will also require a lot of work on my part, which I am already reluctant to do because I am so. Damn. Tired. ALL. THE. TIME.

Additionally, J’s parents are returning for three months starting next month. J thinks that we will only need help until then, because when they come they can help out with the girls once more. However, this poses two problems in my eyes: (1) I am reluctant to hire someone to leave only as the girls get used to her; (2) I do not want Claire to have to go through “losing” loved ones again. After all, in the past six months, she has “lost” her aunt & uncle (who moved to Shanghai) as well as her grandparents — all of whom she saw regularly and clearly loved and bonded with.

If anything, I would prefer that Claire’s grandparents do not see the girls too often when they come, because it almost seems cruel to have her see them almost every day for three months, only to have them leave for months again. However, J thinks I’m being silly in this regard.

Children need structure and routine. They crave consistency.

I am at a loss as to what to do.

My mother was talking to my aunt the other day and she told me how my aunt, whose first two children are 15 months apart, says having kids this close in age is harder than twins. She should know, as her own daughter actually has twins so she has seen firsthand how difficult twins can be.

I know that this post calls out as a cry for help, but it isn’t. I just need a place to vent in these minutes before J heads off to work for the day. We are still considering possibilities for childcare and help (believe me when I say that I have looked into all possibilities — we have been doing this since I found out I was pregnant with Aerin), but none of them are great.

I must stop writing now. All I ask for as some prayers for these rough months ahead.