The featured blogger of the week is Angel of Artificially Awake America. Angel is the proud MoM of 7 year old Ian, Hunter and Sage (4) and Chloe (2).
What made you decide to start a blog?
I had just moved to Pennsylvania from Florida, where we had been living for the past 8 years and our twins were only a month old, Ian our oldest was 2 1/2. We had just sold our house and were living in an apartment when my husband found a great job and educational opportunity. I knew no one and my husband was working two full time jobs, so I could stay home with the kids and we could avoid day care. The cost was just ridiculous. I felt very disconnected and alone. My doctor said I was suffering from post partum depression and needed to incorporate exercise and socialization into my life. I couldn’t join a gym, but got in exercise everyday with my babies by walking around shopping centers and taking them to the train table to play at Barnes N Nobles. I was new to social networking, but had joined Cafe Mom to connect with other mom’s. I used the blog portion of the site to record daily journal entries. A writer and editor saw my writing and sent me an email asking me if I wanted to share my experiences on her blog. I agreed. I wrote articles and mailed them to her and she returned them with red ink. As the weeks went on and the red ink got less and less, she suggested I start my own blog. So I started Artificially Awake Mom blog and never looked back.
Were you surprised to find out you were having twins?
I have PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) and had to seek the help of a fertility specialist to get pregnant with Ian. We did one round of Clomid and bam, pregnant with Ian. We were so happy and excited that we wanted to give him a little brother or sister. We tried again, but unsuccessfully and returned to the clinic. We did one round of Clomid and the doctor said it was unsuccessful, so we did a second round and found out we were very pregnant. Pregnant with twins! I was in such shock. I did not believe the doctor and my husband jumped up and down at the ultrasound when he saw the two little hearts. Our two little grains of rice he said. I really think I was in shock until I could see them fighting on the ultrasounds. I told my doctor it felt like two cats fighting in a bag.
How did Ian take the news of not just having one little brother, but two?
Ian is and was the best big brother ever. He never once had an ounce of jealousy. He felt they were his too. With my husband working so much and me going on from a working mom to a stay at home mom, Ian was so happy to have more of me. By week 20, I left the work force and Ian was my little man. When the babies were born, against my suggesting he sleep, he got up at every cry and middle of the night bottle feeding. He sang songs to them and loved them unconditionally. Hunter had colic and Sage had GERD. Ian would just run and get me towels, the wet cloths, whatever was needed. He made a great big brother and mommy helper ever.
You mentioned you used blogging as an outlet for post partum, what advice do you have for other MoM’s in the same situation?
I would suggest that any mom going through Post Partum to reach out to other mom’s, change your daily environment by getting fresh air, daily and know that with any amount of sleep your state of mind will improve. The lack of sleep, lack of well rounded nutrition, hormone drops, loneliness and disconnect all fed into my depression. It took over 6 months for me to see the light. The twins stomach problems were improving and I was sleeping a little bit more, eating a little better and getting out of the house everyday, no matter what. Getting connected with other mom’s through social networking kept me from thinking I was alone and it would never get better. They remind you that everyone of them had been through it too and it does get better. Other mom’s can mean the difference between hurting yourself, your children and eating ice cream and crying your eyes out for a minute instead. Support, support, support is what advice I would drive home. Hillary Clinton knew what she was talking about when she said it takes a village to raise a child. No joke.
How do you juggle separate work schedules with your husband, four kids and manage to stay sane?
After several jobs that didn’t work well for our family and having to go through a lot of lonely nights and crying, feeling like you miss your old life and self, we found a formula that works for us. I got a promotion to a new job and can make my own hours. I take the kids to school in the morning, our baby girl stays home with dad and I go off to work. I do that until the afternoon, where I pick up the kids from work and take them to my husband. We eat dinner together and then I head back to work for any remaining hours I need to make up. I may miss out on bedtime sometimes or an evening bath or two, but in the end I feel it is important for my children to see us working hard to achieve our goals. My husband works afternoons and overnights. So when he’s not picking up overtime, he works when the kids are asleep and he sleeps in the evenings or on his days off the overnights. Once all 4 kids are in school next year, he can change his sleep schedule. Date night consists of the kids all being asleep and we making the best out of a romantic night in our living room.
What are some of your favorite activities to do as a family?
As a family, we love to go to the bookstore together, out to eat at a restaurant to exercise proper table manners and public manners. We also like to catch a kids movie all together. The kids really enjoy this. As the kids are getting older we are trying to do game night. The kids love play Wii games with us as well. Especially Just Dance and Wii Fit Yoga.
What question or questions do you have for the other families in the community?
How has your marriage/relationship with your partner changed as a result of having children and what do you do to keep evolving that relationship for sustainability? How do parents of fraternal twins deal with individual identity versus twin identity? I struggle with this one. I don’t dress them alike, never have. We treat them as individuals, but wonder if I’m robbing them of twin bonding.
Be sure to leave your answer in the comment section and then head over to Artificially Awake America to leave some bloggy love!