Phy's story - As you like it

Always good to see a post from you, Phy! It sure sounds like you al have had many stresses, but obviously taking the time to sit down and talk was what was needed to start addressing them.

I hope everything goes well with Lin's surgery and that he will not be in so much pain for much longer.
It was nice to read your latest news, Phy. Sorry to hear you're having problems though. :( I hope things take a turn to the better soon!
Well ... almost ten months later! How is everyone doing?

I haven't been to the forum in ages and am back right now because of, well, procrastination unfortunately :p School is on summer break and I should work on all the paperwork and my preparations for my final degree, but ... ah well, I will find the time tomorrow. :rolleyes:

Therefore: Time for an update.

Things that didn't change much: Lin's health is a rollercoaster ride as usual. Right now he is dealing with an inflammation of his shoulder muscles which of course takes its toll on his hearth condition. He has to manage dealing with this as always. The kids are doing quite fine. Sward is working and more or less content with our overall situation most of the time. I am stressed and don't have enough for for everything going on in our life.

Changes: Lin has made a foray into a new field of work. He is a bus driver by now (the reason for the inflammation - he is not used to the special kind of motion sequence). It is not his ideal occupation but as he still was not able to find a job as an art designer, he started a occupational retraining. The whole situation is not ideal; he has to work in shifts, which greatly clashes with his desire to be home and cook dinner and fulfil his 'domestic role' for us and the kids, which he really treasured and was happy to have. He is still looking for chances to switch back to his old field of work.

Overall, this does add quite a bit to our general lack of time for each other. This old issue did never really improve, since the kids came into our life (and they are going to turn three next week! where has time gone?!). We hardly have any time as couples for each other, most of our time together is spend as a family. And most of the time I don't mind. But I do find it concerning that we simply live with this current state and find no way to alter the situation. For years by now.

It seems to be a common problem for couples with younger kids and maybe you can not change much about it. You think about the missing bits, the missing time for each other, but then you are just too tired, too involved, too occupied with work/time for yourself/kids/projects that you simply rearrange your priorities and the time as a partner always falls short. I can see the dangers behind this pattern clearly, but I always find couple-time to be just the least important part of my daily life right now.

And I take the fact that I do not know what precisely the other two think about this, as a clear sign, that we need to talk about this. All of us are just postponing the issues to a later date. More or less unconsciously. But we need to change something in our dynamics soon.

A more subtle change happened with my family. More precisely my mother. The after-effects of her cancer treatment are quite long-lasting and severe. She never really recovered from her depression, she is still unable to divide her attention at all and her own life is quite a handful for her. That means that she almost stopped taking part in the life of the kids. As we live 40 minutes away from my parents, and she still is afraid to visit us alone due to a car crash two years ago, they hardly see the kids at all, as they have quite a full schedule themselves. If I do not pay them a visit, I would not hear anything new from or about them. This is the opposite of the behaviour she showed when the twins arrived and it saddens me to witness this gradual change over time.
Little ones do take a toll on the couple relationship. I mostly didn't work when my sons were younger and it was still hard to find time and energy for my husband. And my kids are two years apart, I'm sure it's multiplied with twins. One of the things that we did was to make sure the boys had a fairly early bedtime (8 at the latest) when they were little so we could have time together as a couple. The boys learned, as they got older, that as long as we didn't hear them, they didn't have to go right to sleep (the bedrooms were on a floor by themselves).

I hope you are able to figure out something that works for you so you can get couple time.
We can derive a benefit from the simple fact that our twins are twins in comparison to a single child: They can and want to play together. We do not have to be with them all of the time. But that does not grant us that much time on the 'plus-side' overall, of course. I don't know if it makes that much of a difference for the kids to have an age gap separating them in relation to work and time the parents have to invest. I guess two kids are two kids overall :)

Bedtime is an issue for sure. They still need their midday nap - even though it is more of a sleep, as they tend to sleep 2+ hours - and go to bed around 8 o'clock, but they need company. One of us has to cuddle them to sleep. Reading a bedtime story, cuddling, waiting for the to be fast a sleep to finally leave the room ... that can take up to an hour. Sward and I share bedtime-duty most of the time, as Lin is not there more often than not and not into reading stories. If it is Sward's turn he goes to bed right after, because he gets up early the next morning (around 4 am). Resulting in no time without the kids for him and me at all, except for their midday sleep on the weekends. IF Lin is home we have 1-2 hours together from 9-11pm on a regular basis - but that 'if' is a big one, as he is working shifts and has his design projects to take care of.

I would like to just send them to their room and they can decide when to go to bed/ lie down by themselves ... but I think they are just not the 'type' for this. Cuddling and one of us just being there is really important right now. At which age did you start sending them alone?
They are 21 and 23 now, so I don't remember for sure. Neither of them were really needy at bedtime past the infant stage. I had friends with kids who had similar experiences to yours, in addition to my little brother and his wife, and I vividly remember being grateful that neither of my boys needed that long of a bedroom ritual. It was, at most, about 20 minutes a night usually, mostly stories (I can still remember at least parts of their favorite books verbatim). I want to say that they were both willing to stay in their bedrooms after story time by around two, but, like I said, it's been a while. And the older one was only 25 months when his brother was born, so it's especially sketchy for him. The nice thing about them being fairly close is that after the first year or so with both of them, they did tend to keep each other company, like you mentioned with your twins. Sorry that I don't remember more specifically.
At this point, with a close-to-6-yr-old, I can occasionally send him to bed on his own if i don't care when he goes to sleep, and otherwise I just have to sit with him for 20 minutes or so to enforce staying in bed. Hang in there.
Wellllll .... here we are, five years later :eek: and the story continues:

As I already talked about in my latest of the long-before posted updates, nothing much changed since the kids became part of our family. Sward is overwhelmed, a bit depressed in different quantities from time to time, but does not really work on it. We started talking more and I try to help him reach a place of finding the energy to just change something (anything at this point), but it is difficult.

I am overworked and do not have a lot of time for anything. Hard to read it that way and in this form, but there it is. I need to change a lot. Did not get around to doing much because of: everyday I-do-not-want-to-call-it-life - necessities.

And then there is Lin ... I read so much on here years ago and a lot of the topics came back, when he dropped the "open relationship bomb" on me some weeks ago. I hope, I will get around to just work through it bit by bit, but I am not processing it too well right now.

This is a reminder to come back and actually write something to find some insight into what I really feel and need here. I am quite all over the place at the moment. Thanks to the community for still being around.
Hey Phy, welcome back. It all sounds very draining right now. I hope we can be some support as you aim to move to a new balance.