July 29, 2009
There are so many joys to raising multiples, but it can be, quite frankly a pain. You pick the location on the body, chances are it hurts. The most common areas of pain are the neck and back.
I didn't realize the hazards of parenting multiples until my daughters were born. At first, I attributed all my aches and pains to 23 weeks of bed rest and a c-section. Then it dawned on me: neither of those things should affect my neck.
It all started in the NICU. After hours of holding my daughters and staring lovingly at them, my neck ached. Sounds silly, right? There were times when all I could do was hold one of them and stare straight ahead. Any movement of my neck caused seering pain. I still have this problem if we spend too long reading books (for example the hour we spent reading books before bed last night). Blame my posture, blame my couch for being way too old to be comfortable, but at least at the end of the day I have an indicator of whether I spent quality time with my children. (I'm trying to approach this from the cup being half full stance).
Back pain is something I'm sure all parents experience at some point. For the most part, I brought it on myself. Rather than go up and down the steps four times to put them to bed, I would carry them two at a time. It's pretty easy to do when they're five pounds each, but I probably should have stopped when their weights hit the double digits. You think I'm joking? I carried them two at a time well past their first birthday. It was a huge time saver, but definitely a pain.
Now, of course, my daughters are much more independent, but they still want to cuddle and snuggle. Sometimes all four of them try to cram onto my lap. Inevitably, if I pick one up, they all want picked up. I'm just not that strong any more. I don't attempt to hold more than one at a time. Even picking up one for long periods of time can hurt my back (again, I'm guessing all parents of toddlers come to the realization at some point that they just can't pick up their children and carry them the way they once did).
Hubby is a strong guy, and even he is starting to experience the "pain" of raising multiples. Take, for instance, our recent visit to the zoo. It was crowded and we parked far from the entrance. After what seemed like a hike from the car to the entrance, Sue-Sue was pooped. Hubby decided to give her a shoulder ride and I'm suprised he could even move the next day. Hey, you try carrying 25 pounds on your shoulders for at least an hour and tell me how you feel.
Yep, parents of multiples (or maybe even parents in general) deserve hazard pay!