July 29, 2009

Raising Multiples: A Pain in the....


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!

12 comments:

Bekki said...

I actually wrote a hazard pay post not that long ago! My boys are HUGE (20lbs, 22lbs at 9 months) and I'm still carrying them down the stairs at the same time. My back gets so annoyed with me, although I think the getting up and down off the floor is almost worse.

Add into that the job of a parent sometimes being relegated to indoor climbing structure, and it becomes quite a dangerous job! Maybe we can get a visit from OSHA?

Quadmama said...

How about home visits from a chiropractor! I forgot about being an indoor human jungle gym LOL

Sadia said...

I've just been thinking about the toll kids take on your body, even after pregnancy. The skin on my hands hasn't been happy since the NICU, because I wash and disinfect so often, in addition to all the stuff you listed.

Quadmama said...

Oh don't even get me started on that. My hands are always dry... and ever since my pregnancy my nails haven't been as strong as they were.

Brooke said...

I only have two, and their not even twins, but I know exactly what you mean about taking a toll on the body - especially the back and neck. I'm ashamed to admit that I still sometimes carry my two boys (21 pounds and 42 pounds), which is rather insane. But when my 4 year old is having a meltdown and I don't have the stroller with me for my 1 year-year-old, sometimes there's no other option. But it ain't pretty. And I certainly pay for it later.

Sadia said...

Your nails too? I used to have the Nails of Death, and I feel so crippled and unpretty with these brittle ones.

My officemate also just reminded me of the bladder control issue following pregnancy.

It's good thing our girls are so stinking cute, because otherwise, I might get a little upset at the beating my body has taken.

Quadmama said...

Brooke: yep, sometimes it's easier to pick them up and deal with the aftermath. I imagine when my girls hit those "terrible teens" I'll be tempted to pick them up and carry them to time out.
Sadia: It's the cuteness that makes me able to ignore the aches and pains.

Sarah said...

I too have lots of neck/back pain. In fact as I type, there is a tingling feeling in my left shoulder blade. My 3 year old frequently "forgets" how to walk up the stairs and rather than fight with him, I just carry him. Ouch!

Stephanie B said...

Ain't just being the parent of multiples, darlin'. Let me tell you.

Quadmama said...

Stephanie, I'm sure all parents experience these aches and pains. Maybe we all need hazard pay.

MaryAnne said...

Definitely hazardous. DH threw out his back 4th of July weekend, I think from carrying Johnny around a museum for several hours on the 3rd and then standing still holding Emma through the 2-hour parade the 4th (so she could see) - and that's only holding one kid at a time...

Quadmama said...

OMG MaryAnne! Hope he's feeling better.

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