As I was changing my daughters diaper and listening to her twin brother have a melt down in the next room it occurred to me that I was a better mother before I had kids!
How did I do it? I was a mothers helper, nanny, babysitter extraordinaire! Has life in the business world really changed me, or am I human now? No longer a 21 year old super girl (who got to leave at the end of the day)!
The good news – I accept it.
I am mother – hear me groan.
Listen up ladies – it’s all good. I realized awhile ago, somewhere on the road to sleeping 4 hours a night, that doing your best does not mean that it is the best there is, everyday. It just means doing the best that you have, every minute of every day. Sometimes the best you can give is 10%, sometimes it is 110%.
Here is my list of priorities; Love, Full tummies, Empty diapers, Clean clothes (subjective!).
Somewhere between the fantasy family life I had planned for myself and the reality of my life as a single 40 year old mother of twins I stopped caring what people think. I started to believe in myself and I learned gratitude.
I am so grateful for the life that I have, the one that I chose and made “all by myself”.
Things I never truly understood until I was a mother (of multiples):
- There are days when at 8am you start counting the hours until you can put them to bed at night
- There is always enough room on your lap for one more, no matter where you are or how small your lap is
- There is no better sound in the world that that of “your new alarm clock” when it wakes up after finally sleeping 6, 8 and even 10 hours through the night for the first time
- There is magic at play in the world, it exists in your hugs, their smiles and the way you can function on no sleep
- You will never be the same, and it’s good
- “They” lie to you when “they” tell you that you won’t mind when it is your own kid, Poop can be disgusting, no matter whose it is. You just do it anyway.
- Your new mantra in life becomes “I am the mother, I can do this” and then you can
- Once the babies are asleep for more than 20 mins you begin to live in fear of the doorbell ringing, the dog barking, the pots clanging or any other noise that might penetrate their subconscious and make them say – “Hey, what am I missing”
- No matter where or how they fall asleep, you will not move them, touch them or breathe on them and doing so is punishable by death.
- All your ideas of what good parenting is – GONE. Good parenting is survival and love. If the kids are happy and somewhat clean (for at least 5 mins a day) you are a master.
- You will look forward to any chance you get to leave them for a bit of “you” time until the moment you have to walk out the door.
- There are never enough extra laundry baskets.
- There are never enough bottles.
- There are never enough spoons, microwavable baby bowls, advil, blankets, sheets, face clothes, bibs, hours in a day, hours of sleep in a night, chances to go to the grocery store, or opportunities to sit quietly with a cup of coffee and you can forget ever going to the bathroom again.
- You need a bigger freezer, no, way bigger.
- It is truly wonderful and validating when someone younger and in better shape than you says “I don’t know how you do this all day, I am exhausted.”
- You smile, sooo much more everyday than you ever used to or thought you could.
- You know guilt.
- You know what true, deep, all encompassing love really feels like and see it reflected (I am sure this changes to contempt when we hit the teen years, will let you know).
- If you have carpets, you need a carpet cleaner.
- Babies are bendy and resilient and made to survive new parents.
- Its ok to let it all go and just hang on till help comes.
- You need help.
- You need lots and lots and lots of help. Sometimes with the kids, sometimes with your laundry, dishes, vacuuming, dinner, and sometimes just with your spirit.
- The emergency room is a very very scary place.
- This is a fly by the seat of your pants game.
- The girl guide motto is your best friend “Be Prepared”.
- Any experience you have working in triage will help you immensely. You spend much of the day determining level of need.
- There are days when you get an unexpected rush of joy at seeing them after a nap.
- You live with abundance and you love abundance.
- Hugs should always be a full contact sport.
Oh...and naps are never long enough...the beasts are waking...
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