Today I wanted to write something a little less than my usual upbeat positive go-get-em ness about being a mum. Today I feel like it’s hard. Today I feel like being a mum is a big ask.
Becoming a new mum is a huge journey and now I’m three months in with my twins, I’m starting to come out of the new baby high and realise what the rest of my life is going to be like!
Busy doesn’t even cover it!
I won’t have vomit on everything I wear one day, and I won’t have nappies to deal with forever, but from now on, I’m not the same person and I’m not the centre of my life any more. It seems obvious and although pregnancy gives you some time to prepare you for this fact, you have to live it to realise it fully.
I love my twins and I love my mum life but today I miss the old me. The one who went shopping on her lunch break, went to cool breakfast meetings and had pedicures. I’m still getting used to being this new person who has to occupy two little ones at all times and be constantly available.
Every sniffle, every cry, every purple faced baby melt down has to be dealt with immediately before the next one starts up and sometimes when they’re both being difficult at the same time I honestly don’t know where to begin.
Most of the time I feel like I’m doing ok for twins, but today I feel like a bad mum. I can just hear this voice saying ‘must do better’. It’s behind me through everything I do. Why aren’t they happier? Why won’t they finish this bottle? Why don’t they sleep longer? Why aren’t they into more of a routine? The answer to all these questions is me – somehow it’s all my fault.
I feel like a bad mum a few hundred times a day – for using the dummies so much (but I don’t know how to stop them both crying otherwise).
I feel like a bad mum when I’m not entertaining them and letting the play gym do that for me. I feel like a bad mum when I’m taking the time to shave my legs in the shower rather than spend longer cuddling them when I can. (Seriously, no one sees my legs – why do I bother?). And I feel like a bad mum that they’re still not sleeping through the night. (Why won’t they eat and sleep at the times Gina Ford says? Damn that book!)
Being a mum is supposed to be so instinctual, and in many ways it is, but mothering two newborns is so much more about survival than savouring the moment.
It’s heartbreaking that both babies need me the same amount but I have to split the time I have for each of them in two.
That’s when I feel jealous of the other first time mummies out there who can dedicate all day to their first born. When they complain about having their baby asleep on them and not being able to move for hours because their little one demands it, I feel sad that I can’t indulge that luxury because I have to run around after two babies and don’t have time to meet their demands as fully, and I definitely don’t have time for as many cuddles as I’d like. Those precious one to one moments are few and far between and yet I’m constantly aware of how fast it’s all going, how fast they’re growing.
I want to make the most of it but there’s so much to do!
I feel so blessed to have twins but when I imagined becoming a mum for the first time I thought that I would have one baby and that I’d be able to enjoy maternity leave having a fair portion of time for myself and my own projects.
I guess that takes me back to the new mum thing. The new me. Ursula the mum.
Doing the things that I like when I like is something that I won’t experience again, not until the babies are grown and have flown the nest. And while I fully accept that putting your needs after the needs of the family is one of the first things you must do as a parent, I miss having time for me. I miss the old me. The one who had dreams and ideas and weekends available to achieve them.
The one that could wear a bikini with confidence, the one that had time for her friends or the yoga class down the road, and the one that could decide what she wanted to do and then just go on and do it. This Michael McIntyre video gets it so right!
Life certainly gets more complicated when you become a twin mummy. There’s two people who demand almost all of your attention and time and there’s even more mess and washing and washing up to contend with than with a single baby. The quality time you want to spend with the babies is very pressured and the time you want to spend on yourself or partner is even harder to find.
Learning to find a balance is going to be something I have to do along the way. My journey as a mother is only just beginning and I’ve got so much more to learn.
In time I’ll get used to being a mum and won’t think about life in any other way, but while I can still remember the freedom and responsibility-free life I’ve just left, I’m still saying a long goodbye to the old me. She was always washed, she smelt of Black Opium, her hair was straightened and her days were full of everything she loved to do and she didn’t know how lucky she was!
Even though the new me is kind of different, I’m getting to know her day by day. She’s tired. She worries a lot. She cleans and washes things almost constantly! She feels guilt at the stupidest things. She binges on chocolate whenever the twins are asleep and is obsessed with Strictly. And she loves her babies more than anything in the world. She’s kind of familiar still and I think, eventually, the old me and the new me are going to be just fine.
Image: Above the pic is of the old me out shopping with the sister last year… how much has changed since then!!