I’ve not blogged for a while and despite my resolution to blog whilst on maternity leave my babies are now 14 weeks old and this is the first time I’ve managed to do it. This is because I’ve been pretty preoccupied with everything beginning with “n”! Ah the world of full-time motherhood.
Maternity leave this time around has definitely been easier than last time, even though it now means being a mum of 3 (still catch myself – have I really got 3 children?!). I guess you already have your “routines” and your life was changed massively when you became a parent the first time so second time around your world is more geared to babies. Also I think you stress less with the second and subsequent children. I have found myself worrying less about certain things although the being-on-maternity-leave factor does enable you to stress about other minor things just because you don’t have anything else to think about – hence the title of this blog post. So I spent at least a day wondering what sort of nappy to put Isaac in at night time – I know, a whole day. I do wonder what mothers of newborns did before the internet and social media – thank goodness for online shopping! Although perhaps the rise in baby paraphernalia bears a direct correlation to the rise in broadband access at home – all those post natal hormones making you think that you REALLY need that thing as it will make your baby sleep/eat/stop crying/wee/poo/be happy/be confident/etc/etc* delete as appropriate.
That said about the “ease” of this maternity leave the explosion of twin babies into the house has undoubtedly been pretty life changing (no really?!). I had forgotten how all consuming new babies are and how they have the ability to completely floor you at times. There have been moments where I have just looked at them and wondered what on earth to do. And the dual crying in the early weeks was pretty tough. There have been nights of no sleep. Ok I lie, no more than 20 minutes sleep in a go. There have been nights of crying until 2am or 4am. There have been nights of babies falling asleep only if held on chests.And there have been nights of babies falling asleep at 7 and just waking for 10mins to feed through the night. However, unlike with my daughter, I am not beating myself up that the babies don’t sleep through the night. Or that they have to sleep on their own in a particular place. I am not craving a “routine”, I am not desperate to force them into a model or insist they follow my schedule. Instead I just take each day as it comes – or at least try to – aiming low (thanks Anise for that advice I am eternally grateful) and trying to remember to enjoy these days as they go so fast and respecting each baby as an individual. With Sylvia everyone told me that this time went quickly and I never believed it but this time around, as these will be my last babies, I am much more aware of the passing of time. I even felt slightly nostalgic when seeing some newborns the other day (what is wrong with me – blame hormones).
Of course it is hard at times and I often feel my life has shrunk to my “family bed” and these two little expectant faces looking up at me. For someone who travelled a lot and was always in back-to-back meetings, the fact that I have not been farther from home than Whipsnade since last June and worked at home for the majority of my pregnancy has taken a lot of getting used to. And I do feel that this time around my pregnancy really was preparation for motherhood. BUT most of the time I feel incredibly lucky. To have twins is wonderful and to be a mother of 3 is fantastic. I am trying to be much more accepting this time and accept that I have nothing to prove to anyone. So I nap when I can and don’t apologise if that includes when people come over, I try to accept help without feeling guilty (still working on that!), indulge myself by absorbing myself in nappy retail experiences and read about nursing twins – there are so many new fabulous blogs and loads of information online now, much more than when Sylvia was a baby. I endeavour to have confidence in my decisions, trust my instincts, ignore the so-called experts and feel happy in my choices. However, for all my embracing and acceptance of full-time motherhood I have to draw the line at the acceptance of nits though. Those I am not thankful for nor accepting of in anyway. No, not at all.