Before twins: I swore I would still get out running in the evenings and exercise the twin weight off within a matter of weeks.
After twins: Exercise consists of power walks with the twins in the pram during the day, and usually having to stop half way through to put an unsettled twin into a carrier to try to settle her and get back home as fast as possible… IF we get a nice enough day for a walk, or can muster up enough energy. Realistically, I should be getting my butt out in the evenings and going to the gym or something, this three stone won’t shift itself, but wouldn’t it be wonderful if it did?
Before twins: I never understood why women would take young babies into coffee shops and restaurants and disturb the ‘general public’ when they became unsettled.
After twins: I’m never out of coffee shops with other mummy’s, and if I was to see another woman (or man for that matter) struggling in public with an unsettled baby, I would offer a helping hand (if Bonnie and Isla will allow it).
– Just before a feed in M&S cafe. I can remember receiving a few snotty looks from the ‘ladies’ beside us, all the more reason to encourage a good old chat out of the twins.
Before twins: I thought soothers/dummies/pacifiers were for women who couldn’t be bothered to deal with a crying baby.
After twins: “Oh hello soothers, my best friend!!” – I’ve grown to find them pretty cute and like the comfort it can offer my girls.
Before twins: I thought I would exclusively breast feed and it would be super duper easy.
After twins: Breast feeding can hard work, especially with twins, and after one twin being tube fed for the first three days of her life. I persevered with it and breast fed/expressed for the girls for the first 5-6 weeks, and then I had to give it up. I wish someone would have told me that formula feeding a baby won’t f**k them up.
Before twins: I swore my house would not come down with ‘baby stuff’.
After twins: My front living room is completely overrun with jumparoos, bouncers, activity centres and various other masses of colourful plastic.
Before twins: I swore I would never use tv as a distraction tool.
After twins: Baby tv enables me to get my coffee in the morning so I can face the day…
-caffeinated mum makes for a happy mum and happy babes!
Basically, before the twins arrived I was convinced that life would resume as ‘normal’… Oh, I was so wrong! I do completely agree that you are still the same person, and so you should still try to make time for you. But at the beginning this just did not happen for me. The first six weeks with Bonnie and Isla are now a complete blur… I had family constantly over offering to help, but I wanted to do everything myself, I was scared that if I let too many people become involved initially that my babies wouldn’t bond with me and I would be in for a life of children who didn’t listen to me and teenagers who would hate me. At the beginning, I could have taken advantage of all those helping hands and had time to myself, but I just didn’t.
Now… I rattle my brain some days thinking ‘who could handle these rascals for half an hour while I tidy the house or get waxed the most neglected part of my body…. My eyebrows!!!!’
Now… I accept the help! My mother and father inlaw are great at taking the girls every once in a while for a sleepover. And my own parents are great for when I need to get bits done during the day, I can drop them in for a few hours and get some time to myself. Even if it only happens once in the month, I think it’s important to let others help out (if you have them), and turn off baby mode and embrace your ‘old’ self for a little while.
If I knew what I know now I would have taken that advice from day one, and I don’t think I would have struggled as much after those first six weeks as I did. But hey, hindsight is a wonderful thing….