Being a parent is hard. Being a mom feels harder. There’s something about the bond with your little ones and the love you have for them that cannot be matched, and it is this extreme longing to do your best for them that can sometimes lead to feelings of failure and disappointment. All day long, thoughts run through my head about the boys. I’m wondering what my next move is, what each boy will need next… I love them to the moon and back, but it is hard. While things have been really hard, there are every day accomplishments and small steps forward that make me forget (at least temporarily) all of the sweat and tears. For instance, the boys are super social now and love to “talk” and smile at us. They are really engaged and interactive, compared to the days that they just stared blankly past us. Could you resist these beautiful faces?
What has also helped me get through these rough few months are some really great articles I’ve found online. Starting with the days I was on bed rest, these reads have helped put things in perspective for me, which has saved my sanity plenty of times. I know I’m supposed to just get over the tiredness of being a parent, especially a TWIN parent, and accept it. I can understand why it’s better to just be tired rather than grumpy/bitter and tired. I’m supposed to just stay positive and patient, keep on swimming. But really, the work takes such a toll on my body that I need constant reminders that there really is light at the end of the tunnel. That I’m only momentarily in the hardest part of things (even though I hear there will simply be new challenges ahead) and to enjoy every minute of the boys because they will not be this small forever. Here are some of my favorites:
#1) Surviving Bed Rest | Parents.com
I was on strict bed rest for three whole months during my pregnancy. It was unexpected, heartbreaking, and a serious drag. But, I would do it all over again just to know that I carried the boys that extra three months, kept them cooking until an amazing 34 weeks and 5 days! The article above was something I often looked back at for a good laugh. It is one woman’s description of her bed rest by week and I must say that about 95% of the material is totally what I went through!
#2) The things they really don’t tell you when you have a baby | The Huffington Post
First off, this article is hilarious!!! Not only did I laugh at every single one, but they are all true! Thanks to K for sharing. But all jokes aside, there are a ton of unexpected things you go through once a baby is in your life, but every single ounce of yourself that it takes to get by is totally worth it.
#3) To My Post-Partum Self: Things I Wish I’d Known | elephant journal
After reading this article, I realize how true everything was in it. There is so much focus around the pregnancy and delivery, which is understandable, especially for your first time. But oh how I wish I knew how relatively small some of those issues were compared to the life of being a parent. Not to downplay the birthing process or the complications I went through during pregnancy. But in the grand scheme of things, nothing can prepare you enough for being a parent and so I wish I had spent more of my pregnancy reading up on how to take baby home and get settled into things. I’m grateful for the classes we took from our hospital because a lot of the things I learned then really came in handy at home with the boys. Basically, it’s like how sometimes couples focus so much on their wedding day, but really they need to equally, or even more so, prepare for the MARRIAGE!!!
#4) The Unnatural Mom | CNN iReport
This article made me feel soooo much better on a ton of aspects of motherhood. It is very true that women (first time moms mostly) go into pregnancy with bunnies and rainbows thinking everything will be beautiful, the sun will shine down on them as they breastfeed for the first time, they will happily skip to the mall with their baby in tow as everyone ooo’s and ahh’s at the new bundle of joy. Ok, well there definitely are a lot of sunshine-y moments, don’t get me wrong. But a LOT of what I expected turned out differently or even went a whole 180 on me! Starting with the bed rest. I looked forward to working out and running (especially since I had just gotten into running) my entire pregnancy, feeling fantastic and “glowing,” and overall enjoying the experience. I did enjoy a LOT of the experience. I LOVED being pregnant. But never did I expect to go on bed rest so early on and not be able to enjoy baby showers or basically be on my feet just to go to the movies or mall. On top of my own selfish needs and issues, what was more important was that we learned of complications with the babies:( It was such a trying time for us. Tons of visits to the doctor, two hospital stays for me (one was 11 days, the other was 2 days), and a lot of scary news and being told that we can only “wait and see” what will happen. Luckily we pulled through! The motto that seriously just kept me going was, “go with the flow.” I also learned a lot of things during my pregnancy.
#5) “You’re a stay-at-home mom? What do you DO all day?” | The Matt Walsh Blog
This article was fabulous! Although I am not going to permanently be a stay at home mom (SAHM), I am certainly getting my share of experiencing what it would be like during my time at home. It is NOT easy. I take back every thought or word I ever said about SAHMs having an awesome job because of how fun and easy it must be. Yes, it is rewarding and fulfilling like no other job in this universe. But it is nothing close to easy!!! There are days I can barely wash my face or change outta my PJs until well after lunchtime (sorry, TMI). I take a look around me and just laugh at our messy home. It’s insane! I can barely find time to eat, let alone wash bottles, sweep the floors, put things in their proper places, or any other household chores. It’s all about SURVIVAL and maintenance at this point. I used to scramble around cleaning every nook and cranny before guests come over. That’s all gone now! People understand that we’re in this point in our lives and thank goodness I let the clean house mentality go early on. Otherwise I would just be sick! Seriously though, PROPS to SAHMs everywhere. It’s not easy and it is a 24/7 job. At least with a regular job, there are set hours, you can leave the workplace, you get paid for how well you do your work… as a SAHM, you are constantly “working,” every dish you wash and diaper you change is not necessarily responded to with a “payment,” and sometimes you have no clue how well you’re doing and just need to keep going.
#6) New Mamas Get Nothing Done (and other untruths) | Mama Seeds
I started BAWLING when I read this article! I was seriously sobbing! This was a beautifully written piece that helped me take a deep breath from all the pressure I was (and still am) putting on myself. It was such a great perspective on our jobs as mamas. Basically, each weekend I have this to-do list for the week that I feel is pretty reasonable (4-5 tasks). I figure I can do one a day, right? WRONG!!! Sometimes the entire week goes by and I don’t do a single thing until freakin’ Friday. It’s amazing. I was warned by a nurse in the NICU that every time I write a to-do list, cut it in HALF. Now I understand why. But reading this article reminded me that it’s OK. Things will not get done that I hope to, but what will get done are the most invaluable things every. Raising your children. Teaching them about the world. Giving them love. Nurturing them and laughing with them and caring for them. Being able to talk and sing to my babies, hold them tight, teach them about the world, kiss their foreheads and cheeks, and simply breathe them all in is a productive day!!! Yes there are dishes and emails and laundry and messiness to be attended to. But these moments in their infancy are fleeting and I am so glad for the reminders to enjoy these times because they do not last.
#7) 13 ways to get thing done as a new mama | Mama Seeds
While it’s great to know that I have to redefine the word “productive” per the previous article, this article was a helpful, practical guide for still trying to get things done. A big thing I learned to remind myself is: “Happy Mama, happy babies.” I absolutely need to take care of myself. When I first started out taking care of the boys alone because the hubs returned to work, I sometimes didn’t eat breakfast until 11 am. This is very not like me. I usually eat by 6/7 am and snack until lunch at noon. I just couldn’t find a moment to sit down and eat. I was lucky if I could drink some water. I was just go, go, go, constantly caring for the boys. I think what was different then from now is that I ran to the boys at their every call. Any noise, fuss, or discomfort of theirs sent me running. Of course I need to tend to them, but if they’re fed, they have clean diapers, they were burped, and I spent some time soothing them, then it’s OK to let them fuss or cry for a few minutes. It is imperative that I take a moment to breathe and to nourish myself because otherwise I risk falling apart or losing it with them. The article above taught me to accept that I no longer will have huge blocks of time with which I can have “me” time. Instead, I have 15-minute increments (30 minutes if I’m lucky) and therefore I just have to do things in short bursts of time. For example, once I do a morning feed around 6/7 am, the boys usually nap for another half hour. What do I do? I used to nap right along with them. How could I resist my warm pillow and blanket? However, I learned it was more beneficial to get breakfast, fill up on water, and pump in that time. I never knew how much I could get done in such a short amount of time! Oh, how I take back every time I ever said that I didn’t have enough time pre-baby. I multi-task like no other. If I’m doing dishes, I might as well pump at the same time. If I’m entertaining the boys, I might as well fold laundry or eat a snack. If I’m eating a meal, I might as well respond to some emails and make some important phone calls and set-up doctor appointments. It’s all about being efficient and taking advantage of every moment of free time because once the boys need me, I want to be there 101%. I want to be fully functioning and present for them so I can not only give them the attention they deserve, but I can truly enjoy every moment with them and not be overburdened and stressed out.
#8) The Passion of Parenting | The New York Times
*Recent find!* Haven’t read yet…
#9) A New Perspective For Moms | Elevation Church
I want to leave you (if you’re still with me) one last amazing find. It’s a really short video that is a sweet reminder to moms everywhere that no matter what we think of ourselves, we need to have confidence that we are doing an amazing job.
See additional articles and good reads on motherhood/parenthood HERE!
Check out the updated stats for the boys’ three month update HERE! They are chunksters!