This photo is the very first time I ever held the girls together. It was taken maybe three weeks after they were born. When I left the hospital on February 18, 2011 without our babies I was truly blessed for God to put such peace in my heart to know that it will all be ok. I say that because if I would have known the magnitude of the love I would feel for these girls the way I love them now, that day, I would have been carried out kicking and screaming. It is amazing what God can do in such a short year in our lives. This past year has literally flown by in some ways and in other felt like ten years! I celebrated my first Mother’s Day last year when the girls were about four months old. It was such a memorable day, but I can honestly say that this Mother’s Day means so much more because of this year that I have had with my girls watching them grow and thrive.
I named this A Year in the Life of a new MOM for two reasons; One -because the first year of motherhood is wrapped in so many emotions and two – because MOM is not just Mom, but Mother of Multiples!
I always knew that motherhood would bring emotions that I could not describe until I was one. My mother always said that coined phrase like all moms across the world, “Don’t judge until you are a mother, OR what until you are a mom and then we will see….” Fill in the blank. You spend the whole first year navigating through sleepless nights, learning cries, nursing your babies (physically) and when they are sick. You walk on eggshells through all their firsts – first time they roll over, stand up, crawl, walk, say their first words. You lay in bed at night wide awake because every sound on the monitor makes you not ready to fall asleep. You cry when they don’t feel good. You try and be strong when they get shots at the doctor. You clap with them when they are so proud of themselves for doing something grand. You sing Elmo a thousand times because it makes them happy. You drive in the car in the middle of the night so they will fall asleep. You cry when you breastfeed because its exhausting. Then you cry when you stop breastfeeding because you feel guilty. You do 8 million loads of laundry, try and cook for your husband, try and remember to say “Good Morning” and “Good Night” to your husband 🙂 Ladies, you all have been there.
All of these acts are so incredibly selfless. But, when things get really hard and you are just about to crack, a smile, a laugh, a diaper on their head they think is hilarious, a hug, a kiss..it all changes everything. I feel very thankful to get to stay at home with my girls. It was very much a game changer for our family and something we knew was best for our situation. I still grieve a professional life sometimes, but then I see how incredibly hard my girlfriends work to balance all of it and I have no idea how they do it all. My hats off to both working moms and stay-at-home moms everywhere. I am not the typical stay-at-home mom. I am not lunching with my girlfriends, shopping, going on playdate to Gymboree with my little one…We are not meeting Daddy for lunch and all those things I imagine I might do with one. I attempt to shop by myself once every few months. Play dates consists of lots of walks and with other kids that may have padded and large play rooms. We do go see Daddy occassionally, but we don’t get out of the car and it is usually one of those days that I need a coffee break or Coke break to go through the drive through. We go to Target…ALOT and visit our safe locations with our huge stroller. We do basically anything we can do to feel normal.
But, the biggest accomplishment and piece of advise I have to all new mothers out there is this…Create YOUR normal. YOUR normal is what will make your family successful. It is YOUR normal that will make you feel like you are doing it all right even when you know you are failing miserably. YOUR normal is why God made YOU a MOM. Not for you to be like someone else’s family. I think it is wise to draw experience from other mothers. Ask how they did things, how they survived certain stages in development. I think it is wise to lean on girlfriends and raise your children together. In the end, it comes down to you feeling confident in YOUR choices, YOUR mothering and drawing on YOUR own inspiration. The days I try to compare myself to other mothers I loose sight of God’s true plan for me and my family. Envy is a horrible sin and I will be honest and tell you how many times I have thought this past year how much easier it would be with one baby or even two babies. But, you know what…Not God’s plan for us. I feel this year has taught me so many things and I feel incredibly blessed to be a growing and changing woman. It has also taught me to live in the moment and not rely on that phrase, “It will get easier…when….” If I always look to tomorrow, I am missing today. And yes, it might get easier, but I will see when that challenge arrives. The grass may not always be greener 🙂
Another thing that I have learned is that mothering is an ever changing cycle in life. It continues generationally. I have witnessed this first hand in grandmothering. There is a reason they call it GRANDmothering. I have a big hats off to my own mother, Diane, and my mother-in-law Debbie. It is one thing to become a first time grandmother to a new baby, but to have three has to be an undertaking especially as much as they have been providers in our lives. It has to be surreal to watch your own children raise children or see your babies in your grandbabies. Although as a new mom, I can admit I can been controlling and maybe make a mountain out of a mole hill at times, I know that in time I will be where they are watching my girls mother. That sounds so daunting to me right now, but I do hope that I draw on this experience with such love and admiration for their Mimi and Nana that I will know what to do for my children and grandchildren someday.
I end this post by not only telling all first time moms out there, “YOU SURVIVED,” but, what a beautiful year to look back on with such pride and accomplishment for rising up to the task and honoring God with the perfect gift or gifts He has entrusted to you. I don’t think we will EVER have another “first” year, but I think I have enough memories to fill my heart up for years to come. And even for the women out there who are not mothers yet or don’t choose motherhood, you are all mothering in your own way whether you know it or not. God made us to nuture over nature and love one another. It is already in our DNA.
Thank you to all my family and friends for such encouragement this past year. I know that verbal rewards are somethings moms don’t hear too often, but I feel pretty lucky that I have such amazing kin to lift me up and always provide positive words. And to my husband, I LOVE being the mother of YOUR daughters. There is nothing more honorable I feel I can do in our marriage at this time in our lives than do the best I can do to be a good mother. Even on the days of tantrums, the girls stealing each other’s toys and pacifiers, no sleep, and them just wearing me dog tired…It is still the best day I could ask for. Oh, and maybe a day to sleep in would be nice too! Haha.
Happy Mother’s Day Mommies….