Under Pressure

I recently went back to work for the first time since having the twins. Not to actually do any work (there’s still a bit of time for that reality thankfully) but for a visit and to see some friendly faces. Whilst there one of my colleagues asked me how I was finding being a mum. I obviously get asked a lot how I find being a twin mum but it wasn’t asked in this context. When I replied they mentioned about the extreme pressures new mums are put under, how it can be enormously overwhelming and how hard it can be to adjust to the changes. It left me thinking about that for the rest of the day, and how they had made a really valid observation. There is a huge pressure nowadays on mums to “have it all” and be perfect from the minute they announce their impending arrival. There are quite a lot of things that people fail to tell you about the new role you take on, often because they don’t want to scare you, but there is also an idea of protecting mums-to-be from some of the realities. I completely understand why but I hail from the school of “I’m going to tell you how it is and you’ll probably think I’m painfully direct” so I’ve compliled my own list of things I think any mum – singleton or multiples – would find useful to know.

  • You might not love being pregnant and that’s ok. Nowhere is it written into law that you have to glow and embrace your bump every single minute of your pregnancy journey. I really struggled with being pregnant and watching my body change. The people who really know me knew that I would, and without them I would probably have been a gibbering wreck by the end. Talk to those people if you have them, and don’t be afraid to admit if you’re struggling
  • Motherhood doesn’t always come naturally. Nobody is born with a manual to being a mummy. Everybody is muddling through at some point, even those people who seem born into the role of a mother. Don’t judge yourself too harshly, especially when you think everyone else is getting on so well because at some point they’re going to feel exactly what you have
  • Things don’t just snap back into place after you’ve given birth! Remember you carried a baby for nine months which grew in you, fed from you and took energy and nutritients from your body. Your body did all those amazing things but it’s not a machine. It takes time to repair and heal, some things might never go back to how they were before. Don’t beat yourself up too much, and definitely don’t compare yourself to celebs who do cover shoots six weeks after popping out their offspring! They often have an army of dieticians, trainers, chefs, nutritionists and stylists behind them and unless you’re exceptionally lucky I doubt you’ll have those too. (Although if you do I’d be grateful if you let me borrow them!)
  • You will be exhausted in a way you have never experienced before. People often told Mr M and I to sleep when the babies slept but not all babies sleep well. Our twins rarely sleep at the same time unfortunately. Their sleep patterns change as they go through each developmental stage, and although those phases pass you’ll always be just that extra bit knackered for the rest of time
  • Having a baby is not enough in common with every new mum for you to all suddenly become friends. You’ll emerge from the fog of the first initial weeks after having a child and want to attend all the baby groups, massage classes, baby yoga, sensory play (I could go on). In your head you’ll think it’s a great way to meet new parents and become mates. Except this doesn’t generally happen. I spent ten weeks going to one baby class and left still knowing nobody and feeling even more lonely than I had at the start. You are more than your children! You had interests and hobbies before which don’t just disappear because a new baby has arrived, and you’ll still be drawn to the people who bring out those sides of you
  • If little James or Jane has done X and Y before your child don’t be drawn into the competitive parenting race because I guarantee their child will be less ahead in other areas. One of my daughters started crawling at seven months but to date we still have two toothless, gummy babies. All babies are wonderfully unique and different so don’t worry about it. Everything will come in its own time
  • EVERYONE has an opinion on what they think is best for your children. Whether you choose to listen to those opinions or even take notice of them is at your discretion. Ultimately they are your children and nobody knows them like you. You need to do what you feel is best for them, even if it goes against everything and everyone else. Always trust your instincts and stick to your guns, and if it comes to it speak up. People don’t generally do things you don’t want them to through spite but more excitement of having a new baby amongst them. Often they don’t even know they’ve offended you but saying so will help to stop it happening again
  • Sometimes you will just need to take a break. 24 hours in anyone’s company can be exhausting but when it’s a screaming baby who doesn’t talk to you then mentally and emotionally it can be enough to drive even the strongest person to breaking point. Take some time for yourself, even if it’s just 30 minutes in the shower and putting your PJs on. I take the dog for a walk once Mr M has finished work because it gets me out into the fresh air and allows me to clear my head so when I go back I’m excited about being with the girls again
  • There’s no shame in grieving for your pre-baby life. You take for granted how free and flexible you once were and how simple it was to make plans to see friends or visit places. Give yourself a bit of time to adjust and don’t beat yourself up if you feel disappointed when you can’t accept every invitation you receive. It doesn’t make you resentful of your child, or children. It makes you human, and that’s not a bad thing
  • Social media can be your best friend and your worst enemy. A photo is a captured moment in time and only shows what the taker wants you to see. Outside of that photo all hell might be breaking loose, so don’t worry if your life seems just a little more chaotic and messy than theirs. Likewise don’t let people make you feel like crap for using your phone whilst with your children – sometimes it might be your lifeline and nobody has the right to tell you to put it down and focus all your attention on one thing. Find a balance you’re happy with, that works for you and then stick to it
  • You are doing a brilliant job. People don’t say this enough to new parents and they need to hear it. People don’t say it enough to any parents to be honest. YOU need to hear it because seriously, you are. You are absolutely enough without worrying that you should be any more for your child. They love and adore you, and ultimately that is the only thing you need to achieve. Everything else will work itself out, so remember to enjoy it

Fi x

 

 

 

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3 thoughts on “Under Pressure”

  1. *idea for a blog – how have the twins enjoyed having a dog around the house, and how has the dog coped with the change in their world?

    Like

  2. This is SO true!! I really did enjoy being pregnant, but I’ve found the early stages of motherhood with Edith SO hard… and that’s ok. I think it’s important to really embrace our differences and support each other. Great post 😘😘

    Liked by 1 person

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