So this week I admit it, I’ve slipped. Normally I give myself a deadline to publish my next blog piece on a Monday and this week I just haven’t had a chance to sit down and write it. The ideas have been bubbling away like some sort of GCSE Chemistry experiment (good times, who didn’t love Mr Robinson for GCSE Chemistry at my school) but actually physically bashing the words out on the keyboard has proven a tricky one.
There’s nothing significantly new about my routine lately, just that time seems to have flown by without me really having a chance to do everything I normally would. I can hear some people muttering to their screens about it being a bank holiday and therefore the entire country enters some sort of time warp where we go to sleep on Thursday night and wake up on Tuesday morning with the mother of all hangovers convinced it’s still Sunday. Because bank holidays always make it socially acceptable to drink all day every day, right? Sadly Mr M and I don’t have bank holidays off in our line of work so it isn’t that. Life has just been incredibly busy lately, and that got me thinking.
Time it seems really does fly when it’s full of good things. Lately, the focus of me going back to work has shifted from “Oh my God I have a year off, what the hell am I going to do in it?” to ” Oh my God, I have to go back to work in three months.” I’ll admit it people, I’m not ready. I thought I’d be gunning to get back but actually I find myself wishing these three months were longer; infinite; eternal. Don’t get me wrong I LOVE my job (that’s a genuine capital letter use right there), but I really don’t want to miss out on seeing the girls continue to develop and grow. More importantly, I don’t want other people to get to share those special moments with them over me. Selfish? Yes. True? Most definitely. It’s the age-old question of how to balance the working mum life that I’ve never had to ask myself before, and I’ll freely admit it, I’m a bit scared.
When I first became pregnant the people around me would remark how quickly time was going. Well, let me tell you now that could not have felt further from the truth. I felt like I was giving birth to an elephant (their gestation period is 18-22 months depending on the species, just in case you weren’t up to speed) and that the twins were quite literally never going to arrive. For my non-baby shower – so-called because I’m not a fan of parties where I’m the person being celebrated – I got given the most adorable gifts including clothes and thinking the girls will never fit these until they’re about two years old. Well, the girls are now too big for all of the clothes we were bought when they were born. The last gifts were two outfits from Zara which they wore for the first time this week. I’ll hold my hands up and say it did break my heart a little bit to know they don’t have anything left that was bought for them in those early sleep deprived days of being newborns.
I also sorted through all their old clothes to take to the charity shop this week. I never fully appreciated how small they were until I stumbled across the premature baby outfits we put them in on the day they were first-born. I see the photos of them now and hear the remarks that they were “a good weight for twins” and still think they looked like they could snap if someone sneezed on them. I remember Mr M cradling them in his arms like they could break at any moment, and now they are turning into little ladies before our eyes. When did that happen? When did they stop being babies and start being little people? I’ve kept a bag of their first outfits and the first pair of shoes we put them in. I’ve tried really hard to not hold on to too much because once you start where does it end? But there are some things, like their Christmas baby gros that I can’t bear to say goodbye to, and so they’ve been tucked away for the future in the memory box ready to bring out when they’re older so we can reminisce.
As a parent, there’s that constant internal fight about being excited for the next part of your baby’s life whilst wishing they would slow down and still be babies. Someone once said to me to enjoy the cuddles when they were first-born because it would pass. That time is gone now. They want to move, climb, crawl, explore and as magical as it is I would give anything to have one more moment of them sleeping peacefully on my chest or next to my bed in their crib. You take these things for granted, so keen to make sure that your baby is developing properly and appropriately, without really appreciating the enjoyment in the simple things. Sometimes I wish we could freeze moments in time and get to replay them at our leisure, having that physicality and experiencing those emotions just as we did that first time.
I watch my daughters grow and I can’t help but dream about what they will become as women whilst wanting them to stay little girls. I want to raise warrior women, who are independent and strong, but I want them to need me too. I understand how my mum must feel now about me. Mr M and I talk about our hopes for their futures, who will be the sporty, active one like their daddy and who will be the studious, academic one like me. We talk about how they will always have each other to play with, to walk through the school gates for the first time with, to share their teenage secrets and angsts with and now I get it. Time is advancing and nothing I can do can stop it, so my faithful reader this week I apologise for being late on writing my next piece but sometimes things like living life just take time.