I may have mentioned in other posts that I’m not particularly domesticated (I can’t cook and I only clean what I can see) and for most of my life I wasn’t very maternal either.
I’ll try to explain how bad I was…
At work if someone on maternity leave came in to visit with their new baby, I would find an excuse to leave the room. Preferably before they even arrived – to avoid the awkwardness of escaping without giving the baby so much as a fleeting glance. That’s right – I literally ran away from babies. In my teens and 20s I told everyone that I would never have kids. And I meant it – I just couldn’t see myself being a mother.
But become a mother I did. And after all that baby avoidance, my own twin babies ended up being the first babies I ever held.
And it felt good when I held them. It felt comfortable and I felt relaxed. I was also nervous, scared, and didn’t have a clue how to change a nappy (let alone anything else I was meant to be doing) but somehow there was this sense of calm that seemed to stay with me and kept the overwhelm under control.
Of course, it didn’t last for long. By the time I was out of the hospital a few days later, and back home with my beautiful twosome, the enormity of the situation hit me. I had not just one, but two babies to keep alive and healthy. And boy did they need a lot in order for that to happen.
Sleep went out the window. They slept and woke and fed like they were in a relay team. Anyone who has ever used those famous words ‘sleep when baby sleeps’ never had twins. There didn’t seem to be any point at which they were both asleep! (Except in this picture obviously – but that was taken on the day they were born and is therefore a special case.)
But I managed. The 20 daily nappy changes reduced day by day and the seemingly never-ending bottle washing also subsided. The second month was quite different to the first month, and the third was different again. Every week seemed to bring new challenges, whilst old challenges quietly disappeared – often forgotten within days or weeks as the babies (and me) grew, developed, and moved on to the next stage.
My maternal instinct that had eluded me so completely during my younger years was working overtime. Some things I felt a strong instinctual urge on how to deal with it, but most could only be answered by reading books, googling, or asking my own mum (who could often not remember what she did herself). There was no time to be proud or insist on doing it alone. I craved information, if only to confirm to myself that I was doing it right anyway!
As I write this, it’s been 4 years (and a week) since I found out I was pregnant. At that time I had no idea what was ahead of me. And people have often told me since that they don’t know how I coped or that they couldn’t have done it themselves. But the truth of the matter is that they could have done it – if they’d needed to. Having a baby (or having twins) is one of those things you can’t completely plan or prepare for. Some of it comes naturally and some of it doesn’t. Either way you usually have no choice but to deal with what’s in front of you as it happens.
But the best news is that you will know what to do when the time comes…
And if you don’t you’ll be able to find out…
And if you can’t find out, the moment will have passed and you’ll have got through it anyway.
Being a first-time mama is an amazing experience. The New Mama Welcome Pack blog hop is a celebration of this life changing event! Follow the links to discover more unmissable advice, stories and essential tips. And if you’re a new mama who wants to rock motherhood without guilt, overwhelm or losing yourself, check out the New Mama Welcome Pack here.
New Mama Welcome Pack / Lotte Lane / Dreaming Aloud / Birthing in Conscious Choice / Natalie Garay / Knecht Ruprecht / Lise Meijer / Naomi Goodlet / A Lifestyle By Design / Story of Mum / Like a Bird / Holistic Mama / Birth Geek / Joyful Parenting / Stroller Packing / My Healthy Beginning / Mums and More / Kate Beddow – Growing Spirits / Ellen Nightingale / Stacie Whitney / Maternity Leavers / Photography for Busy Parents / Close Enough To Kiss / Atelier Susana Tavares / Offbeat Family / Katie m. Berggren ~ Painting Motherhood / Winship Wellness Blog / Liberate From Weight / Jessica Cary / Raising Playful Tots / Peaceful Mothering / Play Activities / Lauren Nenna / The Adventure Mama / Be Wise Be Healthy / Doula in Your Pocket / Making Mom Strong / Adrienn Csoknyay / Joyful Parents / Simple Solutions for Photos / Lynne Newman / Mumpreneur Mentor / A Walk in the Clouds / Parenting on the Fence / MiaMily