I'm so fortunate to have Rachel from The Stay Lucky blog here today. I first met Rachel when she lived in Toronto. Somehow we both got involved with a mutual friend's baby shower and before we knew it had taken the whole thing over designing everything from the invitations to the food to the decorations. We poured over back copies of Martha Stewart together and exchanged emails about interesting blog posts we had seen. A mutual friendship was born and from it many wonderful things have come (including one of my favorite Hello! Neighbor posts of all time and my whimsical header.) What I didn't know about Rachel until she started her own blog was how amazing she is with words. She has a way of getting right to the point which make this post about motherhood so poignant. I think you'll agree!
When Emma asked me to post for The Marion House book admittedly I choked a little. Not literally, but I did get a bit anxious at the thought of writing for her lovely blog.
Emma is the yin to my yang, all grace and calm to my wrecking ball and occasional foul mouth. Despite our differences she has been a constant source of inspiration and huge help when I decided to do a blog myself. So, here goes (I guess this would be considered advice for a new mom)...
10 things I (think) I know now after four years with twins...(from in utero to the present)
* Your journey is your own, accept it. If you aren't a matcha tea drinking yoga enthusiast before you get pregnant chances are strapping 40 pounds of baby to your front will not be the straw that Zens out the camel. Find what makes you comfortable and happy and feeling alright with the world and do that. For me it was mashed potatoes and hours spent in the tub (usually both things combined), but if you can downward dog until the eleventh hour, high five sister!
* Read a lot of books, ask a lot of questions, then listen to your gut. You just grew a human(s), you have an incredible connection to them. Listen for it.
* Things on your body will eventually shift back into place. I likened being pregnant with twins to people coming over to your house, trashing it and then leaving you the mess to clean up. Drink lots of water and be kind to yourself. What can't be fixed with exercise and eating well can always be hoisted back up with Lycra.
* If you smother your husband/partner you will have to do this by yourself. Ask for help when you want it, and more importantly space when you need it.
* I am not 100% sure but fairly certain no one ever went mad from not getting the laundry done. Not getting sleep is a whole different matter, that can make the toughest of us crack. Provided you don't have other kids running around demanding your spare attention, nap when the baby naps. Assign a chore to anyone who comes over to "see the baby". It's like a toll, or a surcharge. Sure you can hold this baby, it will only cost you one dark load and a quick sweep of the kitchen.
(And as a P.S to the above - you cannot "catchup on sleep now", which is something people say when you are pregnant. There is no sleep bank, a place where you can deposit a nap for a later date. If you have been up for 26 plus hours chances are you are not going to be thinking "well thank goodness I had that great nap two months ago". Just know it won't last forever and you most likely won't remember it anyways).
* Comparing your child to others will make you nuts. "So, are they talking yet", is sometimes a seemingly loaded question. Sure, the kid next to yours in the sandbox "might" speak three languages at the ripe old age of two, but he also just ate a half pound of sand and shoved a pine cone up his nose...it's all relative. Kids progress differently and at their own pace. Keep them engaged and interested. Like you their journey is their own, make it fun.
* (For creatives) Do not attempt to art direct your child. Kids are like drunk people. They say weird things, are loud and fall down a lot. They also insist on doing things like wearing their pants backwards, or a batman costume to your great aunts 80th birthday party. Try turning your pants around in a show of solidarity (and hope) it won't be forever.
* Your kids have no idea that you are a crappy singer / artist / dancer. Paint a picture, teach them to high kick, belt out that song...they think you are awesome, take full advantage of it (I am told they will not always think I am this cool). Until then, it's booty shaking time!
* Kids say brilliant things. Write.them.down. You will forget, which leads me to my last point...
* Mom brain is real. No point fighting it, work with it. There is no law that states you can't keep cereal in the fridge or that you can only shop at Whole Foods whilst wearing matching shoes. Know that your brain is saving itself for the important stuff, the baby stuff. Four years have whipped by in an awful hurry, take lot's of pictures and just enjoy it. Ten years from now even the craziest most sleep deprived stressful day with your kids will seem like a great memory. xo