Time

It’s been so long since I’ve had the time and energy to write anything. Growing into toddlerhood has been more than a challenge. Motherhood is apparantly not for the faint hearted. I didnt think of myself as a whiny Eeyore but there you have it. I have whined and wined and crying big ugly cries. I was not ready. For a baby, for babies, for leaving the hospital with children. Most people leave with one child and I had two.

Struggling isn’t pretty and I have managed to make it look even worse. The good news…if there is any. 😂😂😂 My twins are resilient. Most children are. Thankfully my crazy isn’t rubbing off on them, yet.

It took so long to decide to look at the symptoms. Mild to deep depression. Fits of anger at the smallest spill of water or milk. I mean it’s not like they come out of the womb knowing what to do. Literally, they know nothing. They know how to breath and cry. That’s it. Just a psa incase you are wondering.

I have and have been suffering from postpartum depression. I have been looking back and so many times I thought about getting helped. Unfortunately I convinced myself to get 30 mins to myself, courtesy of my sister or brother in law and take a break and suck it up. Some wine and dinner of my own and boom I felt better. That though is not a long term solution. I finally, through a great friends urging, made an appointment and will be working on getting me healthy very soon.

I’m glad for friends who take their time to care for me. In turn I have to also care for all my friends to actually talk to them and let them in on my hurts. So many times I can shut down, be my easily introverted self and that does me no good. Talking it out does help and it allows others to give what can be great advice as they have insight into different parts of you, past and present.

Speak up! Take the time to speak up. Do not suffer in silence, not when there is so much help around.

Remember this day…

If you signed up with Google photos or you are a Facebook user you have probably received a memory notification. On this day, you became friends with, posted a photo of, checked in, or approved a Google collage creation. Usually its a fun memory. A group of friends at a birthday party five years ago. The wedding of a friend.

As of late my memories have been, among the weddings and birthdays, the first few days and months of my twins’ lives. The moments captured when a clear delineation occured in my life. I went from not mom, to mom. From one being, to three.

I find Google ‘saying’ remember when you could put your babies down and find them in the same place. Remember when you worried about their weight gain and how they weren’t latching on. It seems sometimes that Google doesnt realize its digging up old (because i stuff things away) wounds. Of course looking at the pictures you wouldn’t automatically see them.

I had so many complications with feeding in the first few months of motherhood. It was quite a feat to stay positive. I also still worked an hour and a half away and dreaded the time i had to go back. I would never feel ready. It would also mark a point in time that i was to have made a decision and found the funds to move out on my own with my twins. I had moved into my married with tww, sister’s home. Im still here! We are all alive and well!

I ended up with PUPPS, its a real thing, Google it! The most unreal itch you could ever imagine. I could barely concentrate on putting on the nipple shield my twins needed, or have the patience to get my preemies to latch. Everyone had advice and encouragement, and i see memories that trigger feelings of inadequacy and frustration.

My sister told me i wouldnt really remember those first few months. They would be a haze, a distant thought. At the time i thought she was crazy for saying so. Or maybe she was just trying to make me feel better. My twins are almost one now. Two weeks to go, and you know what? She was right. (Don’t tell her)

I don’t quite remember as strongly as I thought I would. I remember the dark hole post partum depression took me into. The feelings of helplessness. That though, is because i still trip over those feelings often.

I dont remember the pain of my c-section healing quite the way i thought i would. Though i remember crying involuntarily when i got up the first time after my IV was removed. I remember 72 hrs in which food and medication was brought to me and i didnt change many diapers. That is one of my most missed moments. I mean seriously, its all kinds of down hill from there service wise. I became the server. ‘Bottle not at the right temperature, sorry madame, monsieur.’

In all these pictures of memories only slightly erased, i see tiny little creatures. I see babies i can’t believe were so small. I see joy as friends met and held them, or chose not to. Who can blame them, the looked so fragile. The one thing i don’t see, the desire to have anymore. For that, i am glad. No need to check myself into an asylum.

May your memories lean more towards beautiful and may haze cover the ugly parts enough that you learned from them but it does not claw at you in the dark. Somewhere in my mom brain, that makes sense.

I Worry

I look at my not so small babies and worry. I look back and ever since I thought I was pregnant, when all I thought I was having was one child, I worried. I even worried my worry and anxiety would transfer to them. It hasn’t, so far. That doesn’t temper my worry.

I worry, I am not enough. I will never be enough. For this gift, this burden, this weight, this blessing, this life sentence, this, this thing they call motherhood. I am not enough.

How can I be called for this? Who thought this was a good idea? How did I get chosen? Was there no one else? Why me Lord? Are you there?

I worry. When one twin pushes another. When they snatch each others toys. When they weren’t gaining weight, I worried. Should I try to sleep train again? When will his cough go away? Is co-sleeping bad, good, ok for a time? Google, how do I ween night time feedings? I should have breastfeed longer. If only I had cut dairy and beef from the beginning.

I worry, will I find another job? Will it be enough? Something is better than nothing, right? If I have to move will I afford it, and day care, and my debt, and how will I do it all and still be enough. Except how can I be enough then when I’m not now?

Ok, if I get a job that pays well enough will that take care of everything? It has to. I can’t get paid enough to no longer qualify for assistance but still desperately need it. How much is enough?

I worry about my growing little, sweet, smart, energetic twins. They had no hand in being here. They did not pick their situation, their parents. Their lives as they know it, are lives I worry about. I worry about their safety. I worry for what world they’ve been brought into. I put on the back burner the worry of being a black boy and a black girl, and the fact that gender is up for discussion these days…for now.

Tired

My mother, sister, and one of my closest cousins (might as well be a sister) and I are in a chat group. This group, has been gabbing it up for years. Long enough that my phone only has message archives from May 2015. Its nicknamed ‘The Ladies’.

In this group we’ve covered topics of life, death, pregnancy, marriage, and divorce. We’ve prayed for each other, celebrated each other, vented, and checked in. One topic that has clearly transcended my pre and post twin life, is that of being tired.

Looking back, even to what my app holds as the beginning of ‘The Ladies’, I rememeber thinking I knew what tired was. My own personal tired gauge. I was well aware that I had never felt the true starting line of where tired ended and exhausted begun; but I had seen and heard it.

For the first few months of 2015, my sister had a 2 year old and a 1 year old. Neither pregnancy had been even a little pleasant and the births were natural (I know there are no medals in baby delivery, but there are salutes to those who can and do make it natural). My first nephew was not an easy baby in the sense that miles were walked soothing him – and not by me. The next was difficult in his own way and back to work – full time, on time – both times my sister went. By need not choice (We can unpack another day why that point has to be made for women).

In 2015 I was taking master’s classes, taking trips and knew very little in reality about the woes of pregnancy, delivery, breastfeeding, and sleep training. I had not yet met tired. So in our group when checking in, I would say I was tired. Usually up studying for a test, doing homework, or more probable…binge watching something. Then my sister would say she’s tired and I never really understood, but I would.

During that time I would also visit. Breast milk was pumped, babies were nursed, food cooked, and the well oiled machine ran. I never quite saw the work it took. You could say I was young and naive.

Today I am older and wiser. Just a hair wiser. I got a concentrated dose of what has been my sister’s reality for quite some time. A tired, only a mother knows. The kind of tired you wear as if it is a reptilian skin that can never be shed.

Of course this does not negate anyone else’s tiredness in any situation or time in their life. I used to be tired then, in the past. Needing rest and relaxation. Though if my body had somehow known the tired it knows now back then, I truly could have taken over the world with one short uninterrupted nap.

The Club of Mothers

Anyone who knows me, knows I love to be free. Free, before motherhood, to run to the store at midnight for gummy bears and a stroll up and down the lanes. Free to jump in my vehicle and go, anywhere really. Free to nap and be lazy all Saturday long.

When my water broke September 1st 2017, my first thought was “Damn, not today”. I had 11 more days of naps, store runs, porch sits, and meandering to do. They were scheduled to be birthed via c-section on the 12th. Instead, they “broke the glass and pulled the alarm”.

It was an easy pregnancy. It was an easy birthing experience. No complications during my stay, and truly the only issue I could say I had was not making sure I had a bm before I was discharged. TMI, I know! What it wasn’t, was an easy transition from being a free one, to we bound three. Fast forward 3 weeks in and I was done being house bound. To church we went. It was glorious, and nerve racking, and eye opening.

Until that moment I had only my mother and sister and few other friends/mothers speak words of encouragement to me. Now I had complete strangers calling me brave (leaving the house at all, let alone weeks in), letting me know it would get better. Two of those moms were both mother’s of twins, both boy/girl sets. One set 3 years old, the other 13 or 14. Both mother’s gave me hope. Ladies I’d never met before. Bound together by lives forever changed. Both in completely different places than I.”It gets easier”,”you will make it through”.

Of course my mother and sister had said the same. I heard them but I didnt quite believe them. My mother had me ten years apart from my sister. My sister had my nephews less than 2 years apart. To hear it from these ladies, ladies who at one time had worn my shoes made it real. I saw a light in the tunnel in them. This of course makes nothing easier in the moment. It is still a day to day journey; but seeing those lights can make a bad day better.

Im still free. Well as free as I can be. No midnight trips to the store. They’re now, morning, mid day, or afternoon trips. With or out purpose. I still stroll the lanes and even window shop. For as long as the milk flows, I am the captain of my ship. Though not all my trips are met with encouragement or hope from strangers, the days my Lord knows my tank needs filling, I meet just the right people.

Today, my tank was empty. Today, my tank was filled. A young lady, a twin (with an identical sister) chatted with me as she stocked and I(we 3) shopped. “There’s nothing like it, there are phases but they’ll be the best of friends”.

A few aisles later I met a mother of three boys stacked about 2 years between, the last being 3ish and another mother of three with a boy and girl and another tucked in her baby carrier. As they asked me about the twins and laughed at my fun shirt (about coffee, kids, and no snooze button) they gave me such love and encouragement. Something I think, if we had been shopping on our own, no chaos in sight, would not have happened. Even got a high five from the mother of three with tge newborn in her carrier, concered with if I… I, get enough sleep.

It is a tribe, a band, a club, a group that before now, I wasnt sure I wanted to join. Someone calling me mom? No way, I love my sleep too much. Now though, now I’m happy to be in this club. I’m happy to meet mom’s in the middle of stores, high fiving milestones, commiserating over children with selective vision, and auditory senses, and filling each other’s encouragement tanks.

Bad Mom

If you have a child of any age, you’ve felt it. The monster inside! Fed usually by, little sleep, not enough healthy foods, and sickness or discomfort of some sort. It shortens all the virtues you want to believe you behold. Patience, kindness, goodness, and self control. Being slow to anger goes out the front door. You can sometimes recognize it creeping in to your morning as you try but fail to get the troupe up, dressed, and ready to go anywhere.

As I stay at home currently, it pops up more often when one of my twins(they trade) decides to wail the entire time in trying to use the bathroom, wash bottles, make breakfast, lunch, or dinner (which at times has to happen in one wailing session because of said wailing). I have to then remind myself they are not doing this on purpose, they just miss me, they need me by them during this leap, and the next, and the next. Then I remember that my nephews still do things at 4 & 6, behaviors that when the twins get to will still pull the monster out, and I realize it’s a never ending cycle to adulthood.

Knowing all this, seeing it coming, doesn’t always mean you can stop it. It doesn’t even mean you can be better. It just means you will always have a deep well of mom guilt. It also means that if you care about the relationship you build with your children you will learn how humbling it is to apologize to the little person who still doesn’t remember to wipe after every bowl movement.

My sister has taught me so much. My brother in law as well. They take the time, even when the situation seems absurd, to get to their little one’s level and truly say I’m sorry. May it be for yelling (when truthfully they asked nicely like five times first) or for letting the sleep deprived mommy monster out because “we are late and you’re asking about play time after school and we’re late” (among other unnecessary but important chatter). They have taught me that it is a healer of attitudes and a teacher and a necessity. For if I expect to be respected how can my children know how if I do not practice what I preach. This does not conquer the monster inside but it works at restraining her. Who wants to forever apologize for losing their virtues.