I read the twin mom blogs.
I’m not sure how it happened. I was reading my library book one minute (Holy Spokes by Laura Everett about discovering an urban spirituality from bike commuting) when I found myself seriously typing “twin pregnancy at 24 weeks gestation” into my laptop. Just your average millennial mom over here.
First thing worth noting is that twin mom blogs have horrible kitschy names: Twinkle, Twinny Life, and TwinMommy, for example. Save me. But a post from the Twin Cities metro blog (what, I enjoyed the irony) about life in the first year with twins caught my attention and I clicked it, and read it, and now I wish I hadn’t.
This poor author. A 28-year-old-mom of 4 kids under 3 was just so perky to start. She described her beautiful twins at birth, her weepiness at being united in arms after carrying them for months in utero… Fine, yes, yes cherish the moment… I scanned until I saw what I guess I was looking for. That tell-tale potent mix of mom-guilt and parenting anxiety flavored in this particular post with various stages of self-imposed house arrest. And of course the multiple mention of two babies crying at the same time and really how do you decide who to pick up first?
I’m not sure what I thought I was going be reading in that blog but I was suddenly made very aware that I am currently living in a future fantasy where I will continue to spend seven hours per week on house chores in addition to co-running a start-up business and then work from home part-time with actual deliverables. And have two babies. And a preschooler… who only lets Mommy wash his hair.
It occurred me by the end of article (after noting the author glazed over about 5 months in three sentences with and I quote “there were some ups and downs”) that shit is about to hit the fan in my house and I don’t like a mess.
Thank goodness for the support of my family and friends. That phone call from Dad yesterday. That check-in with Grandma. Those regular texts from Maggie. That lunch date proposal from Ellen. I know I can’t do this alone and I also know I am so far from it. I am SO grateful for these people and others for being there for me when I need it now, even more than I realize. Even before the babies arrive.
Though the support of my family and friends is ever-present, there’s one thing only I can do for myself and that is to get over my fantasy version of the future and envision a more realistic picture of what’s coming. Sure, best-case-scenario is that I recover from delivery quickly; I’m healthy, babies are healthy and sleep well and nurse happily, and my brain is clear and alert during waking hours. (And then multiply that times 5-7 days per week.) But if any one of those links breaks–even once–the whole chain can fall apart. Not nursing well may mean interrupted sleep which begets less sleep for everyone which causes lapses in brain function and an inability to get much done during waking hours.
Will I be really able to work part-time regularly? Should I budget for a housecleaner?
I think I have some journaling to do about what it means if I have to face a severely simplified version of life in the fourth and fifth trimesters: What does “simplified” mean for my expectations of myself? What does it mean for my contributions to my family and home? Where will I find satisfaction and contentment? How can I continue to be a great mom for Eli? What does taking care of myself while taking care of others look like?