I think we all think that nothing will change when the baby/babies arrive. You think “we’ve got this”. You might be stressed over it, go through a long nesting period and adjust everything in your home. But you definitely thought at some point that you won’t be like these other couples with kids who blah blah…
At least for us this is so true. We were certain we would travel often and far with the twins. That we would not a sitter or the in-laws for help. We still don’t want anyone else to raise our children but us. And we still don’t want to be a burden to our family. But we do need their precious help!
I was also sure that I would not breastfeed, because no one ever does.
But it’s also those crazy things we learnt/found out/experience after the birth of our twins. Things no one lets you in on. And that even if someone would tell me about them, I wouldn’t think their important or true. And of course that “we are going to be so much better at this parenting thing that those losers”.
Kids though. Kids are born to teach us how we don’t know a thing. And they do that all the time. In their cute, noisy and chubby way!
Lesson 1: My heart expanded…
… the moment I first heard Orpheas crying, angry as a thunder. He was running in my uterus and he kept on kicking and screaming the moment he got out of me. My mind imploded when I first laid eyes on tiny George on my chest. His wet eye lashes under his father’s eye brows brought tears of crazy joy to my eyes. I was reborn a mother. And the feeling was unprecedented.
Lesson 2: Feelings run high at the maternity clinic
“I may have grand children from my daughter in law, but not that my own daughter gave birth, the feeling is amazing” my sweet mama said.
“You had a goal and you made it happen” my daddy whispered to my ear.
Leave. The. Mascara. Home.
Lesson 3: Infants make the craziest sounds!
And with twin infants in our bedroom, it was dolby surround! They were scary, I must say. I don’t even know where they were coming from.
Lesson 4: If you decide to breastfeed, you’ll be amazed at how many women relatives did not
I was under the impression that I was breastfed for like 3 days. I wasn’t. I thought that one of my aunties had nursed for the first 6 months. I was actually the first to nurse from both sides of the family, since our twins’ great-grandmothers.
Lesson 5: Everybody’s talking about the lack of free time. No one told me about the lack of personal space
The apartment is so baby proofed, it’s actually adult-hostile. I cook with the twins playing hide and seek between my legs. If I sit on the sofa to work on the laptop, each twin grabs a boob. It’s crazy!
Lesson 6: I do a lot of what I said I’d never do as a mum
I’m pretty sure that if I had 4 nannies helping me every 8 hours of the 24, my twins wouldn’t have watched any tv, they wouldn’t be parked as babies in their beds, they would have walked and talked a lot sooner. And if I had a chef, they would only eat organic, home-made, preservative free food.
Lesson 7: Everybody talks to me when I’m with the twin stroller
I don’t believe moms of one get so harassed. And I wasn’t expecting that. When the twins were still tiny, people would mostly wish me the best. Now…
Lesson 8: …They all have advice to share
None of these pieces of advice is good willed. None fits me. None has helped me in any way. And given that I have never felt the need to advice anyone on the street (or friend/family) on parenting, it seems weird that other people have this urge.
Lesson 9: There is always a perfect mom somewhere ready to mom shame me
I’ve run into twins who can actually take a hat on their heads. I’ve been around a mom whose boy is eating home made egg muffins, while they’re feeding the pigeons some pretzel. I buy pretzel and give it to my twins as a snack…And I’ve also seen this super hero mum who always strolls to the east at sunset and her baby is always under the shadow even at noon. And it’s not that I see them and feel guilt. It’s that they choose to mom shame me with their advice and comments.
Αnd you know what? I wasn’t expecting that. I had no idea moms are on different sides. I thought we ought to help each other when we are up against a toddler in a tantrum. But you know what else? Maybe it’s because I give the impression of the perfect mom that these moms have that urge to point out my worst elements. And you know why? Because I nurse twins, I am a stay at home mum, well-dressed with well-dressed kids who I speak English to though I’m Greek. I have a Family Travel Blog, for crying out loud! But you know what else? It’s time for the masks to drop…