Get What’s Yours: 11 Things That Are Just For Me

When you’re a mom who’s home with the babies all. day. long, it’s easy to believe that your life has been taken hostage by the tiny people who can’t even walk or talk yet. You give everything to the little thumb-suckers and it makes you believe that you have no life, no friends, and nothing left that’s yours.

How wrong we all are to think such nonsense!

Sure, your bed is still the sanctuary and oasis it’s been since the kids were born, but now everything from your meals to your sanity seems as if it was taken from you. Even your sense of time is robbed. Like, I don’t even know what day it is unless I have a bill due. My girls will be one year old soon and I feel like they just slid out of me a couple of months ago.

This sense of removal from everything you love and hold close to you – aside from your children, of course – is a hell of a lot to come to terms with. But we haven’t lost it all, moms. In order to keep ourselves from crushing our own identities, we should remember what is truly ours and cling to it like the climbing monkeys our babies are.

I do a lot for my babies, but I also do a lot for myself without even realizing it. Instead of wallowing in the memories of hitting the gym or hitting up happy hour, I’m choosing to look at what I enjoy, aside from getting giggles from my pups.

Coffee
1

When the girls are asleep in their car seats and Mama’s heading home, there’s no moment that compares to driving through the Starbs window and ordering a half-sweet dirty chai. Mmm, this indulgence is well deserved.

8:00 – 11:00 pm2

Between the hours of 8pm and 11pm, this time is all mine. I can do whatever I want, whether that means getting my thrills from the simplicities of a hot shower, cozy pjs, and cuddling during a stream of TOSH.O, or flying solo on a trip to Costco. WOOOOO!

Vanilla Body Wash3

I don’t spend too much time primping myself anymore. Mom buns, majorly-chipped nail polish, and stubbly legs are my new normal. But when I get in that shower and pop open my vanilla body wash, I feel like a new woman! One that takes the time to indulge in beauty and luxury.

Netflix Queue4

Let’s line ’em up. What’ll it be tonight? The Mindy Project, Nashville, Gilmore Girls, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, or Once Upon A Time? Doesn’t matter, they’re all my guilty pleasures, for my entertainment only, and are SO FAR FROM NURSERY RHYMES I COULD DANCE WITH GLEE. Only I don’t dance. Too tired.

Doing Groceries5

I do love me some fresh produce, samples, and the freedom that our local food mart provides. Until you become a parent, you’ll never understand how much joy this daily outing can bring to your life. Food is life, and among it you’ll find bliss… and chocolate and ice cream.

Skyrim6

Fully charged controller? Check. Fuzzy blanket? Check. Beer? Check! Let’s do this. When there is nothing in my way – no deadlines, no sports games, and no demanding infants – I take to the PS4 and commit myself for TWO WHOLE HOURS (or more, if I’m lucky!) to conquering caves, dragons, and quests. The mental break and escape from reality that this game provides rivals a long-forgotten pleasure: shopping with a disposable income!

Radio Privileges7

Babies can’t drive. Babies can’t talk. Therefore, they have no say and no opinion on whether they want to listen to my Adele CD or JACK FM or the Across The Universe soundtrack. Cry all you want, you’re gonna fall asleep anyways.

Instagram8

Since I love my girls so much, I can’t help but share them with the world. Yes, I know, proud mommy here. But really, I’m getting my jollies from building up my audience for this blog, and I don’t care who knows it! Not only that, but I love the detachment of wasting time scrolling through the lives of others. Oooo, that fancy restaurant looks amazing! That deep-fried thing also looks great! Honestly, I mostly look at food and babies.

Candy Crush9

This has been a thing for me pre-twins. I’ll never let it go, and I’ll never apologize for it. Send me more lives, people!

Writing10

This blog is all mine. Muah ha ha! It’s my outlet, my punching bag, and my confidante. I love it and it…hates me sometimes because I often ignore it, but it always forgives.

Barre + Cycle
11

A super new thing that’s mine is this very weird, but very tough, fitness trend – barre. I normally hate working out, especially since becoming so burnt out from baby-wrangling I can barely walk, but this might work out. I don’t know. For the next 30 days, I’m committing myself and will try to push aside the guilt of leaving the girls to do something for me. The June 30 Day Challenge is a super big thing that I just learned about at The Dailey Method (in the Glebe). Um, and can someone please join me so that I don’t do this alone? Wah!

So, those are my things. Aaaaand it makes me super happy to remember them all during the long and tiring, teething, and growing toddler days.

What are your things? I chose 11 because that’s the date of my girls’ 1st birthday, next month! But, I’d really love to hear any number of mom things.

Take control of your things!

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Facts About Motherhood: #58

Fact #58: Motherhood is boring.

It’s never fun to admit something that you’re supposed to keep a secret. Like, the fact that you have hemorrhoids or a third nipple.

There are so many secrets that mom’s won’t admit to that it actually adds more stress to keep the thoughts all bottled up. There is never a good time for moms to confess every thought or worry they had. If we did, we’d be sent to our guilt graves. Or we’d be looking at an epic novel, and not the short and loose dialogue I like to share with you all.

One thing that nobody ever tells you about becoming a mother is how boring it is. Oy, it’s mind-numbing. The moment you have a baby (or two!) is the moment that you enter a black hole of repetition, routines, and lack of spontaneity.

Hey, I’m not knocking down parenthood. There are plenty of joys that come along with raising infants, such as… well, baby giggles are nice. And teaching them things like the word “no” is kind of rewarding, too. All I’m saying is that the load of expectations of what motherhood is like should be busted open like Pandora’s Box.

Here it is, ladies. Motherhood in all it’s glory.

You’re gonna be bored AF sometimes.

Every day is the same cycle of tasks: waking up at the crack of dawn, washing the same dishes and onesies, playing with the same toys, changing the same bums, infinite nursery rhymes. Add the precise moment your toddler starts whining and you won’t even have to look at the clock to know you’re entering their afternoon fuss time.

Now, there ARE things to help you to keep your sanity in check while your little ones examine and toss the same damn toys around. For example, I like to vent about it online. Some moms like to work out. I don’t have such mom friends, but I imagine I’d hate them encourage them to maintain their interests.

Doing anything for yourself when your infants turn into toddlers with ‘tudes will make you feel a lot of feels, especially guilt. Even right now, I could be playing with my girls, but instead I’m doing this. While deep down I know the benefits of doing something for myself, I can’t help but feel like I’m neglecting them. And what’s more annoying is that they’re becoming smart enough to know that. The moment I open my laptop is the moment they start crying out, “Mama!”

 

Mom Boredom should be as much of a well-known term as Mom Guilt; both go hand-in-hand and can suck the pre-mom personality out of you faster than a bottle of wine.

Mom boredom can affect you so much that when you finally are gifted with a break, you simply can’t handle the freedom. You stay close to home and feel like a prisoner finally being released into the wild. This is why so many moms flock to Walmart and Target in their down time – it’s the least likely task that will generate guilt by spending time by yourself. “I’m buying diapers, damn it! I’m still thinking of my babies. Just leave me alone to walk every aisle for the third time!”

Being bored when you’re childless is like being bummed by the fact that you’re lazy and uncreative. Or hating the fact that you have way too much time to relax.

Being bored when you’re a mom means talking to yourself because you can’t talk on the phone with your girlfriends ’cause your baby won’t let you. It means dressing your babies up in endless outfits and taking dozens of photos just to make the hour go by faster. It means eagerly volunteering to go buy milk (or literally anything) the moment your partner comes home from work. “We desperately need more pepper – out of my way!” It means becoming socially awkward because you’ve been lacking in all forms of communication, other than social media. Being a bored mom means that you seriously consider turning to, ugh, Pinterest for things to do.

Nah thanks. I’ll stick to complaining online.

Stripped

The other night was probably the worst night I’ve ever faced since becoming a parent. When I say it was the worst, I may even be downplaying the description of how this night went down.

After surviving the first few months of newborn madness and round-the-clock feedings and diaper changes to two infants, we began to see the light and enter some sort of nighttime routine. We endured the first nights in their own room, their first colds, and the cutting of their first teeth. Even the blur of sleepless months we first experienced when the girls arrived at home was nothing compared to what we faced three nights ago.

At around 2:30 am, we awoke to the sounds of coughing and gagging. Drowsy from the noise we continue to listen and then jolt out of bed at the additional sounds of vomit splashing against little Chloe’s bed linens and crib bars.

For those of you who don’t know, we put up with eight months of spit-up from our girls and they had finally outgrown this nasty, annoying, laundry-soaking phase. What we discovered was NOT the spit-up we knew and trusted.

What we faced was not only a massive amount of partially-digested vomit, but also a sad and smelly Chloe, paired with the most rotten scent we’ve ever encountered in our pre and post-baby lives. If I had to describe the smell, I would file it next to old Kraft Dinner that was prepared with spoiled milk and then fermented for a month.

We immediately took action; me grabbing the baby, and JD grabbing the soaked sheets while suppressing his own urge to gag. The bed and baby were both stripped. My shirt and hair had vomit in it from Chloe’s need to cuddle her spewage-slathered face into my chest. BLEH!

The next four hours Chloe and I stayed up to watch cartoons as she fought her stomach to puke again, as well as fight her need to sleep. Every time she almost fell asleep, she would startle herself awake and begin to cry. Nightmare.

If you thought that was the worst of the night, you’d be wrong.

At 6 am, I hear Sophie begin to wake up. The normal time, but I was just not ready to face the regular morning routine. I waited fifteen minutes before going to check on her, when she began to get annoyed and whine for attention.

I finally visit her and get hit in the face with an even fouler smell. Could it be that the vomit stench remained in the room? I open the blinds and look at my daughter.

POOP. EVERYWHERE.

POOP ON EVERY BAR OF THE CRIB.

POOP ON HER BLANKETS.

POOP ON HER ONESIE.

POOP ON HER LEGS.

POOP ON MY SOUL.

She had the most extreme case of diahrrea I had ever witnessed. Even from myself.

I could not deal with the scene before me. So I scooped her up, put her in the bathtub with her onesie and diaper still on, and woke up my better half to help me cope with my emotions, which at this point were running as wild as Sophie’s sphincter.

After I scrubbed the feces from her body, I grabbed a rag and a shred of strength I had left on reserve and went to assess the bedroom damage.

As I stripped a second bed of its linens and began to scrub the mattress, I began to hysterically laugh-cry. Not laugh to the point of crying, but I simultaneously experienced two emotions at once: bawling my eyes out and laughter.

I peed myself. And then I stripped off my vomit and piss-covered pj’s and went on with being a parent.

The beds were stripped. The girls and I were stripped. All I have left to strip is the horrific memories of the night from my mind.

3 Out of 5

I have recently been reading Thrive by Arianna Huffington and, although I’m not too far into it, a bit of text caught my eye and has been sitting in my brain. She quoted Randi Zuckerberg’s entrepreneur’s dilemma. When it comes to being successful within the five key areas of your life – work, sleep, friends, family, and fitness – you must only choose three. So 3/5 is the magic fraction if you want to achieve success in those areas. If you wanted to be perfect and well-balanced in all areas, then the book indicates that you just won’t get there. You’ll wear yourself thin and then you won’t be successful in any area because you’re not spending the time you need on it. The idea that Arianna Huffington supports and writes about in her book is that you must be a little imbalanced, and accept that you’re not a superhero.

I’ve been craving ultimate success my whole life, trying to make sure that each of those areas gets the focus it deserves. I believe that giving each of them a piece of my attention has worked well for me. I was a firm advocate for being able to have it all! But those days were best lived when I was single and did not have two little ones to tend to.

Now that I have a family, those words by Zuckerberg and the support of Huffington is hitting close to home. It seems as if I really do need to choose three in order to find success in those categories of life’s fulfillment. I just don’t have the time or the energy for it anymore. I need to narrow down what’s most important to me and dedicate myself to them.

Well, the first one is a no-brainer. Sleep. Sleep is most important to achieve success in ANYTHING. At least for me. Some people can function off of five hours and be able to run triathlons and crap. I need at least seven hours of uninterrupted sleep. To get there will take a lot of supportive participation from Sophie and Chloe, and dedication and discipline on my part. When the babies go to sleep, all I want to do is enjoy the sweet couple of hours I get to indulge in adult life. Watch Netflix, take a shower, catch up on reading, play video games, have a beer, scour social media, whatevs.

The second, again, is a piece of cake. Family. I love my little, complete family and want to spend time with them whenever I can, and give them space when it’s due. I want to make sure my babies are reaching their milestones, gaining independence, learning, and are well-fed and happy. I want to nurture them, love and snuggle them, and provide for them. And in order to provide for them, well you see where my third choice is going.

Work. I love what I do and love that my work allows me to do it. I love feeling valued, respected, and proud of the work that I do. I’ve always wanted to achieve success when it comes to my career, and now that success is trickling down to my family.

Choosing three out of five was easy for me, but that doesn’t mean that friends and fitness is not important to me either. Each of those areas in my life are very important to me and I hope to make a little time for each of them. Even if it’s once a week. I might have to pencil you into my calendar once a month for a weeknight dinner or Sunday morning coffee date. And you might also be competing for a spot alongside my weekly yoga class. Either way, friends, body, you will not be forgotten. I ask that you just take patience in knowing that I love you and will make sure that plans are made to keep you both in my life and in shape.

Snot Pretty

Any new mommy’s worst fear is that their babies will get sick. Until now, we’ve been fortunate enough not to experience this. Mommy brought the germies into the house.

After 9 months, the most gruelling days have arrived. Both babies are sick for the first time. UGH! I’m not talking about a little sniffle and a wee ahh-choo. We’re facing the brunt of any nasty cold; sneezing, coughing, congestion, sore throats, runny noses, yellow crusts of snot in their nostrils, and the smelliest, filthiest shits you’ve ever seen.

Side note: I’m not the kind of mom that penny-pinches when it comes to these types of disasters. You ruin your pants, they’re going in the trash. No way will I scrub the turd out of your pjs, throw it in the wash and it still leave a stain. You wreck it, to heck with it!

There are boogers in their spit-up and bags under their eyes. They take breaks from their bottles because they can’t breathe through their nose. They’re sleep deprived, miserable, and are wearing the saddest faces I’ve ever seen. It’s brutal.

For all you worried mamas out there, I’ll point out now that they are both fever-free!

While they want more attention, more cuddles, and more Kleenex, I’m happy to comply. Never has any (fellow sickie) mommy dug deeper into the purse of patience. I push my heavy head and dripping nostrils aside and tend to my babies because, when put into perspective, they’re LITERALLY facing the first cold of their itty-bitty lives! That is, aside from the day they left their warm, cushy sacks and were born without any say in the matter.

Truthfully, I kinda like it. They’re building their immune systems AND I’ve never felt more motherly than I do right now. My heart goes out to my snotty spawn and I just want to make them feel better. If they could ask for cupcakes right now, I’d totally give it to them. I’m sure this is the kind of attention that the “man cold” sufferer seeks.

The mom vibes are surging at full capacity! I’ve never felt so “mom”. Like, I mom. But, this is the type of mom-ing that you think of being classic mom; tucking you in, feeding you soup, kissing your forehead. I’m doing it, guys!

So, I’ve learned that there’s taking care of your babies, and then there’s really taking care of your babies.

Baby, It’s Cold Outside

I don’t know much about babies, but mine seem to get bored easily. In the daily debate of who gets to do what, their restlessness is a constant counter to my laziness and always is the winning argument.

While circulating through the same routine every day, they never last more than 15 minutes on an activity before getting mad at me. Simply for not knowing they’re bored again. One minute they’re happily playing, and the next they’re soooo over it.

Just because you babies grew from my insides does not mean I can read your tiny minds!

In my attempt to satisfy their cravings for constant excitement and spontaneity, I’ve discovered that they’re happiest away from home than in it. I know it’s because everywhere we go they’re treated like mini celebrities. They love meeting their adoring fans, signing autographs, and getting their photo taken. And since we live in this beautifully vicious country that is Canada, this really tests my desire to hermit.

Schlepping two babies around in the winter is exhausting. All I want to do when it’s cold outside is cuddle with them and binge Netflix, but try taming a squirmy infant.

AND THEY’RE AT THE MOST AWKWARD AGE EVER.

They can’t walk, but have the personality that lets you know you’re their bitch and have to carry their tiny asses to the car. They can’t talk, but with one look you can tell they’re judging the crap out of you for being lazy. They won’t cuddle, but will whine until you pick them up, just so they can claw at your eyeballs and climb up your body a la King Kong.

I’m not going to list the ways we need to prep to get the babes from the house to the car, but it’s extensive. And even though it’s minus 15 degrees, by the time you get them to the car you’re a sweaty mess. Mom tip: just stick to a disheveled bun and relatively clean face when you leave the house. With twins, spending time on hair or make-up during ANY season is an indulgence. Just like the doughnuts you cram into your face the moment you find the closest Tim’s.

There are not many places you can bring a double stroller to in the winter. Forget about the niche-y book or clothing stores or trendy coffee shops. Forget about the park, walking paths, or any outdoor hobby. And you can forget about taking them to any fun place for children, because they’re lumps. The only options you have are malls and major department stores, like IKEA or Canadian Tire. “Baby want some new wiper blades?”

Unless you’re my offspring and it’s two votes against one, there is no way I will leave the house during winter. These twinfants keep me from hibernating like the mama bear I am. They get me off the couch, out of sweats and into yoga pants, and moving towards civilization. I am a vertical member of society – and an unenthusiastic contributor to big-box income – because of their motivational whines.

Winter can bite my cellulite-ridden ass.

Just Do It

“Wow. Twins. How do you DO it?”

Somehow having twins makes you really popular and you make lots of new, random street friends with lots of opinions. Aside from the opinions no mother wants about simply raising one child, you get double the input with twins.

I’m asked many repetitive questions about #twinlife, like “Are they twins?”, “How old are they?” and “Can I touch them?” I am also asked the “How do you do it?” question a lot. And I never have any answer, even though they’re kind of being rhetorical about it.

Family & friends? A helpful spouse? Eating cookies in the closet?

When I really thought of an answer, all I could come up with is you just DO. I don’t think there’s a twin mama out there that knows how its done. You just have no choice. This is your life. These are your children. You can’t wallow. You don’t take a moment to think, “Motherf***er! This is stressful. How DO I DO it?” Because if you do, you unravel. Your focus crumbles. Your ability to mom is interrupted.

Raising twins is the biggest marathon you’ll ever run. If you stop to look around and catch your breath, you’ll forever be playing catch-up.

Determination and willpower. These are two key ingredients to keeping you on your feet and hurling you towards being the best twin mom you can be.

But what if you’re a twin mom who’s also trying to get fit? Finding a little leftover determination or willpower is like finding a four-leaf clover! So at the end of the day you eat that pizza, drink the wine, and sit on your widening ass, because there ain’t much more determination or willpower left in the tank. And you go to bed happy and proud knowing you survived another day.

Only 6,311 days until graduation.