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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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.

Twinsanity

People always share with us how lucky we are to have twins. Lucky. Sure, some days I do have moments when I’ll feel that way and think, “Man, am I ever glad I only had to be pregnant once.” But, I know when people say this they see it as a blessing that we were gifted with two healthy, beautiful babies. Especially when so many families suffer through trying to conceive. My heart goes out to those couples.

HOWEVER, when you’re a new mom and are riddled with fear of caring for ONE infant, two bundles of joy makes you feel everything BUT lucky.

From the moment we came home from the hospital, the chaos began.

DAY 1
One baby: Cries when hungry, poopy, tired, and uncomfortable.
Solution: Feed, change, swaddle, and adjust.
Solution with twins: Oh god, it’s 3 am and the other one JUST went to sleep and now this one is crying and waking the other up. Fuck go back to sleep. They will never sleep and we will never sleep and we’re all overtired and is it too late to give one back!?!?!

DAY 21
One baby: 4 am and wants to eat.
Solution: Warm bottle or whip out nip, hold baby and support head, pop nipple in mouth and both fall asleep peacefully together.
Solution with twins: Both babies wake at the same time and are hangry. Spouse is at work and you still haven’t figured out how to feed both babies at once because damn those wobbly heads and fuck they’re both crying at the same time and I’ve only slept 1 hour from the last time I fed you whyyyy do you eat so much thank god I decided not to breastfeed and so let’s feed one at a time while the other one cries and cries and the crying never. Ever. Stops. EVER.

DAY 22
BREAKDOWN.

DAY 41
One baby: Getting out of the house by yourself.
Solution: Dress baby, put it in the car seat, and carry it outside to the car or stroller.
Solution with twins: THIS. DOES. NOT. HAPPEN. Well if I’m being honest, you do exactly as you would with baby one, but spending double the amount of time and adding triple the anxiety.

DAY 198
One baby: Feeding them solid foods.
Solution: Sit baby in a feeding chair and give them one bite at a time.
Solution with twins: Prepare breakfast while praying that this round goes well. Have pacifiers on hand. Dig deep into your core to find what little patience you have left on reserve. Inhale. Exhale. Put bite into one baby’s mouth. Cue screams from second baby. Pop pacifier into second baby’s face. Give bite to second baby. Cue screams from first baby. Pop pacifier into first baby’s blow-hole. Repeat for 98 more bites (if no tantrums erupt). Finish food, wipe hands and faces, cry. Mentally prepare for Round 2: Dinner.

DAY 241
One baby: Crawling around and exploring their new home.
Solution: Follow baby carefully.
Solution with twins. One is carefully followed while the other one burns hand, gets shocked, or ends up under a bookshelf.

KIDDING! But furreal, both can’t be set loose at the same time if you’re working alone. They’re like little puppies, but instead of chewing on shoes, they’re chewing on your hair and each other.

When people stop us on the street or in a mall, we always hear, “Oh, double the trouble!”, “Two for the price of one, hey?!”, or my fave, “You’ve got your hands full!” and boy do I know it! Their comments couldn’t me more true, or annoying.

Identity Crisis

 

I was finally figuring out how to adult right around the time I got pregnant.

I paid all my bills on time. Started an RRSP. I was buying groceries that were NOT pizza pops, Kraft Dinner, or Alphaghetti. I (sometimes occassionally rarely) woke up early to run or read before work. And matured into the no BS, take-no-crap lady-person I am today.

I was discovering new sides of myself. The athletic me. The social me. The confident me. The online shopping me. Within a matter of months, I had to figure out another part – the mother me.

I quickly went from having it all to having it all covered in spit-up.

The realization that I was (gulp!) a mom just recently hit me. The first months with twins is a blur. You don’t stop for a minute to think, let alone think about yourself. Now that I’ve had a little more time to process, a new fear has crept into my thickening skull. And that is that I will slowly disappear. That the me’s that I have built will crumble. While the many me’s are capable of complimenting and living in harmony with one another, the mommy me is like a rabid raccoon, threatening to destroy all other personalities in its path.

“You shall not have friends. You shall not work. You shall dedicate all your energy, time, and undigested food to your spawn. You is tired. You is hungry. You is mom.”

As I near the end of my maternity leave, I have to prepare to smack this part of me that has taken up 100% of myself and make room for the professional me to exist again. Become The Workin’ Mom [< Um. Best new show, bee tee dubs].

Adult me has many sides, including a new facet which now includes a Baby on Board sticker, double stroller, and Costco-level amounts of wipes and diapers.

It’s taken a lot of support from my dynamite partner in crime, squashing of guilt, and pure mental gusto to not let the other me’s be extinguished.

I WILL SURVIVE.

 

The Devil Wears Diapers

If you’ve ever had a baby, you understand the pure hell that is teething. One baby has the power to bring you to your knees, arms raised above your head, shouting what you’d give to end it all. You’d sell your soul, but this baby already owns it. And remember I have two. So I expect double the sympathy.

These demons are 8 months old and have been teething for an eternity. AN. ETERNITY.

Every day we endure the lighting bolts of screams and scalding whines. The endless cries from exhaustion. The bipolar-esque switch from glee to misery.

WE WANT THE TEETH. GIVE US THE TEETH.

At 8 months old, not a single tooth has popped.

And those damn teething toys and tricks don’t work. Nothing works. Aside from passing out mid-play or post-meal, the only thing that distracts them from their swollen gums is watching Baby Einstein on YouTube.

HALLELUAH! We have a saviour.

Before babies, I was all, “If I ever have kids, I am limiting their TV time! No way will I let my spawn be glued to a screen.” Meanwhile, I’m glued to my phone.

Was I ever deluded.

When TV is the only source of salvation, you have no choice but to give in. But Baby Einstein? Really? I often think, “How can my babies enjoy such puny plots? I could make these if I had an abundance of toys, a solid white wall, and a steady camera!” Baby Einstein is just a series of toys, babies, music, and high-pitched jabbering.

GIRLS! YOU LITERALLY ARE, AND HAVE ACCESS TO, ALL OF THOSE THINGS. ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?

The other option that helps us claw our way out of hell is drugs.

While we don’t do this often (enough!), baby doses of Advil is liquid magic. When we reach our wits end, and I’m sure when the girls have reached their own, they get the syringe.

JUDGE ME. I don’t currrrrrrrrrrrrr.

The Prologue

Ugh. Another mommy blog.

I swore to myself that I wouldn’t let my love of writing and motherhood collide to create yet ANOTHER blog about the miracle that is caring for tiny humans.

But as a previous writer of truths, I feel like I need this. Not only to vent and whip my writing chops back into shape, but because it’s the break for all mothers who look upon perfect Momstagram accounts, vigorously consult mommy forums, and declare, “Well he/she makes it ALL worth it!”.

I’m here to call BS on it all.

As a new mother of TWO infants, I’m only at the edge of the horror that is online mommyhood. New mothers face a lot of pressure. And I’m not just talking about the chest-crushing pressure of not raising a serial killer. Mothers are pressured into making sure their babies reach all their milestones before the average North American baby reaches their own. Mothers have the pressure to whip their bodies into pre-baby glory before mat leave is up. We feel the pressure left, right, and in the centre of our new, saggy muffin top. Social media has made all of this much worse.

Now, I’m not hating on the big SM. I love me some snaps and double-taps as much as the next app addict. But for a new mom, it’s got some serious downfalls. Personally, I don’t know WHAT the fuck I’m doing as a mother of twins. The “fake-it-till-you-make-it” mantra has been my saving grace and the tap I use to guzzle some pride. I frequently turn to the experts (aka, mothers who are strangers) to ask the questions I fear to ask mothers in my own life for fear of being labeled a “Bad Mom” (can we start referring to this as “BM”? Ha).

I follow mommy accounts, subscribe to mommy newsletters, and read mommy-related articles. What I keep discovering is disheartening. Photos of moms making the perfect purees, capturing smiles during bath time, peaceful snuggles, traveling the world, 10 hour naps, full face of makeup, and egad!, never having to change a diaper. And that’s just one mom! Thousands of moms are capturing the same moments. Ain’t no mommy got time for that. On top of it all, moms have a whole lot of things to say when it comes to the photos they see and the articles they read. I’m hitting the reset button and choosing to opt out of it all.

No mom is perfect. I’m doing it wrong, a lot. Everything I think, but shouldn’t think. Do, but shouldn’t do. Eat, but shouldn’t eat.

This morning, for example, I ate a chocolate chip cookie for breakfast. I turned on YouTube to distract my babies while I pooped and did a word search puzzle. As I write this, I am focusing on a personal project instead of tending to the screaming babies next to me trying to get my attention. I’m sure they’ve both shit themselves.

I am not perfect. I was not born into this mommy role. I did not even plan for these two little puke machines. But I am an expat from perfectionism, with a “doing the best I can” mindset.

Also, as much as I’ll joke about the two little girls that I now own, I love them both so very much, they are my new world and new truth, and everything I do is for them. ❤