Today, marks 2 months since our twins turned 1. Reaching that first year milestone was quite emotional for me. We had mentally prepared ourselves (as much as we possibly could) for the first year, and the huge challenges that we would face, but achieving that milestone brought about so many feelings – exhaustion, elation, new nerves for what the next year would bring… Over the last couple of months, I feel like we’ve finally had a chance to catch our breath, and I have really noticed a positive shift in myself and the family.
To start with, the household is feeling more in control… Well, as in control as we can be with 1 year old twins and a 3 year old under our roof! We feel like we’ve got a little bit (still very miniscule on some days) of order back in the house, and we are house proud again – it’s funny how you forget the positive vibe that a clean and organised house creates, especially when it’s been a long time (like a whole year) since you’ve been comfortable with how it looks, and where you’ve put things. We’ve completed some extra projects around the house, having finally claimed back our bedroom (which is something we said we’d do once our bubs were all in their own rooms), giving it a long-awaited makeover, and finished our backyard project for the kids. After a year off, we’re back to putting some advanced thought into our meals (instead of asking our 3yo son for ideas, or being reliant on the generosity of our families in those early months), and I’m taking the time to prepare some of our family favourites again.
There has also been a noticeable shift with the kids too. As they’re growing older, they’re playing together and entertaining each other more (of course, with the usual sibling arguments), which gives me a little bit more freedom to stay on top of a few things around the house during the day. I also feel I’ve been able to do a bit more with them, such as, doing some baking with our eldest, involving him in jobs around the house, or making weekly solo visits to the park with our 3 (which I’m pretty proud of!). We’ve also been on a few more family outings over the last couple of months, with our confidence growing with every successful and enjoyable event. Whilst these things might be regular activities for others (like they used to be for us), the addition of twins has meant that the ‘regular’ activities now come with an added sense of accomplishment.
The biggest change over the last couple of months is that I’m finally doing some things for me. I’ve always thought, “I’ll start looking after myself once I’ve finished having our babies” (such a ‘mum thing’ to put ourselves last isn’t it!?), but when the work clearly doesn’t stop once you’ve grown your babies, birthed them and breastfed them, it can be hard to take some much needed and deserved time for you. So, now that I’m a year in to being a Mother of 3, and in my mind our family is complete (ignoring the hubby’s whispers for another…), I’m now starting to think a bit about my needs. In the last 2 months, I’ve finally seen a physio for a postnatal check-up and 2 follow up appointments, I’ve had my hair and makeup done as part of a competition that a friend entered me into (and I was lucky to have won!), and I have had a couple of heavenly massages. Having weaned the twins, I went on my first ever girls weekend away from the kids, and I’m happy to admit that I enjoyed every minute of it! (it was so good for my soul, and the perfect amount of time for me) I have also read a book for the first time in years, made the time to write some more blogs (like this one), bought myself some new clothes (in an attempt to work out what I’m comfortable in these days), and looked into some new skin care products (to get on top of the new stress lines – thanks kids!). All of these things, that were once a higher priority for me, but had completely taken a back seat (like ‘back of the bus’ back seat), are getting some attention again, and it feels good.
For us, the last 2 months have been about taking the opportunity to come up for some air. It’s hopefully the beginning of making some positive changes to our priorities, rewarding ourselves for the challenging times, and enjoying our beautiful family. Unconsciously, we seem to make little goals for ourselves (i.e. 12 months of breastfeeding the twins, a room makeover to claim back our room), and we end up with little milestones to celebrate and to reward ourselves for achieving. I really feel that this has helped us as a family, especially my husband and I, in getting through some tough times, and I hope it will continue to help us through this next year (we’ve been told the first 2 years of twins are the most challenging, so fingers crossed we’re over the half way mark) and the many years to come. Sending extra positive vibes to all those going through some extra challenging times. I hope your opportunity to catch a breath is not too far away.