This weekend I did my first PJ drill in over 6 years. Strange how it’s nothing like I remember it to be. You know little sleep, crying baby (that continues after you’ve done just about everything), feeling sorry for myself because I just don’t get to everything and having to bond with my other kids so they know that they’re loved and a husband who needs attention too. This weekend was different though. I rocked at it. What is a sleepless night or 2? Calming a crying baby was never a greater joy.
It can be that I’ve matured over the years, the fact that it wasn’t my own babies or that I just really feel for my sister. No one said motherhood is easy but being a mom of multiples takes some doing. It makes me feel like my tears I’ve shed with my single crying babies are somewhat trivial. I can honestly say that while I always felt sorry for twin (triplet/more) moms, I now have big time respect for those them. It takes some… No! REAL doing.
The twins came to visit this weekend and this aunt is loved every minute of confusion. They’re not identical but you know with babies it’s rather difficult to tell them apart at times. One thing is for certain: There is no confusion about the love I feel for them and the love for my sister and brother in law. It was this love that got me through a weekend of little sleep and a bit of a stiff neck I have right now. I helped where I could so that my sis could have a bit of a break because on top of her wound healing and being a new mom she’s a bit sick and we’re awaiting the results, praying that it’s not her kidneys giving problems again.
I changed diapers, got up when they stirred, winded them and sang lullabies to calm them when they wanted nothing to do with anyone but their mom. But mom needed to gain some strength and pampering so that she could function again. I laughed a bit because my sis whose eyebrows and hair is always done had not been able to do any of it since I did it the last time. Yep, motherhood has already changed her so much. Thankfully she’s got me and I fixed that little dilemma. After a bit of coaxing.
In comes overthinker… Did I have my kids too young? Was I a good enough baby mom? If I could go back and do things differently would I be able to cope better? These are some of the questions whirling through my mind today. The answer to all my questions is that nothing prepares you for motherhood at any age. Given the opportunity to go back I’m sure I would do it all the same anyways because my coping mechanisms just ran riot along with my hormones. Turns out that my hormones ran the show during and after pregnancy. It’s been running my life for the past few years since the “big three oh”. Aaaaand…. Obviously anyone will have more patience with a baby or kid that’s not theirs because once you’ve had enough you can always hand them back to their parents.
There is no way I coped better with the twins just because I’ve got almost fourteen years of experience as a mom. Or that I did it thrice and obviously none of my kids were the same as babies. No way I know better than my sis or any newb mom. There are so many things that I learn from new moms these days that I’m wondering where the heck these moms (please note: Not the grannies but new moms) were hiding when I had my first kid.
I coped well in my capacity of an aunt and a sister which made for pleasurable PJ drills. Sure there are differences in my mothering approach to that of my sis, but she’s their mom and will know better than me and anyone else. Obviously I know what works and doesn’t when it comes to babies. I’m an expert in my field in Jonkersville and what worked for MY babies but that’s where it ends. Do I know anything about raising teenagers? Not at all and I’m crossing that bridge as we speak. Though she has this enviable, amazing patience and calmness about her there’s no doubt that she’s out of her depth already so who am I or anyone else to tell her the ‘right’ or ‘better’ way of doing things. Sure some methods work better than others but it’s an experience for moms and babies to live through. Maternal instincts are much stronger than what many ‘experts’ give them credit for.
To all the new moms out there:
1) Don’t ever let anyone make you feel like you’re not doing things right. There is no right or wrong way to raise a baby. Unless you put the diaper on the baby’s mouth instead of their bottoms, there’s no real cause for concern yet.
2) Even if people chide you for being a textbook mom, go ahead to the doctor or paed. It’s your child and if you want to consult a medical professional instead of taking some old folk remedies, just do it. It’s not their money you’re using, it’s your own.
3) When people offer to help you take them up on that offer. Us sisters and some friends who knows how stressful it can be to cope really just want to help you. We won’t say you’re a bad mother and take all the credit. We’ve been there and wish that someone had enough sense to be extra sweet instead of forcing their opinions or hand us a crying baby when they feel like they can’t cope.
4) Don’t be scared to ask for help either. You’re not expected to know everything or to just cope. Even if your cry for help is for someone to just be present in case baby wakes up while you’re washing your hair. Yes mommies you can do that. Everyone wants clean and decent hair.
5) Lastly, when you feel like nothing is going right and you’ve lost control it’s OK. I’m sure you’re doing great. We’ve all been there. Some of us even more than you know. People tend to only share the good and not the bad or ugly.
A few of my not so proud, yet hilarious moments and (some a complete mystery)as a mom:
1) Rocking 1st K as a baby and the horror of waking up with baby lying on the floor next to the bed.
2) Always forgetting their bottles at home. All 3 kids! You’d think I’d have learnt with baby No. 1
3) Forgetting Middle K on the bed as a baby and only realising that minor detail after I’ve locked up and we’re ready to drive off.
4) Realising that no. 1 never happened. I rocked a pillow instead of the crying baby who was safely next to me in bed. I was THAT tired.
5) I kind of just blocked out Little K and hardly remember PJ drills because ‘Keith’ did it all. I’d wake up refreshed in the morning and could hardly believe when he told me that the baby was restless al night long because I didn’t hear a thing.
6) No. 3 is a true story and goes hand in hand with post natal depression and a complacent baby.
There are so many blunders I’ve made and I’m not up for a mother of the century award anytime soon but then again show me a mom who’s got it all figured out. Every year added to your childs life is unchartered territory so it’s best you get used to it now. It makes for some easier mothering.
What are some of the funny episodes do some of you seasoned moms remember doing and care to share?