I have been mama to one sweet baby girl and one sweet baby boy for all of 15 days. Though the main question I hear from friends and family is “How is it GOING?”, the concerned look in their eyes and the tone of their voice says something more like “How completely insane is your life these days?!@#!!!” I feel almost bad as I sit to journal with you today that I don’t have a bunch of “how-insane-my-life-is-with-newborn-twins” stories to share. Am I in denial? No. So why am I not pulling my hair out or falling down with sleep deprivation? In a word: S-U-P-P-O-R-T. My friends and family are teaching me the real meaning of this beautiful seven letter word. Truthfully, I am experiencing this word like never before in my life.
With my first two pregnancies, I really thought I could do it… I won’t say ALONE… but I really thought I could do this thing called mothering without much fuss or help from those around me. I think I actually resisted support in alot of ways (mostly without even realizing I was doing it) with phrases like, “no, I got it, thanks anyway!” And if I wasn’t outright resisting support, I certainly wasn’t seeking it. The fact that our first never did take a binky or a bottle had me nursing 24/7 and eventually drained my energy reserves down to near empty. Eventually I learned to find the support I needed to create balance in my life, taking care of my own needs like time away from home to exercise, see friends, etc while still mothering our sweet girl. But all of this growth in finding balance in motherhood certainly was a process and one that happened over time.
After my second, things were a bit easier in that I had “been there done that”, however I don’t think I was really any better or more open to receiving support than I was the first go around; just a bit more capable perhaps. I remember hosting a luncheon for my girlfriends three weeks after the birth of our second. Looking back I think what is WRONG with this picture? Hosting a lunch (for no particular reason) for four or five friends and their children in my home not 3 weeks after giving birth?! What was I thinking? What were my friends thinking?
After finding out we were pregnant with twins this last pregnancy, it hit me that this was an opportunity for me to practice what we talk about sooooo often here on My Mommy Manual. Support. Community. We’re not in this motherhood thing alone!!! And so well before giving birth, I set my resolve to be the best damn receiver the mommy world has ever seen. I promised myself that I would accept, even seek support this go around. Ever comfortable in the yang-ness of creative, action oriented energy, here was a real opportunity for me to strengthen my restful, receiving, still and ever-feminine yin energy. So this is where I set my focus in the months and weeks proceeding our babies births.
If you are or ever will be pregnant, I hope you too will make SUPPORT and RECEIVING your new mommy mantras. Here are some of the things that flowed from this mantra… making the past two weeks as a new mom near bliss for me:
- I said yes to everyone that said they wanted to make a meal or hold some babies after they arrived.
- I took my mother-in-law up on her offer to come up from Florida to stay with us for 2-3 weeks before the babies were due and for another four weeks after their birth. I am happy to report I haven’t seen my laundry room since. Thanks Mama T.!
- I said YES when my mom offered to pick up groceries… not once, but WEEKLY (with no real end to this kind-est of offers in sight.) Thanks Mom!
- I jumped up and down when my sister Trish offered to send out an email to all my friends so they could sign up to bring us dinner. Check out the site she used to organize the meal calendar. A MUST for any new mom. We’ve enjoyed hot, homemade emails three days a week since bringing the babies home with nary a phone call made to organize any of it. We even have friends signed up for the next few weeks as well! To top it off, the site sends out email reminders to the person that has signed up and these cool three day forecasts to the mom to be with a list of who’s bringing what and when… making it all super easy! I am so blown away at the number of people that signed up to do this and the support it’s giving me and my entire family I can’t say enough about it. If you know someone getting ready to have a baby DEFINITELY set this up from them. They will love you forever.
- When my husband offered to help with middle of the night feedings in the past I’d to say no thanks, thinking I’m up anyway and as he can’t nurse them, why bother waking him. I have seen the error of my ways. Here is my husband offering to help – how can I turn him down? Now, with two babies to dress, change, swaddle and feed through the night, my answer is “THANKS! Can you change that one while I nurse this one?” I don’t wake him every night, but knowing I can is support in and of itself. And when I do, my husband has proven to be a master diaper-changing, baby clothes putter-on-er and blanket-swaddling machine. My husband knows I haven’t always been the best at receiving. Thank you universe for giving me the chance to get better at this.
I am aware that in many ways the twins and I are in the “honeymoon” period of motherhood, when blessedly newborn babies sleep a majority of the time. That said, I remember these same first few weeks after having my first two and know without a doubt that YOU, my family and friends, have made this time special beyond belief for me, Colin, Hadley and my entire immediate family. Thank you, thank you, thank you… for the support and the love from the bottom of my heart.
Support. What are your thoughts? How did you feel the first few weeks after having a baby? What or who was a support to you? And finally, how can we ensure the new moms in our lives are getting the support they so desperately need after bring another life into the world?
ZenMommy’s Baby(s) Watch journal is published in partnership with MILK Nursingwear, offering the freshest nursingwear on the planet.
Suzanne Tucker, aka Zen Mommy
In addition to mommying to two magical girls born in 2000 and 2003 and twins born February 1st, 2010, Suzanne co-owns a holistic health center with her husband Shawn in St. Louis, Missouri where she practices as a physical therapist, Certified Educator of Infant Massage and health education teacher. Certified in a number of healing and life education approaches, Suzanne is a Co-creator of My Mommy Manual and the online parenting course, Yogi Parenting, a positive parenting approach for raising kids of all ages.