Since my boys are turning two today, I’m feeling reflective, and darn right sad. This time two years ago, I was in full blown, transitional labor, arguing with my husband about going to the hospital. Today, I have two amazingly handsome little boys. I can’t believe we’ve made it this far!
1. Get an excellent husband
I know – you all are tired of hearing me gush about him, but Brett has been beyond incredible through all of this.
From the time we found out about the twins until today, he’s been by my side, bailing water right along with me. There’s no way I can do this without his love and support. (plus his boundless patience)
2. Support systems will be your success
Do not keep your situation to yourself. Among my friends and family, everyone knows that I’m NOT all sunshine and roses. I tell it to people straight. Most days, or about 80% of the time, I’m completely overwhelmed. If people offer help (rarely for us), SAY YES!! Don’t be shy, or embarrassed. Brett and I say it would seriously take 3 adults to keep up with the Kennedy Kaboodle. Even then, we’d still be tired.
3. Take care of yourself
From the time I saw the big fat positive on the test, these boys have been kicking my butt. My pregnancy wore me out — I was anemic, had mononucleosis (hazard of working ER), and was exhausted ALL.THE.TIME. I tried to eat as healthy as I could, but exercise went out the window. Now, exercise is my Prozac. I need to work out, not only to keep my weight under control, but to stay strong, and keep my sanity in check.
4. Say NO to things you don’t love
I can’t tell you how many things I’ve left by the wayside over the past two years. I made a conscious decision to stop spreading myself so thin.
Anything that was a constraint on my time, outside of my family and closest friends, has been shelved. I work and take care of my children – right now, that’s all I can handle, and I’m OK with that.
5. Lower your standards
Seriously. If the kids drink out of the dog’s bowl once in a while, it really won’t kill them.
I’ve learned to try my very best at not sweating the small stuff. Some days, I’m more successful than others. Your children aren’t going to remember that the ceiling fans were spotless. They’ll remember you flying kites with them in the backyard.
6. Hire a housekeeper
In our house, this is a necessary expense. You know, like the mortgage.
If I weren’t paying her to come twice a month, I’d be seeing my therapist more often. Trust me — it’s money well spent.
7. You’re more than just a wonderful mother
As much as I believe that being a mother is a vocation for me, I know that it is not my entire being.
You need something that brings you joy, apart from being a mother. For me, it’s writing.
This is a creative outlet for me, a way to share with others, learn from others, and meet some amazing people along the way.
8. Protect and nurture your marriage
I’ll be the first one to admit that I’m a slacker in this department. Too many times, I’m stressed, snippy, and short with the person most dear to me.
I’m trying hard not to dump on my husband, but it’s easier said than done after sleepless nights coupled with long days. Date nights have fallen by the wayside around here — I plan to remedy that ASAP!
9. Pray with, and for your children
This is an area where my husband shines. He’s taught Rachel some of our traditional Catholic prayers, and I’m amazed at how well she does. If the boys ever learn to go to sleep easily, we will work with them, too.
Take quiet moments to thank God for your children, and ask Him to guide and protect them. In our house, with two crazy boys, I have a special affinity for their Guardian Angels. I know they are working overtime to keep my guys safe.
10. Enjoy the moments
It’s so easy for me to get caught up in the day to day tasks, chores, and to do lists, but not really connect with my children.
Constant rushing brings nothing but stress to all of us. Stop, watch the children as they watch an ant, play with bubbles, or bring you a book to read for the eighth time.
It’s certainly a cliche, but this time flies by so fast. I’ve blinked, and my tiny babies are running through the backyard. Cherish this time, and take LOADS of pictures.
P.S. Having trouble getting out of a grumpy mom funk? We’ve got tips for that.