Monday 14 November 2016

More than Mom

Becoming a parent is something most of us plan and dream about. I have wanted it since I played house with my Cabbage Patch dolls. Transitioning to parenthood usually comes in stages.
Single life being the beginning - fancy free and fun, adventurous, finishing school and establishing yourself in your career. You meet that special someone to share your life, where a small piece of me transforms into we.  You have someone close to share your life with and a large portion of your time is devoted to the relationship and that person. This means a part of you is willingly sacrificed and less time is devoted to the activities that are or were important to you. It's not all negative, there is growth as we open ourselves to new experiences with your partner and take on some of their interests and create some together. The relationship establishes and things change again. The adventures and spontaneity naturally decreases. Single friends change to couple friends and less time is devoted to the friendships that don't fit with the relationship. 

For those who want children, the next step is pregnancy. For us, we planned each of our pregnancies, the timing, the age difference between children and our finances to support our growing family. The social aspect of life changes as we transition closer to parenthood. Activities such as enjoying a glass of wine or a walk together becomes physically impossible or more difficult to do. Life is transforming and preparing you for what is to come. Sleep becomes scarce, also in preparation for baby.

One Halloween when we were dating, I was lady Gaga

The baby arrives and changes your entire world! With your new title of Mommy, is a new role, different from being a wife, daughter, sister or friend. Someone counts and solely relies on you. This tiny person is a living and breathing piece of you.

You begin to understand how your parents could sacrifice and put all thought and energy into you. You become selfless and would do anything for your child. Life is changed even though you said it wouldn't. A portion of you is lost, hidden, or simply on hold as your priorities change and all energy is put into your child 24 hours, 7 days a week. It's only natural this change happens, you are ready for it. Or are you?

My family, my world at age 3

I am nearly 5 months into twin-hood and devoted the first few months of their life into their health and well being during their NICU stay. It was my job to care for them in the hospital. All outside relationships were put on hold. I didn't notice my lacking nutrition, sleep, sometimes hygiene as they were my number one priority. It was a difficult time as Sean, Hudson and I were separated for the first two weeks. It greatly affected Hudson although we did our best to make life seamless for him. 

Spending 1 on 1 with Hudson at Ronald McDonald House

Since then, I have adjusted to life with two babies (and a toddler) and have got to know my new babies. I now can generally plan my day and what I can handle on a daily basis depending on the amount of sleep I got or the temperament of the babies that day. Being my 3rd and 4th children, I know that I have to be flexible as sleep, temperament and plans can change quickly from what you hoped they would be. Things that were important to me before having children are less important. The babies come first and me second - or even third or fourth behind Hudson and Sean.

I recently had a glimpse of my old life that was a priority before my husband and children.  

I had a night out! It was glorious.

"That night" when I went out

Parts of the night were reminiscent of previous life stages. I didn't drink and was tired like I was during pregnancy. I  realized I didn't want one night to effect my ability to cope and care for the boys the next day, that is counter intuitive! I saw a piece of me come back and it felt good! 

Girls Cottage Weekend

I wasn't just a mom to 3 boys including twins or that mom grieving the loss of her daughter. I was Kristina. The Kristina who enjoys conversation and laughs with other adults outside of the home, dressed in clean and stylish clothes, wearing makeup and having my hair done. I joked with my girlfriends and put myself first. No one needed to be fed nor did I have to manoeuvre a double stroller into the restaurant.  

Shortly after getting married, my new name card at a friends wedding
It took me a while to adjust and be able to put sentences and thoughts together cohesively. My friends couldn't believe I was out - I have young twins at home and am downtown Toronto at a pub having a drink (yes, it was only a Diet Coke, but in a pub!). Their reactions made me think I was crazy and wonder how I would get through the night? How would I relate to my friends after being isolated at home with spit up on my shirt and greasy hair?   

Like the good ol'days!

I love my children but did not miss or worry about them and I don't feel bad for that. I was able to unplug Mommy for a few hours. I wasn't rushing home to feed Conrad, pump for Walker or put Hudson to sleep. The Mommy Dairy Queen was closed for a break and I quickly realized how I need (and deserve) this time for myself.

I don't resent the time I spent at the hospital and at home with my boys, one bit. But getting a short glimpse of my old life and having some fun away from the twin chaos, I realize is important. It prompted me to think about the activities I used to enjoy as a single woman and those Sean and I enjoyed together as a childless couple. We need to incorporate some of these things into our life once the dust settles.

Our last big trip - our honeymoon!
By taking time for myself, I will be able to give more of myself to my children and improve my ability to cope and care for them in a patient and calm manner. I will enjoy the times and little exciting moments that happen in the home and look forward to the activities that take me away from them. 

No matter how much attention they will get from others, while I am out finding and being "more than Mom", I will always be their mother. Our bond will never waver nor will their love decrease. I won't feel threatened, they will never forget me. I won't feel bad for taking the time to feel like a woman who is "more than Mom". It's okay. It doesn't make me a bad mom, it makes me a better mom.

Stella with Grandma - pure joy
I must take time to incorporate this into my life. I need to ask for help in order to find time to pursue the search for my "more than Mom" moments. Moms, you need to determine what is important to you and what makes you feel good as small as it may be, aside from your significant other and children.

Although I adore being a Mom, it feels good to branch out when I can. Writing this blog provides me the opportunities to be "more than Mom". I blog in hopes of helping others get through the hard times as I have. It makes me feel useful to help contribute to the health and wellness of others and most importantly I can be "more than Mom", if only for a few moments. I'll take it then return refreshed and will be the best Mom I can be!  

1 comment:

  1. you are absolutely amazing and so heartwarming and a hardworking mom. i love coming to your blog and read all that you write becayse you are so good at it. keep us updated with more