Tuesday, September 9, 2014

What Makes You Thrive?

Do you remember what life was like before kids?  The second they arrive you stop thinking about what makes you tick and are consumed with what keeps them alive.  Your brand new babies don't care if you've showered today.  If you've eaten today.  If you've smiled or dreamed or exercised or cried.  And before long, you go one of two ways:  You (also) stop caring or you grow resentful.  Both are equally dangerous.

The day your babies are born, survival mode takes over.  You realize you can exist on two hours of sleep and three-day-old granola bars.  Showers become a luxury you can't afford.  It's difficult when you're in the trenches but it is such a short time in your life.  One day you'll put your twins down for a nap and your first thought is no longer, "I must nap or I will die."  When you reach that point (congratulations!), birds will sing.  They were always singing, but you were too busy/tired to notice them.

This is an important moment.  This is the time when you need to think about yourself again.  What did you love to do before your twins?  What do you miss the most?  Is it writing?  Cooking? Going to the gym?  Spending quality time with your husband? Your friends?  What have you always wanted to do but were too scared to try? (FYI: If you can carry/birth/raise two babies at the same time, you can do anything.  Anything.)  This is also a time to look at what you're currently doing.  Is it fulfilling?  Is it necessary? Does it inspire you?  If it's not something you truly love, let it go.

When Jude & Sloane arrived I loved being a mom even more than I expected.  But it came with its own challenges and with each new day the old me was slipping away.  I felt lost when I reached the pivotal moment I described above.  I was having a hard time remembering what made me happy before the twins. When I would think of something, I felt guilty for wanting to have a life outside my family. 

I finally realized what I missed the most: Writing and interacting with adults.  The idea of Twin Talk was born and I was so excited to get started.  Thanks to your support, it's been an amazing six months. The excitement and passion I have for this blog just continues to grow.  And with each sweet comment, question, or post idea from you, I grow as well.

My challenge to you is this:  If you're pregnant with twins, write down what makes you thrive.  I'm not kidding - write it down - because, believe it or not, there will be a time not long from now when you won't remember.  Keep that piece of paper in a safe place and pull it out when you're ready.  To those of you whose twins are already here, try your best to remember what it is and DO IT.  Don't doubt your ideas, don't doubt yourself, and don't feel guilty for wanting a tiny piece of your life back.  It will make you a better wife, a better mom, and a better friend.  If you're thinking, "I don't have the energy to do anything else," I promise whatever it is you choose will give you far more energy than you had before.

Your family will always come first... but that doesn't mean you have to be last.

Thank you for letting a crazy dream of mine become an amazing reality.  I'm having so much fun.
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  1. I loved this, Mere! I am on this exact journey right now. Finding a balance between worship, family, friends, work... and the stuff the 'old me' used to enjoy. It's tough stuff. I'm so happy you have Twin Talk as your creative outlet, and you're doing an amazing job. I know there are big plans for this blog on the horizon and I can't wait to keep following along!

  2. Yes. A million times yes. When I was going through postpartum depression the first time I quickly realized that I needed to stop ignoring ME and the things that I wanted for myself. I love being a mom (and a wife) and those two things are incredibly importan to me but I'm always a bit sad when I see moms forgetting that they are also a woman. Great post.

  3. So happy I saw this post today! I am recently pregnant with twins and am so nervous about how our lives are going to change...so this is def. a good reminder. Thanks!

  4. This post could not have been more timely for me! With my twin boys having just turned ONE, I am SO READY to find myself again. I especially love the line you wrote: "Your family will always come first... but that doesn't mean you have to be last." Love it! I'm a new follower here and glad to have found your blog! Looking forward to sticking around... :)

  5. This has to be one of my favorite blog posts ever, and it happens to have been written by my beautiful friend. I have always struggled with the idea of putting myself last just as much as I struggle with the idea of putting myself first. Your word choice -- what makes you THRIVE -- is critical. It's not empty self-indulgence, it's not martyrdom, it's not grasping at any sort of time off. It's identifying the space in which you THRIVE. Beautiful. Elegant. Accurate. Thanks, friend.