Monday, December 19, 2011

Snail Mail Fun - Goal #51 Complete

More progress on my Project 101 in 1001 list. Read about my journey here.

Goal # 51: Send Jordan, Julia and Katie (my youngest siblings) a card for every major card-selling holiday in 2011 - COMPLETE

When I was little, my grandmas would send me cards for just about every holiday, plus birthdays and it always made me feel so special and important to be receiving my very own mail. Nowadays, with everything being so digital, there is something extra special about receiving a personal (non-bill-related) piece of mail, especially a card. So as part of my "Relational Goals" for Project 101 in 1001, I decided to send my three youngest siblings cards throughout the year (I didn't think my twenty-five-year-old brother would care all that much if he was left out - Sorry Dave!)

I think they liked it (they didn't really say much about the cards), but if they enjoyed getting them half as much as I did when I was their age, then it was well worth it. I also tried to include in each card a personal word of wisdom, encouragement or love for each of them. Hopefully those messages will imprint on their young hearts, even if the cards were a little silly (seriously - who writes those things?). 

Being a big sister has always been a blessing (okay, so not always - sometimes it's rather obnoxious). Maybe a better way to say it would be that it is a great privilege to be the big sister. Good times, or obnoxious ones, my siblings and I have always been very close. As we all get older, I hope to continue a strong relationship with each of them and be someone they can look to for advice, encouragement and friendship. 

Thus, Project 101 in 1001 continues, even with twins in tow. Forty-nine down, fifty-two to go! But, I have to be honest with myself and with you: I will be shocked if I complete all 101 goals by this time next year. Having twins kinda put a little hitch it my plans - though I absolutely wouldn't change a thing. The good news is that one of my huge, major, big goals is in the works right now (stay tuned for news on that in the next month-or-so). And while the completion of this particular goal will hinder the completion of a few others - it is going to be SO worth it! Can't wait to tell you more!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Honest Thoughts on Becoming a New M.O.M. (Mom of Multiples)

I'm finally creeping out of the mind-numbing haze that being a new resident in Mommydom entitles one to. And since I was doubly doped-up from caring for twinfants, my initiation into being a mom was... we'll just say, rough at times... most times actually. I'm reflecting back on those first few weeks wondering how on earth I survived (not to mention the survival of my little munchkins-turned-goblins-at-night). 

Here's something I was surprised (and frightened) by during the first three weeks: I didn't like being a mom. In fact, I flat-out hated it at times. Which was completely unexpected. Being a mom was something I had looked forward to for most of my life and I thought it would come naturally. I knew it would be hard, but I still expected to instantly fall madly in love with my sons. Maybe that's how new mommyhood works for some women, but I certainly wasn't one of them and I was totally taken aback by this. My lack of lovely-dovey feelings for my sons left me emotionally impaled with guilt and disappointment. Which made the constant exhaustion, feedings, diaper changes, crying and feelings of being completely in-over-my-head so much more difficult to deal with. Being a mom was harder than anyone could have prepared me for and I felt so guilty for how much I wanted my pre-baby life back.  

Had Devin not been there to cheer me on and help me as much as his non-lactating self could, I don't think we would have made it. My deepest admiration for single moms - I do not know how you do it. Wow. 

Thankfully, the life of a new mom-of-mutiples slowly started getting more manageable. Not "easier" per say, but bearable with more moments of joy in-between the really frustrating times. I think the thing that helped the most was changing my expectations to match my new reality. When I expected that the twins would need to eat every two hours, 24/7, it was a lot easier to handle it emotionally and physically. Also helpful - getting dressed in the morning. Sure, sweatpants are way more comfortable when you're stuck in a little apartment caring for two newborns, but never underestimate the power of a pair of jeans and a clean(ish) shirt to make you feel slightly human again. Actually, "being stuck in a tiny apartment" reminds me of something else that was hugely helpful for coming out of the new-mommy-blues. Devin started making it a priority to get me out of the apartment as often as we could. Even if it was just strolling the twins to the local park or Starbucks, or heck - even a trip to the grocery store. These quick little, in-between-feedings outings lifted my spirits considerably.

Then something else changed around five weeks that actually did make parenting easier. My sons started to smile. Not gassy smiles or milk-comma grins, but real, actual, looking-me-in-the-eye smiles. Suddenly these little goblins who had been sucking the life out of me turned into adorable little people with personalities of their own. What's more, they liked me and would grin when they saw me or when I talked to them. Melt my heart. Finally, I started falling in love with my sons. Turns out loving your kids makes parenthood more enjoyable (even easier... at times). Praise the Lord for those sweet, life-saving smiles!

P.S. if you are one of those dear friends or family members who came over to help or brought us a meal - God bless you!! I don't know how Devin and I would have slept, eaten or showered during those first four weeks without all of you. You saved all four of us!