I remember vividly the first time the twiglets came home from nursery and started singing a song that I didn’t know. They were about 19/20 months and hadn’t been going there long – their speech was nothing like it is now, but they were clearly attempting to sing a song and I had no idea what it was. It was such a weird feeling hearing words come from their mouths that I knew for a fact had not been learned from us. That was the moment I realised that it was no longer just me and twin.papa.po (and our close family) who were responsible for shaping their little minds. Up to then, pretty much everything they’d experienced in their lives had been with one or both of us. We were trying to teach them right from wrong, trying to explain things in a way they could make sense of, trying to encourage them to be kind and caring towards others, above all trying to ensure they were happy. All obviously guided by our own views, opinions and experiences and how we wanted to parent our children. So that singing moment felt significant to me because it was when I had the realisation that other people, with different views, opinions and experiences to ours, were now really starting to influence our twiglets.
One of the things that stops me blogging as often as I’d like (along with insufficient hours in the day, laziness and sleep deprivation to the point that I can’t actually formulate a coherent sentence – yes they’re 2 and a half, no they don’t sleep through 😬) is the fear that what I’m writing is nothing special. There are just so soooo many bloggers out there with something more interesting to say, or a better way of wording things or a cleverer writing style than me. I’m not saying that as one of those compliment-fishing things when you then want everyone to say ‘oh no you’re amazing’ etc etc – I just see it as a fact. The blogging market is positively saturated with talented writers, many of whom are charismatic or entertaining or hilarious or all three, or who lead a really interesting lifestyle, or who are experts in something they can dish out advice in – basically they have some sort of USP which makes them stand out and be unique. I, on the other hand, am a bit socially awkward (actually a lot but I’ve got better at hiding it 🤣). I’m not a trendy person – I don’t keep up with the latest fashions; in fact, most of my wardrobe is either threadbare crap that I’ve had since I was like sixteen or baggy shapeless entities bought post-babies to hide the mum tum. I certainly don’t have a glamorous, beautifully-styled Insta-friendly show-home – Instagram would recoil in horror at the sight of my spare room bursting with clutter or my poorly hoovered kitchen floor 🙈 I wouldn’t describe myself as especially funny or an amazing writer or an authority on any particular subject – at the moment, if I can name what day of the week it is, I’m impressed with myself 🙈 So on the face of it, I lead a pretty average sort of a life really 😊 Yes I have twins, but there are even squillions of amazing bloggers with those too! 😂 I would describe myself as normal. (I mean, with a bit of crazy thrown in, but everyone has that, deep down, right? 🤣)
I had a traumatic birth. To many others, it probably won’t sound that bad and in truth I know it could have been a lot lot worse, but for me it was traumatic. I think afterwards, you’re so focused on the baby/babies (or in my case completely overwhelmed by them 🙈) that you just push the birth to the back of your mind and don’t really talk about it all that much. Also, when the outcome is basically amazing and you’ve been lucky enough to end up with healthy babies (especially for us, having twins who didn’t need time in the NICU or anything) you feel guilty and almost ashamed to admit just how much the birth affected you. I really do think that mine had a detrimental impact on how I bonded with the twiglets initially. I’m sharing this partly for my benefit as I want to write about it and think it will be helpful, but also to encourage anyone else to try not to feel guilty for admitting that their birth was traumatic and to also try to talk to someone properly about it if you can.
So the other day I was reading a post on one of those Facebook parenting forums (jeez people don’t bite their tongues on those things do they?!) This particular one was written by a nursery worker who was bemoaning those ‘awful’ mums who choose to leave their children in a hellhole of snotty toddlers (aka nursery) even if they’re not working. It described how terrible it was that these mums would drop their poor kids off screaming and crying just so they could go off to Zumba or drink coffee or do the housework. I suddenly realised that I am one of those horrendous mothers they were talking about. I send my little twiglets off to nursery for two days a week and no I’m not working, yes I do go to a Zumba class and do the housework while they’re there and yes Cora does often cry when I drop her off in the mornings 💔 There were countless comments on the post from mothers who agreed, stating how much they love their children, or how wanted and longed for they were, maybe after a difficult journey to parenthood, infertility etc – so why on earth would they choose to be apart from them if they didn’t need to be? On the face of it, this made sense and I wondered if I must indeed be an awful mother for not choosing to spend every single possible minute with my, also much loved and long-awaited, babies?
Ok so bear with me because I do have a point to make … (I think 😂) Previously, when the twiglets would wake from their nap, they would both desperately want to be carried downstairs as they were still a bit sleepy, wanted a bit of a cuddle etc. So rather than take one at a time and leave the other crying, I would carry them both down, one on each hip, and everyone was happy (for a whole five minutes anyway 🙊😂) The other day, I suddenly realised that I couldn’t remember the last time I’d carried them both down the stairs. One maybe, but not both. I’m not sure that I could safely do it now, given the weight and size of them. Just a silly little part of our daily routine but the fact that I hadn’t even realised that it had ended got me thinking about all those ‘lasts’ and how you just don’t always know when that last time will be. The thing is, for us, as we won’t be having any more children, (almost definitely not, at least), every last really is a last.
If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know that we spent last weekend at Camp Bestival in Dorset. You’ll know because I’ve been banging on endlessly about it and spamming non-stop with photos 🙊 Now, I’m quite aware that the photos I’ve posted make it look like we had THE most amazing experience… However, this is an example of one of those times when the reality is quite different to the carefully selected Instagram snapshots 🙈