Where do I start? I haven’t always been good to you and for that, I’m sorry. I have even taken you for granted at times. I have put crap in you and still expected you to function. I have pushed you beyond your limits and cursed you when you fail me. I have neglected the signs of damage. We’re not in bad shape, don’t get me wrong. It could be much worse. And we’re still here.
Category: confessions of a twin mom
Love is all you need.
I have been struggling with anger for some time now. I get frustrated easily and sometimes overreact to small-ish things. I thought part of it was post-concussion syndrome, and perhaps that is still a factor. I also have anxiety and sometimes my anxiety comes out as anger. I have been trying to figure this out, not for myself, but because I don’t want to set that example for my daughters. I am trying to teach them to manage their emotions, but in truth I’m still learning to manage my own.
Mom’s the Word
Mother’s Day is a day to celebrate our own mothers and all they do for us. I am close with my mom and she deserves to be celebrated every day. I always say that she sets the bar high, as a person and as a mother. But it’s also a day to celebrate the other women in our lives who might be mothers, aunts (real and chosen), grandmothers, friends, or otherwise. These are the women that form the village helping to care for and raise our children. I am grateful for all the strong female role models that my daughters have in their lives.
Literally Climbing the Walls
I used to do a fair amount of indoor rock climbing when I was in university. In fact, that was one of the reasons I chose Guelph–they had an indoor rock climbing facility on campus. When I attended, they had converted two squash courts in the basement of the athletic centre into climbing space. Even after university, I continued to climb when I could. It was more difficult because there really wasn’t anywhere close. Then I had kids. And even though you’re supposed to somehow find time for your kids, work, and self care, my adult interests were shelved for a time.
I had a bizarre experience the other day. I was watching a television show, which admittedly was pretty intense. In the show, a girl was hit by a car. Badly. The way they filmed it made you feel like you were the girl–the camera was right behind her shoulder and moved with her, while she was looking around. Which meant that when she was hit, it was quite shocking. The reaction I had was the strange part though. I screamed and immediately started hyperventilating. I pressed my hands over my heart and couldn’t let go for some time. For the rest of the night, I was crying off and on and couldn’t seem to stop. There was really no reason for this reaction, but in that moment a small part of my brain thought back to that day just over five years ago when I fell and hit my head. It wasn’t that the show reminded me of it in any way, but it brought back that feeling of, “oh no, this is really bad.” To call it a flashback is the only way I can describe it, but more of an emotional one than a literal one.
Throwback Thursday: The Quick and Dirty
I recently had lunch with a friend whose little guy is 10 weeks old. First, let me say that I must have blocked out this age because I don’t remember the girls being that small. I also had absolutely no desire to hold him which I guess answers the lingering question of having more children.
All joking aside, she was commenting on how I put her to shame because I had two at the same time. “I have no idea how you do it!” …is a common statement I’m sure many multiple moms hear. Instead of making me feel like a mutant though, it makes me feel like a superhero. Because I am doing it. It may not be pretty, but I’m doing it. Here’s how—no judgement please.
One sticky note at a time.
This is the last day of January. For those of you that made New Year’s resolutions, how are they going? If you’re still going, then good for you! If you’re not, well maybe it was the wrong resolution. Don’t be hard on yourself. I didn’t make a resolution specifically, but I did think to myself, “you can do better than this.” That sounds rather harsh, so let me explain.
It’s a Wonderful Life
“It’s a Wonderful Life” has been my favourite holiday movie for quite some time now. I honestly don’t remember the first time I watched it but I cried at the end and still do…every time. I prefer the black and white version but will occasionally throw in the colour version to mix it up. I have it on DVD just in case I miss it on TV. It has become my Christmas Eve tradition: pour a glass of wine, finish any last-minute wrapping, and watch “It’s a Wonderful Life”.
I am thankful for…
This is a very different Thanksgiving. After a brief glimmer of “normal” over the summer, my girls and I are left wanting more: patios, shopping instead of ordering online, and playgrounds to name a few. Now that the school year has begun and cold and flu season is on the horizon, that brief glimmer is fading as quickly as the days are getting shorter.
I want to allow my girls to have playdates, I want to have family gatherings (that aren’t outside and physically distanced), I want to hug people, I would love to go to a concert, or go out dancing. One of my girls desperately wants to go to Chuck E. Cheese. It’s hard for me to reconcile, so I can’t even imagine what it’s like for kids. I feel the heavy weight like someone is sitting on my chest and the almost panic of isolation or quarantine coming.
But today, on Thanksgiving, I am focusing on being grateful. Hopefully, by focusing on the positive today (and moving forward), we can start to change our perspective. I’m thankful that:
- First and foremost, we have our health.
- The schools are open and my girls are back into a routine.
- We have a place to live and food on the table. Through all of this I’ve been able to pay the bills.
- We have some wonderful memories from the summer.
- Technology enables us to still communicate when we can’t visit in person.
- Above all, we have each other, our family and friends.
This Thanksgiving I celebrate with the girls’ immediate caregivers only to respect the COVID-19 guidelines. I will have to get creative, as I have been, about how to make our fall and winter memorable as well. I’m grateful that my girls love being outside which makes all of this easier.
This Thanksgiving should also be a reminder that we can’t take for granted the progress we made over the summer. We can’t let down our guard, we must continue to protect those we love by being careful. And as difficult as it is to do so, remember to be thankful that we have loved ones to protect from this virus.
Where have all the hugs gone?
I am a hugger. When I see friends, I hug them and then I hug them again when I leave. I don’t like fake hugs…you know the kind. Where you barely put your arms around the person and kind of pat them on the shoulders. When I hug, I go all in: arms wrapped around you, big squeeze, cheeks touching. If I care enough to hug you, I care enough to hug you properly.
Since COVID-19, hugs have been in short supply. It’s no longer socially acceptable to hug people (mask or no mask) unless they are in your “bubble”. And even then, you don’t want to hug them in public in case someone sees you and gets all “judgy”.
So where have all the hugs gone? I’ve formulated a working theory. I think the ungiven hugs are stored up in your body, trapped until they can be released. It’s a well-known fact that people need hugs and affection in order to survive. But what happens when you can’t give hugs?
I know there are many reasons, as a 41-year-old woman, that my body might be sore. I sit in front of a computer much of the day, I don’t exercise enough, when I do exercise it’s in spurts and jumps while running after my daughters. But I think my pent up hugs are one source of bodily discomfort. I think it causes strain in your body to keep those hugs inside.
Maybe I’m crazy, but I miss hugs. On the hugging scale, if I’ve missed out on many periodic hugs, can I compensate by hugging one person for a long time? I think the type of hug is also very important. For example, hugs from your children always count for more. Snuggles from a dog or cat are also high on the scale since they don’t ever feel obligated to hug you. I’ve even resorted to sleeping with a teddy bear again just to wrap my arms around something while I fall asleep (sad…or genius?).
I have absolutely no expertise in this matter. I’m not a psychiatrist, I don’t practice physiotherapy or kinesiology, and I certainly haven’t conducted any controlled studies. But remember in a time when hugs are scarce, to hug those in your bubble a little longer and a little tighter. Give a hug to someone who looks like they might need it (as long as you can do so safely). And maybe dig through your childhood things to find your favourite stuffie…or borrow one from your children.
Hugs do your body, mind, and soul a whole bunch of good.