Monthly Archives: March 2014

Mother Martyr

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Every time Mother Of One had coffee with Mother Of Two, she couldn’t really say how she truly felt and that she was struggling with motherhood so terribly. Because of course Mother Of Two had a lot more on her plate. You see, Mother Of One hadn’t told anyone, but her husband had recently lost his job and had sunk into a deep depression. She was sure that their relationship was falling apart. She was emotionally drained and struggled to feel love for her tiny baby. But hey, there were people who had it worse right?

Every time Mother Of Two had lunch with Twin Mother, she kept her feelings of mother shame to herself. Because of course, poor Twin Mother was dealing with TWO babies AT THE SAME TIME! Mother Of Two’s problems paled into insignificance. So she kept to herself the fact that her shouting at the children had reached a point where she was so overcome with shame that she felt incapacitated. She was fearful that someone would ‘take her kids away’ and that of course she was a terrible mum. But she couldn’t tell anybody, because someone always has worse issues right?

Every time Twin Mother had tea with Mother Of Twins Plus One On The Way, she wanted so desperately to say how she thought she was losing her mind. But she didn’t. Because hapless Mother Of Twins Plus One On The Way was always talking about her anxiety around how she would deal with a newborn baby when she already had so much to cope with. Twin Mother kept quiet about feeling like she wanted to cut herself or drink bleach just so she could get some attention for once, she kept that very quiet. Because really, what were her problems compared to that of others?

When Mother Of Twins Plus One On The Way had dinner with Mother Of Triplets, they rarely talked about anything. Raising triplets had made Mother Of Triplets was so hyper alert that she had forgotten how to converse with adults and Mother Of Twins Plus One On The Way was simply in awe of Mother of Triplets. Mother Of Twins With One On The Way really wanted to say that she loved having twins, couldn’t wait for her next baby, but she didn’t want to sound smug. She even hoped for another set of twins. But she didn’t want to make it sound like everything was peachy. Even thought it pretty much was. You’ve got to be sensitive to other people’s struggles right?

One day, Mother Of Triplets had drinks with Quad Mum. The two of them had far too much to drink because it had been so long since they’d been out without the children. In their crazy, loveable, drunken stupor, they talked about life, love, passion, and truth. They remembered that they were women, people who used to not be mothers. They laughed and talked truth and nobody felt smug or drained or ashamed.

 

 

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You are not alone

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Next week, starting on Sunday the 9th to the 16th of March is multiple birth awareness week. It’s one of those things that, even as a mother of twins, I would usually pay no attention to. When I discovered I was pregnant with twins, despite the urging of friends and medical specialists aplenty, the last thing I wanted to do was join AMBA or BMBA or whateverBA or anything related to to twins or mothers’ groups or the like. I didn’t want to talk about it, be advised about it or have anyone cook me a lasagne for the freezer. I was in DE. NI. AL.

I lived in what I thought was normal for quite some years. I just thought I had lost myself and that my children had swallowed me whole. I just had to deal with it and come to accept what was a really difficult experience for me because they were my kids and nothing was going to change that. The sense of entrapment was profound. There was a constant sense of outrage, helplessness and despair that was unescapable. On top of that was the mother guilt, which every mother on this earth knows deeply. It’s about as real a state as the photoshopped cover of Cosmo. It’s not how life is meant to be. I didn’t really ask for and commit to help until I was desperate. There was no way you would get an honest answer to the question ‘how are you?’ from me, ever. I hated hearing ‘you’ve got your hands full’ or ‘it gets easier’ or the nauseating,’ twins! what a blessing!’. I simply couldn’t. I couldn’t ask, answer or listen.

It’s multiple birth awareness week. Can I tell you something? Having multiples is not like having kids close together. It’s not easier because you get it all over and done with in one go. It’s not the same as a house full of singletons. It is different. For some it will be a dream. For some it will not. For me it was complicated by the fact that at the very same moment I was scanned and found two little babies, someone very close to me was realising she’d never bear her own children. It was made harder because I wanted to bitch about my lot but I was surrounded by women in the painful throes of miscarriage, IVF and infertility. Fate deals a bitch of a hand.

It’s multiple birth awareness week. With a combination of good therapy, time, medication and prayer, I am getting my life back. I joined BMBA. I’m writing for AMBA. I am looking forward to BMBA Market Day (*details below). I even went to my day care centre’s ‘Mum’s Night’ tonight. SO not something I would have done a year ago. I am falling so deeply in love with my children; something I imagine most Mums do when their babies are born, but something that took me a little longer. It is no less exquisite. I am happy. The inner rage is gone. I am excited on Friday afternoons instead of apprehensive.

Even if you are not ready to ask, answer or listen, you are still not alone, we are here. There are lots of us who struggled hard with this journey, even hated it at times. We are here. If you need us we are here at the drop of a hat, but we will not force you because we understand that sometimes you need to hide in a cave for a few years. If you need a listening ear without advice, we are here. If you need to get drunk and feel numb, we are here. If you need someone to sit there right next to you and not widen their eyes at the amount of baby noise, then yep, we are here. Advice, you can get it anywhere. I am unlikely to give it. What I can give is empathy and complete lack of judgement. You are not alone.

Please consider supporting the Brisbane Multiple Birth Association Market Day on Sunday the 16th of March. 

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