Maternity leave with the twins is flying by at a rapid speed- presumably twice as fast as my past experiences with my singletons (the word used by moms of multiples when referring to a one-kid-at-a-time experience). People always say to me “Wow twins! You must be busy!” Yes I am “busy”, but not simply because of the twins. I also have a seven year old, a four year old, a husband, two dogs, a full time job, a house which I am moving out of and an essence of a social life- all of which I am extremely grateful for because quite frankly, I enjoy being that kind of “busy”.
These things that fulfill my life which classify me as “busy” are simply my priorities. These priorities bring me great joy and motivate me to be the best person I can be. We live in a society where the term “busy” has become a badge of honor. To me “busy” represents the inability to say “NO” to time wasters and stress inducers in some futile attempt to do everything and “have it all”. We don’t allow ourselves to slow down enough to ask ourselves what it is we really want to fill our lives.
What I have found, if I were to answer honestly, is that aside from the intrinsic chaos of taking care of two newborns at one time, I am not very “busy” right now. I have my hands full with the work involved to address the needs of my children, but this work enables me to engage with them as we learn more about each other. I also have plenty of quiet moments with the twins. True, some days I do not have time to shower, but mainly because I do not prioritize my own hygiene and I lose myself in the time I have with my babies on those days as I am still learning how to balance my needs with theirs.
My goal is to have this balance figured out by the time I return to work.
Other days I prioritize my “me” time especially when I find I am feeling stressed, drained or stir crazy. I shamelessly ask for help from my husband or a friend/family member. I put on a face mask, take a bath, drink a glass of wine, eat some chocolate, and read (or look at the pictures in) my favorite magazine. On days where I’ve really lost my sense of self I may even leave for a trip to Costco. OK, so I’ve only resorted to this once, but it was insanely rejuvenating.
The goal of these mommy time outs is to return connected, engaged, and motivated to continue to bond and engage with my babies. The most dangerous part of hiding behind the label of “busy” is that we do not take time for ourselves and we risk forgetting who we are and what we stand for. Soon enough all of our once cherished priorities become grouped into the same category as dentist appointments, oil changes, and grocery shopping. The more we forget who we are, the more we take our gifts for granted. It’s time we encourage each other to slow down, ask for help and stop striving for busy if it’s not the best use of our precious time. Stop and SMELL the ROSES! Oh man, maybe it is time for that shower.