Thursday, November 28, 2013

10 Things no one told me about being a SAHM

When I was pregnant with the twins, we made a decision for me to be a SAHM (Stay At Home Mum) until childcare placements at the centre of our preference became available. I certainly had no idea what I was getting myself into! Here are a few things I wish someone told me:

It's a MASSIVE learning curve
Coming to terms with caring for two infants at the same time who are solely dependent on me for everything is overwhelming. Before they came along, I was in control of my life. After they came along, I was no longer in control. It's not easy transitioning from being an independent woman who had a grasp on almost everything in life to one that had no idea what was in stored!
The Workday never ends
It's 24 hours, 7 days a week round the clock work even when I am unwell. There's no one to put up the slack when the husband went to work. I was the sole parent and the accountable adult / carer for the twins. When the infants napped / slept, I quickly showered, peed, changed, cooked, cleaned, washed, hung out washing, brought in washing, folded washing, put away washing, sterilised all the bottles and teats, made up the formula, went on the breast pump, sterilised the breast pump and its associated tubes, etc. You get the point. The only time out I had for myself was when I did the weekly grocery shopping - walking up and down the isle on my own.
The Loneliness
It's astonishing how lonely motherhood can be. I went from being a social butterfly in the corporate world to being a recluse. I simply had no energy for anything else other than caring for my infants and my basic (necessary) needs. Thank goodness, I wasn't lonely for long because I have wonderful neighbours who sought me out, brought us meals, cuddled my babies so that I could have a leisurely shower and go to the toilet without hearing for cries. I am very lucky to have neighbours who are part of our village in raising our twins.
Kids can be boring
Yes, I said it. They can be boring especially as infants. It is all one way. Them needing, wanting and demanding. Me giving, giving, giving. It is exhausting mentally and physically.
There are no sick days
Backing up #2. Too bad, just soldier on.
Never alone
Yes they were only infants but wherever I was, they were too. Craving for some time alone? Forget it. It will never happen unless I physically take myself out of our home and have the husband care for the kids. Then, I feel guilty leaving the kids.
Constantly amazed
Despite it all, I was constantly amazed by the twins even as infants. They were always doing / attempting something new each day. Be it a smile, waving of their arms animatedly or simply being able to nap with the television blaring loudly.

Envious of my spouse
He's freshly showered and shaved, changed into his corporate clothes and off to work he went. He had time out from the family - enjoyed his hot mugs of coffee, conversations with adults that didn't involve the care of the children, being able to have his lunch uninterrupted and in general, being a fully functioning adult.

Different kind of rewarding
Being a stay at home mum enabled me to really get to know my children, the determination of a routine was strictly enforced and that meant, I was able to catch mini breaks throughout the day and even slept through the night when the twins turned 11 weeks. Very different kind of rewards that a salary will never be able to compensate.

Everyday is a brand new day
Stuffed up yesterday with the feeding. No worries, you can always make it up today. Infants are very forgiving and so are little children.

My twin infants went into childcare when they turned 9 months young and being separated from them is still tough (on me) because of my bond with them. I think of them constantly, miss them desperately and our reunions are all the sweeter.

Wishing you a wonderful Thursday,


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