Ick. I’ve become one of those Mamas. Otherwise known as a Pod Person. The kind of Mama whose original cool self has been kidnapped and replaced with an identical version who wears leggings every day and has very little to talk about apart from her offspring. The type of person who is itching to show her friends (the ones out having a life) photos of her children (because they the cutest and most beautiful human beings ever to grace the Earth).
I never thought this would happen. When I first started getting broody, everyone I knew thought I’d had a personality transplant and when we discovered I was expecting twins, even my own Mama admitted she wondered how I’d cope! [Thanks for the words of encouragement there!]
Come on Mamas. We’ve all been there. We’ve all stared in awe at this tiny little creature we created [Seriously! It’s amazing!!!] and found ourselves losing hours to this weird yet wonderful staring contest. The thing is, I thought maybe that would just be a New Baby thing. That maybe the novelty would wear off after a while.
But it doesn’t does it?
Every day brings a new wonder. And new kisses (I wonder how many kisses you can actually fit into one day? A hundred? A thousand? A MILLION?!?). New experiences. New moments where you could bloody kill them but then in an instant, another amazing moment. Like the fact that my 20 month old twins now actively cuddle me. I mean, they don’t just come to me with arms outstretched, they nestle their beautiful little heads against my shoulder and lean their weight into me. T1 even wraps her arm around my neck… and I just melt. I disintegrate. I become nothing because “I” cease to exist.
You lose a part of yourself to Mamahood. Maybe one day you get it back (ask me in 20 years) but now, in this moment, I am Mama. I forget sometimes that I am also Wife. Friend. Sister. Colleague. Or even just Me, sans label. It’s so hard to turn off from Mama Mode, even after the twins have gone to bed, because then I’m either clearing up after the day has finished, planning for the next day/week [a tricky juggling act when fitting kids around work and childcare] or simply flaking out on the sofa in my scruffiest clothes feeling comfy but exhausted.
And my kids aren’t even difficult. I mean, they’re just normal toddlers, which by their very definition means bloody crazy! And there’s two of them! AT THE SAME TIME!!!
A HUGE shout-out at this point to Mamas and Dadas dealing with children who have additional needs/disabilities that make everyday challenges even more difficult.
But let me just say this: I’m not complaining. Mamahood is the biggest challenge I have ever encountered but it is also by far the most rewarding. I don’t think there’s a day goes by where I don’t feel immensely grateful for what I have, or contemplate the potential life I would have had without the twins not with a feeling of nostalgia, but of sadness. Yes, a childless existence would have meant a degree of freedom that I am often frustrated I don’t have. It would have meant a financial freedom too that sometimes keeps me awake at night. And it would have meant holidays, sleep, restaurants, cinema, SLEEEEEEEP, socialising…
The thing is, for over 10 years before having children, I had all those opportunities and rarely took them. Once the novelty of partying started to fade in my 20s, I settled into a life of bills and a mortgage and didn’t appreciate the freedom I had. Most of my waking life was spent working [whereas now, I’m fortunate to have a flexible employer who has allowed me to work part-time after having the kids] with little sense of fulfillment. It’s true that you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone because I have only appreciated the amount of freedom we had pre-twins after having them.
But I think that if I’d never had kids, I wouldn’t really have known what I was missing. Pre-twins, I heard people talk about their love [or obsession!] with their children and just could not understand it. If you’re child-free through choice and currently reading this, you may think I sound like a complete nutcase! Five years ago, I’d have agreed with you. [Maybe I agree with you a little now lol]
In conclusion: I’m obsessed with my kids, and it is the greatest and most fulfilling obsession I have ever experienced. When it comes to my twins, I am a Kidoholic and proud. Maybe I’ll come back down to Earth at some point, but for now, The Hubs is going to have to put up with being married to a Pod Person.