Did your parents ever say that to you growing up: “Watch your attitude young lady!”? This was a phrase I heard regularly during my teenage years.
Having grown up now and being more self aware I’ve realised that I am generally a very positive person. I would say the cup is half full rather than half empty. I try to stay positive through different situations and challenges that come my way. But having twin babies is putting a bit of a strain on the old positivity.
The other morning I was carrying out my usual morning routine of washing, dressing and feeding the twins. I do the morning shift and David does the last shift before bed. I had washed and dressed both babies and brought them downstairs to be fed. We feed them together using bouncer chairs to prop them up. I did my usual technique but for some reason Isaac would not take his bottle. He was working against me, turning his head to the opposite side and screaming. I quickly felt a surge of rage build up in me. I could hear my thoughts: “I’m knackered, I do not have the energy or time for your antics”. I wanted to let Isaac know how I felt but something inside me couldn’t do it. I sat and watched him for a few minutes. I saw my tiny baby, my youngest, the baby I waited a year and half for and I felt a pang in my heart. My thoughts shifted: “Is there any point in getting so annoyed? Who will it benefit? because it won’t be you or the twins.” I decided to calmly carry on feeding Autumn and replace Isaac’s bottle with his dummy, in the hope it would calm him down till I had finished with his sister. Fortunately my strategy worked. My quick attitude shift during the feed had helped to change the mood in the room, which Isaac sensed and in turn was calmer.
Parenting is hard, underpaid, often thankless work. Don’t get me wrong it is amazing to have birthed new life and watch it grow and I throughly enjoy being a mummy. But the mundane and everyday of parenting isn’t glamorous. We all have our struggles and they will each be different. For me it’s the up and down of twins: getting one settled then the other cries, getting one to feed and the other not wanting to latch (to name a few examples). My feeding experience the other day has taught me that there is a lot about parenting I can’t control but the one thing I can, is my attitude. Oh yes it’s not always going to be perfectly positive but if I can edge more towards the positive side than the negative my daily routine will be more bearable and my children happier, which in turn will make me happier. And there is always a pillow I can scream into if things really do go disastrously wrong!