The first year of motherhood: One Year, 12 months, 377 days exactly. That’s how long I’ve been a single mom. That’s how long I have cared for two little humans. That’s how long I have survived this rollercoaster called motherhood.
And it is a rollercoaster.
A cumulative of highs and lows; an agglomeration of emotions; a cluster of activities ranging from kissing your baby goodnight to screaming at him for eating the soap he found on the floor.
For the past 12 months, I have had ups and downs, I have cried and laughed, I have regretted and rejoiced, I have felt wronged and justified. I have been happy and sad. I have been a mom. A single mom.
Being a single mom to twins is no joke. It’s hard taking care of two humans who have the same needs at the same time alone. It’s hard providing for them alone with little to no assistance from the father. It’s hard trying to figure out how to split yourself into all the people you need to be to care for those humans. It’s hard but it’s not impossible.
How I Made It Through The First Year of Motherhood As A Single Mom to Twins
This first year of single-motherhood has rocked my core, it has challenged my beliefs, strengthened my faith, widened my heart, and increased my resolve.
I never knew I had what it takes to care for twins. I never knew I would be able to work 60+ hours and be a mom full time. I never knew I could go days without adequate sleep. I never knew I could survive 24/7 with two screaming babies needing my attention every moment and not lose my mind. I never knew I had what it takes to nurse two babies.
But I’ve done it all.
But I didn’t do it alone. And I wouldn’t have done it without God’s guidance and provision.
I relied on Family (A lot)
I wish I could say that I survived through sheer will. That I braved this tumultuous journey that is single motherhood by myself without the support of others, but that has not been the case.
My family has been my saving grace, the shoulder I have cried on, the bank I have borrowed from, the daycare that has cared for my kids while I took care of other things. More specifically my mom has been everything to me this past year! As I mentioned in the open letter I wrote to her, she has made so many sacrifices for me that I cannot understand or repay. From taking leave from work to sharing my bed so I can sleep while she helped me overnight— she has been there through all the ups and downs.
I could not have made it without my family’s support. They say that it takes a village to raise a child and that has been true for me.
If you have family, don’t hesitate on asking for help. No matter how much of a burden you may feel, they love you and will be happy to assist you. If you don’t have family around, find your support system and make them your village.
I Worked (A Lot)
I don’t need to tell you that being a parent is expensive. Children are not cheap! From diapers to formula and newborn clothes, they can empty your wallet quickly! I went into this journey unprepared financially so during my pregnancy, I worked to save money for expenses and prepare for them but I didn’t save enough to last me long. Thus, I had to work 60+ hours a week to bring in enough income. I have had to rely on my family’s support when my dollars were short. I have had to rely on God to provide when I didn’t know how I was going to pay my rent.
If you are currently pregnant, start saving up as much as you can because once the baby arrives, you won’t have as much time to work and make extra income.
I Forgave Myself (A Lot)
I made a lot of mistakes this first year as a new mom. I kept the boys up too late, I got upset too much, I yelled a few times… this motherhood thing doesn’t come with a manual. It doesn’t come with training. You learn on the job and sometimes while you learn, you make mistakes and you have to forgive yourself. You have to give yourself grace for those moments when you don’t act the way you want to. You also have to learn to rest and recharge so you can be the best version of yourself for your kids.
Learn to forgive your shortcomings as a mom and realize that your kids love you no matter how much you mess up.
I Stopped Caring About Other People’s Opinions
Throughout my pregnancy, I struggled with shame and embarrassment because I had my children out of wedlock. For a while, I allowed my thoughts of what others would think to stop me from doing things. As I have become a mom, I have learned to let go of people-pleasing and do the best I know-how.
Everyone is going to have an opinion about how you do things but you have to learn to trust your gut and know that you can be the best mom and it won’t be what others are doing but it’ll be the best you can do.
At some point, you’ll stop caring about people’s opinions and start doing what is best for you and your child. Learn to take criticism and opinions as suggestions and not required courses of actions
I Made Selfcare A Priority
Self-care has been very instrumental in my survival. This year I learned that self-care comes in many forms. Self-care is doing what you enjoy, it’s taking that warm relaxing bath, painting your nails, doing a facial, getting a massage, locking yourself in the toilet for 10 minutes. Self-care is doing what makes you happy so you can be the happy mom your kids need.
For me, self-care has taken the form of YouTube and Blogging. Through these platforms, I have been able to share my thoughts and explore my creativity and that makes me happy. I have also learned to spoil myself from time to time and not forget myself.Self-care is doing what makes you happy so you can be the happy mom your kids need. Click To Tweet
Start developing a self-care routine that you can follow because motherhood can wear on you and if you neglect yourself, it’s going to be detrimental. Take the time to do what makes you happy and human so you don’t get lost in your role.
I Stopped Googling Everything
Google is not your friend when you are a desperate sleep-deprived mother looking for a solution to a problem you are facing! It is not! There have been so many times where I falsely diagnosed my children from articles I read on Dr.Google and it was the wrong diagnosis!
I have learned the hard way not to run to doctor google every time I notice a rash or symptom on my kids… I have had to trust my gut and know that they will be ok… I have stopped googling every single thing that happens because all that does is cause even more stress on you than you need. Plus, there are no medical professionals on google. If I see something that concerns me, I contact my pediatrician and get their advice.
Stop freaking out and googling everything. If you suspect something, contact your pediatrician and they will be able to help with better than google can.
I Lowered My Expectations
Babies have a way of stripping you to the core and forcing you to examine yourself. Before I was a mom, I was such a germaphobe, the 5-second rule was bogus, no my child will not be dirty, no my child won’t do this or that but oh how I have learned to accept these things.
As they have grown, my boys go everywhere and they eat everything. And I mean everything! Down to the poop I just wiped off their bum! So with that, I had to get off my high horse and lower my expectations about motherhood.
I also thought I was going to be at a different place with my postpartum body but I have learned to be patient and allow myself to take each day at a time.Babies have a way of stripping you to the core and forcing you to examine yourself. Click To Tweet
You may have to lower your expectations a bit as a mom.
I Stopped Comparing Myself To Others
This first year of motherhood has taught me not to compare myself with others. I have learned to take things as they come and know that my parenting style isn’t going to be the same as others. That my body won’t bounce back as quickly as I thought it would or that my babies are going to be different from others.
Don’t compare yourself and your way of parenting to others.
There you go, that’s how I made it through this first year of single motherhood. Would love to know how you made it through your first year. Let me know in the comments.
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