This post is part of our series meant to encourage women in various stages of their lives to tune out the noise of society’s demands and find a balance that works for them, which in turn makes their whole families much healthier.
Meet Marcy – mom of two-year-old twins, wife, and community volunteer.
Hi Marcy! Tell us a little about your family.
My husband Brian and I have been married for over eight years. In April 2009 we welcomed our twins, Charlotte and Jensen. Brian works full time outside the home and I am a stay-at-home mom. In addition to my mommy duties, I volunteer with the local early childhood PTA, my Moms of Multiples group, and serve on the board of directors for Golden Retriever Rescue of North Texas.
As a mom of young twins, how do you find balance?
It may sound strange, but I try to maintain balance by having a life outside my children. As a stay-at-home mom, it’s easy for me to have days in which the only people I’ve interacted with are my kids! I’m blessed with a husband who encourages me to spend time with my girlfriends as well as parents who regularly offer to babysit so Brian and I can have date nights. Maybe the most important thing for me has been to maintain a sense of self as far as maintaining the interests I had before having children, namely my involvement with Golden Retriever Rescue of North Texas.
What tips do you have for making sure a brand-new mom stays healthy while caring for a new family?
Aside from drinking lots of water and getting as much sleep as possible, I would say to go easy on yourself! Don’t stress if the house isn’t vacuumed or the laundry piles up. If you have a minute to rest, use it to rest! When friends or family offer to help, don’t be shy…let them make you dinner or feed a baby so you can have some time to yourself.
What advice do you have to fellow women?
I think you can’t underestimate the importance of a support system of women who understand what you’re going through. For me, that was finding a group of other moms of multiples. For someone else, it might be a group of working moms. It is so nice to have other women who can offer advice, support, or just an ear to listen when you need to vent.
What tips do you have for managing your time in the midst of so many responsibilities?
I don’t know if I’m qualified to answer that! I just asked my mom the other day if I will ever NOT feel like I am running in a million different directions and constantly playing catch-up. I definitely have to make lists and write EVERYTHING down or else many things will completely slip my mind. Also, the Internet is a lifesaver for me…it’s much faster to order something from Amazon than to load two toddlers in the car and take them from store to store.
How has being a new mom made you view sleep/rest differently?
I always knew I wanted children, but I always dreaded the sleepless nights that come with having newborns! And those first few months of waking up several times a night were not fun! Even with the twins being two, sleep is still precious…you never know who’s going to wake up in the night needing mommy or daddy. One thing we did was reward ourselves with a nice new mattress when our kids started sleeping through the night; we figured we deserved it!
What mistakes did you make that you wish you could go back and fix?
Having newborn twins is extremely stressful…I think I made it worse by not letting go of some of my perfectionist tendencies. I got so stressed out by trying to do everything perfectly that I don’t think I enjoyed the first few months of my kids’ lives as much as I could have.
What is the hardest part of maintaining balance in your life?
It can be hard for me to keep up with my kids and then find the energy to do much else! Despite the fact that there are a million things I should be doing when they’re in bed for the night, more often than not I just want to zone out on the couch. So I guess the hardest part of maintaining balance is probably finding the energy to do all the things I need and want to do.
What does a balanced life for you look like?
I guess I would say that a balanced life is a life in which you make room for what’s important to you. All women probably feel like they’re stretched a little thin at times, but I think if you go to bed at night feeling like you’ve spent your day doing the things you enjoy and accomplished the things that are most important to you, your life is probably pretty balanced.
To moms reading this who have raised multiples, or several young children close in age, what advice do you have for moms in Marcy’s shoes? Remember – we want to build each other up and encourage each other to live balanced, healthy lives.