Yesterday afternoon I was left alone for the first time ever as a mother of two. It was 5:45pm and I had a chocolate cake in the oven (to celebrate Milinh's 1 month birthday), I had both phones ringing flat out, the dogs were barking, the rooster was crowing, I was feeding my 3.5 year old dinner with one hand and breast feeding my 1 month old with the other. This was the calm before the storm. Just as the oven timer went off... I'll use key words such as 'vomit, bath, crying baby, crying toddler, crying mama, mess, uneaten dinner, hungry and tired kids' paint the rest of the story.
Even though the whole situation probably only lasted half an hour, I was left seriously doubting my ability to parent two children to the standards I had previously set myself. In that moment I felt completely incapable, out of control and scared. In that moment I wished I could have teleported myself to my mum for help. In that moment I wished that my husband was the stay at home dad as I longed to be back at work where my daily challenges seemed insignificant compared to the next 5 months of my maternity leave. Silly I know.
After the moment of madness passed, I looked at my children and felt guilty for doubting my commitment to them. After everything we have endured over the last few months, I felt incredibly blessed with my two healthy wee ones back at home. I chose to rise from my first experience as a solo* mother of two - stronger and more determined.
Although I have survived the newborn haze before, I am learning fast that parenting two children during these precious first months require different skills to what I already have. So when Milinh woke with the sun this morning, I embraced the opportunity of a peaceful home while the others slept - I put the washing on, folded yesterday's clothes, packed lunches, prepared breakfasts, showered and enjoyed the morning chorus of birds. I will try to stay organised to avoid yesterday's feelings of being overwhelmed and I will try to stay busy to avoid yesterday's feelings of isolation that come naturally with motherhood and living remotely.
And when the next moment of madness arises, I will breathe deeply, speak calmly, and work through the situation with complete compassion (hopefully). As for the cake, it turned out to be one of the best chocolate cakes I've made in years... I'll take that as a good omen.
Do you remember your first moment alone with your newborn child or children?
Or do you have a special trick for getting through moments of madness?
*By solo, I mean having my husband not in the house... for without him, our team is not a team. Such a sook I am. I am dreading his approaching work travel. Hats off to single parents.
The painting is one of my favourite pieces of Aboriginal art to be produced at my workplace this year... painted by Dora who is a community elder, it tells a story of a special female place on her country - four lagoons that are covered in white water lilies.