As a parent, you can often find yourself focusing on what you may perceive as parenting fails; you fret over the days where you shouted a lot, gave them chicken nuggets and chips again, you didn’t clear your laundry basket or you were too shattered to play pretend doggies for the nineteenth time. It sometimes is easier to focus on the negatives then stop and celebrate your parenting wins. As parents you are on duty 24/7 from the second the word “positive” pops up on a pregnancy test. Even when you aren’t with them physically, your mind never stops.
It is only when I look back on the first year of my twin daughters lives, I realised how stressful it really was. I was so lucky that I carried them to term and they were born healthy at 37 weeks. My elective c-section was straight forward and simple and within half an hour of being in theatre, P1 was born weighing 6lbs. One whole minute later her sister joined her weighing an impressive 7lbs1! Our family was complete and my body had grown two little ladies who were such brilliant weights. Pregnancy is hard but twin pregnancy is a whole new level as your body has two tiny humans to support as well as a very tired pregnant Mama. I still am flummoxed to think my son on his own was 7lbs4 and had an extra four weeks in the womb weeks on his sisters. P2 was a whopper for a twin indeed!
I had to stay in hospital as Charlie had caught chicken pox the week before I was due, so we wanted to ensure the girls wouldn’t be at risk. When I finally arrived home, everything seemed perfect. We had become a family of five and were set to sail off into the sunset. However three weeks later, we received devastating news out of the blue that my Mom had cancer and unbeknown to me at the time, had been given six months to live.
My parenting superpowers had to kick in and find strength that I never knew I had. As a parent, you have to ut your children first no matter what and I found myself having to try to cope with my Mom’s illness alongside caring for my newborn baby daughters and my four year old son. Three months after the girls were born, Charlie started school bringing a new set of emotions and also get into a set routine, which with a three month old baby is hard, but with two three month old babies to adapt to a new routine of needing to be somewhere at a certain time? They didn’t always comply to the new manic schedule!
My husband was an absolute rock throughout the first year. He works away during the week, but found himself travelling long hours to come home more to offer me support – physically and emotionally. Looking back, I don’t think I appreciated how much was actually going on around me yet the parenting superpower of “getting on with it” really does supersede all. I had no time to break; I had to be strong. I had to hold it together. I had no choice.
My beloved Mother passed away when the girls were nine months old leaving us all broken hearted. I felt so incredibly sad that her three grandchildren were going to miss out on having such an amazing role model in their lives. It was then I realised, I had to step up to the plate and I had the best teacher on how to be an brilliant Mother, so it was time to share all I had learned.
Reflecting on the first year is hard. We had such highs but it all came crashing down. I look back and wonder how I did it all. I never ever give myself enough credit and always seek to find the wrongs, when in fact I should be so proud on how we have coped as a family. The strain of a newborn can often be hard on couples, add into the death of an integral part of the family – we could quite easily have fallen apart. But we stood together. We united and as a family, though still feeling the loss, we are stronger than ever.
Being a parent, means you have superpowers of emotional strength you never knew possible but when times are hard, they kick in and you do the best you can by your babies. Ultimately, the love and support you give and receive means that family really is everything.
npower is running a new campaign called npower Parenting Super Powers and they want YOU to show your very own parenting super powers. You can share your own super powers (using a photo or a video) with npower at www.familysuperpowers.com to win one of three amazing UK theme park resort breaks. You can also share via Twitter using #familysuperpowers and @npowerhq.
Check out Peter and Emily Andre’s super powers in the video below:
I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have not paid for the product or to attend an event. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity. I have received a voucher as a token of thanks for this post.