Its been a while since I’ve written; I purposefully decided to put blogging on hold for a while because life was getting kind of crazy and something had to give! So I feel I should probably give an explanation to all my lovely followers as to where I’ve been…
The girls turned 18 months old and I had to make a decision about going back to work. It wasn’t an easy decision – I loved my job, even though it was a career I sort of fell into. I had extremely lovely and supportive employers who allowed me a career break on top of my maternity leave, and to return pretty much under my terms. I had it made! The fact that there would be very little salary left over after paying for childcare for 2 though, meant that I was in the privileged (I feel) position of being able to make a choice without taking money into account. Sure, if I was playing the long game I’d have gone back to work thinking about my career, and what I would otherwise do when the girls start school etc. The two hour daily commute was one thing, but the main factor keeping me home was the pure and simple fact that I wanted to raise my girls; to be the main influence in their lives, to be there for them, and make the most of these early years which are already flying past us. The fact that I didn’t have a great first year with them meant that the second year was like my ‘real’ maternity leave; plus, they only get half the attention a newborn would usually have so I figured they needed at least double my time!! So the decision was made – and I sadly, but with fond feelings, handed in my notice.
At the same time, an idea, a dream I’d had for the last seven years suddenly became more of a possibility. I wanted to set up my own business; a tour company, showing visitors my favourite places in Wales. Now I had no income to give up, I had nothing to lose. My dream suddenly became a possibility! So, I set about setting up Real Wales Tours. Six months on, I’m still setting up! I was completely naïve at the start, about how much time, effort, determination and childcare I would need!! I’m slowly getting there but it hasn’t come easily.
Unfortunately, the little ladies are still not ‘sleeping through’ – not even close! One did once, but turned out it was because she was getting ill! They are resisting sleep, so bedtime has been pushed back to anything between 8pm and 9pm. Just enough time for me to do the minimum housework required & an hour’s work, before they wake again. My husband leaves early in the morning so that he can be home for bedtime, so showering is a luxury, and gym time has gone out of the window! I can usually make a few business calls during the girls nap time, throw some lunch together and then they’re awake again.
I’m a terrible friend and I never post birthday cards on time. I’d like to think they understand but the truth is I don’t think they do. Maybe I set standards too high to start with, before I had twins and a new business to look after!
Since November times haven’t been easy. I suffer at this time of year anyway but with the sleep deprivation, breastfeeding (more on this in a minute), tantrums and teething I’ve found things really hard. Thankfully I’ve had more help as the girls have become more independent in the daytime; they are fully weaned in the day and importantly, usually very happy to spend time apart from me with their grandparents, who have been available more than in the summer. That time very quickly gets swallowed up with admin for the business, the red tape is just endless!!
Looking forward I think January will be our hardest month; my husband works very long hours during January so I know the girls are going to really miss him as they may not see him for the best part of a month. And I will be doing everything alone, as well as preparing to launch the business?!! It will be tough but I’m determined to be tougher. The girls & I will be outdoors at every opportunity as it’s the way we’re all happiest.
We’ve all got a challenging but exciting few months ahead. My business launch in January, & the girls turning two and starting playgroup in May. They’ve only got 8 teeth left to come through each (think we’ve done 28/44 now?) and then they’ll start sleeping, right? Sleep training is still not going to happen – I’m sure I’ve written about my thoughts on it before but I believe everyone should do thorough research and check out Sarah Ockwell-Smith’s work before even considering sleep training (hint hint it’s harmful & doesn’t work the way you think it does). So sleep deprivation may be a feature in our house for a while to come.
Breastfeeding, on the other hand, may not. And not because of all the ‘oh my god you’re not still breastfeeding are you?’ comments, raised eyebrows and no doubt conversations amongst friends about how ‘weird’ it is (though why it is weird to want to give your child nourishment & comfort I’ll never know – statistically unusual yes, but is being responsive to your child’s needs weird? And comfort is a valid and important need by the way). But because I am fed up with it. The truth is I have been for a long time, and I have been waiting for the girls to show signs that they are ready to stop feeding at night. This hasn’t happened yet, but I’m confident it will soon, and I will be ready to seize the opportunity to get them off me without any trauma.
Which brings me to the whole reason I wanted to write, I had something to get off my chest – pun totally intended! I was angry earlier when thinking about this conversation, and some comments I’ve had recently, but now I just find it pretty funny. When the girls were nearly a year old I had a call from my health centre’s ‘weaning specialist’; I remember being fed up with breastfeeding at the time and telling her I was worried they’d still be breastfeeding at 2 or 3 years old. She told me that mothers who do that are “usually doing it for themselves, they can’t let go”. I didn’t think this was that weird a thing to say at the time. Now my girls are approaching two and still breastfeeding I can’t help remember that conversation and how wrong that ‘specialist’ has it! Anyone that has breastfed toddler twins would tell you that they certainly are not doing it for themselves! That’s hilarious!! I think it’s a wonderful thing to do for your child, and the right thing to do, but it is a huge sacrifice, one which I won’t hesitate to ‘let go’ of, but only when I can do so gently without causing trauma to my still very young children!