Saturday, February 5, 2011

Rediscovering, Reinventing, Redefining

So we all know, as it is well talked about, that there are many times in your life when your family dynamic changes. When you get married, would be one of those times. And when you have a baby. Thats how it happened for me. The dynamic changed when Todd and I got married. And changed again when Kyle was born. It changed, when he was born, in a completely amazing and great way. It felt like things were finally the way they were supposed to be, and that I had just been floating around on a general path that was leading to THIS place. And I was finally there, at that place. The dynamic changed, and it was perfect. I felt like being a Mom and a Wife was what I was meant to do, and largely what defined who I was.

When we decided to try for our second baby, once again, I knew the dynamic would change, and I just assumed that I would feel what I felt when Kyle was born all over again. And then we found out that our "second" baby, was in fact our "second AND third" babIES! WOW. So that dynamic would be changing A LOT. I knew that it would feel like a gigantic shift and would take a lot longer to get used to, than just adding one baby would. I just didnt know HOW it was going to change everything.

Well in July of 2010, the twins were born. And immediately, I mean like right there seconds after they were both born, I felt that amazement, fulfillment, gigantic dynamic shift that was thrilling, as I had expected. And I would say that by the 19th time of waking up that first night in the hospital to take care of one or both of them, those feelings sort-of started to become foggy. OK, so you can get all judgemental here if you would like, but like I always say, I will speak REAL and TRUE. And this, that I just described, is just a small part of the big picture. So if you feel like putting your criticisms on hold and continue to read, you just might come back around. Your choice :) So, moving on. Because I had such a fast, easy, vaginal delivery (yes, a vaginal twin delivery) and the babies had NO problems whatsoever, they let us go home the very next morning. After a couple of days at home, we realized what we hadn't fully grasped before they were born. That this was SO FREAKIN' HARD!! We just got so bogged down in the every minute, NO, every second, demands with 3 kids under 18 months old that a lot of those new baby(ies) happy feelings dissipated. I mean talk about feeling like your trapped in 4 walls. And I was tandem nursing, so I was trapped in 4 walls and constricted to the couch for what seemed like every second of the day. For months on end. That kind of thing changes a person. It takes your heart, soul, body, and mind and shakes it vigorously until your so disoriented that you dont know what planet your on. And THAT is what happened to me.

I didnt suffer from postpartum depression, thank the Lord. But I felt like I was in a world I didnt understand. Like someone had ripped me right out of my life and plopped me out in China or something and said HERE, This is your new life. Whaaaaaaaat??! So, I had to ADAPT. My life was redefined and I had to get used to it.

The twins are 7 months old now. And it seems crazy still, but I have adapted and I feel finally like I am starting to get back on my feet. I've been in a gigantic RUT for a long time now. Like, my roots are 12" grown out, havent had my eyebrows waxed since before the twins were born, dont get to brush my teeth until noon if im lucky, dont get to shower until 6pm if im REALLY lucky, and am over really caring much about it all. That kind of RUT. But some things have happened lately where I feel like I am starting to find myself again, and slowly and unsteadily, like a new foal standing up and taking it's first steps (sweet reference huh?) emerge from the shallows of that rut. I dont think I will ever be 100% who I was before, because who I am has been completely redefined. And I am discovering what that is.

So. I started this blog. And I have to give complete credit for that to my friend Krystle. She has a blog and I really enjoyed reading it, and during a play date with our oldest sons, she encouraged me to start one. Krystle, Thank You! This blog has been a place for me to write about all of my feelings and feel like I have SOME interaction with the world.

Also, my super sweet friend Stephanie, who has been a HUGE support. Who is encouraging me, along with my husband, to go do something for myself. Get my hair done. Mommy makeover. That sort of thing. So I want to do that, so that I can feel refreshed. And that will also help me get out of this rut.

I also have discovered that I have a huge passion for photography, that I never knew I had. I never started it going, hmmm I think im going to become a professional photographer. And then snap a few photos, make a webpage, and BAM there it is! This is what happened. My husband was giving me a hard time because I was bugging him about doing the twins' 6 month pictures. He was getting annoyed that I was spending $150 every 3 months on pictures. He said, at that rate I could just buy a nice camera and do them myself. Huh, OK dear, whatever you say. So he bought me a new camera that day. And I learned it inside and out, and had it all mastered in like a day. My husband has this motto "buy the best and cry once". So he encouraged me to upgrade to a DSLR. So I did. And I did the twins' 6 month photos. I realized in all of that how much fun I had doing it, and decided I wanted to learn more about photography. Because I am HUGE NERD. No seriously I am. Like I saw an infomercial for a math program that teaches you math so that someone can ask you something like, what is 23,452 divided by 46, and you can answer it before they even finish the question....and I wanted to buy the program so bad! I love math, and biology. And like I said, HUGE NERD. Im one of those people who would rather be great at a few things, than just ok at a lot of things. So, I studied photography to death! I researched, practiced and applied it all, until I felt like I was no longer just an entry level amateur. I know a lot of people still think I probably am, just because I am "new" to it all. But I am well educated already. I made myself become educated. And thats the part they dont know. And since then, I upgraded my camera for the final time in what will be a long time, and it gets here tomorrow! But photography has opened up a whole new world for me, and given me a lot of joy. Its helping me discover the redefined person that I am now, and is part of my reinvention. And I give full credit for this one to my husband! XOXO.

So the dynamics have shifted....yet "shifted" seems far too subtle a word to describe it. And I for one, as well as my husband, and my oldest son, are muddling through trying figure out who we are now. Like a hurricane came through and swept us deep into the ocean, and we finally got washed back up on shore, stood up and realized that everything changed and nothing is familiar. And we have to deal. We have to figure it out. So we are at that point. Just feeling out this new life, rediscovering ourselves. And of course, since we have all changed, our relationships have changed, and thus the DYNAMICS (sensing a common thread here yet?) are all different. We love each other more than could ever be put into words though. And part of what has gotten me though this mass confusion, is knowing that God will never give you anything you cant handle. My life is an amazing blessing, my children....the best ever, my husband....unsurpassable.....myself.....the still somewhat fumbling around confused loon that I am, HAPPY. I am happy. And I am blessed.


  1. Beautifully written! So glad you are at that happy place. Good luck with your photography. The photos you have shared here are beautiful! Take care, Andrea

  2. Mandy, you have come through that hurricane even richer than before. I know how dedicated you have always been when you do something and you continue that dedication now as an adult.
    Stay true to yourself.
    Thanks for your openness on your blog.
    Loving you as always - Gramma

  3. I am a new follower. Somewhat in the same boat. I have a singleton, then twins 15 1/2 months later. I can so relate to your post! I so believe that the dynamics shift when you have such a life altering event (weather it is for the positive or for the negative. It is easy to get into a rut when you have three small children to take care of. It is hard to do things for yourself. I know in my life, I feel like I don't want to miss any time in my kids lives, but I know that if I don't get myself together, then I won't be a good mom. You have to think of it that way. You have to be good to yourself, which makes you feel better and makes you a better mommy!

  4. Beautifully written. You've figured all that out in just a few months... and I'm still not sure what I want to be when I grow up! Love you

  5. My twins were born 4 months ago and I felt exactly the same way. Now I start seeing the light at the end of the tunnel but nursing two babies is very very hard. My husband has been my lifeboat and without him I would be lost. I discovered how much we love each other while going through this new experience together. I love even more my husband because he help me to love my children.
    I feel better now that I know I am not the only one to have those feelings when my babies were born. Thank you very much indeed!.