The “Older” Mum

Jackie and Jess

When I was 19 with our first born Jess

 

To say that this has been an interesting journey so far would be an understatement.  I still have to pinch myself at the thought of “mummy-ing” again especially to TWINS!  But one of the strangest things is the fact that I am now part of the “Older” mum group…the late  30’s mum.

Being a young mum meant plenty of interesting and flattering comments such as “wow, you must of been 12 when you started having kids,” “I can’t believe you have children that age, you don’t look old enough.”  However now I am 39 (I’m still trying to come to terms with that number) and have 8 month old babies.  When I go out with my older children I have some people assume that the babies belong to them, which wouldn’t be that unusual considering when I was as old as my eldest child I had 2 children.

I think going into this stage again in my life I expected to see a lot of older mums.  It’s not uncommon for women to have children later in life after travelling and focusing on careers, right?  Being a twin mum also led me to believe that the majority of twin mums would be older as I had the misconception that a lot would have gone through the IVF journey to get to the point of having multiples.

Just recently I went on a girls night out with other ‘multi mums’ and was absolutely blown away with the amount of energy they all had.  By 11.30pm they were ready to hit the clubs and dance until the early hours of the morning.  Although I actually considered going for a dance I was just soooo tired and bed was more inviting.  Miss Scarlett has been waking up at least once a night for weeks now and I needed that sleep.  All I could think of was not getting home until 3am and then being woken up by the girls and trying to function running on empty.

I remember being in my 20’s and early 30’s, where catching up on sleep was easy and really not that important.  I remember struggling to sleep at times because my mind was busy and my body wanted to go out and party.  Now as soon as my head hits the pillow I almost crash as fast as my husband (5 minutes and he’s snoring…10 minutes on a bad night).

Going to the gym used to be an activity that I could take or leave but now it feels like its a necessity.  I need to try and stay fit to have the energy needed to take care of babies.

Then there’s the over thinking…..so when my twins turn 18 I will be 56, eeekkkk!!

It certainly isn’t a bad thing being an older mum, just very different.  I feel way more ‘grounded’ and emotionally stable (not all the time of course) than I did in my 20’s.  I recognize the importance of not taking time with my babies for granted, that they are going to grow so quickly.  Patience also seems more readily available than when I was younger and not feeling so concerned about whether or not I am parenting correctly (as if there is such a thing).

Being an older mum does come with its challenges but I wouldn’t change a thing. Xxx

shane and jackie

Taken when the twins were just over 2 months

The Things People Say

twin group pic (2)

Our girls…just missing our son

People warned me about the weird and wonderful comments I could get being a mum of twins but I admit I was skeptical….however, they were right.

 

It all began when I was pregnant with the twins.  “Is this your first?” they would ask and being the relatively open person that I am I would respond cheerfully “well actually its number 4 and 5.” I should’ve known that this would only instigate a range of interesting and personal questions.

I remember one conversation with a shop assistant which began just like this and ended up almost with my whole life story.  Not to say there is anything that exciting to share but after the questions such as if this was my second marriage and when I responded that it wasn’t you could see the wonder in her eyes and then the prying into why we needed IVF.  Before I knew it I was led into the trap of TMI (too much information).  Now I can’t blame the shop assistant as I was guilty of over sharing and it wasn’t the first time.

These situations didn’t bother me while the twins weren’t in tow but once they were born it was a different story.  My shopping trips consists of being stopped at least once and generally I don’t mind a bit of chit chat as people stare delightfully at the girls (except when I hear the ever repetitive “wow you’ve got your hands full”) but sometimes my trip to the shops consists of a crying baby or two.  This was one of those days…

I was quite excited about getting out of the house and doing a bit of shopping with the girls but unfortunately Miss Ivy wasn’t happy with being in her pram…I’m not referring to a bit of winging, this was all out balling as though something tragic had happen.  According to Ivy it was tragic, I wasn’t carrying her at that point of her sadness.  After numerous stares and not to mention no-one making any effort to clear the path (double prams are not that easy to maneuver around busy shopping centers) I was left with no choice but to carry Ivy while pushing Scarlett in the pram and shopping.

This was no easy feat and probably one of the few times where it would’ve been fab for any random stranger to come up and offer to give me a hand.  However, it seemed even requesting a hand carrying a few items from one of the staff members was a bit of an inconvenience.

Anyway as I was lining up at the check out there was a lovely elderly lady standing in front of me.  After looking at my girls and giving them some smiles she asks “is it a boy and a girl?” Now I don’t mean to be blunt but if they are both dressed in the same clothing, pink I might add, is it not some what obvious that they are both girls???  I know that being gender neutral is all the rage now but surely it was plain to see they were both girls…I really wanted to ask her which one she thought was the boy but didn’t have the time or patience to discuss it.

After politely responding that they are both girls she made a comment that I have heard other ‘multi’ mums complain about but this was my first experience.  She proceeded to say that she had 2 girls that were 18 months apart so it was basically like having twins.  Arggghhhhh are you kidding me woman!!  My first 2 were 13 months apart and honey it ain’t nothin’ like having twins!! (picture that with some Jerry Springer show swag).

I didn’t say any of this but it was what I was thinking.  Instead I did a little chuckle and nod and we went our separate ways.

In all fairness this lady was probably just wanting to converse with someone and felt we had common ground but when you are dealing with a mum of twins at the shops, one baby crying and the usual sleep deprivation in the mix it can be a recipe for disaster.

Rant over xxx