Updated: Feb 24
By Caroline Staton
Yesterday my twin girls turned 9 months old. As many of us do, I wanted to take some nice photos to commemorate the day and I picked out some of their (my) favourite clothes for them to wear. Grace has been under the weather this week, so I didn't manage to dress her before we went out for the day, as she fell asleep. Never mind - I packed her clean clothes in the nappy bag and we headed out to meet friends at Ruby's Fund in Congleton (if you haven't taken you little one there, you really should!)
While we were there I eventually got Grace dressed into her baby pink dungarees, then took Molly for a nappy change. I returned to a very upset Grace and upon picking her up for a cuddle I realised that the source of her distress was to do with an explosion in her nappy, with major consequences for her cute pink dungarees. Back in the baby changing room I discover that the only spare clothes I had with me (on account of her having peed on the baby grow I had brought her in) was a baby grow in the next size up, which absolutely drowned her. As a result of this I didn't take their 9 months photo until today - a day late (and as you can see, that one didn't quite go as intended either.) But on reflection, I really wish I had taken it yesterday, because it would have been a much more accurate portrait.
just because I want or think something is going to happen a certain way, often it won't and there's little I can do about it.
Incidents like yesterday remind me of the important fact that our plans don't always go to plan! As I wrote in my last post, a baby/babies were not in my immediate plans at the time I fell pregnant. I had it all worked out - the holidays we would take, career moves, house renovations and the Audi TT I would proudly drive for 3 years before back seat became a necessity. But I realised that these precious girls were gifted to me as a lesson that just because I want or think something is going to happen a certain way, often it won't and there's little I can do about it.
I've tried hard to embrace this fact over the past year, but it's definitely something I am still working on! Doing so has really helped me to be kinder to myself and has made the transition to motherhood easier. With this in mind, I have put together a few tips which I hope will help others too:
Make your plans as flexible as possible - let people know when you make plans with them that it may depend on what kind of night you've had and you will confirm in the morning. Don't feel bad about changing or cancelling plans.
Accept that sometimes things don't work out - don't stress about it and certainly don't beat yourself up over it!
Give yourself a pat on the back when they do! My husband clearly had more faith in me than I did when he booked the appointment to register the girls' birth at 9am on a day he was at work. Did I make it on time? Amazingly - Yes! Did I reward myself with cake? YES!
Be organised - little things like keeping the nappy bag topped up and deciding whether you will need the pram in the house or in the car the following morning can really help!
Take the photos - don't wait for things to be perfect, when you look back you won't care that you hadn't washed your hair in a week or that your little one is drowning in a too big baby grow!
Although I wouldn't have seen myself as a "control freak," I realised that it is completely natural that when we are out of our comfort zone and in the midst of a huge life change, we try to hold on to the reins in whatever way we can. But I've found that being inflexible in this can lead to frustration and a sense of failure. Becoming a Mum has taught me so many things but this has definitely been the most valuable.
And on that note I'm off to pour myself a glass of wine to celebrate the fact that I've managed to finish this post while we're only one day past 9 months!