Gina Osher, aka The Twin Coach, shares this lesson about confidence for new moms.
Many women are overwhelmed by parenthood; mothers of multiples are sometimes even more so. After our twins were born, I found myself so afraid to fail at any aspect of motherhood that I simply chose to run from it. I avoided the fear of not knowing what the heck I was doing with our two infants by hiring a pair of doulas. For almost 4 weeks I had constant companionship and help from these two women. On the surface I seemed secure and confident in many areas, but I was terribly afraid to be left alone with our children. I couldn’t figure out how, for the life of me, I was going to do something as complicated as tandem breastfeed without help or, God forbid, leave the house with both children on my own!
Once again, I dodged that bullet by hiring a nanny before our doulas’ last day of work. Being still quite unsure of my own skills as a mother, I ended up hiring someone who took advantage of that. Within a very short time she was taking the babies out without me for long periods of time, saying that I needed rest, which I did, but this also left me feeling totally disconnected from being a mother to my own babies. My fear of not being a good enough mom had me paralyzed. After a few months of this, we found out our nanny had been lying to us about many things and we fired her abruptly. Not only did we not have a nanny to take her place, but we were so gun-shy after the betrayal that I couldn’t see myself being able to trust another stranger with our children.
So now, here I was, alone with two 7-month old babies, no real experience being alone with them and no option but to sink or swim. I had never been out of the house with the two of them on my own and I knew I had to figure out how to do it and fast. Sometimes it requires having your back up against the wall to push yourself to do the things you’re afraid of.
I tackled my biggest challenge – taking both babies outside, unassisted – and started out small. Each little accomplishment felt like a celebratory moment: “I got both kids out of our second-story duplex with all of their gear and buckled into the car”! “I figured out that you can push two of those Step 2 push buggies side by side really easily”! “I took the kids grocery shopping on my own”! The more I did, the more confident I got. Even better than that, the more confident I got the more connected I became, both to my children and to my natural instincts as a mother. I began to understand my children’s moods and gestures; I was able to respond and give them what they needed. To my amazement, I watched our children thrive and change within days of being alone with me. All of my fears had actually boiled down to one: the thought that I wasn’t up to this job as mom of twins. But once I was forced to confront that fear, I saw that not only was I a great mom, but I was actually exactly the mother our son and daughter needed.
Get more of Gina Osher at www.TheTwinCoach.blogspot.com