“You can do it.”
I will never forget these four simple words spoken to me with such confidence and encouragement by my therapist.
I’ve heard these words countless times growing up, by my encouraging parents, my brother, my friends, and my husband, but for some reason this time, it made a deep, deep impact.
We were talking about my nanny who has helped us since the twins were two months old while my husband is in grad-school full-time. My therapist told me that if I didn’t have a nanny, I would still be able to handle the twins on my own.
I have never once believed this to be true.
The look on my face must have been one of pure disbelief because she repeated,
“You can do it without her, you know. You can do it.“
The moment those words were repeated, tears streamed relentlessly down my face. Why was it that everyone else believed in me, but I didn’t believe in me?
I’m not exactly sure what happened at that moment, but something did and it completely changed my mindset about having my nanny. I had been mentally relying on her way too much and it had become a contributor to my anxiety.
In the past year and five months, not once had I taken care of the twins for an entire day by myself. Half-day, yes. Full-day, no. We made sure of it. If my husband had to be away, he would either make it a quick trip (even if it included flying out of state), or we would hire help since we live far from family.
Whenever I would have to be alone with the twins, I would brace myself for the worst, and before I knew it, my anxiety would be sky high while my patience would be next to none.
This past week, due to some unforeseen circumstances, our nanny was out for the entire week. That meant I would have to take care of the twins all by myself for two consecutive full-days, from waking up in the morning to bedtime in the evening.
Had I not had that conversation with my therapist a month ago, I would have been an anxious wreck, but I wasn’t and I did it!
This girl, who didn’t even really want kids, who struggled through prenatal depression, who hated pregnancy, who experienced a terrible recovery from delivering twins, who hates being a mom, who still struggles with heart-palpitating anxiety, did it.
I got them out of bed, fed them breakfast, cleaned up after them, got them dressed, took them to the library, fed them their morning snack and later lunch, put them down for their naps, fed them their afternoon snack, cleaned up after them, took them to the park, fed them dinner, cleaned up after them, took them for walks, bathed them, changed a million diapers, put them to bed, did the dishes, and cleaned the house. All. By. My. Self. Heck yes.
For those of you who may not know how much work it is just to take two toddlers to the library (or anywhere where driving is necessary), here is the breakdown:
When it’s time to go home, repeat steps 3-13 and replace “library” with “home.”
Accomplishing this alone made me feel like superwoman.
This week made me feel like a BAD ASS and confident AF. It also confirmed the feelings I’ve had about not wanting to be a stay-at-home mom, at least not full-time. I realized the more I spend time with the twins, the less I like them and want to be with them; for every hour I spend with them, I need a few hours away from them.
I need my own time. I need time to work and be productive. I need time to see my therapist. I need time to see my physical therapist. I need time away from two running parasites. I need time for me. Without time for myself, everyone around me suffers.
I’m thankful I had the opportunity this week to prove to myself that I could keep two little humans alive on my own.
What I’m most proud of though? Screw you, anxiety. I kicked your ass this week.
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