Ah, 2020, our favorite year, no? When I look back on 2020, I see two distinct parts:
For the longest time, I felt like being a twin mom was my one and only identity, and considering how dark and lonely those first postpartum years were, I’d say that was pretty accurate. But I never wanted being a mom to be my only identity. I just didn’t know how to figure out who I was outside of that since 1) having twins drained me, 2) my anxiety and depression consumed me, and 3) life kept happening which prevented me from going back to work.
In 2020, my mom retired as an RN and came to help us as we live on opposite coasts. I finally had some breathing room to resume my DIY projects (mainly building furniture and painting), something I had always done since I was a little girl, but had stopped once I had the twins. That summer, I began to share my projects publicly on Instagram @HeartEyesDIY, and a whole new world of motherhood opened up to me.
Social media can be incredibly awful, but it can also be an amazing place to meet like-minded, genuine people who really understand you:
It was around this same time when I found Jess @OurMamaVillage on Instagram, who is a therapist for parents. Two things she repeatedly said completely changed me and have stayed with me to this day:
1) “This is important.”
2) “Two things can be true.”
I used to get really irritated and flustered when I was in the middle of a project, and the twins would interrupt me with something they wanted/needed, thus taking me away from what I loved doing. I often felt like, “ugh why can’t they just leave me alone and let me have my me time?!” But when Jess shared example after example of tending to her children’s needs, whether it be a physical or emotional need, having the mindset of “This is important” completely changed my perspective of motherhood. (I want to expand on this in a separate blogpost because there’s a lot that goes behind this mentality and what I ultimately discovered about myself.)
Then Jess expanded on that and shared, “Two things can be true:”
It’s almost as if this mindset, coupled with seeing other mothers on Instagram be joyful with their children and spend time on a hobby for themselves, gave me the freedom to stop feeling like my children were a disruption to my life. Because it doesn’t have to be one thing or the other:
So now, when I’m happily working on a project and the twins need something in the moment, I whisper to myself, “This is important,” and my demeanor immediately softens because I’m reminded that my projects bring me joy, and every little thing I do with my children is important. Both can be true.
And this is how Instagram changed me.
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