Tales Of A Twin Mom:
We Are All Moms
I was a working mother for most of my son’s life. It wasn’t really a decision as much as it was a necessity. Day in and day out, I would get him ready for daycare or school, pack his lunch and head out the door. When I was done working (almost twelve hours later), I would hit traffic, pick him up, review his homework, feed him dinner and get him ready for bed. The following day, it was the same routine. At the time, I was a single mother and I did what had to be done. I had to put food on the table and clothes on our backs. I worked in the hotel industry, and often teared up when I saw families actually spending time together. I was paid to make their experience a wonderful one; all the while wondering what my son was doing wherever he was. More often than I’d care to admit, he was the last one out of the daycare. Many mornings we were the first ones in. It killed me. How I wished that we could spend more time together. I envied every stay at home mother that had the opportunity to read to their children all the time. I envied those mothers that were able to say more to their children than “Hurry up, we’re late,” or “Let’s go, go, go!”
I worked six days a week, and my day off was often spent doing the laundry, running errands, cleaning the house and preparing everything for the following week. As much as it killed me that I wasn’t there for my son, I was grateful to have a job and happy to be good at it. He loved to hear my stories about the weirdos that checked in that day, or the jams that led me to clean a room because housekeeping was running late. He was proud, and that made me proud. I taught him life lessons without even wanting to. I taught him to be forgiving. He forgave me every time I missed a school play or cancelled special plans because I was called in to work. I taught him to be sensitive and kind by opening his eyes and having him see how a woman was treated in this dog-eat-dog world. He knew how to treat others. He learned to be thankful; thankful that we were able to eat that night, or just have a pastry from the Spanish bakery as a treat. These life lessons were taught effortlessly. I just lived, and he observed.
I became a stay at home mother years later, and it was no walk in the park either. Although I loved being able to see my children more, I spent most of my days cleaning up after them, preparing meals, doing the laundry, running errands and getting things done. There were no days off. I was on call 24/7. This time there was no outlet. No one to vent to at work. No ride to work listening to current news or music. I now had more time with my children but half of that time was spent disciplining and saying “No, please don’t do that.”
I often didn’t put on makeup or fix myself up because there was just no reason to. No one other than my husband and kids would see me for days. There was no sick time or paid vacations. My mini vacation was running to the superstore alone and being able to walk the aisles without a screaming child. That would always come to a halt when I saw the mess that they had created at home in my absence. I couldn’t blame my husband for not having the energy to run after them. He also worked long hours and was just as exhausted as me. I loved being there for school events and being able to read them a bedtime story. I loved being able to pick them up at school and hear about their day. However, there still wasn’t enough time to get everything done. I was still rushing here and there. At night when I put my head on the pillow, I was still putting myself down for not doing enough. How could I have ever thought that being a stay at home mother would be easier?
The point is, the grass is not greener on either side. Every side has its pros and cons. You have to sit back and realize that no matter what path you’re walking on now, that mom whose life you dream of does not have it better than you. We all love our children. We are all trying to teach our kids good values. Let’s stop judging the mother that is doing things differently and instead let’s support each other and be kinder.
Let me hear from you!
Did you think it would be easier on the other side?
Julixa Newman, is a published writer/author, and the president of Stuff4Multiples.com. Born in Puerto Rico and raised in New York City, Julixa founded Stuff 4 Multiples in 2009, shortly after giving birth to twin girls. Her articles about parenting multiples are featured on several parenting websites, as well as in such magazines as Twins and Sixty Second Parent. She is also an entrepreneur who has designed several products geared at making parenting twins easier, including the TwinTrexx twin baby carrier. Her most recent endeavor is Forest Friends: Book About Me, which is the first baby book for LGBT families.