Tuesday, 14 February 2012

peace at last

Guilt is an emotion mandatory to the occupation of motherhood.
I have generally leaned towards feelings of guilt quite a lot in my life - probably because I can be selfish at times - but its had nothing on this new unrelenting guilt that comes with being a mother. This guilt seems to have little to do with being selfish and more to do with getting it right.
I think being a mom to twins has doubled the guilt factor. Since they were born I have tried to share and divide my attention and affection between them equally, but in reality it's an impossibility - someone always has to wait their turn and being the same age there is little in the line of reasoning with one or the other.
"There is only one mommy and two little girls." I frequently repeat this as a mantra to my girls - it helps to appease my guilt when I'm impatient towards them. Charlotte seems to undersand this because she once told me she's only having one child and when I questioned her, she said: "Because I only have two hands." Anna who generally seems not to understand what all the fuss in life is about, claims she will have six children - good luck to her!
So from day one of my maternal occupation I have been battling with guilt: have I given enough attention to both of them, why didn't I try listen better to Charlotte's story even though Anna also had to tell me hers at the same time; I could have been nicer about trying to push Anna on the swing and saving Charlotte from crashing off the monkey bars at the same time; why am I not more understanding in the car when they are both talking to me at the same time all the way home from playschool.
I have also felt guilty and doubtful about decisions I have made for them in the past like why didn't I breastfeed longer; I should have kept them home longer before sending them to a creche, I should not have let them ride their pony under a low branch and end up in a dusty heap on the ground.
So when I made the decision to change them to a Waldorf kindergarten after Anna was clearly battling in the busy playground where she was, I was sure that somewhere along the line I would have feelings of guilt and doubt.  In fact I have been waiting for it for almost a month and still nothing...
My children are incredibly happy, adjusted and appear to be thriving. I am elated that I actually, for once, got it simultaneously right! I was sure Charlotte, who loathes change, was going to punish me to no end, but she happily goes off to school excited about the days activities. And Anna, who is the reason we changed, kisses me and runs off to play instead of hysterically clinging to me like a chimp, so that I would have to force her into the hands of the teacher and run to the car with her yells ringing in my ears. Now she can't wait to get there and although she still battles in social situations, which we are hoping a little occupational therapy will sort out, she is happy. And my heart sings because I got it right!
On top of their happiness at school they seem to have done a complete turn around at home. I am not sure if it's been turning four or their new Rudolph Steiner environment, but they play together like best friends and never seem to run out of ideas for new imaginary games.
So for this moment I breathe a guiltless and content sigh while experiencing, what feels like the first time, a normal, peaceful existence with my twins.

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