The night I went into labor my mom packed her bags and drove up to LA to be with us. And on Monday, exactly two months later, my mom will pack her bags and go home. Back to her life, leaving us with ours. This is not easy for any of us, especially my mother who every time we bring it up looks as if she might cry, afraid that without her we might self-destruct, which seems incredibly possible, I’ll be honest.
Yesterday I went into my closet to pick out something to wear for the day and for whatever reason, lost it. Okay so there WAS absolutely a reason. I had spent the last several days sick in and out of bed in the same hole-in-the-ass pajama pants and getting dressed seemed completely overwhelming in that moment. So overwhelming I cried. Which is kind of hilarious now in retrospect but at the time I was not laughing. After several minutes spent sobbing into a sweater, I finally slapped myself in the face, stood up and chose something (not the sweater) to wear out of my room and into the kitchen, where my mother stood at the sink cleaning bottes…
…And then I sobbed into her sweater. Which was SO much nicer than sobbing into my sweater because her sweater happened to be attached to HER and she had wisdom and advice and hugs… which I needed. Which I NEED, you know?
I have mixed feelings over all the changes that are occurring. My mom has been like a seventh member of our little immediate family and I don’t want anyone to replace her. It makes me feel weird and I don’t know, anxious? In fact writing about it right now is giving me diarrhea stomach. (Gross, sorry.)
And yet, it’s SO time for her to go. Back to my dad and her work and her friends. And me, to reality and learning how to delegate and organize and prepare and plan and move forward with my new life as a mother of four.
We have a new nanny coming to hang with us on Monday, some extra help so that I can continue working, so that I have time to be a part of Archer and Fable’s lives, take them to school, do homework, shlep them around without worrying who ate last. Do all the things my mom has been doing for me. (Hal has to be at work at 6am so isn’t able to help with morning duty like he used to when he worked a different gig.) I’ll have someone here at the house full-time but even still, it won’t be the same. Over the last two months my mother and I have become a machine of child-juggling… we’ve mastered the dance, but it’s OUR dance and having to start from scratch with a stranger is overwhelming and I’ll be honest, a little scary. I’ve had help in the past but only part-time three days a week. Full-time five days is hugely different.
My mother’s being here has allowed me to be a child as much as it’s allowed me to be a mother. As a round-the-clock caretaker it’s meant everything to feel like I too had someone to take care of me. Just like the babies cry on my shoulder so have I been able to cry on hers.
The early postpartum weeks are a vulnerable time and asking for help is SO important. Every twin parent has told me the same thing: GET HELP! DO NOT BE AFRAID! But I suck at asking for help, always have, so hiring it is really my only option. And thankfully (SO THANKFULLY) we can now afford it. Still, it’s a strange feeling knowing that come monday I’ll have someone here with me all day long. Someone that isn’t my mother.
And yet, just like it takes a village to raise a child, so does it also take a grown-up. If I don’t push my mother out of the nest now, I’ll never fly. Or at the very least crash into a tree.