There’s a popular athletic brand that has the motto “Just do it.” You may know who I’m talking about. While intended to be an encouragement for athletes, I really think this motto really would better fit new moms, or moms of littles. Maybe moms of older kids, too? I don’t know much about that yet, but I’ll let you know in a few years.
Why do I say this? Well… because (at least for me) the first few years of motherhood make it hard to do things. Just getting out of the house is a marathon by the time you’ve changed diapers or helped littles use the potty, gotten everyone looking somewhat presentable, out to the car, buckled in, and remembered to pack the diaper bag or your purse full of snacks, water, and supplies for any and every situation that may come up while you’re out. It’s a little nuts. By the time you’ve accomplished getting everyone into the car, it feels like it should be time to take a nap (for mom at least!). Not time to drive TO the event, whatever it may be, and expend more energy, then pack back up and get everyone back home.
Yet, even with that daunting task of getting everyone in the car ahead of you, Moms, do it. Just get out. I can’t take credit for this thought though. A fellow twin mom stopped by one day to bring me the twin breastfeeding pillow she’d sold me. And when she dropped it off (she’s definitely a true mom friend if she knew not to expect me to be able to come get it!) she told me the best advice she had for me was to make myself get out of the house with the twins. Let me tell you – it’s terrifying to take 2 newborns into public. Not so much because I didn’t want people in their faces (it was winter so I was able to keep them pretty well covered and out of sight) but because they needed to eat every 2 to 3 hours and nursing 2 at once was a task all in itself. Plus they cried a lot, I was super tired, etc.
I took her advice seriously though. My mom went with me the first several times to help load them up and care for them. I think our first outing was to the mall to get me a few new clothing items for my new mom bod. We definitely went with a purpose and shopped as quickly as possible. We did have to walk to the other end of the mall to look at another store but never stopped to talk to people – I just kind of yelled answers back at people:
“Yes! They’re twins!”
“2 months old!”
“Sorry, can’t stop to let you look at them, we’ve gotta keep moving before they get hungry!”
Strangers have a lot of questions about twins, btw. We even scoped out a little area near the dressing room where we could stop to nurse if needed, but those little fellas did amazing. They were still quiet when we were done, so we raced home and were there for our next feed.
It felt so good to just get out and do it.
Terrifying? Of course!
Now that the boys are 3 we’ve done so much more than I would have guessed. We have taken them to visit my husband’s side of the family – 3.5 hours – countless times. We’ve gone on 9 hour drives to Texas and Colorado half a dozen times. And in fact, we have even driven to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway which is at least 16 hours one way and flown with them to Florida. All of these trips were daunting, and there were moments during each trip that we didn’t enjoy, but do I regret any of them?! No! We made awesome memories on each one.
But you know what? It’s not always the huge outings/trips that are the scariest.
Last year some of the children’s leaders at our church approached me to see if I would teach a class at Vacation Bible School. We had never been ANYWHERE by 9 am 5 days in a row. But I said yes. And we did it. The twins got sick Monday night of VBS (it’s a M-F morning program) and someone had to teach my class Tuesday morning… but by George, we got through it and the rest of the week was a success.
This year when they asked me again, it was much easier to say yes. I knew it would be hard and we would be tired at the end, but we did it. We were almost late a few days, but we did it! No one even said anything negative to me the days that the twins and I walked in flustered, cutting it just a little close on time. I appreciated that so much! They understood I was doing my best, and I was in class and ready on time, and that’s what mattered!
For the sake of reality, you should know that I also say “no” to many things I want to do or that are available for me to do. We definitely cannot and should not try to do everything. But don’t say no to everything that scares you. Get out of the house, and go do things! If your kids yell a little too much and don’t listen and you have to leave early, it wasn’t a failure. You still tried it and did it!
I want this post to encourage you that even though there are things that are hard as moms, and even when they don’t go perfect – like VBS when my kids got sick or we ran late in the morning – it’s still worth it to get out and do them! Don’t try to do #allthethings, but do get out and do some things! You got this!