Changing, I Am

No sooner had I written a post about the prospect of a serious momming transformation when I realized: It Is Happening.

I have been riding this strange mothering high for the last couple of weeks, which is following that throw-myself-in-front-of-a-bus mothering low of early January, and something magic occurred to me.   And no, it's not that I am bi-polar.  What occurred to me is that the screaming from within (and sometimes the screaming coming out of my mouth) just might have been the thrashing in the final throes of death for the beast that had taken me over.

I was in the really in the weeds, you guys.  

The first two years of twins is parenting triage.  I did not handle it well.  I spend a lot of time berating myself for why I haven't handled it well.  Why don't I remember the glorious moments of chubby four little hands clinging tightly to my fingers?  I look at pictures of my babies and good God they are so lovely.  I knew it, I have known it- that they are amazing, but I was having a hard time staying present in the feeling of it, you know?  I'm in the photos, I was there.  But I wasn't There.

Too busy worrying about how to manage all of the emotions and physicality of it.  Too busy feeling guilty about the help I had and how I still couldn't manage it in a way that felt calm and present.  Wondering who I was.  Wondering where my grace had gone.  Had I EVER had grace within?  PROLLY NOT.  

I was more or less decided that parenting must have been the secret formula that brought my true self, my Full Asshole Self into being, and that this person- this yelling, distracted, neurotic person is who I really am.  I thought, what a shame to realize it only now that I had already brought these three innocent children into the cauldron.  Poor things.

But I was wrong.

Now, before I have buttons made that say "I am The Buddha", I will embrace the truth that I am only just beginning.  I mentioned that I've been inspired by a few moms lately (shoutout to my sister, Ariane!), and the stars aligned with these different influences in a short period of time.  It made something really important click.

Here's a little story that explains why I have such brazen hope.

First, you need to know that I am claustrophobic about my personal space.  (Hey, wasn't this a sewing blog?WTF?  Now she's all 'True Confessions and shit?)

How kids crawl all over you all the time made me C.R.A.Z.Y.  I tried to be cool, but sometimes all that clambering and neediness felt like emotional napalm. I was often heard saying, "You guys!  Back UP."

Now, I was still available to for a good amount of "lovings" as we call them.  Times when everyone was welcomed on my lap for a book, etc.  It wasn't a total emotional shutout from the kids' perspective.  But it's usually on my terms.  All that uncontrolled monkey-mom action felt like a sensory overload that was breaking the monkey's back, and certainly my little monkeys feel the effects of my panic for personal space.

Part of my breakthrough is that I've just stopped saying "No, I won't pick you up right now." and I just do it.  I have stopped saying "Please get off me." And much to my shock, it's working.  It's working so beautifully.  I am becoming de-sensitized, yet re-sensitized.  It's weeeeiiiird.  I love it so much.  Last night all three kids were literally laying on me, crawling on me, mom-piling at bedtime.  Jules said, "Wow.  It's like Immersion Therapy over there."  Therapy, indeed.

This is just one part of what is happening.  It's a many-prongerd transformation, that I am not yet totally understanding, but I know this:  In the last two weeks  I have not yelled.  I have not grasped little arms just a tad too tight, I have not whined, exasperated, over constantly, continuously, purposely spilled bowls of cereal.  The kids have noticed.  They are beaming.  (In between being complete asshats, but still, beaming, to see this better version of me.)

Please do not kill me for saying this, but I feel like- OH MY GOD I AM TYPING THIS:  a butterfly emerging from a chrysalis.  

So last night, I snuggled with Phinny until she fell asleep, which is our usual nightly routine.  Only this time, after she was asleep and I gently rolled away, she said, in her sleep, "Mama, I like you."

Cue the torrent, ladies.  I know!

I should have whispered back, "I could almost like myself lately, little bug."

It's happening.  I know there will be bumps and relapses, but it's beginning.   

Miraculously, I was able to get this snapshot of myself in this new mode, the other day.  Kind of weird, but true.  Look:

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