I have had a journal since I was a child. Over the years it has tracked accomplishments, heartbreak, anxiety and anger. I have travel journals, sleep journals, journals with sketches, poetry and of course journals with private thoughts and fears. So when this article from the New York Times mentioned a study being conducted on “whether the power of writing — and then rewriting — your personal story can lead to behavioral changes and improve happiness” my immediate response was “HELL YEAH”.
I know that journaling helps my mood and improves my happiness. I know that writing out my thoughts and being able to reread them helps me understand situations better, and I KNOW the story I tell myself isn’t always the truth and writing it down often helps me realize what the truth is. As stated in the article: “we can change our perceptions of ourselves and identify obstacles that stand in the way of better health”
Interestingly enough, I didn’t journal much during pregnancy and anything I do have from this time is very factual – “Baby A (him)- moves all the time, can feel head and bum pushing against me, moves at 10am and 10pm, Baby B (her)- quieter, kicks harder but not as often as Baby A, also moves at 10am and 10pm.”.
While I’m glad I have these notes to look back on, I realize what a shame it is that I didn’t write down more of my thoughts. You know, about that time when my body grew two humans, birthed them and nurtured them for almost 2 years? When I went from bathing in J’s affection to wanting to hide in a closet to escape ALL human interaction. How I became the “expert” on 2 people I had only just met myself. Or my biggest struggle, redefining “me time”.
It’s no secret that I stopped putting myself first when the twins arrived which affected both my mental and physical health. I am in a constant state of anxiety. It’s not a complaint or cry for help – this is life with young twins. IT’S NON STOP. When I do get a break in the day, I can’t seem to relax or disconnect – which is something I am working on. Like the bikini, I’m realizing that there is a bigger picture here.
Becoming a first time mother to twins was a challenge I happily accepted, I wanted to be as connected to pregnancy and motherhood as possible. I stayed present with gratitude during my pregnancy. I grew and delivered 2 very healthy and happy babies who have become 2 very healthy and happy toddlers. I have witnessed all of their milestones and have been able to learn who they are and how they need to be loved and cared for. I have maintained a strong relationship with my husband and have stayed connected with my friends and family. We’ve been able to bring the twins to dinner parties, music festivals and even Costa Rica.
As I started looking through photos to add to this post, I noticed that most of the images I’m including are ones I have previously posted on Facebook or Instagram. These photos also tell a story and combined with the realizations I am having through writing this blog it’s becoming quite clear that mine isn’t a Tale of an Overwhelmed Mother of Twins who Eats Cheesecake and Forgets How to be Human but is instead a Tale of an Overwhelmed Mother of Twins who is learning to enjoy the ride (and the occasional piece of cheesecake).
Duke and Stanford – consider your hypothesis proven.