It all starts on Sunday afternoon. That overwhelming sensation that the weekend is coming to an end, the ominous notion that Monday is just around the corner (again?!), the realization that all fun weekend-ey things are coming to a close. The feeling gets louder as the day progresses: Monday is coming, Monday is coming!
And then it happens, I wake up to Monday -- with a case of the Monday Morning Mommy Blues. With my husband headed off to work, my own work of caring for 13-month-old twins instantly multiplies. The task ahead of making it through the day seems almost crushing. As the babies' morning chatter from their cribs morphs into urgent and desperate howling, I jump out of bed, and it all begins.
And there you have it, a case of the Mondays.
Luckily, after a year taking care of two babies on my own, I've found my rhythm. I have a few tricks up my sleeve to help me get through the day and ease back in (there is no easing into anything with twins) jump back in to the work-week flow.
- Plan, plan plan. It really does make a big difference going into the new week knowing that I have plans on Monday. Whatever the plan is, it gives me something to look forward to. Plan a play-date, a lunch-date, a coffee-date. Whatever it is, plan it!
- Leave the house. I find staying home all day to be boring, tiresome, and monotonous (for both me and the babies). We are all happier if we get out at least once a day. It could be a walk through the neighborhood, out to the store to run errands, a baby class, a trip to the park, or meeting up with a friend.
- Structure. When the day begins, it seems like the end is this distant, foreign thing that will never arrive. Break up the day into sections; it will give the day some structure and will take away that long endless feeling. Our day looks something like this: Bottles, playtime, breakfast, nap. Outing, lunch, nap. Snack, playtime, outing. Playtime, dinner, bath, bed. There's lots of eating, playing, and sleeping going on here -- with a few things squeezed in between.
- Exercise. I rely on those exercise endorphins to push me through the day. A morning walk, a trip to the gym, or even walking around the mall (on a hot or rainy day) leaves me feeling more energized. It doesn't have to be much, but as long as I move my body and get fresh air, I feel motivated to tackle all the work of caring for twins.
- Caffeine. A quick caffeine boost can do wonders. I'm not a coffee kind of girl, so I sip on my vanilla chai latte in the morning, and during that long tired stretch of late afternoon, I have some more.
- Connect. Call a friend, text a friend, meet up with a friend, say hello to a neighbor. Taking care of babies all day can get lonely - make sure you connect with other people. It really helps when you feel like you are in this with others ... you're not alone! Talking to other people (especially other moms) can offer comfort, support, and humor into those poop-filled, snack-filled, sticky-finger exhausting days.
Once I've made it though Monday, Tuesday feels less intimidating and more manageable. By Wednesday I'm a pro. By Thursday and Friday, I hardly remember what it was like to have that second set of hands to help. On Saturday and Sunday, my husband and I care for the babies as a team, which takes the edge off a little and makes things more fun. We do all the fun weekend-ey things, letting the stress and structure of the work-week go.
And then, it's Monday again.