Tomorrow is Sam and Ben’s second birthday. Uh hello, where has the time gone? Does this mean I have to stop calling them babies?!?!? Of course not, for now they remain my babies as the last little people to exit this body, therefore the title will remain. I have been scratching my head – no we do not have lice, although I am sure possible, that blessing from sharing has not hit our home (now I am betting it will) – trying to think up what kind of post I should write to honor this moment. Funny to me because in reality I booked a date yesterday with my aunt to go to a yoga class over dinner, completely forgetting it was their birthday – mom of the year right here! I cancelled and will stay home to share pizza, cupcakes and a happy birthday song twice with my guys.
Since I have shared birth stories and birthday prayers before, I thought perhaps today I could share a few thoughts and discoveries about being a mom to twins in honour of their birthday. Not that I feel more special than any other type of mom just simply I have done the twin thing twice and survived both times until their second birthdays. So I feel like might I have something worthy to share, maybe, perhaps? It’s my thing okay.
I don’t just mean my waist, although the 30lbs I have gained post six kids seems to be completely gathered right on front in the nice sized ‘always looks pregnant’ belly, created by torn muscles and stretched skin. The growth I am talking about is deeper than physical. Personal growth, my understanding of what it means to give more than I am able, to know my limitations, and to trust my instincts. I have grown to know what is important to me, and what I can handle – which is so much more than I ever dreamed possible while in the trenches of newborn twins.
The Ability to Multitask
As women we are wired for this, as moms it is essential, being a mom to twins it is everything. Nursing a baby, changing a diaper, eating breakfast, signing school forms, all this while making a dinner plan – not out of the realm of normal in those early days. I seriously believe I could rock a large corporation in crisis, while answering all of Dora’s questions from the television in double speed. That confidence you cannot buy, it is hard earned gold.
Being a mom to twins means you can’t always do everything in the moment you want to. I remember when I had our first daughter, she was my whole world, everything revolved around her. I was able to calm her cries almost instantly, and comfort her immediately when the need arose. With twin babies my heart longed to sooth one crying baby while knowing I was giving my all to the other – not so different to a mom with multiple kids, but so very hard to do with two newborns who need immediate care.
Today I am still stretching growth in this area by having to give the same level of understanding care to both children when overcoming the same obstacles. Fighting a kicking upset baby through a diaper change, only to finish the battle and start again on the next one. So many times in my day I take a deep breath to remind myself “They are not the same child, give them equal amounts of patience.”
That My Husband Is Capable
I think at times as new moms we feel like the only ones able to care properly for our new baby. We can comfort instantly with our scent, voice, and soft chest to rest on. Having twins made me realize that my husband carries the same abilities as I do, just in a different package!
He quickly learned the tricks and special way to bounce that soothed a crying baby. He even knew which bounce to do for which baby, I was the one trick ‘nursing station’ pony. Looking back it was easy to nurse a baby laying in bed, yet he would dance around, swaying the other while waiting for their turn. I remember a couple of times in the night switching soothers on babies (to add to his tired confusion) just to knock Mr Magic down a few pegs, in my post twin birth Momma Madness – jealousy was high.
I didn’t know it was possible for a heart to grow so fast, so instantly. Two babies at the same time you would assume there was wiggle room for a favourite – right? it is simply human. But really my favourite only depended on who was crying the loudest, or who woke me up before five am. In all honesty, the love I feel when I see them laughing and playing together, or when I hear them giggling in their cribs – bliss. Meeting two babies, and welcoming them into our family at the same time is about as awesome as it sounds!
Meeting New People
This is hilarious to me, as I don’t really like people in a general sense. I am a hermit and I hate leaving our house. On most outings we are bound to meet a new person or two. We usually hear a story about the various people they know who have twins, or like us have lots of kids. Perhaps they will share how they are happy with their two children, and in awe of how (or really why) we have six children. My husband loves this attention, and it is good for his self esteem, so that is a bonus.
For me though I have learned to come out of my shell a bit, and find joy in being friendly or sharing a smile with a stranger. My staple line “they are all great kids, and that makes life so much easier,” will hopefully remind my kids they are a blessing and never a burden, no matter what others think of our traveling circus. I am betting one day when I am old, when my babies have grown and left my nest. I will stop that tired mom and tell her “the days are long but the years are short,” hand her 20$ and remind her just how blessed she is.
Being a mom has been a roller coaster ride for me, I am definitely not the same woman I was 8 years ago and for that I am grateful. I had my ego taken down a few notches and most recently I have let go of the perfect idea I had in my head. In practice the reality of what being a mom is – so much better than what I had dreamed up. These six cuties bring out the very best of who I am!