A few weeks ago, I was shopping ALL BY MYSELF (thank you in laws!) when I saw a mom pushing a double stroller with two infant car seats, a backpack diaper bag and Starbucks in hand and my mind flooded with memories.
I wanted to run to her and say “I have twins too! They’re almost 4! I used to have the same stroller!” And she’d probably meet my eyes with a nice smile and say “great, have a good day.” OR, oooooorrrrrrrrrr she could have responded with the same level excitement and we’d talk back and forth with the usual questions between moms of twins and 5 minutes later we’d know everything about each other and become best friends. Honestly, the latter is more likely because that’s just how twin moms roll. And even moms with 30 year old twins approach me with that level of excitement. It’s this amazing, community where we’re the only ones who get each other, and I thank God for the moms I met when the girls were babies and are still amazing, encouraging friends today.
I never caught up with the stranger, it would have required me running across the parking lot and that would have been just weird, so we’ll never know the outcome of that conversation; but I imagine that somewhere along the line she’d ask me when does it get easier? I’d have to respond honestly, through bags under my eyes, “I’m still wondering the same thing almost 4 years later.” Granted, my sleep deprivation is not from the twins, but from my super busy, teething 9 month old, nevertheless, the twins exhaust me more than anything I’ve ever experienced. I don’t think anything has gotten easier, things just change along the way.
Instead of worrying about whether or not to wake up the other twin when one wakes up in the middle of the night, I’m just trying to get them to stop jumping around like monkeys and go to sleep (isn’t it always about sleep? Someone please tell me when it stops being all about sleep) after a long day of talking over each other asking “why” EVERY SINGLE MOMENT ABOUT EVERY SINGLE THING ALL DAY LONG.
Instead of two crying, cranky babies, I’m breaking up yet another argument between them and patching hurt feelings.
Instead of managing two babies into EVERYTHING and saying “no” 4738920789542 times a day, I’m managing different learning styles and teaching two completely opposite kids the same thing at the same time. I’m constantly amazed how God designed these girls with the same DNA to be so different in so many ways.
At the end of a long day recently, my husband and I finally got them into bed, crying (them and me), but they were laying down and looking like they’d soon be sleeping. We looked at each other exhausted and I said “How do we do this? What are we doing wrong?” He responded, “nothing, they’re twins, it’s always going to be harder than anything else.”
James 1:2-4 says, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
I told you guys I just love the book of James…
During that conversation with my husband, we started talking about how having kids has changed us, for better and worse, but it got me thinking about why God gave us twins; why did He think WE are capable of raising them? We often wonder that after having really rough days, but I find comfort in that He has an amazing plan for us and our family. There is nothing easy about raising children, twins or not, I’ve learned that in the past 4 years. But something I’m learning now is that God is using those hard days, those trials, to shape us as parents, individuals, and children of God. Leaning on Him and persevering through trials is imperative if we want to “receive the crown of life”.
So I don’t know when it gets easier, all I know is that every older parent I’ve ever met says it goes by so fast. And now the second time around with our little Charles, I’m seeing that and not taking it for granted. I’m trying to embrace every stage, every question, and every challenge because one day we’ll miss this. And I’m finally realizing that I need to celebrate (yes, celebrate) all the challenges motherhood brings me because it’s really shaping and maturing me for His use.