Motherhood ignites the perfectionist in all of us. Creating, nourishing and birthing our little humans naturally makes us want to do everything for them that is the absolute best. We’ve all thought to ourselves, “I want better for my child”. But, the enormous pressure that we put on ourselves as mothers, for whatever reason, can make our lives raising kids chaotic and stressful.
I am certain that I am not the only woman to look at the life of a mom (before having kids of my own) and make a laundry list of “I will never statements”. These are the things I swore I would never as a mother or let my children do. Partly out of ignorant judgement and partly because I thought I knew who I was and was NOT going to be as a mom, I once said:
“My children will never eat anything but organic, unprocessed, whole foods.”
“I will never bribe my children with cookies, just to make it through the grocery store.”
“The phone or IPad won’t be used to keep my children occupied and quiet in public.”
And then there I was, in the throws of mothering multiples, sleep deprived, elbow deep in poopy diapers and constantly covered in spit up (head to toe people, literally, head to toe). I was eating my own words. Then I came up for air as I began to settle into my new role as a twin mom. I realized that I love my beautiful miracles, but wasn’t loving everything about myself as a mother.
I wasn’t having fun with it all the time and I felt strangled by my own mom guilt.
The way that I had envisioned motherhood for so many years was never with two babies. When we were blessed with twin boys I was so elated just to be a mom. I never stopped to reevaluate what motherhood would be like with two babies rather than one. We brought the boys home and I hit the ground running without stopping to give myself a little grace to soak it all in.
One day, when my twins were about 2 years old, the way I viewed motherhood began to change. That day, after nap, I got out butcher paper and crayons and let the boys color for awhile. They asked for milk, so I ran to grab a few sippy cups, leaving them to quietly color together.
Seems innocent right?
Well, in the minute and a half that I was gone, my boys proceeded to draw a wonderful masterpiece up and down the hallway walls. It was on both sides of every door AND all over the walls of their playroom! They had covered a massive amount of real estate in seconds!
Initially, I started to completely panic because my husband would be home in about an hour.
I felt mortified to tell him about this epic mom fail, admitting imperfection.
I started frantically cleaning the crayon off the walls (thank goodness for washable products) meanwhile breaking out in hysterical laughter. Their faces were beaming with pride while admiring the beautiful artwork they had just created.
When my husband arrived home, I shared the happenings of the day, including the coloring fiasco….and the term “TWINCIDENT” was born.
We began referring to these events as “Twicidents”: any incident, usually slightly stressful, but rather comical, involving your young twins who are more than likely conspiring against you with their crazy twin connection.
“Twincidents” ignite chaos, require rapid parental problem-solving skills, have some sort of disastrous outcome and always come with some sort of general social humiliation.
Shortly after my twins redecorated the walls in our house, we had another episode. One of our dogs had a bit of a stomach issue while driving in the mountains in a massive snowstorm. With her furry butt propped up on the seat, aiming right at our twins, everything ended up splattered in nastiness (use your imagination here, I’ll spare you the gross details).
We were forced to pull over on in the freezing winter white-out. We stripped the kids down to clean them in the trunk of the car with every wet wipe we had available. Needless to say, we forcefully laughed our way through this one and had to leave some remnants on the highway. You ask me about this story today and I can hardly get out the details because I laugh so hard every time I reenact it.
During the summer that same year…
We spent a lot of time at the pool with my dear friend who was expecting twins (you may know her, she’s the other half of this blog). The pool provided such relief from the discomfort she experienced during pregnancy that it was her favorite place to be. We would spend a few hours each day just talking about raising twins and watching my boys have some summertime fun! I’d like to think I was providing a beautiful model of parenting during those pool dates, but after the next Twincident, I am not so sure…
That summer I proudly had my twins potty trained, or so I thought, and got a little lazy with using swim diapers. One particular day in the pool,poor Meghan discovered, with her toes, that one of the boys had pooped in the pool. At the exact same time my other twin had pulled down his swimsuit to poop on the pool deck! Why? No one knows! I swear I had them potty trained!
Luckily, we were at a private neighborhood pool, although that didn’t lessen my humiliation. All I could do was look at Meghan and burst out in hysterical laughter. Really, what else could you do? Needless to say, that day wasn’t the most encouraging incident to witness for an expectant twin mama. But, at least she got to find humor in that situation with me….preparing her for what her life was about to become!
Twincidents are a frequent occurrence in our house.
With each one, I have learned to laugh at myself and not take life too seriously.
I find humor in the situations that had previously caused me to cower with embarrassment. As a mom of twins, your life quickly becomes busy tending to two babies. You are constantly managing two wild humans who are dragging toys all over your house or causing a ruckus in the grocery store. Learn to chuckle at judgemental bystanders because you know they haven’t walked in your shoes for even a minute.
Just finding a way to laugh completely changed who I am as a mom. I am now giving myself the freedom to admit that I cannot live up to some unrealistic ideal. Rather, my life as a mom was just going to be imperfectly perfect. It is in my own imperfection where I find joy in being a mom of twins.