Dear Mom Expecting Twins,
I see you. I see you there with your “My Pod has Two Peas” shirt stretched to its capacity, gracefully unaware that there is a crescent moon of skin peering out from between where the shirt band and maternity pants band are supposed to meet. The look in your eyes is one of fear, joy and a touch of exhaustion, which my dear friend, is the perfect combination of twin preparation.
Five years ago I was where you are, wishing I had larger maternity shirts. I was terrified and excited and overwhelmed by it all. I don’t know that any words can prepare you for the journey that you have a one way ticket on, but here are some things I wish I’d know back then…
1. It is hard. So fucking hard. From the moment of conception my twins felt more challenging than my two other single children (or singletons but I’ve also thought that word was weird; more like a sitcom than a child description). I’m not trying to scare you, I just want you to now you are not alone when you feel like you can’t quite get your head above water.
2. It will get easier. Keep on treading, sister. There will come a day when you will know each baby’s cry, which baby swing they each will prefer, make it through a day without tears (yours) and theirs (one day) and you will sleep for over 45 minutes at a time. It doesn’t (typically) happen overnight but one day, I promise, it will.
3. Fake it until you own it. This will help you get to the easier point. Shower. Wear pants that have a zipper. Put on lip gloss. Shave something. Or go and have something waxed or painted without any children in tow. It will change your life. Take care of yourself even when it is the last thing you feel like doing. Especially when it is the last thing you feel like doing. Connecting to the pre-twin you will help connect you to the joy of the post-twin you.
4. Marriage becomes more challenging. Nothing tells someone they’re your soulmate like when you punch them at 2 a.m. because you’ve been up all night with the babies on a continuous clock of teething torture. Stick it out loves and refer to #2. It will get easier. Help each other. Talk to each other. Appreciate each other. And keep showing up. Gifts help. Flowers are good but pizza and wine are fucking money.
5. Twins are double the joy and a gazillion times more mischief. Babyproof. Now. The moment you see two heartbeats on the sonogram. Do it. But don’t be surprised when they defy all these methods and still attempt to stick a screwdriver in an electrical outlet. By 15 months, my twins were jumping out of cribs, breaking down pack and plays, raiding syrup from refrigerators, popping locks, starting heavy machinery, and needed to have their diapers duct taped because, well, twins. And all of these things happened while I was 2 feet away. It is like living with a messy wild fugitive tiny monkey meets MacGyver. Times two. Wine helps. But keep the bottle on a ridiculously high shelf. Trust me.
6. Take pictures. Evidence helps backing up the things that happen in #5. One day, one far day from now, you will laugh. And toast yourself for surviving it.
7. What you really need to register for: girlfriends, babysitters and wine. These are the lifesavers and the unsung heroes that will help you get through it all. Line them up and never feel guilty for anything that helps you feel alive and happy and present. And if you have all three at the same time, embrace it and absorb it. Tell them thank you. But not in a note. Ain’t nobody got time for that. Let go of the guilt of the thank you note. Just hug them and tell them and keep going forward, love.
8. Remember that you are a warrior. Really you are. It is going to drive you nuts when people constantly come up to tell you how lucky you are (or the more insulting: how did you get so lucky) and you are going to be so tired that you can barely give them a half smile let alone grab them by the collar and scream “What the hell are you talking about??” You are just so damn tired and waiting, yearning for the easier point. The fun point. The point where you can acknowledge the being lucky. But the truth it, is okay not to see or feel it all the time. It is okay to cry because you know that you are and you feel guilty for not being completely in love with it all. You are not alone. You have two human beings that are completely relying on you for their very survival and tears are more prevalent that laughter and you are leaking from every orifice in your body and you miss your pre-maternity jeans and you weren’t built with an extra arm and you want a better under eye concealer and a maid and no thank yous are spoken and no sleep is had and it is not a journey for the weak.
But you have been chosen, super woman. You were blessed in this life to bring two warriors into this world. It won’t be easy but that doesn’t mean that it won’t be the most rewarding adventure that was entrusted to you. You are in charge of your greatness and theirs. There will be a moment that you could spill open with radiance because your life is so whole and you wouldn’t want to change it for anything. Acknowledge the joy and hope of it all as each joyous and hopeful inch comes your way. And know that you are a rockstar. You’ve got this. Own that cape, baby.
Related post: 10 Reasons It’s Awesome Having Twins