People always want to know how I survive being a twin-mom. While I am not particularly fond of that wording, because my daughers’ are not equatable to a natural disaster, I understand what they are trying to ask. How does one person take care of the needs of two tiny humans at all times. The truth? I don’t.
I tried at the beginning, I really did. They would both scream for hours and I would switch into panic mode until they were both satisfied. I didn’t sleep, I didn’t feed myself properly, and personal hygiene went out the window. I became an empty shell of the person I used to be.
Something had to change.
Something had to give, but I had nothing left to give.
I felt stuck, beaten down, and like I was failing at motherhood. I decided to change my gaze from them to myself for just a moment. I realized I wasn’t giving myself something absolutely vital and necessary: grace.
Mama needs GRACE
I realized giving myself grace to be only one person was the only way I would be able to be an effective mother. This is a lesson I have to learn over and over again. I always have a long “To-Do” list and goals I set every week.
While it is good to be intentional, it takes even more strength to be flexibly intentional.
This week I had my neat little list of goals mapped out. ThenBAM, life happened. The twins are both cutting molars (read none of us have slept all week.) The internet went out every time I tried to sit down and write. Naps ended abruptly whenever I started my workout. And finally, one of my girls is suffering an ear infection. HOT MESS. My To-Do list hits the trash when my people need me. Instead of letting it wreck me, I am leaning into GRACE.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
2 Corinthians 12:9
Mama is ENOUGH
I tell myself every day that I am enough. Not enough to be a superhero, but enough to be fully human.
I am enough as a mom to not meet all my kids needs perfectly and simultaneously. They still know I love them no matter what.
I am enough as a mom to meet my needs in order to more fully meet theirs. I couldn’t parent from empty, so neglecting myself was not the answer.
I am enough as a mom to start teaching them that my parenting will never be about perfection.
Our family runs on loving who we are to one another, not what we can or cannot do for each other.
I finally feel freedom in my parenting. I am able to gently speak to my daughters’ when they were both upset. I no longer felt like their emotions are a direct reflection on my ability to be their Mom.
I continue to remind myself that they do not need a perfect Mom, but rather a mom that shows up consistently and does her best.
Mama is EXHAUSTED
Mama, do not equate feeling exhausted with feeling guilty. Being weary is usually a very good thing, it means you are trying. Do not replay every part of your day that you felt like you failed, and do not grade yourself on some nebulous “score card.” I promise it is easier to parent from a place of freedom than a place of judgment.
Do not misunderstand me, I do not embrace messing up. Rather, I embrace the messy.
The difference is crucial. When I mess up, I repent. My daughters’ are 21 months old, and I have already lost count of how many times I have gotten on their level, looked them in the eyes, and apologized to them.
The part I have learned to embrace is the chaos and imperfections. Things go missing in the diaper bag, appointments get missed, naps get skipped, tantrums get thrown, and the house looks like it was hit by twin-tornados.
When life gets messy, which is all the time, I do not equate it with my own self worth.
Wherever you find yourself today, just remember to be strong enough to embrace the mess. Give yourself grace to NOT be enough as a superhuman, just a regular human that is trying their hardest. WE ALL STRUGGLE, so let’s level the playing field by owning that.
Cheers, from a fellow hot mess mama! May your coffee be stronger than your children!