Thursday, October 6, 2016

An Open letter to the mom of twins at the grocery store (or any mom for that fact)

To the mom with baby twins at the store:

I see you in the store. Tired. Fighting hard to get a cart with a double seat because you know it is your only chance to shop if you get it. Most people don't think about those double seats.

I know what you are thinking.

You see the mom with one child and you think how easy it looks. She smiles. She has time to laugh, play with her munchkin, enjoy shopping and even price match.

You feel like you are in a constant tangle with little hands and you do it on half empty, with your head slightly buzzed from lack of sleep.

I see you.

I know you don't see me. You are afraid to make eye contact. You don't want to be judged. Or you may not want to hear one more person say "It looks like you got your hands full." or "Are they identical?" That would slow your shopping trip and your children will only last a moment before one poops, one cries, one screams or all of the above or even all of the above times two.

To you I look like just another gawker. Someone adoring your sweet, little, messy faced twins. But I am only remembering my own. I won't stop you, I won't talk to you, I am just thinking...

Good job mom.

Imaginary fist bump from one twin mom to another.

You did it today.

They are breathing, you are breathing. Good job

You were never meant to be perfect. In fact, it is just the opposite. We are meant to be flawed, but to show them how to be flawed and still function and move forward day after day.

Good job mom. You are a champion. It is hard, and the only other people who understand how hard are other twin moms who have fought the same battle.

It does get easier I promise. It is hard to see now. You feel like you should be grateful for these days but they are so tiring that you can't even enjoy them most of the time and you feel guilty about that too. Its okay.

They do become friends. You get to sit outside their door at night and listen to them talk when they don't know you are listening. You see them defend each other on the playground. You'll see them hurt inside when the other one is hurt, its sad but also strangely magical.

Right now you feel guilty because you can't give either one of them "all of you". You feel like they are getting cheated out of having all-the-attention of their mom when as babies that should be their right, but they have to share you.

That is true.

But there is also something else- They get something precious instead.

Even when you are gone they will have each other. The relationship that bonds them in infancy is unique, lasting and protective. It expands and continues into something incredible. It's their relationship as a twin. Their love for each other will last even past you.

Their little battles that they face every day, the fighting over the same toys, for example. It is tiring, but the truth is they learn negotiation and relationship skills as infant twins that most people don't learn in an entire life time. It takes most of us several years of marriage to learn skills that a twin masters while they are young.

Their relationship-crash-course is intense. It is hard on the mom and sometimes hard on them but the rewards are incredible, real and long lasting. They learn to love, to share, and to be apart of a unit instead of just existing from the very beginning. As humans we thrive when we are apart of something bigger then ourselves. Twins are that from the day they are born. More than just themselves.

Good job mom.

You are making it.

One foot in front of the other. You can do it!

One day you to will be pushing an empty cart, in a grocery store while watching a mom of twins. Your double seats will be empty while not fighting what seems like a sea of hands that grab unwanted items or provide endless distraction.

You won't be judgmental, because somehow twin motherhood seems to drag all that out of you, you will instead watch with wonder.

You will think...

 "Wow! Did I really do that? How in the world did I make it?"

"That mom. She is doing awesome. Good job mom. You're making it!"

"Imaginary fist bump. From one twin mom to another."

-Susan Chapman

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