A mom of older twins shares encouragement to new twin moms that it does get better, to spread the hope she loved hearing when she was a new mom.
This is both a confession and a testimony.
You've probably heard something similar to it before, but maybe this time you will allow it to sink into your bones. Let it help you get rid of the guilt. Remind you that you are enough – even when you feel as though you are doing the bare minimum. Let it encourage you that your time is coming.
And although it won't erase all the hard memories, it will wipe away those feelings and fill you with gratitude and joy. All the while, showing you that what you were doing was purely amazing and serious STRENGTH.
My twins are 1 year and 9 months old now. They are not yet sleeping through the night. But they are playing together with their older sister in the rec room, on their own. So although I am tired, I now have time to do the dishes.
The trick is not to sit down before you want to start that. And last night – after 1 am – everyone DID sleep through the night! Let me tell you, the difference one night of a straight sleep can make for your mental health is amazing. So although I am writing this from a very different headspace than I was in two nights ago, that doesn't make it any less real.
It’s been over a year and a half of me wondering when I was ever going to be able to ‘keep up’. I kept seeing other mothers who were doing it all. Or at least look like they were. I know some people that really just can do it all. Not that their lives are perfect, no… but it just feels like they can ‘keep up' better, you know?
And that's okay. I hope they never feel bad about that. I hope they feel gratitude and happiness. I hope they don't feel that they can't share how good things are going for them as I will always rejoice in other people's victories and happiness!
And I hope you will be able to do the same. That you never feel bad when you share that things aren’t going well for you: That you cannot keep up. That you have no victories that you can think of. Although you must remember that even just getting up and making that toast for the kiddos IS a victory.
In the last year and a half, I can only think of a couple of times that our laundry has been completed. Those times have been when outside help has come in or my husband has spent six straight hours, multiple days in a row, in the laundry pit.
In the last month or two, I have just started being able to keep the visible part of the main level tidy. Not often clean, but at least tidy. This is huge for me! It means that there is enough energy, despite battling many health issues due to the first pregnancy, for me to do this.
And that the kids are playing together without my CONSTANT supervision, and having fun! This is incredible. Maybe when they’re two years old, I might be able to keep the rec room and laundry somewhat ‘kept up' as well – there's hope anyway.
I've even found myself working on a few big projects that have been on the list for two years (filing papers and cleaning out the bedroom). And last week, for the first time since before I was pregnant with them, I actually cleaned up the main level AND washed the floor. Swiffer Wet Jet for the win! It was a surreal feeling.
So my confession is that I’ve been very ‘behind'. Although why we even classify it like that is beyond me. When you're doing what you can – even if it's nothing except keeping the kids alive and showing them love – that is enough.
You are doing everything possible and you need to feel good about it. I get that it's hard because the guilt is real, the pressure is intense. Self-criticism is the worst. Let’s stop that.
I’ve been talking to my body lately; telling it how proud I am of it, that it keeps trying so hard despite all the things going against it. And I’m finding that I truly feel that way now, I love my body. And not just that I think I'm beautiful – although that's important too – but I truly love how hard it works and how it treats me even when I don't always treat it well.
Since I'm feeling this way, I'm far less concerned about what I look like and more concerned about how kind I'm treating it with food and exercise. And it's a happy cycle where you feel better and better!
I'm going to start doing this to my mind as well. Despite bad health, little sleep, and constant responsibility, guilt, and pressure… it still tries it's hardest to keep functioning and make me do the things. I am so proud of my body as well and will show it love by continuing my ‘being wholly present' exercises from my counselor, making gratitude lists, and validating both my negative and positive emotions.
I can hardly wait for the day where I wake up feeling ready for the day. Today I woke up and felt exhausted, but I felt almost no dread about taking care of my children, and that was such a huge joy for me (I love my children, but that doesn't change my waking up feeling just yet.) The sun is shining and this helps too, but for the days where it doesn't, I got my Vitamin D.
And that is my testimony. That is DOES indeed get better. Even though I still don't have ideal circumstances, and let's be real, will we ever?? Maybe, but rarely… life is life. It's full of hard things and chaotic stuff. I do have hope and I have glimpses of wonder and SO SO many things to be thankful for.
I sleep more than I did 5 months ago and I am able to get more done than I was 2 months ago and I'm closer to having health answers than I was 2 weeks ago. While I've been in the trenches of life after having twins, articles about how it really does get better have always given me hope. Even when they didn't always register because sometimes it feels like it will never change, my subconscious latched onto them. So I am adding mine here now.
You can do this. You will get through this. Your kids will become friends and they will entertain themselves. They will tell you they love you and give you sweet kisses. They will sleep (I'm waiting, but it's so much better already) and you will feel happiness. You will feel rested. It will happen. I promise.
Until then, do what you need to survive, healthily: seek counseling if you need to, eat a healthy diet, ask for help, etc. And I am here, cheering you on! We got this… YOU got this.
Stephanie Peters is a happy, tired 27-year-old wife & mom to a 4-year-old girl and 2-year-old fraternal boy/girl twins. She lives for her family, honesty, and relatable memes. She loves nachos, singing, and striking things off lists (i.e. shower?). She’s a procrastinator and an extrovert (who also just wants to be alone & watch Netflix). Keep up with her thoughts & film photos on her blog or Instagram.