I scrolled past a post on Facebook a few weeks ago – a nicely illustrated quote from Shauna Niequist’s Present Over Perfect : “Sometimes brave looks totally boring, and that’s okay.” I lingered for a moment over the image because I was struck to the core – it really resonated with me as a mom – and even more so as a twin mom – because so much of my day requires being brave but in boring ways
Life with multiples isn’t the norm. I say that a lot – both out loud and to myself. When I say it out loud it’s usually with joy, to my husband, as we watch L&H play together or sharing a sweet twin moment. I’ll look at him and say “How lucky are we? This isn’t the norm – not everyone gets to witness this on a daily basis!” But when I say it to myself it’s often as a mantra to get through tough times. “This isn’t the norm, it’s okay to feel overwhelmed/stressed/nervous/tired.”
And as of late, after seeing this quote, I’ve been adding “…but be brave” to that mantra.
You wouldn’t think that going to the grocery store would require being brave — everyone goes to the grocery store! But for me it does. Or going to the park for a playdate. Or trying a new playground. Or meeting a friend for lunch with both the babies. Or going to story time at the library. Or driving in the car (and therefor loading them into the car, packing all their things while they run around the house, wrestling them into shoes and jackets, etc). All of this looks simple and to many it’s just an easy part of normal life but as a twin mom, it requires great planning and LOTS of bravery. It requires what I call “mom brave”.
I get caught up sometimes playing it safe. I often choose to stay home in our baby gated fortress where the babies can’t stray too far from me and everything is child proofed. (Okay not everything is child proofed but close enough….) That way, if one or both(!) has a meltdown, I’m in the privacy of my own home, far from pitying looks and comments from strangers about my hands being full. It’s easier to decline a playgroup at the park than to chase L&H as they run in opposite directions, or stay in our tiny little backyard rather than have a heart attack watching them scamper up the “big kid” structure at our local playground. And why would anyone take two wiggly toddlers to Costco to buy paper towels when there’s Amazon Prime?!
But when I play it safe I feel like we have less fun. And I feel guilty that instead of running around at the park like “normal” kids, L&H are stuck inside the baby fortress all day.
So recently, I’ve been trying to do one “mom brave” thing a week – like trying a new class, going to the playground by myself with both babies, or going on an outing. It’s been terrifying at times, but overall it’s been fun! We’ve gone to the art museum, we’ve visited new parks, we’ve met new friends. We went to our local library for the first time and that it’s amazing and has the best children’s section – it’s like a library + playspace all in one! We’ve eaten lunch out with a friend and her baby right before naptime.
We went to a new playspace that not only has stairs (a stroller mom’s nightmare) but also has a big climbing structure that I’m normally scared to let L&H climb on alone. But we went, I asked for help from other moms to get both kiddos and all our stuff down the stairs, and they were more than happy to assist me. And L&H had the best time climbing up the structure and sliding down the slide. I had my head on a swivel the entire time trying to watch both of them at once….BUT we survived and had a blast. (The twins also took a 3 hour nap afterwards which was amazing!).
I was BRAVE. All these outings may sound boring, but I was BRAVE.
So, tell me – is there something you’ve been nervous to do or try? A place or activity you’ve wanted to go to but are scared to go with your little(s)? Nervous to eat out at a restaurant because baby might have a meltdown? Scared to go to the grocery store too close to naptime?
Whatever it is, maybe it’s one thing or maybe – like me – it’s a long list of things, I urge you to be BRAVE and give it a try. Even if it’s boring. Be brave! Give it a try!