But here's the thing. I am child #4 to a woman who really didn't think she could handle 4 children. She told me that the entire time she was pregnant with me, she cried, wondering if she could handle it. She felt stretched to her limit and battled post-partum depression with each of her pregnancies, so she just didn't see how baby #4 was going to work.
I never took offense to that story, because I knew how it ended. My mom didn't think she couldn't handle having a 4th child, yet her and I have ended up being so incredibly close. She not only survived baby #4, she rocked it! She was (and still is) the most wonderfully attentive, kind, selfless mom I have ever witnessed. And what a blessing that I got to be hers! I thank God, truly, all the time for it. After my husband, she is my best friend.
|Me and my mom, who turned 28 the day after I was born|
I know how my mom felt about the idea of a hypothetical fourth child, but I also know that she feels very differently about me now that I am here.
The same goes for my twins. I am just so thankful that I have them now, and I cannot imagine life with just a Charlotte or just an Analisa. I never wanted twins, and often said flippant comments like "I'm open to having a big family, just as long as they come one at a time". I see now that was probably not an edifying thing to say....but I said it and felt it before I had my twins.
However, the experience of having twins has been one of the most sanctifying experiences of my life. So much so that I feel like almost daily I am being brought to my knees.
I have always wanted to me a mom, but there was a time before I had children when I wondered if I would be a good mother. I was selfish, especially with sleep. I have always been a "sleeper". My mom says I used to beg her to take naps. I used to get physically ill if I didn't get a decent amount of sleep. I wondered if I was up to the selflessness required in those first few months when babies require regular nightly feedings.
I am happy to report that I have survived that part of motherhood, and while I still love my naps, I also feel like waking up with my babies has been much easier than expected. My body has even gotten used to it.
Having twins has pushed the selflessness of motherhood into hyperspeed for me. Having one child is difficult, because, for most of us, we are being pushed to a level of selflessness we have ever experienced before. And with the addition of a second child, that gets pushed even further, as we try to juggle the needs of children at multiple ages. But the progression gets to happen gradually with the addition of each child, as we slowly change and lose our selfish tendencies in the face of our children's needs.
With twins, I feel like this whole gradual progression when into hyperspeed. I've been running and running and running. I used to scoff at moms who would claim they had no time to shower or put makeup on. I mean seriously, it only takes a couple minutes (I think I even have a blog post about that on here somewhere), but then I had my twins, and I discovered I not only didn't have time to shower or put makeup on, I was having trouble simply finding the time to eat properly. It was crazy, especially in the first few months when my husband was also working 7 days per week, to find myself going days on compete auto-pilot, floating from one day to the next. I had friends come over and ask me if I ever sit down, to which I usually replied "not that I can remember".
Things have settled a bit. I am finding more time to put makeup on and get into things like this blog (hello everyone!). My children's schedule now allows me a few moments each day to sit down.
The thing is, though, that I would never have been able to handle the demands of toddler+twins three years ago, when I was preparing for my first child to be born. I was so selfish and I didn't even realize it. And honestly, a bit of selfishness, when it leads to a shower, isn't always a bad thing! But I don't think I could have handled the sheer exhaustion, chaos, unending grind that my life has been the last 9ish months.
But you know, I would not describe these last 9 months as bad at all. Hard, yes. Exhausting, an underestimate. But they have been some of the most wonderful months of my life as well. My heart and my life feel SO full, and God is somehow lending me His strength to get through this. I am finding a humble confidence (if there is such a thing) in seeing that I CAN do this with God's help. His strength is shining through ME, the woman who never wanted twins! And look! I'm doing it! He's doing it through me! It's a wonder and a miracle and one of the most humbling experiences.
I have realized that I can't do this on my own. I often wonder how women without faith can function as mothers. Because honestly, if I didn't know Him and feel His strength bracing me as I take on this whole motherhood thing, I would never be able to make it. I'm sure I'd have had a complete break-down by now. But no! He is making this happen through me, and it is wonderful and humbling.
So while I never thought I wanted twins, I really needed them. I had some major idols in my life I needed to overcome (a full night of sleep and vanity to name a few), and God has used these two little beings to make me into a woman who lives to serve. This is the season of life I am in right now, one where my babies require all of me. There will be a time in the future for complete order, full nights of uninterrupted sleep, long showers and relaxation, but right now I have these little humans to care for, and doing that has pushed me to a level of spiritual maturity and dependency on the Lord that I have never previously experienced.
So someday I will tell Charlotte and Analisa about how I never wanted twins. And I will tell them how God, in His mercy and all-knowing grace, gave me twins and used them to sanctify me, making me more like His Son. I am so infinitely grateful that He knew better than I did, and gave me these two little girls.
|Charlotte left, Analisa right|