Thursday, February 16, 2012


I am the mother of twins. It still surprises me to think that. Sometimes I wonder what I did, in this life or past ones, to be given this incredible, exhausting, bewildering, wonderful job. I was gonna say 'burden' then. And perhaps I should have said 'gift', because that's what we're supposed to feel enduringly and every day, isn't it? That our children are a precious gift. For me, it's a conundrum, and nearly two years into the gig, it continues to be. Because I love these two sweet girls with all I have and more. I love them individually, each in different ways and for different reasons. When one is in my arms, I inhale the scent of her head and know she is entirely mine and I'll never love another creature as much. 

Except I do, because there are two.

And yet still I wish it were different. 

Pregnant with the pair, I felt certain that I, of all people, could handle it. I was up for the challenge. I had a new friend who was treading the road just ahead of me. She had a toddler and six-month-old twins when I excitedly announced my news. She seemed to cloud over a little as she struggled to congratulate me. I thought, "It won't be like that for me." But now I get it. I get that, for all the love, you still wish it were different.

I gave myself a little talking to the other day, realising that the voice in my head, the one that kept wishing it were different, was sounding like a bit of a spoilt brat. Because really, apart from the bloody hard work, there's not much else that's wrong. It's just that it's not how I planned. Big whoop! Lots of people don't get what they planned. They get boys instead of girls, or vice versa. They get triplets or quadruplets, or octuplets. 

They have premature babies who struggle to thrive. They have babies who face a lifetime of disability or special care. They lose babies. They are unable to get pregnant in the first place.

What's my deal in the face of all that? I have two healthy, bright, thriving little girls who I carried to term and delivered with enough drama for a good story but not much more. They sleep well (now), they eat well, they speak and, bless their cotton socks, they sing. They're not very good at sharing, but what toddler is? They occasionally scratch and pinch and hit each other. They pull each other's hair, often.

There's twice as many bottoms to wipe, twice as many clothes to wash, a seemingly endless amount of little limbs to be pushed into sleeves and through car seat straps. Mess at mealtimes is ridiculous. Logistics are a nightmare. Packing for an overnight trip is beyond ludicrous. I haven't 'nipped' anywhere for two years - you know, nipping into the shop for milk. When I sit down, my lap is sacred land being fought over by warring factions.

But that's probably the worst of it.

I remember back when they were a couple of days old, in the hospital. I was at that mushy stage when the hormones are soaring and everything in the world is beautiful. I gazed from one to the other and back again, and wondered, genuinely, how anyone ever coped with just one baby. It was like the greatest love on earth doubled and doubled again. 

Then reality reared up and slapped me down. I floundered. There was a bit of "poor me" with a side serving of "why, oh, why?" And some days, there still is.

Other days, however, there's one pair of little legs wrapped around my hips, and another's sticky hand in mine. Squishy wet lips kissing my face. 'Pinkle, Pinkle, Little Star' at full volume. Endless books shoved forward with the demand, "Weed, Mum, weed!" There are leaves and flowers delivered with a proud, "There ya go, Mama." And, when it's really good, there's a tiny "I lub ooh", or two, at the end of the day.

Is it possible to wish it were different and want nothing but this, all at the same time?


  1. I cannot even begin to comprehend the bewildering/blessing. You're amazing. Kellie xx

  2. I think that's the most honest description of having twins I have ever read. I think it is absolutely possible to wish it were different but want nothing else at the same time, and I think that's true of many situations. That you love your daughters is evident in every word of this post :)

  3. What a gorgeous post Greer. You had me reading every word. And I loved the last paragraph. I know it's not the same, because I don't have twins, but I've often caught myself wallowing in self-pity when, after 13 months, I haven't had a decent night's sleep. I used to question why I had such a difficult baby second time around when I have very little in the way of support this time. But I don't really do the self-pity anymore. Instead, I just remind myself how much I have to be grateful for. My little one isn't a great sleeper. I accept that now. But he's the most affectionate little soul, and he has such a beautiful energy. I don't care that I'm still feeding him in the night, because I know he'll be all grown up soon and that scares me. So I just try and look at the all great stuff, and there's plenty of it. He's just started walking in the last couple of days and he does this belly laugh as he waddles. It's beautiful.

  4. What great words - actually you're describing mothering as a roller coaster ride: scary, sickening, tiring and thrilling all at the same time - well thankfully not all at the same time - but you know what I mean. I don't have twins but I understand with multiple children and having them closer in age. It's mind-numbing and sleep depriving at times. I think we all have days of self-pity, but thankfully God gives us those wondrous days where all is 'just right'. I say you are blessed!

    ps. - nipping? is that like just running in and out of the store for 1 item?

  5. I don't have twins, but my goodness, good on you for staying sane!!!! Thank you for your lovely comment, and great to have found your blog! All the best from the other side of the world... X

  6. I like how Ellen describes motherhood as a rollercoaster ride. So true for me too... I am amazed at how well you seem to manage it all! Respect to you :-) x

  7. What a nice blog. I have twins too, they will be 6 in March. When I found out I was having twins my first words were "Oh &*"%" and then I felt like I had won the lottery. I never had a singleton first however, so I never had anything else to compare it to. My sister was aiming for a third baby and ended up with twins, and she feels much like you do. I think it is more difficult to have twins after first having just one. Your girls are lovely!


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