This post comes to you straight from real life. I’m writing to you with one son on my lap, another dumping leftover yogurt onto the kitchen floor while the third little darling “helps” by wiping up the mess with a stuffed parrot. In this moment, I feel like the farthest thing from a “Wisemommy”.
Nevertheless, the piece of advice that I am about to share with you is crucial… even if it comes from a woman with goldfish crumbs in her couch cushions, someone else’s snot on her shirt and the occasional interception of splashing in the toilet bowl. I’m not perfect, not even “Type A”, but I do have one pearl of wisdom that I want you to have as well.
As humans, we so often want to prove ourselves to be self-sufficient. It’s not easy to ask for help and we don’t want to be perceived as weak. If we accept help from someone, it must mean that we are incapable of doing it on our own. We try to navigate parenting individually and, because it’s not always pretty in the trenches, we isolate ourselves so that others won’t see the ugly moments. We choose to hide our failures and shortcomings rather than include others in our imperfect lives.
I want to share with you that life is not meant to be lived on your own. Life is far better when we share our load with others.
At first, I thought I would title this post “You Are Not Alone”, but then an unpleasant vision of a semi-nude Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley popped into my head and I quickly nixed that idea. Seriously, though, life was not meant to be navigated alone!
The most important lesson I’ve learned from being a mom and most especially from being a twin-mom is that relationships are priceless. It truly takes a village to raise a child… especially twins. Connecting with other moms who are in a similar stage of life has proven to be one of the most valuable tools in my tool belt. Have you ever thought to yourself “I must be the ONLY mom who (fill in the blank)” or “Today just might earn me a trip to the closest mental health facility”? I’ve been there. I’ve said those things! Those thoughts are isolating because you are telling yourself that SURELY no one could relate… right?
The truth is that you are NOT alone. I encourage you to surround yourself with others who value authenticity and humility. The beauty of REAL community is that I can spill my secrets in the midst of a non-judgmental relationship and find that the verge of insanity I was living on turns quickly into laughter and commiseration.
This concept is even more imperative to grasp if you are a mom to multiples. There are mountains that seem impossible to conquer… until you connect with other moms of multiples who have crossed that mountain and survived! When I first discovered I was pregnant with twins, I didn’t have a single friend with twins. I quickly began networking within my different circles of friends until I connected with a twin mom who was able to encourage me and introduce me to other twin moms. The affirmation and insight I received from those moms was so precious to me! I valued it so much that I sought out other twin moms across the country through social media. I started a Facebook support group for moms of twins born in 2013 through which we could connect, encourage, and help one another. This group is now eighteen months strong and has connected moms from Texas, Florida, Minnesota, California, Hawaii, Australia, Canada, and South Korea! Our group has been successful because we value honesty, humility, authenticity, love and respect for each other.
I share all of this to encourage you to live in relationship with others. Find the people that build you up. I’ve found community through church groups, neighborhood mom groups, Instagram, Facebook and mom blogs! The keys are to invest yourself, to be authentic and to not be afraid to ask for help. This will require risk on your part… to be vulnerable and to take a chance on someone else. My guess, though, is that, when you take the first step in making yourself vulnerable, someone else will do the same. And then another and another and, before you know it, you’ll have found your village. Once you’ve found it, commit to not only be encouraged by others but to become an encourager yourself. Be filled AND pour out. If we’ll all be active participators in each of our villages, no mom will ever have to walk alone… and THAT will be even more beautiful than a couch free of goldfish crumbs!
“Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones”