There is nothing like being surrounded by peers who have similar interests, ideals and goals. People who share a certain perspective on life tend to engage in wonderful relationships and genuine esteem for one another. If you belong to any support group, bible study or common interest club, you know what I mean.
There are many wonderful organizations that provide support to mothers including local mother's groups, multiple mother's groups and MOPS. I have been thinking strongly about joining the local chapter of the National Organization of Mothers of Twins group.
I intended on joining when my girls were first born, but the craziness of the times and then a move changed my plans. Looking back, I think that it would have made a world of difference for me to have been part of this group of mothers who truly understand what it is like to parent and parent twins.
It is amazing when I run across families that have twins. I didn't realize how many twins are out there in the world and it seems when you have your own set, you find twins everywhere. There is a secret code amongst mothers of twins that isn't said out loud, but still exists. When we meet each other, we cautiously ask if the other person's children are twins. We don't want to be one of those crazy people out there who ask a whole bunch of stupid questions, but it is good to not assume everything. Then, we study the other set to see if they are fraternal or identical, but we rarely ask. Usually this information is offered by the parent to avoid the question. Finally, we compare notes. If the children are different ages, there is a lot of "Oh, mine did that!" or "How do you do this?"
Knowledge. We try to suck knowledge out of each other's brains. We want to know things that can help us figure out why our babies aren't sharing or have suddenly developed their own crazy language. We want to secretly compare our set of twins with the other person's twins to see developmentally how ours are measuring up.
All of this exchange can happen in mere seconds.
And why does it happen? There is probably different answers to this questions, but for me it is just that moment in time where I can connect with someone who can understand what I am going through. Possibly someone who isn't going to look at my ratty T-shirt and tired eyes and judge me for "letting myself go." Someone who may be thinking, "I Get It. I am right there with you. I am tired, too. I have more on my plate than I can handle. I don't have many escapes. I don't get enough breaks and when I do, I am busy doing housework, working one of my jobs or trying to organize our family budget, shopping list or calendar."
The other day, the girls had an appointment at the pediatrician's office. I sat across from a nurse practitioner who was checking Jelly Bean's ears while Peanut stood by my lap sobbing because I couldn't hold her. I made the apologetic comment, "Usually I have someone help me when we come for their well visits, but on sick visits, I have to come alone." I felt bad that we all had to stand there and listen to Peanut scream. It wasn't very pleasant. The nurse practitioner sweetly said, "I remember those days. It was never fun taking my twin girls to the doctor either."
At that moment, my tenseness melted. We were in good hands. She was part of "the club." She wasn't going to walk out of there and tell the rest of the staff, "Those kids are horrible. That mother should get more control!" I just knew that she did understand and found out that her twins were in high school now. Wow, that seems so far away, yet the days will fly by.
After our visit, we were leaving the office and out in the waiting room I ran into more members of our elite group of stressed out posse. A mother and father sat each holding a little boy. The mother sat up seeing my girls, "Twins?" she cautiously inquired. "Yes, 20 month old twin girls," I replied (I try to give out the basic information so people don't have to ask a million questions.) "Ours are almost 12 months! Are yours sick? They both have colds and so do we," said the mom pointing to her and her husband. I told her that we did, too. And we shared a laugh about how everything gets passed around in the household. (Although we both know that it really isn't funny and we loath when we see running noses, of course.) We said goodbye to our new friends and left.
On the drive home, it hit me. I cling to mothers who have older twins because they have "the goods." They have so much experience, remember different situations and stages and have the ability to look back and give an amazing perspective that those of us living in the "little ones" years cannot muster up right now. On the other hand, I love running into mothers of twins who are younger than mine because I would love to be a sympathetic ear, a loving hug and give them any piece of knowledge they asked for in helping them get through those first 20 months. (Cause that's all I know.)
But most importantly, I think the biggest help to any mother whether they are a mommy of one, two or ten is the simple fact that we have all been in crazy moments with our kids and that none of us are perfect. We love our children, we do our best and with God's provisions, they are well provided for. I just want you all to know, "I get it."