Since I was a little girl I’ve had some fears. My fears kept me from enjoying some of life’s more exciting adventures. Then I had twins, the scariest thing I’ve ever done. Being a twin mom has shown me that I am capable of facing what scares me. I am raising the two sweetest adventurers and I have decided I will do what it takes to keep up with them.
Recently I learned to ski, something that at one time seemed impossibly terrifying. My husband has wanted me to learn for years, as family ski trips have been some of his happiest memories. I thought about the boys learning to ski one day. I knew I had to step up to serve as a model; if they are scared, I want them to persevere and not give up. For them, I will learn how to get down the mountain.
I took a ski lesson and my instructor helped me to see that getting down the mountain, requires many of the same skills as raising twins. We started on the bunny hill. We went up and down and up and down. It was scary but the end was always in sight and each time I succeeded I built up my confidence and skill level. I learned how to find balance, how to slow down and how to stop if needed. Then it was time to move from the bunny hill to the mountain.
I looked down from where we stood and thought I would never make it all the way down. The route was windy, long and appeared endless. I was scared of losing control, I was scared of falling down and I was scared I would not succeed. My instructor explained that the slope we would go down was only as steep as the bunny hill, just longer. He said “if you just look ahead at where you are going and take it one step at a time you can make it. If you look all the way down to the bottom you will scare yourself; if you just look ahead to where you need to go next you will get there.”
With a deep breath and a prayer, I began to head down the mountain. I took my time and looked ahead. There were lots of moments of anxiety and lots of deep breaths. As I got closer to the bottom, I fell down. It was scary but I was okay. I realized I could fall and get back up. After a minute to get myself together, I stood back up, I looked ahead and I pushed on forward. When I made it to the bottom I felt such a sense of pride in knowing I persevered and conquered this fear.
So why am I writing about my ski adventures on a blog about raising twins? Learning to ski taught me new perspective on getting down the mountain that is life with twins. Being a twin mom requires a lot of balance. It requires balance between the two boys, balance between my needs and theirs, and balance between who I was and who I am. Just as with skiing, sometimes I lose my balance but I am learning everyday that I can get back up and try again.
Some days the journey seems filled with endless slopes. There is always a new challenge or transition ahead. Most recently we shifted from bottles to sippy cups, soon we will have to think about potty training, and one day we will be sending them off to school. When I am able to be in the moment and look forward not down, we get where we need to go. Sometimes that means savoring a moment, a giggle or hug. Often times that means saying I will make it to the next week, the next day or even to the next nap and will worry about the rest later. By looking forward I am able to survive the moments that are challenging without thinking about every challenge that will come along the way.
Sometimes I fall, I make mistakes and I want to give up. At these times, I remember I have to get down the mountain. Just as with skiing, sometimes I have to remind myself: I can slow down, stop or make a turn if needed. I can ask for help to get back up and I can learn new skills to help my trip down the mountain go smoother. Sometimes a rough meal, a short nap or two cranky babies feels like wiping out on the slopes. When I take a deep breath I realize it’s just a rough patch on the greatest adventure.
Many mornings I wake up worried about the day ahead, the challenges we will face and if I will be able to get through them. If the little girl who was afraid of heights and falling could ski down the mountain, I know that I can do this too. Being a twin mom is endlessly difficult, stressful and at times scary. Its also unbelievably fun, heartwarming and empowering. I feel more courageous and fearless than ever before and I have my incredible children to thank for that. They have shown me what I can do and are my biggest fans. I can’t wait to ski down the mountain with them and for all the adventures we will share together.