My First year of Twin Motherhood.
Currently, 9 months into my year off as a stay at home mom with twin girls, 3 months to go.
If I was hiking the Pacific Crest Trail I’d have entered the last 10 miles in CA and would be in Oregon by nightfall. 3 months left to go. If you have had the chance to read Cheryl Strayed’s memoir “Wild – From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail”, you would remember that when she made it to Oregon, she still had a long way to go to the top of Oregon, but it felt like a major millstone. She knew she was close. Very close. This morning, I feel close, yet I know there is still time and much more to see. Yet, the planning mode kicks in.
Similar to Cheryl, I usually don’t worry about life after my year off (aka “my hike”) until the middle of the night after I’ve put one of the twins back to sleep. The house is quite. And I’m left with my thoughts. Some nights I fall right back to sleep, some nights it’s the 4am feeding that always gets my mind wondering, planning. This morning, it was the 6:30am feeding. 3 months. 3 months that will come in two major climbs. The first climb will be in 7 weeks when my in-laws, who have been here since September, return to Germany. The second climb will be when I have 6 weeks until I have to make the final decision: will I return to my same position at my current college campus that is now 1 1/2 hour away OR will I continue to stay home with the twins to find something closer.
I’ve got 3 months to a) look, apply and accept a new job at a college campus closer to my new home. B) enjoy the hike of being home full time with the girls and trust that if I don’t have a job in 3 months I will accept a new position soon after c) keep writing.
I imagine when Cheryl was hiking deep into the Sierra Nevadas, she knew she was blessed to not have Interest access to check job openings, work on a resume or check Facebook. She was forced to truly see, enjoy and struggle with her surroundings. And when she came upon a fellow PCT hiker, she welcomed the company with open arms. As I write, I can’t help but feel that taking this year off to be a stay-at-home mom, in 2014, feels a lot like walking the Pacifc Crest Trail. There are few of us out here. And when we see each other, we are excited to speak to an adult yet I wonder how many of us secretly want to say, I love hiking the PCT aka being a Stay-at-Home Mom, but I also would love the option to just hike it on the weekends.
Back to my 3 months left. So, what do I do. Well, here is what I have been doing. As I write this post, it is breakfast time. The girls are in their high chairs, enjoying Cheerios and watching their big brother eat his breakfast while he is watching cartoons on his iPad. My husband is taking in a few minutes to himself before starting the day and heading off to work to enjoy his Meeting Free Friday. Except for today. I’ve just learned he is in mtgs 9-5 straight.
What will I do today? In a few hours, I will drive my son over to stay with his Oma and Opa for the afternoon. Then I will return home and keep working on getting the girls sleep trained. Some days, they both nap at the same time, other days, they don’t. Life with twins. In the end, they are two different babies and that is okay. They are 7 months now. I’m also working on helping them sit up. Lily, who loves being on her tummy is amazing me. Any day now, she is going to take that first crawl. For me, will I check the job listing pages at my local colleges? Will I keep checking Facebook after I post this blog post? 3 months left where I’m an employee for San Mateo Community College District only on leave. 3 months left that I have this amazing time to watch and learn about how twins related to each. Just now, Lily stole Ellie’s ring toy. 3 months left hiking my own Pacific Crest Trail.
My husband said it best. He recently read that anxiety is really excitement. Your anxious because yes, the unknown is coming and it makes you nervous. But deep down, what you really are feeling is excitement. Let yourself be excited. Something new maybe coming. Something you never even thought possible. Would you rather return to what you know or imagine what could be different?
I bet while Cheryl was hiking, she was amazed more often that she realized. That each morning, she would wake up realizing that she made it through another day, even another night. And a whole day was in front of her. I’ve got a whole 3 months ahead of me. And Ellie, she just stole the ring back.