Motherhood has been an eye opener in so many ways, but I guess the most significant for me has been learning about myself. It seems I had a certain image of myself before I became a mother that now seems far removed from the person I have come to know over the past two years.
I always thought of myself as a responsible and dependable person – that is, until I caught myself on several occasions truly considering running out of the house for a breath of fresh air, leaving behind two screaming babies all alone at home. I felt totally helpless and just couldn’t deal with the screaming any longer.
I thought I was patient, but the number of times I have really lost my patience, especially over the past six months, is incredible, as I go back and forth between two toddlers who are constantly testing their limits. I find myself torn in the same instant between saving the precious vase that my grandmother gave us as a wedding gift and the white sofa that is about to be totally smeared in chocolate.
I thought that I was fair and would never take sides. But then I catch myself totally oblivious to who is wrong or right and just giving the toy to the one who is screaming the loudest simply to have some peace and quiet.
I always knew I was a bit stubborn, but I didn’t know I was that stubborn until I found myself totally fine with missing our favourite music class because Cuddles wouldn’t pick up the toy she just threw on the floor and return it to its place, or Giggles wouldn’t finish the very last spoon of cereal as I had said they must. I know it is important to put your foot down in order to establish who is in control. But you should also be wise enough to choose your battles and find ways to get around certain situations. So there goes the wisdom that I had considered to be one of my virtues.
I had an image of myself as a calm and collected person. That was before I caught myself screaming at the top of my lungs and then quickly thinking of the story I was going to tell the police who would come after the neighbours’ call.
I thought I was organized and always in control of things, but travelling with twins has proven otherwise. There’s the packing and trying to make sure we don’t forget any of the essential stuff, which is almost impossible. There’s the running through airports on almost every trip in order to catch our flight and then losing it completely as we see our plane heading to the runway. And then there’s travelling alone with two-year-old twins, who after finally having their own seats decide that they both want to sit on my lap at the same time. Or during meals, as I help clean Cuddles’ hands after she totally messed herself up with the caramel dessert and then turn to find that Giggles had spilled the juice all over her clothes. Total chaos!
I guess during the months of my pregnancy I thought I was an angel straight from heaven and fantasized about how I was going to be the super mom who would have it all under control. I have come to realize that I am only human and far from being the perfect mom. But today before bedtime, as Giggles put her arms around my neck, rested her head on my shoulder, held me tight and patted my back, and as Cuddles whispered, “I love you, Mummy” in my ear, I realized that I must be doing something right. And I promised myself for the hundredth time that I will try a bit harder to be an even better mom.
By Didi in Zurich
Didi is an Egyptian mother of twin girls living in Zurich. Before having the twins she worked in the field of economic development. She is currently a stay-at-home mom focused on the growth and development of her daughters.
Illustration by Laura Munteanu
Laura has studied Journalism and Advertising, and has been working as a journalist and an illustrator. She has been illustrating for magazines, websites, charity and different campaigns. She lives in Zurich with her husband and their six-year-old daughter.