I believe that moms of twins and comfort zones are mutually exclusive. Beginning with the pregnancy and on to the newborn phase, the terrible twos and the tantrums – and I’m pretty sure the teen phase – twin moms find themselves almost constantly outside any comfort zone. I bought a magnet way before I had the girls, with the quote, “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone” written on it, and it still hangs on my fridge. There must have been a reason why I picked this magnet in particular back then. It has certainly been a much-needed reminder ever since I became a twin mom.
My twin pregnancy was not very smooth. At the 23rd week I was admitted into hospital because I was at a risk of premature delivery, and I was told I had to lie there in hospital until delivery. So there I was pregnant, in a hospital, in Switzerland with no family around and having to communicate all the time in German. Talk about being outside my comfort zone! Luckily, I had learned German up to a reasonable level before I got pregnant, but when you’re in such a situation you simply want to be in a somewhat familiar environment, surrounded by family and close friends and communicating comfortably in your mother tongue. Though it certainly wasn’t a comfortable time, luckily Giggles and Cuddles were born just a few days before full-term: healthy and happy, which made it all worthwhile.
Then came the newborn phase with all its challenges. Dealing with two screaming babies who have no means of expressing what their current needs are, breastfeeding (or feeding in general), burping, putting them both to sleep when my husband was not around and I had to deal with everything on my own, and staying up all night because the girls didn’t wake to feed at the same time. Looking back, I think the first six months was as far from my comfort zone as possible.
Six months to a year was better, and then they started walking and it all started again, because they always wandered in opposite directions whenever we were outside. And their personalities started to emerge, two very different ones that needed different responses from me. Then came the terrible twos and the tantrums, and constantly testing their limits. Judging by that phase and everything I hear from my friends about teen girls, I am really not looking forward to having double teens at home.
So, yes, for the last few years I have been mostly outside my comfort zone, or, to be more accurate, every time I thought everything was under control and I had found my new comfort zone, things changed and I would find myself once again way outside that zone. Yet I discovered that life did indeed begin there: a beautiful life with my lovely Giggles and Cuddles despite the challenges, witnessing how they grow and develop and how I grow and rediscover myself in the process, with virtues like patience and fairness having taken on totally different dimensions. I have to admit that I do miss my comfort zone every now and then, and now more than ever I appreciate the time I am able to be there. However, I am now starting to understand that to grow and reach new dimensions, we do need this shift from one to the other.
Are you a twin mom who is also struggling with finding your comfort zone? Or perhaps you have miraculously managed to find one? Please do tell us your stories. We would love to hear from you!
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 pursuing a degree in children’s rights and excited about where that could lead.
Photo used with permission. Overlay by Andrea Snashall.