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Mother of Four Under Four

When our twins were newborns, I was a mother of four children under the age of four. Since my oldest is now four years old, my second is nearing age three, and our twins are about 10 months old, I can no longer claim that title, but I will forever be blessed to have the honorable title of Mother of Four Within Four Years. Believe me, having four children within four years of each other was not part of the plan. (But we're learning that life isn't just about our plans, but rather turning things over to our loving Heavenly Father and watching His plan unfold.) My husband, Matthew, and I were surprised, overjoyed, and overwhelmed when our mindset of “we think we’re ready for our third child now” unexpectedly turned into “What! We’re having twins!!!!” In this blog, I want to share fun ways for parents to find joy in the journey of parenthood and go from surviving to thriving with your children.

When I first found out we were having twins, I talked with all those parents of twins that I knew, and any that I happened to come across in passing, eager to learn their secrets. I would ask them, “Do you have any advice for me? How did you do it?” Most people just said things like: “It’s really hard, but it’s so fun. You’ll do great!” or “You just figure it out as you go along and you‘ll get used to it.” This left me wanting more, needing some answers and help. Now that I’m on the other end, with people asking me how I did it/do it now, I want to share some of my survival methods from the earlier days with newborn twins (found in the link "Survival Tips for Parents of Newborn Twins”). It is my hope that this blog will help a new mother of twins (or other young children) who is feeling overwhelmed and baffled by her responsibilities (as I did, and still do) in her new role of caring for newborn twins (and possibly more, like I had). I know how you feel because that was me just nine months ago (What am I talking about? It still is me because things are still really challenging most days).

Ever since the arrival of our twins, as people have seen me venturing about with four very young children, they usually respond with one or more of the following: “Wow! You must be a busy mom!” “You are so blessed!" “I’ve always wanted twins!" “I don't know how you do it?” My response to the first is, "Yes, I can promise you there’s never a dull moment.” To the second, a resounding, "Yes! I know with all my heart how truly blessed we are and count my blessings every day that I have the honor of being the mother of my precious children! I think Anna and Bella must have been such good friends that they couldn't wait and just had to come together." When people say they've always wanted twins I smile because I did too. Then I playfully tell them to be careful for what they wish for. :) Although being a mother of twins really is hard work (I'm not going to sugar coat it for you, because I don't think that would be fair to leave you expecting something different from the reality), it is even more rewarding than it is difficult, and it is an incomparable gift -- one I would never exchange, even if there were a return/exchange policy (thankfully, this one's for keeps). :) And my response to the last question? "Neither do I. I'll tell you when I figure it out." Here lies the motivation for this blog.

Perhaps together we can figure it out. Perhaps we can help each other move from surviving to thriving with twins. (We're still mostly just surviving over here on our end; but hopefully, as our twins get older, time will free up and allow us to enjoy thriving together too.) I'm hoping, with your comments, that this process can speed up a bit by us sharing ideas with how we've survived through it all and some useful things that you feel are making a difference in your family life, making it possible for you to survive and/or thrive (wherever you are in that journey). With your help, by leaving your comments, this blog can turn into a forum where we share ideas of what has worked and ask each other for tips when we are experiencing a challenge (i.e. I know I'll need help figuring out the whole business of potty training twins -- this mom is not looking forward to that!).

While my intent is to provide a helpful resource to parents (especially parents of multiples) by expounding on "How We Did it" through sharing some of the ways we survived those first months (and are coming closer to thriving now that our twins are nearing the age of one), I accredit all my knowledge and insights to my Heavenly Father teaching me through His Spirit. The truth is, I haven’t been able to do any of it alone. Like Ammon, I acknowledge any success I have solely to the strength and guidance of my Father in Heaven. As Ammon said in Alma 26:12, "Yea, I know that I am anothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will bnot boast of myself, but I will cboast of my God, for in hisdstrength I can do all ethings". My husband, Matthew, jokes with me that the reason Heavenly Father gave me twins is so I would learn to ask for help (from the Lord and from others) and quit trying to do it all on my own. I am certainly learning to rely on the strength of the Lord and let others be the answers to my prayers for help that I offer up to Him.

Another section of my blog will be dedicated to sharing games/activities/lessons for teaching our children. (This is under construction -- sorry for the wait, but my life is understandably busy.) As a former Kindergarten teacher, I am still very much a teacher at heart and am loving the opportunity to teach my own children in my home as they are young. I know we have the special privilege as parents to be the most important teacher our children will ever have. It is my hope to share some of the fun activities/lessons/games we've enjoyed together with the intent to bring joy to your families and help fill your homes with laughter and love.

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