(I wrote this piece for the Twins Trust magazine – Multiple Matters and thought I’d share it here)
How’s your 2019 been? How are your little ones? Not so little now, I bet. Are you getting a full nights sleep at last? Do your nearest and dearest finally know which twin, triplet or quad is which? Annoying isn’t it, when they keep getting it wrong when to you, they couldn’t be more different. Or are they still teeny, tiny? Two, three, four tiny peas in a teeny tiny pod? Are you still in the thick of those early all consuming, exhausting and often completely bewildering days? And does going to the supermarket by yourself still feel like a spa break?
Maybe your multiples have fled the nest. Maybe you flick through the pages here unable to comprehend how time has passed so quickly. Maybe you want to tell those at the start of their parenting journey to ease up on themselves, embrace the chaos and worry just a little bit less.
Wherever age and stage your babies (for they shall always be your babies) are at, I hope they are thriving. And I salute you, you incredible parent and protector of multiples and hope that you are thriving too.
I’m pleased to say that I’m thriving. This is not as lighthearted a statement as you might think. It’s a considered statement. Something I’ve had to ponder over, question and then, gratefully, confirm.
I am definitely currently thriving. I am the mother of a sixteen year and (soon to be) ten year old triplets. Two identical boys and one girl. They continue to be as wild, glorious and completely feral as they always were. They continue to run me ragged, reduce me to tears, push me to the limits and test my patience. They continue to be my biggest gift, my miracle babies. They are the loves of my life.
I am three years into a strong, stable and very happy marriage to Dave after years of single parenting. Dave has brought stability and balance into our lives. He’s a good, good man and I am so happy that my four finally get to see what a healthy relationship can look like. Dave and I are thriving together and that is something I cherish every day.
But, I am also a cancer patient. A secondary breast cancer patient, in fact. My cancer ‘came back’ for the third time in January of this year when I was told that I had a tumour on my lung and tumour(s) in my breast. As you read this I’ll be recovering from my second mastectomy. I’ll be hoping that the next scan I have will reveal that I’m in remission, with No Evidence of Disease. This is my Christmas wish. I’ve done well this year. I’ve been knocked to the ground but I’m standing upright. Again.
I’m not a hero, or an inspiration or any different from anyone else. I’m a wife, a daughter, a sister, a friend. I’m a writer and speaker and instagram rambler but most importantly, I am a Mum.
I am a mum who happens to be a cancer patient and who has no choice but to adapt and accept the ‘life long’ status of her condition. Apparently, it’s not going anywhere. But I am. I’m moving forward strongly and with confidence and trust. There’s something quite liberating about your worst fear coming true. It’s almost a relief. You don’t have to dread or anticipate it anymore.
It’s taken me years to get to this point. Years of being so sad, so scared and so preoccupied with dying and leaving my babies that there was no room for any of the pleasure of having them. The gift of having them, I should say. So now, as we turn our thoughts towards another new year and our hopes and intentions for 2020, I plan to continue thriving and appreciating all that I have. Let’s anticipate a good year ahead, shall we? One where our children continue to feel our love and know that they are safe, accepted and ‘enough’ exactly as they are. Just as we are.
You’re great, you really are. You’re a good, good parent. You’re doing your best and everyone can see that. I just wanted to tell you, in case you needed reminding.