Despite being so normal, she has had one of the craziest parenthood journeys of anyone I know. Her becoming a mom started with months without her husband, who remained in Dubai at the end of her pregnancy with her twins, and continued on through the... (ummm... accident? No.... ) surprise of finding out about their third when the twins were just 1 1/2. Ever so cool, and with an amazing strength, this girl has remained her same, sane self.
In honor of her annual Summer return to the States next week, I'm excited to share her interview today for 5QFriday!
- I've always called you my most normal friend. You always seem level-headed and have remained (mostly!) calm throughout your unique and at times challenging parenthood journey. What is your secret?! It must be because I am a middle child - aren't we supposed to be well-adjusted??!! In all seriousness, it has been quite a journey so far. I found out I was pregnant in 2011 with twins - the journey of getting pregnant was long and tedious so I was thrilled albeit SO nervous as I didn't know anyone at the time who had twins. I delivered my two bundles of joy in October 2011, 6 weeks before they were due - we spent the first part of their life in the NICU but soon came home from the hospital and my parenting journey began. I don't remember the first year - literally. It was a blur. Two babies crying at night, two baths, two diaper changes, etc - life was hard but I wouldn't have changed anything! I should also mention that we were (and still are) living abroad during this time. Then when the twins were 18 months I got pregnant with my 3rd (this came as a SHOCK) and had him last year in April 2014. He's my little miracle child with the chillest personality and a smile that melts your heart every time. My secret?? I swear, I don't have one in particular...BUT make sure to 1) Take everyday one day at a time - I know this is so cliche but I swear it's TRUE. 2) Don't have guilt that you lost your patience (although a difficult one to achieve!) 3) Enjoy them at the age that they are - Don't wish for them to be older or younger - each age is precious. 4) Laugh and be silly - kids are damn funny! 5) Pour a drink at wine o'clock (sometimes before or sometimes after) - it definitely eases the pain of the dreaded dinner/bed/bath trio. OHH and how could I forget, be flexible. Schedules are great and all my kids are on one, BUT life throws in unexpected twists and turns so just "go with it" sometimes!
- You live extremely far from most family and friends - how have you made sure to stay connected and that your kids stay connected while living abroad? When we moved to Dubai 6 years ago, the plan was to stay for only 3 years.....apparently, that's what everyone says and then they get sucked into the lifestyle, weather and daily grind. We do love Dubai and always say that we would make this city a lifetime one if it was not so FAR away. It only takes 12 hours by airplane with 3 children and days of anxiety prior to the flight to get home :) I am happy to say that I do keep in touch with alot of friends from home quite regularly. We pencil in phone calls (with the dreaded 8 hour time difference), facetime and of course text! With modern technology it has made it much easier to stay connected. Also, we travel home to South Jersey in the summer time and make ourselves at home at my parents house for 10 weeks - this is quality family and friend time. I try really hard to make time for all friends, even for a drink at the bar, an exercise class or a coffee.
- What is your best advice for twin moms? If all else fails, make sure to keep those two children in sync and on the SAME SCHEDULE ALWAYS! When Sydney and Hayden were babies, I would wake them up to feed at the same time, eat at the same time and they would even be tired and take naps at the same time. Of course, everyday was not perfect.....one certainly loves to sleep more than the other and one twin is always the one trying to control the daily schedule. However, if you can accomplish this you will get your "break" in the day when they nap, clean up from meals only once and be able to start sipping your wine in the evening when BOTH heads hit the pillow at the same time!
- What is your best advice for moms of three under three (you crazy @$$ people!!)? Deep breaths, patience but most importantly trying to find some time to yourself so that you can handle the daily challenges that WILL arise. My twins were only 18 months when I found out I was pregnant with my third - the tears that ensued were 50 % happiness and 50% How the ^&*^)* will I handle three under three?! To my surprise, it has been amazing, although super challenging. I try really hard to schedule some "me" time during the week when I can swing it between the three kids, working part-time and of course, taking care of my 4th child, my husband. I am an avid exerciser and often spend my "me" time exercising. It has been my way to clear my head and prepare for the daily challenges that certainly come my way. It also gives me a sense of peace and gives me some time to reflect on the kids and life in general!
- What are your best moments / memories as a mom? One of the reasons we moved to Dubai was because my husband and I love to travel. In Dubai, Marc gets 6 weeks of vacation (I know it's not fair!) and we always use that time to travel. We haven't stopped traveling now that we have the three children - I dread the packing/unpacking and especially the flights but I love once we land and get to explore different parts of this world with our three munchkins. We went to South Africa in December and the twins still talk about the animals on that trip - they explored nature and took time away from toys. We believe that traveling will make them more open to different cultures, be more tolerant of change (flexible) and allow them to see this beautiful world that we live in.