There is definitely a predisposition in my family to worry, I think as a whole we would make very good health and safety officers. I am constantly seeing what could go wrong. Now reading that you might think I am an overly negative person but I’m not. I’m an optimistic, glass half full, grateful to be alive kind of person but never the less I regularly feel the fear, I see the danger.
The fact that I have 2 extremely agile confident climbers has only exaggerated this fear. When they started at a gymnastics class the instructor actually commented ‘Oh they really have no fear do they’ often climbing things that are not there to be climbed! I can see the head cracked open at the park, the fall down the steps, the broken arms, legs or worse but I think this kind of fear is evolutions way of keeping me and my progeny alive, so I am ok with this fear, even if my frequent echoes of ‘Be careful’ in the playground do annoy my husband!
The fear that bothers me is the fear that stops me doing things. Now having twins and going on excursions has lots of different issues attached to it; in the beginning it was what if they are hungry at the same time, how can I breastfeed 2 at once in public? When they were first crawling, how do I keep them both from getting trampled on at play groups? When they were first running, how do I keep them both from danger in a large play café, park or beach when they run in different directions? When they were 2, how do I deal with 2 tired hungry tots having meltdowns when we were out on my own? All these questions and ‘What ifs’ put me off doing things or even trying to find solutions.
Now what I have learnt, that when I think like this, concentrating on the ‘What ifs’ in a negative way that I stop myself doing stuff and rather then feeling proud of what I have accomplished I feel shit about what I didn’t do.
Though the times when I did override that fear and the ‘What ifs’ I felt so proud, like the time when they were about a year old and I was having a bad day and I decided to go out anyway (as the sun was shining and I sooo wanted to be out in it) and on that day I met another twin family who had just moved to the area and we have become firm friends since, or the time I took a solo hike with the girls in their carriers to a remote-ish beach as I missed being in the middle of nowhere and it was resounding success (bar the last 5minutes when a hot sweaty tired Mama, who had just hiked up a very steep hill loaded up like a pack horse had to deal with getting 2 unwilling tots into car seats) or the first time I went to a café with a friend and her daughter after a playgroup to get Babychinos, this last one might not seem especially brave but keeping 2 incredibly wiggling toddlers (who don’t sit in highchairs) at a table instead of running riot is a mean feat which we kind of managed. It would’ve been easy to talk myself out of these things and miss out on fun and friends.
So these last 2 and half life changing years have taught me to feel the fear and do it anyway and through this moto I have had these amazing confidence building experiences. I admit that life with twins is getting easier, the girls who for a long time were not fans of sleep or should I say not sleeping at the same time now mostly sleep through the night, they are no longer in nappies, they are getting more adept at getting themselves ready, you can negotiate and reason with them and explain concepts like why wearing suncream is a good idea even if no one likes it; all these things (though mainly the increased sleep) has lead to life becoming easier and having more reserves and energy for fighting the fear, as well as having friends who inspire me and a supportive husband who’s answer to most things is ‘It’ll be fine’, so these days on the most part I can see the ‘What ifs’ and can feel the fear, and can do it anyway.
N.B I just want to add that I’m writing about the little fears that we all feel in a comfortably middle class life where we don’t know what it is to feel a life threatening fear of having no home, safety or food. I am extremely aware there are millions of people in the world who don’t have the luxury of a roof over their heads, a place of safety or clean fresh water at the turn of a tap or a cupboard full of food and I hope me talking about my personal fears doesn’t belittle theirs.