Lara from Twice Blessed Life on Parenting Twins
Lara N. from Twice Blessed Life chats about parenting twins in this interview. Lara also shares her parenting motto, the pluses and negatives of being a stay-at-home mother, and a few of her family's favorite activities.
Tell us more about yourself and your family.
My husband Masa (he’s from Japan) and I (a Jersey Girl) were married in 1995, and in 2005 we decided to start InVitro. After 3 attempts, we had success with our twins Halle & Zanna born in 2007. We were both late 30-something by then and were a little overwhelmed. Grateful, but overwhelmed. Somehow we survived, and it’s been getting easier and the girls are a daily Blessing for us. Masa’s enjoyed stepping outside his cultural comfort zone to be a hands-on father, and now that the girls are a little older, I’m exploring the reclamation of my personal identity beyond “Mama”.
What was the most surprising thing about having twins, and what is the most challenging thing about having twins?
The most surprising this is how very different my twins are from each other. They’re fraternal, but both girls. One has curly hair like me – and my feisty, emotional temperament, and the other one has straight hair like my husband – and his pacifistic, more docile temperament. Even their food preferences are different!
The most challenging thing is that there is no difference in age – no older/younger sibling dynamic to help out teaching the younger – whether by example or directly. Sometimes it’s like having two squirrels running loose, equal partners in wreaking havoc.
In your opinion, what is the best part about being a stay-at-home mom, and what is the least exciting part?
The best part is being there with the kids, getting to snuggle them whenever they or I want, sometimes I feel like one of those mama bears on a nature show, bonding with my young! Also I’m grateful to be able to establish some healthy values for them, get them entrenched in those things (proper diet, modesty, religion, balancing individualism with group cooperation, creativity vs. conformity, etc…) before they start school full-time.
My least exciting part is having to take two 4-yr-olds shopping or on errands that aren’t exactly fun for them, so they create their own ‘fun’, which translates for everyone else as chaos unleashed! Also, it’s a bit hard to focus on work (my writing) when I’m being constantly interrupted every few minutes with ear-splitting shrieks for attention!
What are some of your family’s favorite things to do together for fun?
We like to visit nature museums, or local U-Pick farms, hang out at a playground, work in our community garden plot (the girls LOVE worms!) or sometimes my husband and I split up the twins and go on ‘dates’ one-on-one so the girls get individual attention – we’ll do anything from getting a frozen yogurt to painting each others’ nails to just walking around the neighborhood or visiting a coffee shop to read books. Plus, my mother’s an artist so we do a lot of arts & crafts with her.
What are your top 5 tips for all moms?
1) When it gets to be too much, there’s no shame in taking a “Mommy Time Out” for a few minutes.
2) Make up for nutritional deficiencies with a good smoothie – add green powder and/or a raw zucchini or other veggie (not broccoli) and some blueberries and they’ll never know it has veggies in it! (probiotic powder is also good to add!)
3) You do what you have to, to survive – even if it means re-evaluating and readjusting your original plans – if you need to ratchet down how “crunchy” you are as a ‘green’ mom, for the sake of sanity or budget, don’t drive yourself crazy with regrets, just do what you are able and focus on giving love to your kids – that’s more of a priority for them than all the accoutrements or trendy parenting styles in the world.
4) Get a nice, fancy dessert for yourself and your parenting partner to share after the kids go to bed – have a stay-in date night at the very least, to maintain your bond with your spouse/partner.
5) Look into local thrift stores like Goodwill, etc., for buying toys/books, particularly for small kids – that way you’re not heartbroken if they break it or grow out of it too soon.
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Do you have a parenting motto or words that you live by that you could share with our readers?
We try to raise our kids to be fit and contributing citizens for global society while developing the special gifts God has given them.
Google+ (I follow back!): https://plus.google.com/113257700710083254974