The last time I saw Kara was at our 20th high school reunion. She casually mentioned that there was a point early in her career as a mother in which she had three children under three years old.
“Note to self,” I thought. “Kara is crazy. Poor, poor Kara. I never want to be like Kara.”
I had an eight-month old at the time, and as any mother who only has an eight-month old knows, a kid will ruin your life.
But Kara—because she was the mother of twins plus a third—already knew the Great Secrets of the Twin Mom, so she just nodded and said, “Oh yeah, it was crazy.” Meanwhile keeping to herself that three is better than one.
Flash forward two years—I had come across some stuff that Kara had written for a parenting magazine on childbirth and natural birth and talking to your doctor.
After reading the article I thought to myself, “Kara is really smart. She has a knack for writing with a process-oriented meta-structure. I want to write like Kara.”
So I contacted Kara because I wanted to quote her in the parenting book I was writing about the meta-structure of process-oriented thought.
(I know what you are thinking. You are thinking that writing about a meta-structure that conveys a process-oriented approach to pregnancy and parenting does not sound very interesting. I know. If I could make it sound interesting, I would be on a book tour right now, not writing a blog post.)
Plus, I was pregnant.
“ARE YOU PREGNANT WITH TWINS?” Kara wrote back. Because moms of twins always want other moms to have twins. I know. I am always disappointed when my friends only have one baby at a time.
“NO!” I told her. After which I thought to myself, “Kara is crazy. Twins! Pfffff!!!”
But in fact, it was twins.
So I emailed Kara back with something along the lines of, “OhMyGod/ItIsTwins/AndTheyAreMonoMonos/AndTheyMightDie/MakeItBetterWiseTwinMom/AndTellMeICanStillHaveANaturalBirth
Kara emailed back with the title of a book I had to get. She told me to eat 4000 calories a day (backed up by science, ok?) She told me to get lots of sleep. She told me to ignore anyone who said anything negative. She told me to talk to my babies and tell them to share.
“Kara is awesome,” I thought.
Then I read an interview she gave (probably because she was promoting her most-awesomest book Hot (Sweaty) Mama: 5 Secrets to Life as a Fit Mom—which, if you must know, is not just process-oriented meta-structure, it tells you how you, too, can work out. Even with kids. She knows. She has four of them now.) In her interview, Kara talked about having twin toddlers and a newborn.
“I had two choices. I could have a nervous breakdown or I could rally. So I rallied.”
“Those are MY choices, too!” I thought. “I want to be like Kara. I want to rally.”
When I had to wake up every morning at 4am just to pump an ounce and a half of milk, I thought, “Kara rallied. I’m going to rally.”
When it took twenty minutes to get in the car and twenty minutes to get out of the car for what was a seven-minute-car ride, I thought, “Kara rallied. I will rally.”
When we went to the pediatrician every week for six weeks, I chanted my mantra:
“Kara rallied. I will rally.”
I still rally. But it’s like that second-nature twin-mom rally that you hardly think about. Able to catch falling children in a single bound! Able to create snacks in the blink of an eye! Able to ignore three whining kids and blog instead!
Sometimes, at night when Matt whispers to me, “Let’s have four,” I think, “Kara has four. I could be like Kara... I could do it. I could rally...”
No, I can’t. Kara is crazy.