Last time we spoke you were awaiting the arrival of your twin girls and the release of your first self-published book The Apricot Memoirs, poetic wisdom born from your own personal experience of embracing the slow and learning to move through life seasonally. Your golden girls are now 12 weeks old and your apricot prose has been sent out around the world to grateful hearts. Have you found the words to describe your current life season?
I’m yet to round up and articulate the extreme abundance of emotions that visit me on the daily in this wild and wooly season, but what I can say is that it’s been the BEST and most mentally challenging season of my life, so far. Even under the aubade of sleeplessness and giving out more than I knew to be humanly possible, life is strangely beautiful. I feel really blessed.
One night after my Mumma “victory shower” and all babes asleep, I put some pen to paper and these words splattered out, I think they best describe my now—
“Never in my life have I felt so happy and so exhausted, so “into it” and so “over it”, so beautiful and so worse for wear, so alive and so tired, so organised and so unorganised, so on the front foot and so on the back foot, so hopeful and so unsure, so visionary and so withdrawn, so given to & so taken from, so extrovert and so introvert, so brave and so afraid, so confident and so timid, so in love and so out of my depth, so abundant and so fickle, so chill and so crazy, so purposeful & so aimless, so intentional & so “go with the flow”... Ps. Today I need the coffee.
We didn’t expect the book to circulate as it so wonderfully has and for the timing to also be in the midst of discovering what it means to raise twins. Overnight our family went from three to five and all in the same breath the book dropped and the response was more than we hoped for—right now all we have is “now” and we approach our days literally hour upon hour because thats all we can see. As we make this approach our daily mantra we are present and blessed. This season is colour-full!
Those hazy newborn days, they are as beautiful as they are exhausting - physically, mentally and emotionally. Nothing can prepare for you the cocktail of overwhelming love and pure joy mixed with the feelings of sorrow as you mourn your old self, not to mention the moments of intense vulnerability as you navigate this new part of your self. It is a rebirth of you. How has motherhood - and no less of identical twin girls - healed you and challenged you so far?
This time has been so very different to round one of motherhood/parenthood. I did a whole lot of forced surrender in round one—I was stubborn and tried to keep my old life only to realise everything had changed and it took me a while to acknowledge that my emerging new self was beautifully ok and that rolling with the change was the best choice to enjoying the adventure that motherhood brings.
Caleb (my love) and I often talk about how ironically and in a lot of ways this round of parenthood has been easier emotionally then round one—because we are already surrendered. Our life now is set up for family dwelling—where in round one we went from being on the front foot socially, living in Sydney and doing anything and everything newlyweds wanted to do, to then having to change our whole lifestyle overnight. We were very unprepared and naive (like any new parent). To be honest, my first taste of motherhood was my un-doing.
The moment we surrendered to our new era of family and embraced all of its change—life became more beautiful. So here we are now juggling twins like clowns yet totally choosing to be present in parenthood without resistance. Don’t get me wrong we often make funny jokes together saying things like “We’ll always have New York” or “It’s only a season” as we look back to moments where life was simple and in some ways selfishly bliss—we make these jokes whilst we are together rocking babies to sleep for what feels like hours as they invade our beloved date night and love life—oh what a selfless journey it has been. We’ve certainly found our sense of humour in this season because having twins sometimes feels like you’re only just surviving, it's an up-hill climb often without reprieve so laughter makes the load light, especially when you can laugh together.
I think to sum it all up, In this season I've been pleasantly surprised by all the heart work and growth I did after Peachy my eldest was born. I'm in a much better headspace (flaws and all) and feel like even though this certainly isn't a walk in the park, I'm more relaxed and just able to roll with the punches. It's a nice feeling. Still so much to learn but I'm enjoying the process.
Tess, I am certain I am not alone in this statement but what I admire about you most is your ability to celebrate life and find the joy and meaning in each moment, which you share with your followers daily on instagram in a very authentic and open way. Is your life outlook something that comes naturally to you or is it something you have learnt through experience? Is there a path you had to walk to get there?
My internal choice to “see the beauty” certainly isn’t natural. It’s a choice—like all states of being. Through prayer, feeding my mind with truth, choosing good friendships, cultivating kind talk, steering away from gossip, celebrating whatever I can celebrate, choosing forgiveness, communication, listening to intuition, walking as a victor even when I feel like trudging as a victim and committing my worries to my Creator, God—I find that these intentions set me up for a win! Don’t get me wrong, I don’t always live in this space, but I feel tenacious about growth and my biggest fear is becoming stagnant. In choosing this way of living I’m always very aware of the signs that lead me to muddy places... I try to nip things in the bud as they arise rather then letting things fester. I also cherish the biblical principal "Don't let the sun set upon anger" as a very important truth to living, it's simple and more effective than I have the words to communicate. I also make communication with my love Caleb a pivotally weekly priority—conversation unravels so much and allows us to discuss/vent/blurt and then make a choice to move on and see the beauty. Accountability is also key—Caleb is great at hearing me out but also great at letting me know when I’m out of line or need to move on. I want to stay vibrant and free and in doing this I know I have to be intentional daily, it’s not easy but it’s easier than living full time in a stagnant place where growth doesn’t happen. Growth is important to me and I'll flow with it for the rest of my life—if we aren't growing, we aren't living.
What is next for your colourful rainbow family?
As I mentioned earlier my current mantra is “hour upon hour” because thats all we have and the twin haze is real haha. I love the way we have chosen to do life as family! Due to both mine and my husbands field of work, any day could bring something new—whether it be news we are traveling to another country or enjoying the simple pleasures of a day at the beach because we both have the day off—life is constantly exciting and it sometimes feels like we are living on the edge (and in the faith zone)! I have started writing again (very casually) and I can see another book on the horizon that will birthed out of this season, I see it being alot about motherhood mixed with some other pieces of prose and poetry that have been written from my current life pondering. Most of it so far, has been written in the shower haha because thats the only time I’m alone these days. But who knows whats ahead? What I do know is that whatever it is, it’s going to be exciting!!!!!
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