Did you feel that? It was a shift in the cosmos and probably the space time continuum because two legendary humans, George and Amal Clooney, welcomed their twins, Alexander and Ella, into the world on Tuesday. Obviously, it has been well-known for a while that this power couple was going to be having twin babies, but knowing you are going to have twins and then actually having them are two very different things. As a fairly new mother of twins myself, I feel like it is my duty to impart some new parent words of wisdom to new mom Amal Clooney. Here goes:
Amal — Do you mind if I call you that? — I feel it is important to inform you that you have entered into a very exclusive club. I know, you are likely used to having VIP access to any club you desire but this one is unlike anything you have been a part of, I assure you of that. Being a parent to twins is going to rock your world. Speaking from the point of view of someone who is not an extraordinarily wealthy actor or an epically successful international human rights lawyer, it is the hardest job that you will ever take on, but it is more rewarding than anything you will ever do in your lifetime.
Besides never getting a photo where they are both looking at the camera and smiling, the main thing that will be especially challenging for both you and George is the simple fact that you don't just have one human being who is relying on you to keep them alive and flourishing, you have two of these tiny, helpless humans.
I may be wrong, but I am assuming that being George and Amal Clooney, you will be fortunate enough to acquire a staff of people who can lend a hand during this time, but even if that is the case, you will still no doubt bear the brunt of the responsibility as the new mom and dad. There won't be the ceremonial passing of the baton to your spouse in the middle of the night during those first few weeks of round-the-clock feeding, which would generally allow one of you to get at least a couple of hours of sleep. There are two babies here, so you will both end up getting up for every feeding. One of you will heat up the milk (if you are pumping or formula feeding), while the other one changes your little babes' diapers. After everything is ready to go, you will then have to feed two babies at once and then promptly burp them to ensure you don't add gassy bellies to your agenda.
Since my twins, Isla and Lennon, arrived in my life, I definitely find myself inexplicably more cautious when it comes to putting myself in dangerous situations. Since the job of an international human rights lawyer and lifelong activist tends to require a lot of travel and a lot of extremely precarious situations, I wouldn't be surprised if you can relate. Of course, becoming a mother of twins just adds to the already immensely impressive resume of an already badass woman, so even if it changes things a bit, it only makes you more inspirational in my eyes.
Having a baby at all will change your way of thinking about the world around you, but having two lives that count on you and love you unconditionally certainly flipped my sense of security on its head. Personally, I even found myself doing little things like switching from red meat to tofu and getting my cardio routine back on track. Little compromises are much more worth it to me now because the thought of not having as much time as possible on Earth with my twins is simply not an option.
My advice to you is to never feel guilty for wanting to have an identity outside of being a mother of twins. Working hard for a successful career like you have done is something to be immensely proud of and you don't have to give it up. You can absolutely conquer your career and motherhood at the same time. I am lucky enough to be a writer at home by day and an on-call autopsy technician by night when my husband is home for the girls. If you want to keep doing what you love, you can definitely make it work.
Also, take naps whenever possible. Allow each other to take naps. This is necessary for survival, otherwise you will have kids that grow up thinking Mom is an actual zombie.
Having twins is a lot of hard work and there will be times when you feel like you haven't given them both equal attention or you will feel like you wish you had sprouted another set of arms when you gave birth. Trust me, having double the hugs, double the snuggles, and eventually hearing "mama" come out of two sweet little faces will make you forget about any tough times that you encounter along the way. Not only do they have a built-in best friend to walk through life with, but you just gained two best friends, as well.
Good luck and congratulations. Welcome to the club.