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Gratitude in Pairs

Nicole A. Bashor

I've identified with and adopted many identities in my life: woman, daughter, wife, friend, athlete, mentor, lesbian, social justice advocate, chemical engineer, and patent lawyer to name a few. Recently, I took on a new identify as a mother (of twins!). The journey to my new identity started last year and continued until Ella and Theo decided they wanted to come into this world on Christmas morning.

Having children has been an incredible journey for sure - especially having two at the same time! Before I became a mother, I didn't really have a sense of what parenthood would be like. I didn't understand how long the nights could be. I didn’t know that feelings of love, frustration, excitement, and exhaustion could all exist together, at the same time. I didn’t yet have the determination to understand all baby problems and attempt to fix them (Ella currently has a nest in her crib that I engineered out of Harry Potter books and a pool noodle in an effort to help her sleep). I didn’t understand that days go by slowly and weeks go by fast. I didn’t expect the constant struggle to find 30 minutes for myself in a day, and I most certainly didn’t appreciate the fact that my life would be completely different in every way.

This month, I celebrated my first Mother's Day as a mother, and the experience was one that I can only sum up with one word: twins. When you want to leave the house with twins, the stars have to align in what feels like a 1 minute window of opportunity. You spend 2 hours preparing all the things you need; you need both twins to be fed, changed, dressed, and awake; and because babies are babies, you have a very narrow window to make this happen. My wife and I had planned to have a morning picnic in the park for our Mother's Day celebration, but in typical twin parent fashion, we made it to the park in the late afternoon after numerous baby melt downs and missed naps. Nonetheless, we had a wonderful picnic and were happy just to spend time as a family. My wife and I are constantly working on being flexible and embracing the unpredictability of parenting two babies who have very different personalities, and who always appear to want exactly the opposite of their sibling.

I've been back at work now for about a month and I'm starting to apply to my practice what I’m learning in my new role as a mother. As a lawyer, I've always been proactive, efficient, and organized, but having twins has magnified and honed these skills to a level I didn't realize was possible. I'm thankful that my colleagues and clients have been so wonderful during this transition and I'm certain that I have been successful because of their support.

I know becoming a mother has changed me in ways I am still discovering. How has becoming a parent changed the way you approach your work?