So here we are. One year (+ one month) into twin parenthood. In some ways it feels like it was a blink, and in other ways it feels like L&H have been with us forever.
Many moments are a blur – but others stick with me. Like the moment I got to hold them both together for the first time in the hospital (I’m crying as I write this just thinking about it). Or the moment we gave them their first baths in the bathroom sink – we had Simon & Garfunkel playing which was great background noise while the twins cried and cried (and L peed on me!). Or the first time they did tummy time and actually lifted their heads and SMILED instead of miserably smooshing their faces into the floor. Or the first time I took L&H to the park and they fit together in one swing – my heart melts thinking about it! They giggled as they swung back and forth. These moments, and millions more, have left marks on my heart that will last forever.
Over this past year (and one month – okay I’ll stop you get it. I’m late in getting this post up) I’ve learned so much and done so much. I’m a MOM now. Yes, still some (okay, most) days I’m making it up as I go…but I am grateful for the lessons I’ve learned so far.
There Are Good Days and Bad Days
This past year has been hard and wonderful all at the same time. I’m sorry for sounding cliché – but its true! There have been many tears, laughs, smiles, and frowns. I am extremely grateful that both L&H are “easy” babies (let’s pray that continues into toddlerhood), but they do have their moments! Thankfully, for every bad day – there have been 5 good (or even great!) ones. So when a tough day/moment hits – I try to remind myself, it will pass and better times are ahead.
It’s a Juggling Act.
How do I do it? How do I manage two babies at once? I get these questions all the time – or just the general statement “I don’t know how you do it!” People also like to lead with “WOW! You have your hands full!”.
Yes, it’s a juggling act taking care of two babies with the same needs at the same time – or even harder two babies with different needs at the same time. But I’ve said this before on here – and I’ll say it again. I do it just the same as every mom or parent does. I get up every day and be a mom. Having two is my normal. I don’t know any differently! I don’t really have any tricks, no magic methods, and no I don’t have a clone (although that would REALLY come in handy sometimes). What I can say is that I try my best to think 4 steps ahead and then take it as it comes.
Twins Takes Teamwork.
I actually lied above. I do have a trick to managing two babies at once: My Husband. Without him I wouldn’t survive. He truly amazes me with all he does. He works hard for our family every single day at work….and then comes home at the end of the day and gives 150% as a dad. He wakes up early to take “morning shift” so I can run or rest in bed for an extra half hour. He did night feedings every night when the twins were newborns. He rearranges his work schedule so he can come to every doctors appointment so I don’t have to struggle alone. He is the most amazing partner and teammate. Twins takes teamwork – literally and figuratively. There are moments one person can’t do it all (at least not easily!). When both babies are sick and need comforting, when they’re crawling in opposite directions, when they’re both trying to climb out of the bathtub at the same time (and they’re wet and extra slippery!)…the list goes on. I am so lucky to be parenting side by side on the same team as him.
I’ve learned over the past year – that I’m not as uptight about things as I thought I’d be. Sure I have certain sticking point I don’t budge on – like the twins’ the schedule (see below) – but I’ve found that I’m not overly particular about stuff and I think it’s key to my survival as a twin mom. For example, diapers. We cloth diapered for about 4 months. When I was pregnant I was ADAMANT about buying cloth diapers and covers and wipes because I was convinced it would be best for the babies, our trash collectors, and our budget. But about 4 months in, I realized I just didn’t care. I alternated between cloth and disposable diapers – like when we traveled I used disposables because it was easier – and I realized the twins were no worse for the wear on days they wore disposables as they were cloth. Was it worth all the effort to have less trash, a little more money (honestly don’t tell my hubby but it didn’t save us that much…), or possibly less diaper rash?! For me the answer was no. So I switched to disposable. Then when it came time to make the choice of what brand? I also decided I didn’t care. So some weeks we use Huggies, and others its Pampers. Sometimes its Luvs (which are actually my favorites!) and occasionally it’s UP (the Target brand). The twins have had diaper rash about 3 times collectively (knock on wood), so I don’t have any issue with any diapers. I use what’s easy, what’s available fastest, and what’s on sale. I’m “chill” about diapers. I try to be chill about their food – I buy organic when I can, but I don’t stress over it. If L&H want to eat sweet potatoes and nothing else for a day, well then….at least they’re eating it’s better than nothing right? Being a mom, and especially being a twin mom has made me realize I can’t control everything. I can’t make everything perfect. I don’t have the ability to make everything a priority. So I pick certain battles (again….the schedule I’m a stickler for!), but everything else I just do my best to go with the flow and take it as it comes.
The Days Are Really Long….But The Weeks/Months Fly.
Everyone said this to me when the twins were born. “Enjoy every minute! The days are long….but the weeks/months/years are short!”. I’d nod and smile thinking “Hmmm Okaaaay” not really getting it. But it wasn’t until I was sitting in the nursery taking the twins’ pictures on their 6 month “birthday” that I said to myself “Whoa, what everyone says is true!” The days are long. So long. Sometimes mind numbingly long. My friends can tell you, frequently I text them saying “HOW is it only 10am….I’m exhausted already.” And I’ve found they get longer the older the twins get. At the end of the day as hubs and I collapse on the couch I often can’t believe that I have only an hour before my bedtime then have to start all over again the next day. But the weeks fly by! The months go at breakneck speed….and then all of a sudden a whole year has passed.
We Will Survive
So as I mentioned before, I was (and am!) a stickler for our schedule. Around 3.5 months I started the twins on the EASY method – and loved it. It worked for them and more importantly, it worked for me. But seriously whoever invented the EASY method should contact me to be their poster child – because I was DEDICATED to that method. I used an app to record nap and feeding times/lengths. I had a baby journal to jot notes down. I lived and breathed by that schedule. It was key to my survival as a mom of two newborns/babies. I did everything I could do to keep L&H on the same schedule. To the point of often making myself crazy (again, I am NOT chill when it comes to the schedule) – and now that the twins are 13 months, I am happy to say I’m a little more chill but it’s mostly that I went from a level 10 crazy to a level 9 crazy. The first time I left L&H alone with my hubs for the day he didn’t follow the schedule. I admit, mostly it was my fault because I wasn’t clear about how important it was that he did follow the schedule but still. I flipped. He didn’t record what time they fell asleep or woke up. He didn’t keep track of feeding times. I’m getting anxiety just thinking about this day. After I came home and he saw the crazy in my eyes – he requested a complete crash course in the EASY method schedule which I gave gladly and we never had any issues again.
The biggest take away though from that fateful schedule-less day though, was that we survived. The babies slept at night okay, they ate on time. We survived. Since then we’ve done a few trips, vacations and outings that have caused us to deviate from our schedule….and you know what, WE LIVED. I’ve gone for a run and the twins’ haven’t fallen asleep in the stroller until like mile 4 (a real treat for me because it means I just keep running and running!) – which is 40 mins past their normal naptime. But guess what? We were OKAY.
So I’ve learned that while a schedule is great and necessary to get by day-to-day – it’s very much okay to deviate once and a while. We have survived and we will survive.
Help is a Luxury Worth Investing In.
We live in Philadelphia with no family nearby. My sister is in NJ which is great for weekend trips, but she’s almost 2 hours away – so there’s no calling her and asking her to swing by and watch the twins if I have to run out. Although, she’s amazing and a super mom herself….so she would figure out a way to help me.
Anyway, about 5 months in I realized I needed help. I needed an extra set of hands around the house so I could get things done, and also get a break. As a stay at home mom, my world is baby baby baby x2. Like most SAHMs (and all moms), I learned real fast – there is no down time. When the twins are napping, I’m in a race against the clock doing laundry, cleaning, meal prepping, writing (like right now!), and just trying to catch up on doing everything that I can’t do when the babies are awake.
So, with hubs encouraging, I got help. We found the most wonderful babysitter who comes one afternoon a week. Sure it costs money, but I’ve learned that help is a luxury worth investing in. Sometimes I go out and get errands done by myself (solo Target trip – WOOHOO!) or I stay in and get things done around the house that I can’t do when the twins are awake needing my full attention. And sometimes – I go out and do something FUN! Like get a pedicure or have a glass of wine with a girlfriend or get coffee and sit in the park by myself. It felt strange at first to do things for myself like that, but when I did the math and figured out that as moms we work almost 24/7, I got okay real fast with a glass of Pinot Grigio on a Wednesday afternoon.
The Mundane Moments Will Be the Ones You Miss Most.
Feeding the twins in their boppy pillows 6-7 times a day used to feel so boring. I felt like my butt was becoming one with the floor/couch. But now, I miss those feedings so much. Having the babies snuggled up to me, so still. They’d feed then we would cuddle close for burps and snuggles. They’d do tummy time sitting up in my lap, we’d read books or play with toys. I miss the stillness and the quiet. I miss how easy it was compared to now. So much of the newborn and early infancy stage felt mundane and boring – but honestly, it’s those moments that I miss the most.
My Mom (and all moms) Are Amazing.
I love my mom. She’s incredible. She does it all. No but seriously. My mom is the mom who even now that I’m in my 30s, still sends me care packages with cookies and toilet paper in it – so that I’m well fed and also don’t have to “waste my own money” on toilet paper. Seriously. How awesome is that? I’ve always loved and appreciated my mom. But now that I’m also a mom – that love and appreciation has grown tenfold. I didn’t get it until now just how hard she works. And how much she gives and does for others instead of herself. Same for my dad – I am more aware now that I see how my hubby gives so much of just how much he did/does for our family. I know that as the twins grow and life gets busier and harder (and I get even more tired….) I that love and appreciation will only continue to grow. But truly over this past year – I have learned that my mom, and all moms, are AMAZING.
We’re Parents Even When We’re Not Parenting.
I was so excited when Chris and I went out for our first date night. A night SOLO! At a RESTAURANT! Where we wouldn’t have to pick up food/bottles/toys off the floor. We’d have time to talk to each other. We could connect! But in reality? We went out to the restaurant, ate quickly, missed the babies, talked about whether or not H had pooped today and debated having dessert because we were both so tired we just wanted to go home. HAH! We laughed later (as we laid in bed) at the fact that we were so lame…but also how we are SUCH parents now. It never shuts off!
It’s the Best Time of My Life
The final lesson I’ll share may seem cheesy and cliché but it’s really true: This is the best time of my life. I always knew having kids would be great – but now that I’m a mom….I realize just how great it is. Yes its hard (it’s the hardest job I’ve ever had!), but it’s wonderful. L&H bring us so much joy. I love watching them grow and learn – sometimes right before my eyes! I swear they get bigger and cuter every day. I truly feel blessed to have two happy, healthy, sweet babies in my life. This has been the best year of my life – and I can’t wait for more wonderful times to come.