My twin daughters are big kindergarteners now, but I remember the days where I thought I would never make it their first birthday. For the most part I have forgotten these memories of life being tough from birth until 2 years old.
I’m very blessed to have a wonderful best friend who also has twin daughters; they are only 8 months old and so adorable! I love hearing from her about the experience. Every time I talk with her, she tells me something going on, and I, of course, have been through it! Most of our discussions are about struggles, feeling stretched thin and wondering if she’s doing a good job. I certainly had the same thoughts in the early days of twin parenting. The good news is – it gets better! As the kids grow, so does your mom confidence.
I specifically remember crying to my husband that we were doing the most horrible job with our twins because we had a babysitter when I worked. No joke, my husband was looking at me like I was blue. He asked me if I wanted to stop working and I said, “No!” Then he was said, “What will make this better?” I responded, “NOTHING! It’s just so horrible.” There was no reasoning with me and there was no winning; I really just wasn’t confident my parenting was good enough.
I worked part time and at the time, I thought I was doing the worst job as a mom. Looking back, I realize that this was such an isolating feeling and I know so many new moms are probably going through the same thing. So, I’m offering a few tips of advice, now that I’m out of the fog and can see things clearly.
- Things will get better. While everything in the early years seems like the biggest deal, most of it is small stuff. Once your kiddos hit 2 or so, they can play together and they are so much more joyous. The schedule also frees up, … well a little.
- You will eventually leave the house. I swear I didn’t take my girls very many places when they were small. Mostly because if I couldn’t take a stroller, I just wasn’t interested. Also, there were the 3 naps a day, so really there wasn’t a ton of open time between naps and feedings. We hit the park, the zoo and maybe an occasional visit to my parents’ house. But once they were walking and could hold hands, things freed up a ton. Oh, and I also enrolled them in preschool a few mornings each week.
- You will find some balance. At first it’s hard to balance the babies, work, housework, the husband, the workouts and that phantom dinner making. But, eventually the babies are less work, there are less feedings, less naps and the routine becomes more fluid. In the early years we had dinner delivered at least 3 times a week because dinner was about the last thought on my mind.
- Your mom duties are new. This is my big takeaway from the early years. My duties as mom were new. They were overwhelming, and most of all I wasn’t always sure that my mom skills were as good as they should or could be. Once I got the hang of the mom job, I stressed less.
- Other moms eventually chill out. This was a big part of my mom stress. I would hear other moms talk about special products, or only using “x” brand of diapers and I would think, “I’m thrilled we had diapers at the house and we didn’t have to make ANOTHER trip to the store.” Good news … moms tend to chill out as their kids get older and realize the small stuff just isn’t that important. You also meet tons of moms along the way and the ones that don’t chill out probably don’t get the invite to hang out at wine night.
- Notice the balance is off. I remember being so frazzled by my mom stress that I pretty much hated my husband. He was actually very helpful with the girls, the housework, grocery shopping, but because he wasn’t worried about the same little stuff I was, our dynamic was definitely off. But, it gets better, I swear!
- Think about what a blessing your child/ children are. This is the part I was missing, with all my worry. Had I taken 5 minutes every day to actually feel grateful, my whole demeanor would have been more positive. Our family now has a daily gratitude practice that helps everyone 🙂