Reflections on a year

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Categories Infants

Yahoo, we made it!  We “survived” the first year with twins.  Honestly, I’m not sure it was all that bad.

OK, wait, stop throwing things.  Let me explain.

Yes, there was a lot of survival mode.  Especially at the beginning, and at various points along the way.  There were times when I got mad, times when I got frustrated, times when I lost my cool and actually shouted at my four-month-old children, times when all three of us were crying.  I freely admit that there were really, really hard parts.

But, I don’t know, it’s not like I ever felt as though I somehow wouldn’t make it through.  The times when I felt really overwhelmed didn’t last too long at a stretch.  Looking back, a lot of it is a blur.  And maybe that’s part of the survival mode bit.  I can scarcely remember what I did when they were three months old.  And yet, I did it.  Whatever it was, it happened.  I wasn’t spinning out of control.  We all had food and drink and clean clothes and dry diapers.  As we all know, as is the title of this blog, people always ask “how do you do it with two babies?”  And my answer remains the same: “you just do.”

There were lots of things that helped.  My moms of twins club and the friends I made through it.  Blogging.  Getting out of the house.  Routine.  Cutting myself some slack.  Cleaning ladies.

When they were newborns, people would randomly come up to me and say “it gets better!”  I thought it was odd (even annoying) at the time.  Did I look that strung out? The babies weren’t screaming, all was well.  And yet, I do that to other people now.  Alas.

It really does get better.  Less never-ending screaming for no apparent reason (I’m not saying it disappears completely, but there’s a whole lot less).  More sleep (most of the time).  Sitting up, I remember, was a big milestone that seemed to change the way we all interacted.  Crawling even more so.  Walking is on the horizon.

While it definitely gets better as they get older, I hesitate to say it gets “easier.”  It gets… different.  At the beginning, it’s all feeding and sleeping.  Bottles got easier, more predictable, faster.  They held them on their own (yay!).  I got into a good nap schedule, we Ferberized and they sleep through the night.  That stuff is easier.  And yet, now there are entirely new things.  Opinions, frustrations, distractions.  Childproofing.  A sudden dislike for grilled cheese, which was such a hit last week.  Sleep is certainly easier than the, say, two-month stage, but it’s never great for too long.  Nap strikes, the approaching 2-to-1 nap transition, early risers.

I think, if it is actually easier, that has more to do with confidence and knowing your kids than it does about the actual challenges.  There’s crazy things afoot, and now I have to worry about things like falling down the stairs and opening basement doors.  And yet… it’s better.  Way better than the haze of the newborn days, wondering why my son wouldn’t sleep for more than 10 minutes at a stretch for four straight days. At the time, I questioned whether I’d survive.  Now, if he skips a nap, we deal.

Anyways, I’m rambling.  My kids’ first birthday was a long day and my brain is a little fried.  Big family reunion, two-hour drive, airport delays, and finally arriving home just shy of midnight. The piles of laundry and the to-do list threaten my sanity.  But here we are.  One year and one day.  We made it.  Now, onto even bigger adventures.

The obligatory birthday cake picture.
The obligatory birthday cake picture.
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10 thoughts on “Reflections on a year”

  1. I felt that sense of elation when the boys turned one… like I MADE IT! And it wasn’t all that bad! But in retrospect, it was a tough year where my life almost completely stopped and became about the babies. I think the challenge of the first year is the physical challenge. The challenge of the toddler years is the emotional challenge. Never easy, but easier.

    Congrats mama on making it!

  2. I have to say I find it much easier now at almost 16 months than that first 0-9 months. No more BFing means more freedom and flexibility for all of us, predictable napping means I rarely have to wake them up, walking means no more throwing out my back trying to carry almost 50lbs of baby and the start of language and communication is fantastic. However, the best part? Uninterrupted sleep from 10pm to 6am, EVERY day!!! If that doesn’t make life easier, what does?

  3. What a great look back, congrats on the year milestone!

    During twin pregnancy you hear so many warnings and horror stories, and all I kept hearing is if we survived the first 3 or 6 or 8 months we would be in the clear. Thinking that way helped me get through those first months, but it downplays the challenges that come later. And the joys.

    Your babes are almost exactly 6 months ahead of mine. Love having the guidance!

  4. I cannot say I agree more…my two are one month shy of a year and your poetic writing describes our past year with perfection! It is nice to know that most twin moms go through similar experiences and we are not alone! Thanks for your post!

  5. Happy Birthday and congratulations. Your post sounds oh, so familiar!

    When I went through my rough period (4.5-7 months) every time I heard “It gets easier” (which was quite often), my confidence was boosted. So keep on sayin’ it! You might just make someone’s day!

  6. That takes me back to the first year. Eat, sleep, diaper, repeat! :) I found the first year with my daughter was much easier than with my twins. It just goes by so fast it’s all just a blur now anyway. Enjoy your two are adorable!

  7. I love that she is biting the plate – like that cake is what she has been waiting for her whole life and she must have ALL of it…haha!!! Great first year!

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