My biggest twin parenting surprises so far

Published February 19, 2017 by Jennie

The twins are 7 and a half months old. I can’t believe how fast it has all gone by. We have had a lot of ups and downs as well as a lot of surprises. Parenting twins is nothing like I thought it would be (then again I am not really sure what I thought it was going to be like). Before I start though, I figured I would share a few pictures of the little munchkins.

These have been my biggest surprises so far.

1. Working outside the home makes me a better mom.

When I had the twins, I originally planned to stay home with them for at least a year. I ended up starting work when they were about 3 months old. It was really hard for me to admit this to myself but I am a better mom when I have a chance to miss them. I am lucky that I have found a daycare that takes excellent care of them. One of the reasons they are doing so well is because of everything their teachers at daycare do for them. This was not our original plan (or the best solution for all families) but we are all happier.

2. The twins are tougher than I sometimes give them credit for.

They have come so far since their days in the NICU as preemie twins.

They still have their challenges (for example Luke tends to get frequent respiratory infections ) but they are not my frail little preemies anymore. They are tough cookies!

3. They are completely different

For me, this has been the hardest part of parenting twins. They do everything different, including reaching milestones. Lauren tends to reach them first which causes me endless anxiety. Luke also had severe torticollis, which really limited his movement for the first few months but he has weekly therapy for it and has made great progress. Even so, it is so hard not to compare them and wonder why one can do something but the other one can’t. Their pediatrician has reminded me multiple times that they are different people and I can not expect them to be the same.

4. Mommy judgement is alive and well

Most of the feedback I get from people is positive. Even so, every so often I get a harsh dose of mommy judgement. During our Christmas party at work, one of my coworkers let me know she could not imagine letting one (let along two) babies at daycare until they were at least a year old. I have also gotten some less than nice comments for formula feeding. That one is especially hard to deal with because I did everything I could to breastfeed and it simply didn’t work.

5. We need a lot of help

When I was pregnant I figured that if I was organized and motivated enough, my husband and I could handle the twins without outside help. I was wrong. We get lots of help from friends and family and could not do it without them. I am not supermom and that’s okay.

6. Time has become  very valuable

When I want to do something, I now have to decide if it is worth time away from my kids. A few months ago I decided it is finally time to get back in shape. To do this, I have to take away some of the limited time I have with my kids to work out. This has been hard. I take them to the gym with me (usually after work) about 4 times a week. While I really like the people who take care of them at the gym’s childcare center, that is 4 more hours I do not have with them. I try my best to make the time we do spend together count.

7. I still miss the baby we lost

I am so thankful for our twins. Even so, they do not replace the baby we lost. I still think about him and wonder what he would have been like. He was loved and will always be missed.

Thanks for reading and I hope everyone is doing well! – Jennie

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13 comments on “My biggest twin parenting surprises so far

  • Lovely to hear from you and so appreciate your honesty. Parenting one baby is so hard, I can’t imagine two at once. To me you are most definitely a supermum. I love that you are making decisions to be a better you. It is so important. Happy mum means you can be the best mum you can be when you are with them. 👍👍❤❤

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    • Hey good to hear from you thanks! It took me a while to accept that my own happiness impacts my ability to parent and it is not selfish to want to be happy. It took us a while to find our groove but we are doing well now. I hope you and your LOs are doing well 🙂 I bet they are getting big!

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  • Such beautiful kids! Don’t stress about the stupid comments. My brother, who gave me endless crap about quitting my PhD program because “babies don’t need you,” has turned into a SAH dad since his baby was born 2 months ago, essentially. He’s pushing back his timeline for graduation from his PhD.

    I’m due in 2 weeks, still working a clinical job, and planning to return after 8 weeks.

    We all do the best we can and the best we know for our families.

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    • Oh wow you are getting close congrats! Yeah I think it is so true that everyone has to figure out what works best for themselves and what works for one person/family may not work for another. I have had lots of friends not go back to work and be happy and others (like me) are much happier working outside the home.

      Hope you have a smooth delivery and all goes well!

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  • So cute! I’m happy to see they are thriving!

    I also believe I am a better Mom working outside the home. I always knew that I would continue working (I do wish I had more than 16 weeks off with my baby, as I think maternity leave in the US is not long enough).

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    • I agree that maternity leave in the US is pretty sad. I have had some friends take even less than than and its really hard for them. What I really wish is that companies had to offer paid maternity leave but that is a whole different thing.

      It did take us a while to figure out what works best for our family but I am glad we figured it out and are all doing well 🙂 They are sweet kids (even though they are a handful!)

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    • Thanks! It took me ma while to learn how to deal with the guilt I felt from not staying home but we really are all happier. I also like how they are learning to be independent. They are happy to see me when I pick them up but have also adjusted well with being dropped off and spending time away from me. I do miss them during the day but I think it makes me value the time I have with them more 🙂

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  • It’s nice to see this update and see the pics! I have also gotten a lot of judgment for formula-feeding, and I know how rough that can be. It is not physically possible for me to breastfeed, and even people who KNOW that have given me crap. I’m sorry you’ve gotten the same. I have thought about writing a post on it actually, but there is so much to say that I’m afraid it won’t come out right. The guilt I’ve had over it (made worse by judgement, criticism and comments) has been really hard to deal with for me.

    I actually think it’s great that you’ve been able to figure out that working makes you a better mom. I think there are probably a LOT of women in the same position who won’t admit that to themselves and are unhappy. Not just with working but with lots of situations. Being able to make the choices you have for yourself and your family shows a lot of strength. Just like every baby is different, every mom is different too, and it sounds like you are doing a great job!

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    • Thanks! I know we still make mistakes but we are doing the best we can. A lot of it is trial and error. I do know that we are all a lot happier than we used to be and that is a good thing.

      The mean comments I get form not BF used to bother me a lot but I am getting used to them. My kids are fed and are thriving. It might not have been the way I originally anticipated but it’s working for us.

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