Thursday, January 19, 2017

Does It Get Easier?

Just about one year ago, Hubby and I became a part of a fun and inclusive group... parents of multiples.

This is a worldwide club that once you're in, you're in... and if you're not in, you're not in.  You either have two or more babies you birthed and are raising at the same time, or you don't.  And if you do have twins or more, you have a lot in common with other parents of multiples.

So, when Hubby and I joined the parents of multiples club a year ago, we often began to notice other parents of multiples, and other parents of multiples began to notice us.  As we struck up new conversations and friendships with these fellow parents (most of these were done through Hubby, as I was home 24-7 with babies, not out making friends), 
we always had one question,
"Does it get easier?"

And they all always had the same answer,
"No -- it just changes."

Well, now I am over a year in with my three little ones... twins and our toddler.  Remember, we went from one child to three -- that's another club of its own, but I digress.

I am excited for that day ahead when we meet new parents of twins and they ask us that same desperate question, because I have a different answer.

Go ahead... ask me.

"Does it get easier?"

"Yes, it does."

It does get easier.

This is not to say that chasing two toddlers, or worrying about two mobile children, or chasing two runners at the playground or baby proofing for two toddlers working as a team isn't still very hard -- it is.  Two babies, two toddlers, two preschool tuitions, two bicycle helmets, two, two, two is our/your new life... but it DOES get easier.

One year ago, I was nursing two babies around the clock separately, and pumping so that each baby could get additional bottles of breastmilk.  We were struggling to make Tracey feel special and loved and important in her new role as big sister given that she was now outnumbered by newborn babies.  My parents were staying with us, and yet somehow with the extra hands no one was sleeping enough.  Simply put, life is easier now.

I nursed our twins exclusively for six months, and their feedings didn't really space out all that much during those six months because they were two growing babies -- they pretty much ate every three hours all day every day, and then about every five hours through the night.  Leaving the house for anything was very difficult for those entire six months, and nursing any location other than on our king-sized bed was very difficult.  Entertaining Tracey while I was nursing every three hours for six months was very difficult.  Simply put, life is easier now.

Today, one year later when I'm nursing the twins twice a day instead of eight times each day, life is easier, simply put, without a doubt, no question, life is easier -- logistically, technically, and practically.  It has changed, and it is still hard to raise twins... but it is easier than those first six months.

In addition, we didn't know our babies during those early days.  Their personalities were still mysteries to us as we held them, rocked them, fed them, changed them, and managed to keep them both alive.  Life is easier now because I know these two little people incredibly well.

I know that both Howard and Caroline are going to make a bee-line for upstairs if the gate is left open.  I also know that they both can climb the stairs pretty well at this point, and if the two of them get a fifteen-second head start on me heading upstairs, they will be okay.  They will also stop on the stairs when they see I'm not chasing them and wait for me.  Then, when they see me coming after them, they will shriek with delight and resume climbing the stairs as fast as possible.

I know that they are both going to start walking any day, and, knowing what I know about them I have predictions surrounding their first steps.
Caroline, I predict, is going to take her first steps when she isn't thinking about it.  She is going to just take off after Tracey or Lexie and not realize that she's walking.
 Howard's first steps, on the other hand, I predict will be perfectly calculated, and I think he thinks about walking every day.  I think he will carefully get his balance, and tentatively try out his walking legs, all with deliberate purpose and concentration.
Life is easier now that I know the little people my sweet babies are -- its easier to be the mom to children I know than it was to newborns I had just recently met.

Parents of multiples -- you will be parents of multiples for the rest of your lives, and you will have different challenges than singleton parents for the rest of your lives... but, parents of multiples with newborns and infants -- IT GETS EASIER!

Hang in there because it really does get easier.

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