Raising a Blended Family

Lessons Learned At 5 Weeks In- Or, How I’ve Survived This Far

on November 16, 2012

The title says it all… I wanted to summarize what I’ve learned from 5 weeks of parenting twinfants. It’s funny how many preconceived notions I had about how this parenting multiples thing was going to work went flying out the window the minute Pax made landing. For instance, I have learned:

  • A shower is not an essential part of my day. Sure, ideally I would be showered, clean and dressed each and every day; I would also have supper on the table by five and the house would be spotless at all times. Ha. What I’ve found is that when it comes to choosing between pacifying the screaming infants, grabbing something to eat, or hell-  doing any one of the million other things that need doing every day, and showering…. showering usually loses.  That’s not to say that I’m a stank ass ALL the time- I never let it get to a truly offensive level, and sometimes the babies have to scream while I shower as quickly as humanely possible with the door closed, the fan running, and the music turned up.  But I have to pick and choose my battles now and a lot of times, that means my morning shower gets put on the back burner. Don’t judge me.
  • Brush your teeth and go pee as SOON as you get up, or it ain’t happening. It does not matter if the babes are already awake and wailing, the seven year old is knocking on your door asking for breakfast, or the phone is ringing from the neighbor down the street calling to ask if the kids have school that day… ignore it all and take 5 minutes for a bathroom break, otherwise it will NOT happen until two hours later when your mouth is rank and you’re about to BURST.
  • Getting out of the house is essential for sanity. Even if it’s just for an hour. Even if all you do is drive to meet someone to buy something that you saw on an online garage sale website, chat it up for two minutes with said person, and then turn around and drive home. Word.
  • Do not expect to get out of the house every day. It’s just waaaaay too much work. Plus, it requires showering, which as we all saw above, can’t always happen.
  • Things you thought would gross you out, won’t.  It amazes me how blase I have become about pee, poo, and vomit.  Pre-pregnancy, I thought that holding a baby while it freaking shat into its diaper which you were, in turn, holding in your hands as you held the kid was the grossest.thing.ever.  Now, it doesn’t even phase me- in fact, my first reaction to noticing a kid taking a crap in my lap now is to wonder how much longer they’ll be so I can change them, or bicycle their legs to help move things along. Same goes with pee. Vomit was one of my personal horrors pre-babies, but that too, has come to an end.  Pax is a vomit-every-meal kind of guy, and sometimes a sneak-attack-vomit-down-your-bra kind of guy… it isn’t pleasant, but I’ve learned to deal with it.  One thing that does still gross me out: formula-fed baby poo. Cause that crap is just foul smelling.
  • Laundry is never-ending. Learn to be okay with piles of unfolded laundry piling up in your living room, and fold them when you can.  Also, babies go through waaaaaay more laundry than you ever thought possible.  “An outfit a day and a pair of PJs per night” type thinking quickly changed into “Three or four or five outfits per day, depending on how often you spitup/pee/drool on yourself and how quickly we change you, and usually just one pair of pjs per night unless we’re especially unlucky.”  Laundry adds up.
  • Momguilt is also never-ending.  It is HARD to hold two squiggly babies at once, and even harder to keep them both happy while you do it.  Lap space is limited, Pax’s head is still all floppy and needs support, Addie would prefer to be standing up at.all.times thankyouverymuch, and it’s just HARD.  Thus, usually only one baby gets held at a time while the other chills out in a swing, rock n play, or on the play mat next to me. I feel constantly bad about this, and try to be mindful of how much I’ve held each baby per day and who I held last so I can alternate which baby I hold and thus spend more quality-time with. I also try to interact with the non-held baby even while they’re not being held (dangling toys above their head while they sit next to me, talking at them while they’re in the swing, etc) but sometimes, my time just doesn’t get distributed equally, because…
  • The squeaky wheel will always get the grease. Period. If you are screaming, I am going to attempt to shut you up first before I mess with the smiley, happy baby over there who hasn’t made a one single noise of discontent. Even if it’s the happy smiley baby’s turn to be held/rocked/whatever, and not yours. Screaming or otherwise making a ruckus MAKES it your turn.  Rules of life, kids.
  • Cloth diaper laundry isn’t as bad as I’d thought it would be. Sure, pre-Pax when people would look at us like we were crazy when we announced our intentions to swathe their little butts in cloth, we would use oothing voices and reassure them that it really wasn’t that bad, for X, Y, and Z reasons.  But deep down, I always thought that it probably would be yuck and I just wouldn’t complain to any of the naysayers, lest they break out with an “I told you so” or something.  In reality, however, it truly isn’t bad. Dump diaper into dipe pail, dump dipe pail into washing machine. Easy-peasey. The biggest problem we’ve had so far is keeping up with refolding our cloth wipes after every load to fit into the wipes container.

Anyways, life really isn’t as bad as maybe some of these anecdotes make it sound.  I actually really feel like I’ve finally gotten into a pattern of stay-at-home-twinfant parenting and like maybe, perhaps I rule the roost instead of the babies (stop laughing, please).  But I also stand behind every single one of these lessons learned! They’re all true and they’re definitely the new rules I live by.


3 responses to “Lessons Learned At 5 Weeks In- Or, How I’ve Survived This Far

  1. This didn’t sounds bad at all to me. It sounded like mommy bliss and all natural feelings and expressions. 🙂 Plus, it was funny. I laughed as I read it. You’re doing great. *hugs*

  2. pepibebe says:

    Sounds like you are doing amazingly well!! Glad to hear about the cloth diapers. We definitely aim to use them, but I’ve been surprised that my SIL and best friend who also planned to use them haven’t. My best friend is a mega earth mama type, worked in holistic health shops, all her baby products are organic, she does attachment parenting…but still ended up using disposables. So I was worried about hard it must be. Nice to hear from you that it’s not that bad 🙂

  3. Isa says:

    Yes to all of that. But! I find that taking a quick shower while my wife watches the kid is very helpful for sanity. It helps that my usual showers are only 5 minutes long, but something about not smelling terrible does wonders for one’s outlook on life. Also, actual vomit (ie: not spitup) still grosses me out. And I can’t do the snotsucker–I can’t even be in the room. Glad things are going so well! It sounds like you’re totally handling two babies through the hardest part! Oh, and don’t feel too guilty about letting one (or both) be on their own for a bit. I think babies actually like a little time to be not-held. I know that goes against some parenting philosophies, but EJ gets into periods where she is downright pissy until we put her on her floor mat and let her spend some time with her toys without us trying to bounce/hold/feed/cuddle/annoy her all the time.

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