Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The thing about twins

is that they're a whole lot of work.  Sometimes I hear mothers say "Oh, being a parent is the hardest job I've ever had."  And sometimes I disagree.  But then I really think about it, and I can't think of an occupation I've had that's been harder.  Mostly, I would say motherhood is just different.

I've never before had a job for which I've been required to wake up in the middle of the night to care for two other people.  Then again, I've never before had a job where I could take a nap in the middle of the day if the need arises.

I think the hardest thing, for me, is trying to figure out what I'm doing right, what I could change, and how to be better.  I get these emails from What to Expect (dot com) and honestly, I think they stress me out more than anything.  When my babies were real little, I didn't talk to them much.  It was sort of like survival mode, I think.  Even now, I talk to them and sing to them and play games, but I feel like it's not enough.  I should be singing with them, doing oodles of tummy time, playing all the games, buying all the toys, doing everything organically, and basically always doing more than what I'm currently doing.  If I were to be totally honest, I'd tell you it's a lot of effort to leave our little room and go somewhere.  It's a lot of effort to bathe both babies a few times a week.  By the end of it, I'm exhausted.  By the end of it, there's still two babies to dry off, lotion, put clothes on, and feed.  And THEN two babies to get to sleep, because we have baths in the morning.  Sometimes I just feel like there's not enough of me to go around.  I've never had just one baby, so I'm not saying that having two is SO much harder, because I don't have a doubt in my mind that one baby is hard.  After doing everything for one baby, I'm usually pretty worn out... but after doing everything for one baby, there's another to go.

The thing that keeps me going, though, is the thought that I don't have to do everything at once.  One step at a time gets everything done, even if it takes forever.  I remember the first time I had to get both babies ready for bed alone, which included diapers, pajamas, feeding, some essential oils to help them sleep a little better, and swaddling.  The whole thing took me over an hour, and I felt frazzled by the end.  Things have gotten better over time, and it helps that both babies are such happy, good girls--they smile all the time and are generally pleasant unless they're too cold/hot, hungry, or tired--but holy moly, babies are a lot of work. 

Still, it bothers me when my dumb What to Expect emails tell me my babies should be rolling by now (they're not) or laughing (again, not really), and they do ok at tummy time, but not fantastic.

I guess what I'm trying to say that motherhood is probably the most emotionally charged job I've ever had.  That, and I care much more about how this job pans out than I do about things like formulas in spreadsheets and stuff like that.  I get pretty tired of all the opinions about what I really need to be doing that comes my way, which I think is a problem for every mother. 

Nevertheless, I love these girls; I think we're doing just fine, thankyouverymuch.  At least my mom says so.  And what mom says goes, RIGHT?  I think maybe it's time for me to unsubscribe from those emails, because I'm a nut job.  Even if everything with two makes me tired, it's totally worth it. 

If you're a mother, I think you're doing a great job.


Mandy said...

I'd get rid of the emails. I used to drive myself crazy with what my baby should have been doing and wasn't, and what she was doing but shouldn't have been! It's not worth the stress, just figure out your own thing! And your daughters are ADORABLE!!!!

Lauren said...

oh ashalee, i think you are just doing so fantastico. and they are so cute i cannot even stand it!

Whit said...

oh ash - i have felt the exact same way! and, i think you're doing an awesome job, no matter what anyone else or any email says. let's be honest, you're practically superwoman! most days i can't even get regular, everyday things accomplished and i only have one baby! i admire your perseverance and patience. and, if it makes you feel any better, ike doesn't roll or laugh either, and he's got a few days on the girls. hope you're doing well. are you already back in town? if so, i need to come visit. ike misses his girls!:)

Adrienne Hansen said...

You are doing SO good. Really. Promise. And I'm your big sister. What I say goes too!