Hindsight is always 20/20, right? I’ve spent a lot of the last eighteen months second guessing myself and the decisions we‘ve made for Grace and Cole but the reality is… they are well adjusted, happy, healthy toddlers now so we’ve done our job. For the benefit of new moms and dads though, I am going to hash out a few things I wish I knew then to hopefully help you out!
I wish I worried less- I spent endless amounts of time worrying. I worried about their sleeping habits, what they ate, how they ate it, how they were delayed crawling and walking, how their prematurity would affect them later in life. I worried so much that I feel like I often missed what they were currently doing and what they were accomplishing in the moment. Of course, you are a parent and earned the right to worry but just don’t let that overtake your life so you miss the good stuff.
I wish I cut myself some slack- We put a lot of pressure on ourselves as parents. When they would get sick, I’d blame myself. When they didn’t sleep well, I’d blame myself. When I couldn’t get my act together to get them out of the house, I’d blame myself. The blame game is a pretty awful thing. Give yourself a break. Some days are just hard and it’s okay to stay in your pajamas, play with your kids and let them do what they do.
I wish I enjoyed my maternity leave more- This may have not been entirely my fault but I hated maternity leave. I was exhausted, had two premature babies to handle and was depressed. I know maternity leave would have been easier with one full-term baby that I could have taken out to the store or to a restaurant but everything is harder with two. I struggled figuring out how to manage two babies by myself and because of that, I was often trapped in my house.
I wish I stopped comparing myself to a mom of one earlier- You have two babies so everything is twice as hard… add in the more common complications of prematurity with twins and that’s a whole new ball game. Seriously, you are a rock star if you keep two infants alive and well. Stop comparing yourself to someone doing half the work. (I also don’t mean to be insensitive to how challenging one baby is but ladies, you are doubling that with twins. Triplet moms are rock stars!)
I wish I stressed less about what my daughter ate- Looking back, I worried about Grace a lot. She had awful reflux, had trouble gaining weight and issues eating solid foods. Now, she’s a champ most of the time. She drinks full bottles three times per day. She sits in her high chair and eats cheese, puffs, meats, fruits, etc. She is gaining rapidly now. I had so many sleepless nights worrying about her nutrition and if I could see her now, I would have laughed at myself.
I wish I got out of the house with them more often- Like I mentioned earlier, it’s just harder to mobilize two infants. We also were very limited early on because of their immune systems on where we went so places like crowded stores, restaurants, the mall, etc. were off limits. I do wish in the summer months I was able to get them out more because I would have gotten over my fear of moving them around on my own but now we are finally in a pretty good place for that!
I wish I accepted more help early on- When my twins were in the hospital and in their first few months, people always offered to help. More often than not, if it wasn’t a close family member or friend, I’d decline saying that we were fine. In reality, we were not fine and I absolutely could have used the help! Take the help- people offer it because they want to give it so take it!
I wish I took care of myself a little sooner- I struggled with postpartum depression but it took me a few months to get help. I wish I did it sooner. It felt like a weight was lifted once I started seeing someone and joined my Mothers of Multiples group. Make sure you stay a priority for you. Happy moms yield happy babies!
I wish I took advantage of being home when they were asleep- Now, I get a ton done. I write for this blog. I write for the Twiniversity blog. I am a certified health coach and spend most nights on the phone with my clients or meeting new clients. I run out and do errands so I don’t have to worry about them on the weekends. I do laundry. I call old friends on the phone. I pay my bills. I do some work so I can escape the office a little earlier on a Friday to kick start the weekend. I take advantage of the quiet time now and am productive so I can really take advantage of shutting down and spending time with the twins on the weekends.
I wish I took more pictures of them with other people and with us- We don’t have a lot of pictures of them being held with other people as they came to visit or of us with them. We have a ton of pictures of just the twins. I wish we had more of us in them, holding them, kissing them, feeding them, etc. I try to take more now with us in them but I’m usually the one holding the camera.
I wish I could do it again- Two kids always seemed like enough for me, especially with one boy and one girl but now I sometimes feel like I want to do it again. I know so much more now than we did before the twins and wouldn’t stress so much about the stupid things. Also, after having premature infant twins, if we got one healthy full term baby, it would feel like a breeze.