This parenting gig is tough! If it were any regular job you would probably quit. Seriously, imagine if you had a job where people cried, screamed, fought, yelled and occasionally you got peed/pooped or vomited on. With this being said, I have to admit, this gig does get easier in some ways as time goes by. We haven't approached the tween and teen years (phew) but the infant stage does become easier the more you do it. I think it's all a matter of perspective. I can honestly say that I am a lot less stressed this time with a set of twins then the first time around. Through the years of parenting you learn that each stage is just that....a stage; and it won't last forever and there is an end in sight. Sleep deprivation can actually be used as a method of torture and yet these tiny beautiful little infants that we bring into this world never allow us to get any semblance of proper sleep. I remember walking around like a zombie when the older boys were little and all I could think about was catching a little nap. This time around, I may still be a sleep deprived zombie but I know that this too is just a stage and we have always been blessed with children who sleep through the night after only a few months. We may already be more then halfway there on this sleep deprived twin adventure!
This time around I stress a lot less about how much everyone is eating and when they are going to the bathroom. Instead I just try to enjoy each moment as they come. With the first set of twins the doctors made us keep records of every feeding/diaper change for the first few weeks and we had to bring these records in to our weekly pediatrician appointment to make sure the boys were staying on the proper growth curve. This time we decided to do things differently and the girls lost barely any weight and both had surpassed their birth weight by their one week appointment so we don't even need any extra check ups! With the first twins I was always stressing about how much breast milk the boys were getting, how much I was pumping etc... This time we decided to take a different approach and realized that I may not have all the time in the world to pump breast milk and just do it when our schedule/life allowed. To my amazement, we have way more breast milk then we ever had and the girls both get about 80% breast milk per day.
This week I recently read a joke about parenting....
- when the first child eats dirt you call the doctor
- when the second child eats dirt you wipe their mouths
- when the third child eats dirt you wonder if you still need to feed them lunch
I find this to be crazy true. The girls are completely looked after but I can honestly say that we do things for these fourth and fifth babies differently than we would have ever thought of doing for babies one and two or even three. The biggest example that comes to mind would be bottles. We still sterilize all the girls bottles but I have to admit, that if one of them is full and falls asleep without finishing their bottle and the other is still hungry, I have given that second baby the other ones left over bottle. Gasp!!! I know, perhaps it's because it's breast milk and I don't want to waste but bottom line, they have shared bottles and that's okay.
When I say this parenting gig is getting easier it may just mean that we have become accustomed to larger and larger amounts of chaos. I know that the house will not always be in this state of disarray. The folded clothes will eventually get put away, at some point in time all the dishes will be done, we may eventually get out of our pj's and one day, perhaps, all 7 of us will be bathed from head to toe on the same day. For now, we will just step over the toys on the floor like an obstacle course and clean up the pantry that the toddler helped himself to (it's like his own personal snack bar that he thoroughly examined every single box or container of food and discarded the packages that were of no interest). The simple truth when you get right down to is that we will never again have two 7 year olds and three more that are two and under. Along with my husband and our little dog, the entire package is really what makes this gig worth every single moment no matter how sleep deprived or chaotic it gets.