Our twins were born in July, which is smack dab right in the middle of our summer break. So we were very fortunate to both have the next several weeks off of work until school started back up in August. I remained on maternity leave as the school year started up, and I am still on leave, scheduled to return to work in just a couple of short weeks. But Devin went back to work at the start of the school year. At that point, the twins were around five weeks old. How lucky was I to have had Devin around full time for a full five weeks?! You might think that by then I was totally cool with being on my own with the babies, basically a pro. I mean, by five weeks old they should practically be taking care of themselves…haha. This image illustrates how I was feeling the first day I was on my own with the twins:
If you know what movie this is from, then you and I are pretty much kindred spirits. If not, then I feel so very sorry for your missing out one of the best movies to watch repeatedly throughout a lifetime.
I was terrified to be on my own for an entire eight hours with those tiny people. They were small, but they were more intimidating than Shakespeare is to Dora the Explorer. I made that up…it took like four whole minutes. I remember dreading the day Devin returned to work. I was so anxious about it. At that time, the babies were still very needy. I had no clue how I was going to manage holding, feeding, burping, changing, and soothing two babies at the same time for a solid eight hours…five days a week. That first day on my own was the worst of it. The fact that I was so anxious only made matters worse. The babies were very fussy and cried a lot. I remember that it was difficult to even find a good time to eat breakfast. I tried to juggle them; hold one until they settled down, then set them down and pick up the other to try to sooth them. But then the other one would start to scream again, and such was my day. Devin finally returned home from work and my mom stopped by after she got off work too. Oh good, now I had time to do what anyone else would have done. I made my way upstairs where I laid on the bed and cried. Like a baby. Until I fell asleep. I basically did what the babies had done all day. What can I say, I’m easily influenced. How in the world was I going to do this every day!? Well, the next day, I took them back to the hospital where they came from. I’m just kidding, we kept them anyways.
That first day was the worst one, and things slowly got better and better as I started to get into a routine and the babies started acting a little more reasonable…haha, just kidding, babies don’t reason. We still had our bad days, the ones where one baby would be strapped to my chest and the other cradled awkwardly in my left arm as I danced around the house like a buffoon in an attempt sooth them with movement. I started to learn a lot about what worked for each baby. Donovan wanted held all of the time, but Hazel did really well in the swing, so that was how we started off our mornings. Once Donovan started getting sleepy, I could transfer him to his Rock N’ Play where he would doze off and I might actually get to eat lunch or take a shower. I was lucky if I got to brush my teeth before 3pm.
Days on my own with the twins have become smoother and smoother. I wouldn’t say it has become easy, but I feel much more confident and comfortable, and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. Nowadays, I have so much fun making them smile and interacting with them. We still have rough days here and there, but I’m not fazed by two crying babies anymore. Now I’m like: “I got this”. It’s crazy because they are constantly growing and changing. Once I think I have something figured out, they go all baby on me and change. It keeps me on my toes and also gives me hope. The fact that they change so much means that whatever difficult thing I’m trying to figure out at the moment will eventually get easier and we’ll move onto the next hurdle.
With only two weeks left before I return to work, I am enjoying every moment I have with Donovan and Hazel during the weekdays. I literally put my face up to them, any part of them (even their butts) and just take in the moment. I’m going to miss those stinky butts when I’m at work. I’m so thankful to have had so much time at home with them. Being a stay-at-home-mom is hard work, but pretty much the best thing ever. The past few months have been the best months of my life. The most exhausting, sure, but still the best. I’m grateful to be returning to a job that I genuinely like, but I’d much rather be home with my sweet babes permanently. Well I have to go because Donovan is pooping on my lap and Hazel is yelling at me for leaving her on the play mat at an angle where she can’t see the television. Duty (doodie?) calls.