Emotional Triage (and other twin truths)

Having two babies that are exactly the same age (give or take a minute) is really freaking hard.

Ok, that’s not true – having them exist is fairly easy. Having them exist happily is damn near impossible at times.

I have a friend on Instagram who recently got to bring her two babies home from the NICU and is now facing PPD and the reality of taking care of two tiny babies all on her own. Let me tell you how hard it is. It’s HARD. Like, the hardest thing that I have ever done in my life.

I equate a lot of our days to emotional triage. Who is the squeakier wheel, if you will. When we are going through a growth spurt (those happen to both babies at the same time, you know) or a developmental leap or a random pissy day, a lot of crying goes on around here. I am a SAHM with no family nearby, so when Jed goes to work it’s just me and the screaming demons (or the sleeping angels). Most days are fine. We eat, play, eat, play, get fussy, nap, change diapers, etc. When we are having a bad day though, things suck. It seems like someone is almost always crying, and it isn’t usually me. I get frazzled. I get headaches. When/if both babies nap at the same time I sit down and just breathe on the bad days. I don’t vacuum. I don’t dust. I just survive.

I try to soak it in on the days that I’m just surviving too, though. This is the last day that they will ever be this young. They are growing and changing so quickly. I’m so thankful for that, but it makes me melancholy too. The beginning is so hard. I remember thinking that the first weeks home took forever to pass, but they did pass. And then my newborns were gone. They are never coming back. They’re infants now. Toddlers are looming on the horizon.

I don’t have a lot of free time. I check my email while nursing (incidentally, nursing a trillion times a day is better than pumping, bottle feeding, and washing dishes by a long shot), read the latest smutty bestseller on my iPhone while nursing, and take pictures of babies as soon as bellies are full and smiles are on their faces. I multitask. My husband helps a ton when he is here, but the days of laying on the couch and watching The Price is Right in a clean, quiet house are long gone.

Have I mentioned what a freak show twins in the grocery store are? People love to look at us, to talk to us, to see the babies and talk about how beautiful they are. I smile at them all. There’s no point in being pissed off about it. I mean, they are beautiful, they are uncommon, we are lucky. The only time I get a little snippy is when someone says, “Oh thank GOD I don’t have twins.” Guess what? Yeah, my hands are full. Yeah, my life will never be the same. But they are a huge blessing. I hate when people feel pity for me because I’m busy taking care of my two favorite people under twenty pounds. There are worse things, I promise.

In spite of all the trials and how hard a job this really is, I wouldn’t change it for the world. This experience is something that most moms will never have. I have two beautiful, healthy, breastfed babies that are growing up way too quickly. Their smiles are fantastic. Their laughs light up my day. Watching them get to know each other is so incredible. I love how their faces light up when they see their daddy. I love that when Clara gets pissed and screams, Cormac giggles at her. I love that they both rely on me to get us through an average day and that I can do it.

It’s not easy – I’d be lying if I said it was – but each day is a little easier and every day is full of something new.

Image by Joshua Griffin

No Comments

  1. Geneva -  May 4, 2012 - 3:25 pm

    Thank you, Jess! That was so beautiful.

    …I want twins now.

  2. Xza -  May 4, 2012 - 4:27 pm

    You are an amazing twin mommy, thank you for sharing

  3. Beth -  May 4, 2012 - 10:55 pm

    Hardest thing ever. Most amazing thing ever. It’s mind blowing!

  4. Randi -  June 2, 2012 - 5:13 pm

    i have a 3 year old, 2 year old twins and a 3 month old. yes. raising kids is hard. twins or not twins. i found that i did much better when i dropped a lot of the high expectations that i had placed on myself. completely unreasonable expectations. once i relaxed and just let God take over (He did create them, after all)…things were much better for me. I really enjoy my kids now…finally! 🙂

    glad you’re being real about it 🙂

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