What I Learned: Year One

When I look back over the past year, the list of what I've learned is endless. Sure, there's all the logistics on how to do stuff for babies, let alone two babies, but my eyes were opened well beyond learning how to bath a newborn.

When I first started thinking about these tidbits, a few things came to mind here or there, but over the past year, I started noting them down, and it's now snowballed into quite the list... and I'm sure this is far from complete.
  • It's okay to not want to be with your babies all the time.
  • You may not bond with your baby(ies) immediately.
  • It's tough in the beginning, really really tough.
  • Nothing -- not books, classes, blogs -- can prepare you for being in charge of two little ones.
  • Those early days feel like waking up for a flight home from Vegas, almost a hungover-tired.
  • You get used to crying pretty quickly as a twin mom and understand that you can only do as much as you can do. Or convince yourself, 'they just have to get it out'. Glad that's a distant memory though!
  • It's okay to need help even if you're a SAHM - this one took me a while to figure out, but as Dave says, 'If Mom's happy, everyone's happy', so it's worth it.
  • I'm a better mom and have the energy to engage them all day because I have help in the afternoons. I know this is a luxury but I'm really grateful for it.
  • A night nanny is the best thing ever. Especially with twins. When Dave first told me the idea, I was against it. 'I'm the mother, I should be able to care for my babies, even at night.' Forget it. I don't know what I would've done without Priscilla and I don't feel like I missed out on anything during the times she was caring for them.
  • 'Sleeping through the night' apparently is 6 hours straight. Sleeping through the night for me is longer than 6 hours and I'm grateful the boys agree. 
  • 'Almost asleep' is not the same as 'asleep' 
  • Breastfeeding is a huge commitment. So is pumping. Don't expect the majority of your friends without kids to get this, and that's okay. They may one day if the have kids.
  • South Beach is actually pretty family friendly.
  • I didn't realize it before, but living in a flat part of the city (not to mention along the water) is awesome. 
  • The Ferry Building became a new kind of awesome once I started spending so much time there. It has amazing food but is LOUD, the perfect place to eat lunch with two babies! 
  • Two new playgrounds have been built in our neighborhood since the boys were born. I never knew how exciting that would be!
  • Traveling in the early days just wasn't worth it. I know it's easy for a lot of people to travel with newborns, but the fact that I had two babies, and one was William, it just wasn't fun. Luckily the period of time when we traveled to Cincinnati and Florida worked out well, but I think we're taking another hiatus from traveling with the kids.
  • Even if you're used to traveling light for trips, bring what makes you comfortable at home, it will help you settle into a routine on vacation.
  • We may not use a monitor at home (our place is small enough that we can hear them when we need to, but not every little peep that we would with a monitor), but I'm so glad we kept it as it's great for trips. Dave and I at least attempted to sit on the beach in front of our place in Florida while the boys napped inside.
  • You figure out whatever you're dealt, and luckily I don't know any different. That's how I answer when I'm constantly asked, 'how is it with two??'
  • I still don't need caffeine. And still have never tried coffee.
  • I still take very few naps; though oddly I took more since their first birthday than I did the whole first year
  • I can pump while driving.
  • I can do a lot of things while pumping in fact. It was only when they really started crawling around that it got tough to manage.
  • Breastfeeding babies does not guarantee they won't get sick. Though mine were close to exclusively breastfeed (but not 100%), by the time we were interacting with other kids - at the park, playgroups, music class, etc - they started getting sick. In fact, it seems like they have had a cold on-and-off since we got back from Florida. I find it's too hard to stay on top of two babies and keep everything out of their mouths that there's a certain point that you just get over it and figure they're building up their immune system.
  • People love two babies in a swing.
  • I must gradually get stronger as the boys get bigger. Don't get me wrong, George feels like a sack of potatoes, but I guess it's all relative.
  • You figure out whatever you're dealt, and luckily I don't know any different. That's how I answer when I'm constantly asked, 'how is it with two??'
  • Hindsight is 20/20, sure there are things I would’ve done differently had I known, but that's inevitable.
  • I used to be able to wear things like jeans multiple times between washings. I guess I still continue to do that when I can, but between the spit up of the early days to the random gnawing or slobbery-faced babies, everything takes a beating.
  • You might not need to get a ‘mom’ haircut (though I must says so many of the new moms I’ve met show up one day with a new short haircut), be prepared to have your hair tied back unless you want it grabbed by inevitably sticky or slobbery little hands... this has gotten better though now that they're out of the grabby stage. So my advice to moms, stick it out! Or maybe unlike me, you'll look good with short hair ;)
  • I’ve surprised myself over and over again by all the things I looked to the future and thought, I can barely manage now, I really don’t know how I’ll xxxx — whether it was feeding them at the same time after my mom left, getting them both in the swing together at the park, managing them while they’re both standing up or crawling. Or now, managing at the park with both walking. Amazingly, it just happens and before you know it, it becomes routine. Well, that last one isn't routine quite yet.
  • I’ve been forced to be a lot more laid back than many singleton parents. Perfect example is when I was at the park with a new friend who has a daughter the same age as G&W. I would chase after one and she would move to stand behind the other, so afraid something was going to happen. I wanted to say, ‘he’s fine’ or ‘don’t worry about him’ but I figure it’s better to just thank her for her help. Basically I don’t have the bandwidth to be as cautious as some other parents. Yes, sometimes they fall down, but I deal with it as it comes.
  • I've realized that while I may not make the same decisions as some other parents, there's no need to judge. Everyone is doing what they feel is best for THEIR kids. 
  • You can meet a million different moms with kids the same age as yours, but that doesn't mean you'll click.
  • Walking or not walking makes a lot more difference than age. Now that they're steady on their feet, it's even more fun to hang out with Ashley and London, and meeting up with moms of 2 year olds make a lot more sense than 11-month old crawlers even though age-wise it should make more sense.
  • Despite having activities and interests outside of the babies, some friendships will grow after baby(ies) and others will really struggle.
  • For as busy as I was as a new mom, there's a crazy amount of downtime. While you're nursing, pumping, thinking they're going to wake up any minute so you don't want to start anything else... having the iphone becomes addicting.
  • It's totally possible to have a life outside of kids. I didn't sign up for things like Junior League just to get me out of the house, I truly enjoy the things I'm a part of outside of W&G.
  • Keeping up with new restaurants also wasn't hard -- sticking to the weekly date night was easy and is still something Dave and I look forward to each week.
  • Having family nearby is so great. Not only for the help, but also that the boys will grow up seeing my parents and my brother and his family so often makes me so happy.
  • As I expected, I'm the strict one and Dave is more laid back with the boys.
  • It really does go by fast. People tell you that, but it's so true.
  • It keeps getting better and better. People tell you that too and luckily it's true :) but...
  • It's okay to not cherish every minute 
  • I chose/got chosen by the right person. We are a team in this and I'm so grateful for that.
  • and of course I have to be a tad sappy… how proud and excited you feel when they surprise you and do something big for the first time. Especially something physical like pull themselves up or take their first steps, or when they start to form words. What’s even better is when they’re so proud of themselves too.
  • It really is crazy how much I love these two little guys. I guess that's to be expected but until it happens, you have no idea what that will feel like.
I've learned a lot, but I have a feeling that we're just getting started...

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