Parenting two really little kids is not as easy as it looks.
Trust me, I don’t make it look easy, either. My boys are 13 months apart. The one year old still needs a lot of help, which is an obvious challenge when I also have a newborn to care for.
I have gotten stuck in a foam pit after going in to rescue the one year old while wearing the baby in a front pack carrier. I have hit my head so hard I briefly blacked out while trying to catch the one year old before he fell off some play equipment, while wearing the baby. Today, both kids were sick and it seemed like someone was always crying.
When people find out how close in age my kids are, they almost always say; “oh, wow, how’s that going?”
Maybe people ask this of all moms when their second baby is born. But, I am going to indulge myself in the belief that people really are interested.
“It’s great,” I tell them, “Oliver loves Jack so much that it melts my heart.” This is true, but it’s not the whole truth.
Raising Irish Twins is not for the faint of heart. Neither one is capable of doing anything for himself, but they don’t have the same needs, either. Every task is a balance of patience, planning, and luck. Patience because things take a lot longer than they should. Planning because you need to have a strategy for making sure both get what they need without getting hurt or throwing a fit. Luck because there is no way to plan for all of the craziness; and patience no longer exists when you’ve been kicked, barfed on, and screamed at before 8 am.
Going places is really hard. Oliver is not big enough to walk through a parking lot and needs to be carried. Jack is not quite stable enough to be carried without the carseat. My diaper bag is so full of accouterments I could start my own popup childcare center. So, I lug an extra 50 pounds everywhere we go. My back and neck pain are a disaster.
Fortunately, Jack is a really good baby. He eats well and sleeps anywhere. This is lucky since Oliver is at a very busy stage. We are on the go a lot and so far, Jack takes it all in stride. We occasionally have a problem when Oliver plays the cymbals while Jack is trying to go down for a nap, but, that’s okay. The cymbals may need a vacation from this house anyway.
I know there are people that have a lot more kids than me, or a have them closer together, or whatever. I’m certainly not a martyr. But, this has been an equally amazing and challenging experience for me. I don’t think I could do it without a husband who is very willing to participate in parenting. a reliable nanny, and friends who provide a lot of help.
By the end of the bedtime routine, I feel like I have been beaten up. Sometimes, when one of the kids has a hard time falling asleep, I honestly have to stretch and take some deep breaths because my body hurts too badly to keep holding a kiddo.
I recently had a mom of twins tell me it has to be easier than twins and I almost punched her in the face. I don’t know if it’s easier or harder, and I don’t care either.
Parenting is a hard gig. It is physically and emotionally draining. But it is totally worth it.
A year from now, my life will be completely different. Jack will be the same age Oliver is now, which is a fun age. Oliver will be a lot more verbal and more physically stable, too. I don’t want to say it will be easier, but hopefully I’ll have the hang of two by then.
I think these guys will be great friends. I never want to wish away time, but I am looking forward to watching Oliver and Jack play together. I hope they appreciate having a brother so close in age, and I hope they don’t resent that my attention is spread between them.
So, I guess from now on, I should say that my days are not easy, but it is completely worth it. These boys are the loves of my life.
Thanks for reading,