The Emotional Rollercoaster Called Parenting

Twins on way to Pre-school

Pre-School Days

Today we had the boys parent / teacher conference with their pre-school teacher. As my husband and I sat listening to their teacher talk about our boys, I began to get emotional. Here we are, almost at the end of their first year of pre-school and they are thriving. It seems like yesterday I was panicking about their first day. 

I remember in the early days, looking at my newborn twins and wondering what they would look like at this age. What would their personalities be like? It all seemed so far off.

The Early Days

Being a new mom, to twins, with no family close by. And a husband whose work schedule, basically left me single parenting it Monday Friday. There were days I wished the time away. I wanted it to get easier. Wanted the grueling feeding schedule to end. I wanted to be able to go places. Then go places with ease. I had moments when I wanted the bottles, puree foods and diapers to go away. The days when they couldn’t speak and I had no idea what they wanted. There were so many days I was so grateful were over.

Those yearly months were so hard, and the future seemed impossible to reach. Yet here we are. Finishing up their first year of school. Now I have guilt of wishing some of those early days away. Had I really understood how fast this would go, would I change it? Maybe? I don’t know.

When I got home from our meeting with their teacher, all of these thoughts were spinning in my head. Along with utter pride at how well the boys are doing. I sat in the yard and cried for the time that flew by and the time that will fly past. And made a promise to not wish away any days again, because before I know it, we will be at their last high school parent /  teacher conference.

4 HOURS LATER….

It is 3pm and I have broken my own promise. My precious angels who are the darlings of their pre-school class, have morphed into evil little anarchists. After about 5 fights, 3 hitting episodes, a whining marathon and every toy taken out, I am desperate for this day to end.

Bedtime cannot come fast enough. I am thinking of putting them to bed a half hour early just so I don’t have to deal with them. Gone is the sentimentality of years gone by. Hello to the realization that parenting twins is like walking a tight rope, at any moment a gust of twin wind will push you off.

I have some guilt that I can’t wait for today to be over. Especially given my tear filled pact to the universe only hours earlier.  But I also have to be realistic. Parenting makes you a crazy person. You are crying because you love your babies more than life itself and want to inhale every bit of their baby / toddlerness. Or you are crying because two 3 year olds can knock me to my knees in an instant. Leaving me wondering, if I am actually a capable adult and realizing I have no control over anything.

I guess I just have to accept that parenting is an emotional rollercoaster. You will be screaming with excitement and joy, relishing in the fun. Than in instant later, break down at the top of the hill and leave you sitting there for hours, waiting for someone to rescue you.

 

 

 

When Will I Sleep Again ?

toddler sleeping on mom

This is how the other night went:

12:30am – there is a shuffling down the hall, a silhouette of a mini human by my bedside waits quietly, then turns to shuffle back down the hall to little silhouette’s room.

It is cold, so I get up, go to the little one’s room, cover him back up. He reaches up to me so I have to lay in his bed for a few minutes. I say have to, because if I don’t he will get upset and I will never make it back to my own bed alone.

3:30am –  another shuffling down the hall, a silhouette of same mini human is by my bedside, trying to climb into my bed. He succeeds, wedges his little body between me and husband and goes to sleep. His head on most of my pillow.

4:15am – “Mom”…”Mom”…”Mama”….”Mom”… the other little being yelling from his room. Having just fallen back to sleep from the rousing of the first little being, I stumble down the hall into bedroom of the yelling child.

Me: are you ok?
Child: I can’t find my Thor Tsum Tsum
Me: (internally) are you fucking kidding me !  (externally) Honey I am sure it’s in your bed.
Child: No
I spend the next few minutes looking for a 2 inch Thor in the dark.
Me: I don’t know if we will find him, it is dark
Child: But I need him.
Me: (internally) weeping. (Externally) What if I just sleep with you
Child: ok

As I pull the covers down I find the missing Tsum Tsum but have committed to sleeping in the twin bed with one of the twins so I am stuck.

6:30am – The house is awake, joining me as I have been awake since the missing Tsum Tsum incident.

Somehow and sadly, this has become the norm.

I Was Warned About This

When I was pregnant everyone warned us about the lack of sleep. And they were right. That first year, especially those first few months almost killed me. I should have been in a study about people who somehow survive having not slept for 3 months straight.

Once we hit about a year and a half and were past the teething, crawling, walking, sleep regression, I thought, finally a full night’s sleep.

But anyone who is a mother knows that even when they are sleeping through the night, we still aren’t.  Any noise that comes out of the child’s room, wakes you up. Depressingly, even a night away from your children, doesn’t bring a full night’s sleep. After you have been programmed to wake up every few hours, that just becomes the new norm.

I was kind of ok with that, I was still getting chunks of sleep here and there. Thinking anything is better than that those first few months. I was a fool. I had no idea what toddler twins would do to my getting a full night’s sleep.

The toddler years bring a litany of new reasons as to why my kids are still robbing me of much-needed sleep. Here are just a few

  1. Nightmares – this is a legit reason to wake up. I will never get upset in the middle of the night going to their bedside or putting them on our bed because of a nightmare. Though this is one of the least occurring reasons as to why they wake up.
  2. Someone has wet the bed – this too is on the acceptable list. But, also, one of the less frequent reasons for waking in the night.
  3. Sickness – Once they enter school, all bets are off. These kids are sick all the time! And a sick kids means, husband is on the couch and kid(s) are in bed with me, coughing, sneezing, puking in my face. All-night-long.
  4. Stuffy Nose – my boys hate having a stuffy nose. So they wake up, cry they have a stuffy nose, which only exacerbates it, and have to sleep with me sniffing in my face all night long.
  5. Just want to sleep with me – adorable I know, but once one is in our bed, twin telepathy kicks in, waking the other one, Realizing his brother is gone, he then too wants to be in our bed. They both have to sleep near me, so I am wedged in between two beings clinging to me or I sleep at the foot of the bed.
  6. They lost their sock in the middle of the night – this happens at least once a week.
  7. Lost their blanket in the middle of the night – again, once a week if not twice.
  8. They don’t want their socks on anymore – God forbid they just take them off themselves.
  9. Someone lost a stuffed animal – None of the other 50 stuffed animals on their bed will suffice.
  10. The night-light is too bright.
  11. There is no night-light.
  12. They need me to pull up the covers.
  13. Are too cold.
  14. Are too hot.

The list goes on, their reasons are arbitrary, and there seems no end in sight.

Somehow, over three years in, I am back to where I started at the beginning of motherhood, not getting any sleep. Only this time, it is worse, because they are bigger, take up more of the bed, the 7 animals they bring with them take up the other half of the bed and always take my pillow.

 

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