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October 25, 2010

Another Mommy Milestone

As I reflect over the past 21 months, there are so many amazing milestones…the first smiles, the first steps, and the first words.

And as I step back a little further, there are also several notable “mommy milestones” that I’m also really proud of…like the first time I fed the girls by myself...the first time I took them out by myself...and the first time I took them to the pediatrician by myself. (That last one is still a major feat for me, each and every time!)

For each of these endeavors, there were all sorts of pep talks involved (me, to myself and I, that is). There was a heck of a lot of planning, and some good, old-fashioned tragedy rehearsal, too. (What if one of the girls crawls out the front door of the pediatrician’s office, and I’m too busy with the other, who might instantaneously learn to swing from the curtains, to notice???)

This weekend I recorded another mommy milestone…the first time I was alone overnight with the girlies.

At 21 months old, that shouldn’t be a big deal, right? Right. And it wasn’t…but that didn’t stop all manner of tragedy rehearsals in my head.

Honestly, though, my biggest fear was breaking the girls’ routine…especially their bedtime routine. I live and breathe by the girls’ schedule, and so my tragedy rehearsals were less about a middle-of-the-night snowstorm, warranting a trek in blizzard conditions to buy firewood, two sleepy babies in tow. No, we have had a good thing going with the girls’ bedtime routines for oh, about 18 months, and Mama don’t mess with it, no way, no how.

With only two hands to manage a total of twenty fingers and twenty toes, we did have to compromise some of our bedtime rituals…

Instead of cuddling with the girls in the bedroom for their last cup of milk and bedtime story, they drank their milk in their highchairs (which are not very cuddly).

While Baby A sat in my lap in the den for their bedtime story, Baby B took the opportunity to run laps around the room, draining out the last few drops of energy from the day.

Instead of sitting snugly in Daddy’s lap while Mommy brushed their teeth, the girls had to stand in their pack-and-play while Mommy wrangled their mouths open.

Despite these interruptions to our nighttime structure, though, the girls went to bed – 20 minutes early, at that! – like champs.

And what did Mommy do after the girlies went to bed? I enjoyed total control of the TV while I cleaned the kitchen like a mad woman. And when I finally went to bed, I read to my heart’s content without one grumble to “turn off the light already!

Fortunately none of my tragedy rehearsal scenarios reared its ugly head while Hubby was away, but I was glad to be back in the comfort of man-to-man defense the rest of the weekend.

With an overnight alone with the girls behind me, I guess I can start to sweat about the next mommy milestone…maybe an out-of-town jaunt, just the girls and me?

Or maybe I’d better just relish this small accomplishment for a little while. There’s no need to anguish over something that surely won’t happen until the girls are at least ten years old.


Nicole S. said...

It's liberating to know you can do it by yourself, right? Good for you!

I have been doing overnights by myself since my twins were about 10 weeks old - my husband travels for work every week (Monday - Thursday) and at first I was petrified but now, its just how things are. With our third baby, it has gotten trickier but I still manage :)

Rebecca said...

I can't believe you had a partner for a full 21 months before you had to do it alone! Kudos!!!

I do exactly what you do...what happens if...? or ...? It's a twin-mom-sickness.

Christina said...

Good for you! I knew everything would be awesome. :)

Liz said...

Hey that's right we mom's need to note our mommy milestones too!
I like that Mandy! I think the Dr visit one is my least favorite!
Congrats on surviving the night without your hubby!

Andrea said...

Congrats are in order! Good for you! :) It always makes me feel good to be able to say " I did it ". Everytime I do something new without anything bad happening I get the nerve to try something else. Todd works 24 hour shifts at the fire station, so for the first few months(after the babies came home) my Mom stayed with me. Then one day I said to myself "you can do it Andrea" and I did. It was a very good feeling to know that yes, I can do it! Have a great week! Andrea

reanbean said...

Sounds like you did very well! I've never been solo all night, but both T and I have had to manage bedtime alone. While we're both perfectly capable of handing it all solo, we agree that it's easier and more fun to do it together.

Anonymous said...

hahahahaha. b and i talk about "man to man" all of the time!! i have to put the babies to bed every monday while he teaches and sometimes i have an evening clinic that makes it so he has to do it. we are both starting to feel a little better about it....but it is always better if we are both around!

you brush their teeth every night? i'm so impressed. i'm really trying!! :)

sounds like you did a great job!

Cottongirl7 said...

It always feels good to be able to get things done on your own. I too enjoy the man to man defence though. I'm off to the doctors with both of the girls tomorrow and have given myself a few pep talks about curtain swinging and such. I know it will be fine, it's just easier when there are two of us present for the shot parts. We are lucky and the girls do a great job brushing their own teeth every night. We started them pretty young and I have really enjoyed watching them get better and better. In fact thats how I know when they get tired... they start chanting "Brush Brush". They know the routine ( We don't mess with the routine either)brush the teeth, read a book, change diapers, go to bed. Speaking of, it's just about "brush brush" time now. :)

Quadmama said...

The first overnight by yourself is a HUGE deal. Even now on the rare occasions Hubby is gone all night I stress... what happens if the security alarm goes off, what happens if there's a fire, what happens if I lose the upper hand and daddy's not there to restore order (the biggest concern!) Congrats on a successful night by yourself.

JenM said...

Oh my gosh, I LOVE the phrase tragedy rehearsal! I do that all.the.time. and it drives DH crazy that I worry about things I can't control. But what if this happens, or that happens, or we go driving over the edge of the cliff and I have to get both kids out of their carseats. . .you get it.

Congrats on surviving your first night alone!

Twins Squared said...

Saw your blog and thought I'd check it out! Yea for you! We twin moms sometimes are so dependent on others sometimes. As hard as it sometimes is it feels good not to have to rely on others and gain a little more independence. Glad you had a great night and some nice time for yourself. There's a lot to be said for complete control over the remote!

Monica said...

I was wondering if you could email your daily schedule and maybe your bedtime routine. My girlies are 14 months old & have always been awesome sleepers, but something has changed in the last couple of months. They DO NOT want to go to bed. We have always put them to bed (since about 4 months old) sleepy but awake. They used to just to sleep. Now they SCREAM!!!! Do your girls share a room? Mine do, and I am thinking that maybe that isn't such a good idea. I do not have the space to give them their own rooms. It seems that one is ready to sleep, but the other screams until someone comes and gets her out of bed. I am all for the "cry it out" thing (within reason of course), but the crier is harming the other one's sleep. The weird thing is that they switch roles a lot instead of one always wanting to go to sleep and the other not. I'm lost... pls help! I have tried just about everything I can think of. I hope you can give me some insight! You can email me at Thanks!