In theory, that made great sense to me. I was very happy with who I was, and I was eager to share that with my children.
But maybe that theory is part of why I was so completely shell-shocked when the girls were born. And I couldn’t help but think that all the people who said that to me never had multiples!
I went from working 60-hour weeks, my off time spent eating out and watching TV and napping and shopping and cooking leisurely…to feeding babies ‘round the clock, my off time spent doing laundry and washing dishes and occasionally trying to sleep.
Of course I knew my life would change drastically when the girls were born, but I couldn’t have anticipated the full magnitude of that change.
And even more, I never would have imagined how much of a “production” it seemed like every action was.
Particularly because I was such a schedule hound, there was very little go-with-the-flow when it came to feedings…and what else do you do with infants?
I was deathly afraid of two things…one, that our girls would somehow become out of sync with each other’s schedules…and two, that our girls would somehow mix up their days and their nights. That fear kept me on the straight and narrow, for sure.
And then, when the girls weren’t being fed, I really had to muster my stamina to do anything else.
The example I always cite is needing to buy some stamps. With one baby, I envision that you’d swing the carrier over your arm and zip into the post office. Sure, it wouldn’t be as quick as if you were alone, but it would still be relatively easy, right?
With two babies, there would most certainly be a stroller involved, and I’d have to be able to negotiate any bumps in the sidewalk and non-automatic doors. It’s still doable…but I probably wouldn’t go to the hassle just for a book of stamps!
Between the near-constant demands and the failed expectation that the babies should just fit into our lives, I started to feel smothered, and far over-burdened.
But then one day, I tried to think of that adage in a larger context.
Sure, I had made major, MAJOR changes to almost every aspect of my life…but I was still “me”, wasn’t I?
When I remembered to try to define my life and myself less by my leisure, and more by what makes me happy, things started to click a little better. In addition to my girls – which are undeniably the center of my world…and I’m OK with that – I found new ways to realize these joys.
And as the girls have gotten older, I’ve been able to file a few more “old world” pleasures in now and again, which I appreciate in their infrequency far more than I ever did when manicures were a dime a dozen.
Couple this with things starting to actually get easier – at least in terms of “schedules” and “major motion picture productions” (think impromptu dinner out last week!) – and I feel like “my” world and “our” world are starting to become one.
My experience over the past two and a half years wouldn’t lead me to completely dismiss the idea of “incorporating” your children into your life, but maybe underscore the idea of “to everything there is a season”.
…linking up with the Parenting Myths Question of the Week at Multiples & More!