My husband always said he wanted three kids and I always said I wanted four. It was never a big disagreement, just part of our discussions when we talked about the future. After our second child was born, we both said we were ok if the next one came along sooner rather than later. However, we would never think the next positive pregnancy test would pop up when our daughter was only four months old. Then, four months later, we found out it was twins!
We went from one child to four in 12 months and it has been quite a joyful, exhausting whirlwind. People ask me all the time how I do it. I just do what I have to do. We've had to figure out how to manage with the children we've been given in the hours of the day we've been given. It has been a bit of a crash course in parenting, marriage, and home management. Here are the three of the biggest lessons in this course.
Once we found out twins were coming, we immediately went into prep mode of figuring out where to buy and how to fit 3 cribs, 3 highchairs, 4 car seats and all the other gear that comes with not one, but two infants and a 12-month-old, not to mention our almost 4-year-old. We purged a lot of stuff from every room. I knew we would be adding a lot of baby gear again, two more wardrobes, double the bottles, and of course two more people. I hate to feel cramped and I don't like clutter so clearing out unnecessary and unused things in our home opened up our space a lot. The other thing we did that had a huge impact was close in our small, one-car garage and buy a shed for the backyard. It was the most cost effective way to add space to our house. It served as the twins' room initially and now it is a great playroom.
The workload in our home took a huge jump when the twins were born with so many bottles to prepare and feed and having three in diapers that need to be changed along with the rest of the normal work that it takes to manage a household.
I am a stay-at-home mom, so I do most of the housework, shopping, cooking, and care of the children since I'm home all day. However, I could no longer get everything done during the day and just rest in the evenings when my husband came home from work. It has been crucial for me and my husband to have consistent, honest communication. We have to interact a lot about who's been changed, figure out who is doing what task, and how to get them in bed with as little chaos as possible. The days are over of one of us taking care of the baby while the other rests or does something else. So communication is key to maximize time and minimize frustration and confusion.
Love each child individually.
Each of my children are so very different and even from the youngest age, I have seen the value of spending time with them individually and relating to them in light of who they are, not who their siblings are. This is key in bonding with each of them and showing love to them, but it's also important to recognize how they are each developing socially, physically, and emotionally. Now, I am not yet at the place in availability to take each of my children out on little weekly dates and spend quality time with them. So, I may spend longer playing with one of the twins after I change their diaper or spend more time with my 2-year-old as I put her down for nap or having a portion of the little ones' nap time to do something special with my oldest.
I have to work to consistently apply these principles and I know they will continue to be crucial to the joy in my household, my parenting, and my marriage. There are so many other lessons I am in the middle of and so much I need to grow in. I'm just trying to take what I've been given and do well with all of it, all of who I am and all of who they are.
Thank you Stacey! Be sure to visit Stacey at Getting Through the Day!
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