Our babies recently crossed over into six-month old land, so I’m going to take a minute today to express some thoughts. As I mentioned before they were born, this is not going to be a baby blog – except for the photostream, of course. My goal is to continue this blog as it’s always been – a mish-mash of whatever. But I think consistently talking about the babies would get boring. Now and then, though, I need to get it on digital paper so I can look back and get my thoughts from certain junctures.
One thing I learned very quickly: just accept everything that happens and adapt to it, otherwise you will be an unhappy person – and that’s not good for yourself, your spouse or your babies. That can be a very slippery slope – and a fast one. I am no longer an independent being. It’s just that simple. Almost everything I do now hinges on our babies schedules and fitting it in. It used to be I’d have a few hours to myself after my wife went to bed – I’ve all but given that up. I’m now in bed between 10-11pm every night, because the next day requires me to be alert and awake. I just accept it. Luckily, I feel like I took this attitude very early on. There are, without argument, frustrating moments, but these are minimized if you can come to terms with that early.
Six months also appears to be a time when your babies are getting more focused on the world around them. This means they’re less happy to be restrained in your arms or in a bouncy chair or whatnot. So much is new and they want (and need) to take it in visually, mentally and physically. This is really fun to be a part of. Introducing new things to them is truly a joy. There is, however, a little sadness within me that holding them is just a little less important to them now. One of my favorite and distinct memories of the past six months will be their little heads resting on my shoulder, or singing to them and bouncing them as they lay on my lap. Oh, this still happens occasionally, but most of the time they want to be on the floor, roaming around and playing with toys. Early on, I read somewhere how important it is to relish those early cuddling moments as much as you can. I did and I am SO glad for it. Each and every time I held those babies, I didn’t think about what else I could be doing. I thought about how beautiful a moment I was having.
We’re also so lucky we have a couple of very happy babies. There was no colic or extended screaming/unhappiness. There was PLENTY of long nights, sure, but that’s part and parcel of having a baby. We expected that. I take that back – we knew we’d be losing sleep, but we didn’t know to what degree. Holy crap, it was hard. You simply cannot be prepared for it until it happens to you. But we had read the importance of getting twins on a schedule as early as possible and thanks to Steph’s truly remarkable planning skills, our babies got on a schedule early and it has paid off in spades.
Speaking of Steph, words don’t describe what a great job she’s done and what a tremendous mother she is. This has been harder for her in so many ways, because she had to transition from a full-time employee to a full time mother at home. Not easy for anyone. Now add twins and the complexities of napping, feeding, entertaining, etc! I’m still working, so that part of my schedule remains consistent. For her, it was a complete upheaval. No amount of money or gifts can even come close to giving her what she deserves. We’ll have a whole new challenge after the holidays when she goes back to work and the kids go to day care, but we’ll handle it, because she is who she is.
And me, well, I’m just great. It’s been the hardest six months of my life and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. The joy I get when I see my boys uncork a simple smile on me is irreplaceable. It’s forever. There’s no better feeling of getting home and seeing how excited they are to see me, in their own way. Zachary’s eyes get wide and he flaps his arms and legs furiously. Nathan coos and smiles his big, open-mouth smile. It’s touching. What has surprised me the most, though, is my self-confidence. Before these babies were born, I always got a little nervous about things like work presentations and large social gatherings. Little things would sometimes get to me, not to mention the unknown of becoming a parent. All that is no more. What Steph and I have done and what we’ve overcome in the last 18 months has given me a newfound sense of confidence that I’ve never felt before. And I’m not letting it go.
All in all, my experience is probably no different than any other parent – it changes everything. EVERYTHING. And it’s hard. But it’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me.
Update: How has having children changed me? Well, for one I find myself enjoying Jack Johnson’s Curious George Soundtrack. That’s just bizarre.
Now playing: Son Volt – Catching On