During our twins eighth birthday celebration, we found all of their newborn pictures in old albums. We looked through each album, wondering where the last 8 years went. Seriously! It brought back all these memories of what I thought being a parent would be and all these ideas of what I could do. I realized I was a different parent 8 years ago with my first and here are just a few reasons that helped me come to this conclusion.
Timid delivery: When my twins were born, I was almost afraid of upsetting the doctors and nurses. I didn’t assert my wishes and desires — I just did what they told me. During my other deliveries, I knew more of what to expect and how to make my voice heard.
Celebrating over-the-moon, unrealistic birthday parties and holidays: I spent so much time and money on every holiday and birthday during the twins first couple of years. It was too much work and expectation when all the twins really cared about was a happy mom — not one who’s extra stressed with extra Groundhog Day decorations hanging from the mailbox.
Wanting my kids to have every experience right away: I bought every book, movie, toy and game that I loved when I was a child. My twins had their first trip to Disney and an American Girl doll before the age of 3. They never really enjoyed it because they were too young.
Explaining everything: I wanted my kids to know right away about every issue that I faced each day. They are children. They don’t need to be involved in every decision I make. Now, with 4 kids, I say “because mommy said so” a lot. I don’t need to explain every reason behind the things I say, especially when it involves my kids’ safety.
Explaining everything to strangers: For some reason, I felt the need to tell everyone.. the lady behind me in line, the person in the waiting room, the older gentleman in the elevator … why I made certain choices for my family, like cloth diapering, or co-sleeping, or whatever. It’s not their business and actually, they don’t care.
Caring about everything: I was super wary of germs, RSV and insects. I stayed home for every nap so the twins would stay on schedule. Now, I am more laid back and have even been known to skip a whole day of naps when needed and let my toddler eat something off the floor.
The more kids I’ve had, the more flexible I’ve become. I’ve learned more flexibility and lowered my expectations of others and myself. Being the parent of multiples has made me a different mom than I expected but I like it.