Monday, May 10, 2010

Easy street

I hope all you moms out there had a fantastic Mother's Day yesterday. I love being a mom. It fills me with great joy when I think of my daughters. Just one smile or coo from them sends me to my knees, thanking God for each day he gives me with them. At the same time, I don't think I even need to say it; being a parent is hard. Being the parent of twins is hard. There have definitely been days when I've counted down the minutes until my husband walked in the door, and I've probably cried more tears than my daughters have when I can't seem to figure out why they are so unhappy. There are a few things that have happened recently that have made our parenting journey a little easier. I'm not saying it's easy--far from it, but things might be getting just a little easier, and, yes, I'm going to rejoice in that!

  1. Napping. Our girls really struggle to take naps. Occasionally they will both go to sleep and take a long nap, usually in the late afternoon. Most of the time one will nap while the other one stays awake, or they both stay awake. Recently I received some great advice about napping, which this individual got from the book, Healthy Sleep Habits, Healthy Child. The book is all about doing what works to get your child to fall asleep, and to do it consistently. Probably the most important thing the book talks about is putting your baby to sleep after being awake for no more than two hours. This small piece of information has been SO helpful. I was keeping our girls up for much too long, they were getting over-stimulated and were having a hard time winding down. Since learning this, I've been giving the girls more quiet time, which they do often use to fall asleep.
  2. Baby wearing. I've mentioned before how much we love our slings, so this will just reiterate this. Recently we've been able to use new holds with the sling as the girls have gained stronger neck muscles. By "wearing" the girls, we are able to get much accomplished, while facilitating bonding and attachment to our daughters. The girls are so comfortable in their slings--they both love to look around, and when one has had enough stimulation, she puts her head on my chest and goes to sleep. This weekend my husband and I were able to clean, cook, bake and do yard work--all thanks to our Baby K'tan slings. A bonus about the slings is that it allows me to hold both girls when I'm by myself--a big help when they both need to be soothed.
  3. Play mat. My friend graciously let us borrow her son's  play mat. This thing is amazing! My girls love to be held, and love attention, as all infants do. There are days when putting them down, even for a moment causes and eruption of tears. Further, I often feel overwhelmed with the task of  engaging the girls in the necessary play to help them developmentally. This play mat works wonders. There are so many things to look at on this thing that it has kept the girls' attention for up to 45 minutes. This gives me time to get a few small chores done around the house, and I can sit there with them engaging them in all the developmental play that the play mat has to offer. We even read a couple of books today!!
  4. Mobility. As I mentioned in a previous post, being able to get out and about with the girls has been very freeing for me. We have been able to meet friends for walks, and small visits, all while trying to balance napping and down time. These outings make the days fly by, and can sometimes provide me with an extra hand for a few moments when I need it. 
  5. Sleep. For the past two weeks the girls have slept through the night for stretches ranging from six to eight hours at a time. This has been amazing! I realize this is most likely fleeting, and a growth spurt or teething will thwart this pattern, so we treat each night of good sleep as a gift. Being less tired makes the days seem brighter, and for this I give thanks!
Parenting certainly is an exciting journey. I love the ride, and am ecstatic that, for the moment, it's a little less bumpy.


Mary C said...

Julia - Love reading your updates. I have a small gift for you and would like to stop by sometime when it is convenient- maybe even lend you a hand :-) Of course, the girls will probably want to tag along too so that will be 6 hands to lend. With working full time - it will probably need to be an evening or Saturday.

Anonymous said...

Julia, do you get up and pump when the babies sleep 6-8 hours at night? I'm not sure what to do because my body longs for uninterrupted stretches of sleep, but I don't want to jeopardize my milk supply. I was curious what you found in your research...