So I am sitting here in my quiet house, all the kiddos asleep in their beds, and I find this question over at the Multiples and More website: "Does it get easier?"
I think back to those sleep deprived weeks following the twins birth. Which had followed some sleep-deprived "I-can't-find-a-single-comfortable-position-for-more-than-60-minutes" weeks. I'm not sure I know how we survived newborn twins. The little bits I remember from those nights involved Ryan or myself struggling to get both twins to sleep. This was so the other could catch a few winks. There was crying. There was laundry. And there were two other children desperately needing attention. I lost all my patience for nursing around the time the twins reached 4 weeks old. I struggled with nursing two babies at once, and it took about 1/3 of my wakeful time feeding them separately. Two weeks later Annie and Maddie were weaned.
The trip to visit relatives during Thanksgiving was rough. It seemed like I spent all of my visit feeding and diapering two demanding newborns and prayed Emma and Elizabeth were getting some attention from their grandparents. Then there was the trip to get a Christmas tree with Ryan's family. We told all the family we would be ready at THIS TIME to go get the picture. Twins would be fed and ready to go, and the other girls would be ready too. Well, getting our family of 6 apparently ready took less time than some others.... And by the time we got to the Christmas tree farm, Annie and Maddie were hungry. Again. I'm sure I was not at all an emotional, postpartum crazy woman, but I was angry and crying that I had to sit in the car while everyone else got to go, and I got to listen to stories of how cute Emma was doing this, and Elizabeth did this funny thing later.
But then Annie and Maddie started getting a more regular sleep pattern. I left the house on occasion. It is amazing how those two things bring a more positive outlook in life. That's not to say that I didn't feel like pulling out my hair on occasion. (Or regularly) But regular sleep changes you from the emotional zombie to a person with a little perspective.
Each stage brings its challenge. The kids want to be mobile but can't figure out the crawling just yet. They want to feed themselves, but just make a giant mess. They can get around, and need to explore everything.
And then there's the stage we are in now. Independence. Gosh, it's just too fun. "I do it!" I buckle my own seatbelt. I put on my own shoes. I help put away the laundry and unfold all of it in the process. Everything takes so stinkin' long. But they look so proud of themselves when they figure it out.
When we leave the house, we run into parents who are further along in the process of raising twins. "It gets easier" they tell me. I've wanted to ask, really? Truly? Easier? And what does that mean about me right now? I look harried and pathetic?
But this brings me back to the original question. Does it get easier?
I would have to say yes. I like that I get sleep. I like that the twins can tell me what they want. (I can usually figure it out. Eventually. :o) ) They tell me, "Tank You" and "Wuv You." They purposefully wrap their arms around my neck and give me hugs. They can play together and with their siblings. Somedays I feel like we just might get the hang of this parenting thing.