When our twins were born we often heard, “It gets easier” — like most new moms do. Then there is the, “Wait until…” group that threatened the light at the end of our tough first-year tunnel. I found that measuring time by season helped me get through the hard times. When we were going through a tough milestone, I would imagine what it would be like a year from that point. Our twins were born in July, so we went through almost a whole summer with newborns and have now just wrapped up our first summer with 1-year-olds. Here is how the two summers compare.
Last summer, a local twin mom group had an outing at the park. We packed everyone up and headed there with our two 1-month-olds. We were able to chat for a bit, and then the babies got hungry. We scurried to take them out of the stroller, get the bottles in order, and get them fed. As we were doing that, the skies opened up and it started downpouring. We hustled back to the car, and everyone was drenched and crying. This year, we went to that same outing. This time, both girls ran around the splash pad, dried off, and played in the sandbox together. It was freakishly normal.
Last summer, we were up every two or three hours. It was a barrage of bottles, pumping, crying (the babies, too), diaper changes, and swaddling all night long. We were exhausted. This summer, the twins go to bed after supper and sleep for 11 hours. Sleep happens, and it makes a world of difference.
This is, perhaps, the biggest change. Last summer, I felt cooped up at home. Our babies were preemies, so we didn’t like to take them out too often. They slept most of the time, and when they weren’t sleeping, it was a feeding frenzy. I was able to go for walks and had friends and family visit, but the days were long and lonely, not to mention exhausting. This summer, the days were still exhausting, but they are also a lot more fun. I don’t feel as trapped. Even on days I do stay home all day, we can play in our backyard on the swings or in the sandbox. We can blow bubbles, run through the sprinklers, or splash in the little pool. We still like to take walks, but now we can walk to the park and they can actually play there.
When I think about our summer with newborns last year, I mostly remember feedings, sleep (or lack thereof), and being at home. There were snuggles and sweet moments, but it wasn’t our most fun summer on record. As I reflect on our summer this year, I think of the many memories of our girls’ firsts, from trips to the beach and zoo to watching them learn to walk on the grass and splash in the sprinklers. The challenges are different now, but for us, the fun has exceeded the struggle. We can’t wait to see what next summer will bring!