From “I’ve got this” to “I have no idea what I’m doing”

Thanks to the commenters and readers of my last post. It sounds like this 11/12 month old stage really can be a doozy and yes, I’m in survival mode again.

Piggy-backing on my thoughts last time, I’m just finding it funny how a few months ago, I really thought I had this 24/7 parenting thing down pat. It’s hard to know if my mental toolbox of ideas has run dry because I have twins, because I’m with them all day, every day, or because I’m not good at replenishing it, and that’s just the kind of mother I am.

But I do know that I’ve started reacting in ways to my babies’ meltdowns that I didn’t think I would – with an almost numb quality. And by babies’ meltdowns, I’m talking about B. Right now C is my golden child (and yes, it’s now switched between them about 4 times since they were born). She reads books, she wants to learn about things, she plays with toys quietly and easily. She has dislikes and opinions, but I know what they are and I set her up for success. I try to do the same for B. He’s biting now. With purpose. He was frustrated today and he bit my leg. And then tonight, my shoulder as he came in from a hug (so not sure this one was about anger). But he bites and it really hurts. And C, she just learned where my teeth are, so now she’s shoving her fingers in B’s mouth to find his teeth and getting bit, hard. And not learning her lesson, and doing it again.

B’s meltdowns come mostly going into the car seat, stroller, or high chair. The changing table I can get past if I sing a rousing rendition of “The wheels on the bus” and hand him some random object he shouldn’t have. But those other times… I find myself not knowing what else I can do, besides wait. Should I do a song and dance routine every time he throws back his body? Maybe if he were my only child and I could concentrate just on him. But I can’t – and so I wait a few seconds, hold him in place, and then he gives up the fight and sits down. And after I hand him the toy he’s dropped on the floor of a public place for the 5th time, because if it’s the only thing that keeps him happy,  I wonder how differently I’m doing things now than I did a few months ago. What I’m seeing is that my patience level isn’t as high as I’d like it to be. I don’t want to run out of patience – once in a while, sure, but not every day. Again, I ask myself if I’m running out of patience because I have twins, because B is at a difficult stage right now, or because I’m just not the kind of mother who has a lot of patience, even though I REALLY want to be that mother. Maybe being at home with the babies 24/7 is the culprit – not that I’m taking that one for granted either, because I’m going back to work full time in September and I don’t regret this decision to stay home even for a minute.

I don’t yell or anything like that –  I’m still overly in love with these babies and I don’t take it for granted. But a few months ago, I used to use a sweet sing-song voice, “Oh, I’m sorry you’re sad. Let’s fix it.” And now it’s, “Mommy is tired and ran out of tricks. Sit down.”

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IMG_6836But he’s just so cute! He’s got a devilish grin and his personality is really taking off.

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The “easy” baby at the moment. Still feisty though, she’s learned “no” from who knows where, but instead says, “Nah” – repeatedly.

 

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As they approach their first birthday, I think every day about their birth and how far we have all come. Life is good, I just wish I had a little more patience.

 

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5 thoughts on “From “I’ve got this” to “I have no idea what I’m doing”

  1. Kayla says:

    I have a 3 year old boy and 1.5 year old twin girls. When my son was born, my own sister had a baby girl a couple of months before. So basically, when they were together… we called them twins. Anyways… all of which you wrote about just reminds me of the difference in boys and girls. I think it’s totally normal. Boys are more aggressive and want to destroy. I had moments where I thought, “What is the matter?!” but soon realized it’s boy thing.

    I also do a numb out thing when there’s a lot of crying going on. Have to. LOL. It’s our own survival technique.

  2. JustHeather says:

    You know, it is probably nothing you have done specifically, but rather that B is growing more into his own self and finding out what he likes and doesn’t like, so he throws fits to show that. When Paxlet did and still does (they’ve only gotten bigger and more pronounced as he gets closer to 2) throw a tantrum, I sometimes laugh (I try to no let him see) and other times it is all I can do to not be frustrated myself.

    And yes, some days, I feel as if I can’t do anything right and that he just doesn’t like what I do, no matter how hard I try. 😀 Life as a mom is quite challenging some days.

    Hang in there! You’re doing great!!!

  3. ozifrog says:

    I have reacted with crazy shouting back. I always apologise. A counsellor I saw reminded me of the importance of “filling up your tank”. She said I needed two things 1. A dedicated timeslot EVERY week just for me and 2. An ability to strategically grab other windows of opportunity as they arise.

    Saturday morning from 7:30-11:30 is MINE. it is sacred. It is not compromised, it is not double booked, ever. And it fills up my parenting tank. You can react well if you’re running on empty, particularly with twins. So find your timeslot, then find what fills your tank. Me, I do an exercise class outdoors, then we all go out to breakfast afterwards, sit and bitch and debrief about our weeks. I pop into the markets on the way back home for fruit & veg.

    My strategic grabs have included early morning runs / coffee, leaving work early to grab time, and late night shopping trips or meeting a friend for a drink. Do it. You’ll be a better parent for it.

  4. randomsqueaks says:

    You have patience but it just runs out. That is exactly why I had so much trouble with my babies fighting their naps. I’m over it, I’m done, I don’t want to fight that battle and I’d get angry. I wondered if I wasn’t as patient as I thought but really, you’re worn down.
    I agree with the “mommy only time” idea. I think getting away without having to even think about babies would do a world of good for any mommy but especially twin mommies. I need to work on getting my own mommy time.

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