I’ve already established that pregnancy isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. I should have known that newborn parenting would follow suit. I can’t believe how clueless I was before becoming a mom.
In my fantasy my husband and I would gently rock the babies to sleep every night while singing lullabies together. Some nights we’d even read them a story. Afterwards we would give each twin a loving kiss before laying them in the crib together. They would snuggle into each other and feel comforted by each other’s presence. My husband and I would gaze lovingly at each other and wipe away tears of joy.
For some reason, it had never crossed my mind to read up on infant sleep (until it was too late, that is). In truth, I had no idea that it would be such an issue. I thought if my babies were tired, they would just sleep. Ha!
God forbid I miss their tired cues because if I do they spend the rest of the night screaming. Contrary to the gentle rocking with soft lullabies that I’d envisioned, my babies demand roller coaster-type movements that have me breaking out in a sweat. (Who knew baby wipes would be so effective at wiping away sweat too?) When they still refuse to sleep, I may resort to cursing (in a sing-song voice so the twins don’t catch on).
Just as one twin finally falls asleep, the other twin starts crying or the dog starts barking. Then I have to start all over again. I don’t know who cries the loudest out of the three of us.
My cribs, with their over-priced woodland animal mobiles and beautiful, feminine lavender crib sheets that I’d spent hours selecting, have hardly been used. The little brats will only sleep in the carrier, car seat or in bed with us.
I envisioned myself sitting with my two precious babies cradled in my arms while I gazed blissfully at them.
Wait, did I say sit?! Because when your perineum has been torn apart so violently that your vagina and anus become one, there is no sitting, much less in a blissful state! And while I expected some postpartum bleeding, no one had mentioned that it would, in fact, take on the form of huge ass clots the size of plums.
I would take the twins and dog for a nice leisurely stroll along the lake every day. My hair would blow gently in the wind and my twins would smile at me from the stroller. I would finally be thin again and I’d look so cute carrying my gorgeous (albeit ridiculously expensive) diaper bag.
I should be banned from going out in public because I look like I belong on People of Walmart. My hair is scraped together in a frizzy ponytail and I’m often wearing a horrid mixture of maternity clothes and my husband’s baggy clothes. My diaper bag is so crammed full of stuff that it looks like it’s about to explode. The twins will decide to cry at the exact same time and the dog will take that opportunity to chase a squirrel.
As for looking thin… I noticed an elderly lady staring at my twins and me rather oddly at the doctor’s office the other day. Finally she sauntered up to my husband.
“Are those twins?” she asked.
“Wow,” she said, looking horrified. “Your wife just had twins and she’s already pregnant again?”
Family and friends would come over with offerings of food. We would laugh happily and all take lots of photos with the twins. I might even be able to sneak away for a quick nap with all the readily available babysitters.
Not only did people not bring me food, but they conveniently dropped by at lunch or dinner time, thereby expecting me to cook for them and make them tea in the interim.
Despite being completely exhausted, I was expected to take photos of everyone while they woke my babies up, passed them around and made them cry. No one cared that I wasn’t in any of the photos.
The visitors would stay for hours. During that time I was forced to stay seated for fear of what might suddenly leak out if I stood. Yet sitting was torture. I didn’t want to pee while they were there because I was afraid I’d end up weeping in front of them.
People had the audacity to act irritated when I had to pry my babies away so I could feed them.
Eventually they left, with my sinks piled high with unwashed dishes and my poor babies so overstimulated that they cried for the rest of the night.
Maternity leave would be so much fun. How would I bring myself to go back to work after doing nothing for a whole year?
For the love of God, please let me go back to work!!
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Why did no one warn me that being a parent to newborns would be so difficult? Instead, people are forever posting baby pictures on Facebook and pretending that it’s the most blissful experience. This has got go be the world’s biggest lie after Santa Clause. At least with Santa Clause I was able to figure out for myself that he wasn’t real when I realised that he had the exact same handwriting as my dad. The realities of parenting, however, was a complete shock that I really didn’t see coming.
Maybe it’s for the best. I’m sure if we all knew the truth beforehand we’d die out as a species.
I’m a twin mommy who will make you feel better about your parenting skills. Sign up for e-mail updates at the bottom of this page if you want to follow my journey into insanity. You can also follow me on Facebook.