Most people have opinions about parenting, whether they are parents or not. I know I did. Have they changed since becoming a mom?
Idea #1. We’d fit baby into our schedule. Bob and I always said we weren’t going to rearrange our life for a baby. They’d travel with us, go to our favorite place and fit into our schedule as opposed to us adjusting to their schedule. Reality. I feel like we’ve met a healthy middle ground on this. For us, what stops us from going more places is the fact that packing up to go somewhere with two infants is exhausting. By the time we get in the car, we sometimes forget where we were going and why we wanted to go there. We’ve traveled with our boys and they’ve been great. But trips with babies… especially twins takes longer. Also if babies don’t sleep… babies will make you pay. So we do plan our day and overnight trips around meal time & nap time and try to keep them on schedule as much as possible. Having a good amount of schedule and flexibility have really helped make for happy babies and happy parents.
Idea #2. No Screen Time. Before kids, Bob & I both felt pretty strongly about our kids not having screen-time until they were older and keeping it regulated at that point. Reality. Our kids are still young, so check in with us in a few years but because MOM & DAD NEED A BREAK our kids watch PBS or a Disney Show! We get a refreshing 4-5 minutes of peace and we are so very thankful for it. I love that they seem to enjoy shows like Mister Rogers, Daniel Tiger & Sesame Street because it let’s me relive childhood for a bit.
Idea #3. Sleep was a priority. I take my sleep seriously. I have never been someone that can work on a few hours of sleep. I am not a morning person, I’m not a night owl. I prefer to sleep whenever I can. I work for a company that makes sleep products… I obviously love sleep! Before the boys arrived, I told myself and anyone else that would listen that I planned on being strict with sleep. I am pretty sure any parents I told were holding back a laugh, thinking I was about to have a wake-up call. Reality. The first few weeks were a blur. I’ve never felt as tired as I felt those first few weeks. I remember taking the boys to the pediatrician a day after we got out of the hospital. We got to the waiting room and I started filling out paperwork. Bob had to run back out to the car because we had forgotten something (shocker!). A nurse came in to get us and she asked me the boy’s names and who was who. I, mother to these two beautiful boys, could not remember. I was running on fumes and just trying to figure out the difference between the boys took entirely too much energy. I spelled Sawyer’s name wrong on paperwork, signed in the wrong spot, I was a hot mess. Who wouldn’t be?? I don’t think you’d find any new parents brag about how much sleep they were getting in the first few weeks of baby life. But once we got into a good routine with the boys, it wasn’t as bad as I anticipated or had been warned. It’s true- I am aware that we got lucky with good sleepers (knock on wood!). But I truly believe part the reason they sleep so well is because we had a sleep schedule from the beginning (and still do). It wasn’t a rigid schedule, but it helped them learn when to sleep and when to be awake. And who knows, maybe they picked up sleep preferences from their mama?
Idea #4. Homemade baby food & cloth diapers. I really did think about doing both of these things. The cloth diapers idea went right out the window once we found out we were having twins. I don’t know if I would have done it had I had a singleton, but we’ll never know. I did plan on doing homemade baby food. I wanted to save money, give my kids healthier (?) food options, and be that mom. Reality. Guess what? I’m not that mom. I tried to make baby food two times and both times it turned out a weird brown color and the boys wouldn’t touch it. It just wasn’t worth it for my family, so we bought premade baby food and all was okay.
Idea #5. Our pups will still be our main focus. We were told over and over that Piper & Charlie would become “just dogs” to us. We didn’t believe it. They were the apple of our eyes, the light of our lives, the very very best. Reality. While I wouldn’t put them in the “just dogs” category, our priorities have shifted quite a bit. It’s completely unintentional but unavoidable. When you have little needy baby humans you are responsible for, it can be challenging to remember if you already fed the dogs, have the energy to take them for another walk, or continue to fill your Instagram feed with pictures of them. Our love for them has not decreased, but our tolerance of their barking at phantom noises or getting hair all over our furniture has decreased. It’s been a big life change for all, including our pups. On the plus side, the boys LOVE the pups. So once Charlie & Piper realize they have some great allies in Jack & Sawyer, I think everyone will be much happier.
This is not a complete list and I’m sure there will be more to add soon! But the boys will be up soon and apparently if you don’t pay attention to your babies all of the time, they do things like eat dog food or head up the stairs with no care in the world.
What ideas vs. reality did you have when it came to parenthood? Let me know!
All photography by Emilee Chambers Photography