First off, I learned really fast that my attitude and outlook was going to determine how this goes. If I choose to be negative, then the day (and night) is going to be pretty rough for all of us. If I choose to be happy and embrace it, things go so much better. No matter what the night was like, when I wake up I pray and ask God to give me the strength to do a good job that day...and He has come through for me every time. If I get into a funk, I put some music on or laugh at the kids. Now that I am able to get back to the gym, that will be my happy place as well.
A typical day (when my husband is away) looks like me waking up at 6 am and grabbing a cup of coffee. Seriously I use the biggest mug I can find. While I'm nursing the twins and caffeinating, the girls come running down the stairs. They usually fight over who gets to cuddle me and I turn on cartoons or give them my phone until the coffee kicks in. The twins go back to sleep after that for an hour at least so I get up and make breakfast. The girls usually play for a while after breakfast or start nagging me about what we will do that day. When my husband is away, I try to get out of the house every single day. The kids need it and so do I. We like to go to the splash pad or the park and now back to the YMCA! Getting everyone ready takes some time, but we can get out the door in about 45 mins.
I'm not sure how to answer how I do it....I just do. I do do do. haha I am almost always doing something or planning to do something (if I'm nursing). I tried to think through a lot of this while I was pregnant. I got the girls used to playing together or in the backyard by themselves (I open a window so I can watch and listen). The boys are on the same schedule for the most part and that helps. During the day, one will want to be held while the other one naps.and then they switch. I babywear them individually and together if I need to be getting things done. I love the Weego for tandem carrying and the K'tan for solo carrying.
I think another thing for my "how" is that I have really great babies. They are very easy-going and happy. Even when they are cranky, I know how to console them. I cut dairy out before they were born and I truly believe that is the reason these babies have never had the "purple crying" or colic that my girls had. I am not the type of mom who lets her kids cry. It gives me such bad anxiety. So I do my best to meet their needs right away. I tandem nurse them if they both are hungry and for the most part they really never cry. A huge part of this is also because these are my 3rd and 4th kids. I have quite a few tricks up my sleeve for soothing and I am confident in my choices as a parent. I've found that when I meet my babies needs right away they become independent, confident and happy toddlers. We haven't struggled with separation anxiety with any of my kids outside of the small periods they naturally get it.
I hope this isn't coming across like I just think I am perfect and have this all figured out. All I have figured out is what works for me. My family..my kids..our needs. Every momma learns this on their own.
I had a really hard time with Avelyn and struggled a lot with the transition from 1 kid to 2 kids. Somehow, God has made it so that 4 kids is easier than 2. I have no idea how that works but He did it. I have been warned that it's also because they are still in the sleepy newborn stage and to prepare for what's coming for me. . . but I am just the type of person who wants to enjoy things when they are good and figure out the challenges when they come. :) So for now, things are good. They really are.
The twins don't have any set schedule yet. They eat anywhere from every 30 mins to 3 or 4 hours. Nights have been slowly getting better as well. I started the twins on a bedtime routine that includes bath, swaddling, nursing with white noise, and falling asleep in their cribs. It's tricky getting it done when the girls have their bedtime routine at 7. I have been playing around with the times trying to find what works best for all of us. Evening is the hardest time of day. The goal is to do the twins bedtime routine from 6-7 while the girls play and then do the girls from 7-8. But since the boys are cluster feeding in the evening, they nurse from 6:30-9pm. I have just been nursing and doing the girls at the same time which is a little chaotic but once its over..glory hallelujah..everyone is asleep in their own beds!!!! PTL!
The boys have been sleeping from 9-1 then wake up again around 3 or 4 and again at 6am ...and we start it all over again.
The last thing I will say about how I am doing it all is that I have a different perspective with these babies. I know this is a short season. I know these are my last babies. I know I will look back and miss this. They have taught me to truly just take ONE DAY AT A TIME. Something I have never done in my life. When I try to look at the week or the month ahead and plan things, I get anxious and overwhelmed. But when I just look at the rest of the day, I know it's going to be fine. When it's the middle of the night and I am nursing and exhausted...I only think about getting to the next feed. Just take it in little bits and before you know it...you're two months in and things are going better than you dreamed!
I plan to do a separate post with newborn tricks and tips I've learned in hopes that it will help another mama who is brand new...look for that on Thursday!
Here are the boys!
Cullen is 10 lbs 4 ounces and 21.5 inches long
He has held true at being the happiest little guy. He started smiling for real and it just melts me every time. He has also tried to laugh when I tickle him. He is very content to look around the room and let his sisters
Everett is 10 lbs 10 ounces and also 21.5 inches long.
Even though the babies seem like different sizes, their heads are the exact same size and they are the same length. I think Everett packed those extra few ounces straight into his cheeks. He still has the deepest dimples and he smiles a lot too. He loves to cuddle mom and wishes he could always sleep on my chest. He is also content to lay on the floor but is usually the first to start crying and saying he is ready to be picked up. Everett seems to sleep more at night but honestly I mix them up a lot at night so I cant be sure. I will nurse a baby the whole night and in the morning when I unswaddle them and see their clothes, I am shocked it is the wrong baby! Everett also got a birthmark this past week. It's a small brown circle on the inside of his wrist. Sorry kid, now people will always be able to tell yall apart.
I think my boys look so different but then, I do mix them up sometimes. They have a very different look in their eyes but when they are sleep they look just the same. One thing about boys that I've learned is true is that they DO love their mamas. When I am babywearing them, they just stare at my face with this expression that is pure adoration. It is the sweetest thing. I can't even explain it. I can't wait to see how they interact with eachother as they get bigger. They will look at eachother and still sleep cuddled together every night. When I put them in their cribs, I experimented with putting them further apart to see if it helped them sleep but just like magnets, within 5 mins they were cuddled face to face.
I doubted God so many times in my pregnancy. I didn't think I could handle four kids. I had no idea what was coming. My life has never felt so complete and joy-filled. Even though there are hard times and challenges I can say that I have joy every single day. I love being their mama! He really does work it all together for our good. I have learned to slow down, learned to enjoy little moments instead of always looking ahead. I've become more selfless than I thought possible. My heart has doubled in size and filled to the brim.