I can’t help but notice these days how different life is caring for one baby. Even though I’m also caring for toddler twins, having just one infant is so vastly different from having two. My parenting has evolved (and revolved) around her, because she is a different baby, and I have totally surprised myself in more ways than one.
1) I’m much more chill with her. For the first 5 months when she slept in our room, we didn’t even have a monitor on her. Believe me, with her pair of lungs, she didn’t need one. But in reality, if she cried loud enough she really needed something, I could easily hear her from the living room. With R & C, I jumped at every little peep, partially to keep one from waking the other, which was one of the hardest things about having twin babies.
2) Schedule Schmedule. Our first time around, we ran our lives like a business. The NICU does that to you. Every 3 hours it was change, feed, burp, sleep. As they got older we kept them on a strict sleeping schedule for their whole first year: wake up at 7, nap at 9, nap at 1, and bed at 7 on the dot. Our lives revolved around this schedule. Doing things on demand, while possible, made life with twins very difficult. But now? Meh. She eats when she eats; I put her down for a nap when she seems tired. She’s doing 2 naps a day, but everything, including her bed time, fluctuates based on what time she last woke up. She’s a different baby than the twins were. And I really enjoy the fluidity that our day has.
3) I have reinforcements. I can hand her off to Daddy when I need to (when he’s home), but more likely he has already jumped in and taken her off my hands or offered to give her a bath, change her diaper, or get her out of bed when she wakes up. He takes the big girls outside to draw on the sidewalk or to their room to play Hide and Seek. Parents of twins are almost always playing man on man defense, and while you can trade babies, you’re usually both dealing with one of them. With three, we are usually both busy with something kid related, but knowing that the big girls can entertain themselves for a while and I can hand Z off to him is priceless.
Things are much different this time around. I look back to the anal, schedule crazy mom I was with twin babies and chuckle, but would I change anything? Heck no. That was the best way for me to care for them and keep my sanity. It’s hanging on by a thread, but I’m still claiming it’s there.
And I would have ne-heeeeever let him do this! Look at me so relaxed and taking pictures!