When Jude & Sloane were newborns, I was constantly stopped by fellow twin moms who offered words of encouragement and wisdom. But, to me, they also offered one huge lie: It gets easier.
I remember smiling politely and internally cheering. Easier than this? WOW! That's not to say I thought the newborn stage was easy, but at that time my day consisted of watching, feeding, and loving on two babies who stayed in the same place and cried for very predictable, correctable reasons.
I look back on those days with nostalgia and a bit of jealousy. In my personal experience, those days were a breeze compared to what we are going through now. It does not get easier. It gets harder.
I don't want to scare you. Please read until the end and you'll understand why I say absolutely everything gets harder.
Our once immobile babies are now running, jumping, and flying across the room. Always in different directions. Always.
They don't just cry because they're hungry or wet. They cry because they want you to put one sock on their foot. Or because you only let them watch The Hot Dog Song three times in a row. Or because you want to change their dirty diaper (how dare you).
They want to help. "Help." This includes emptying 150 megablocks onto the floor... directly after you finished picking them all up.
They don't want to leave your side... until you're ready to go somewhere and then it's impossible to get them near your side.
They play together well, but sometimes playing is "pretend biting" the other's finger, which turns into a real bite, which turns into crocodile tears.
They just want to dance. On the table. On the chair with wheels. On the unstable pouf. Never on the safe, carpeted floor.
They don't want to eat anything you just cooked or the expensive organic fruit you nicely cut up for them. Refried beans in a can? Delicious.
But guess what? It gets harder for other reasons as well...
I miss them desperately when they're asleep. I spend the evening looking at pictures I took of Jude & Sloane that morning. Being away from them for any length of time is tough.
I get frustrated for them when they can't do something they so badly want to do.
I want to scream to the rooftops how proud I am of their sweetness, their intelligence, and their beauty. But I keep it to myself and graciously thank others who tell me these things. Humility is hard but so important.
I realize they are watching me all of the time. I must be mindful of what my little ones see and hear.
I have to understand that when they prefer to hug their grandparents over me, it is a gift that a lot of kids will never experience.
When I watch my son play alone in a sea of kids, my heart cries out in pain.
When I watch my daughter find my son and play with him so he's no longer alone, my heart cries out in love.
I will never tell a new mom it gets easier. It simply doesn't. It gets harder. For one million different reasons it gets harder. And thank God for that because I know it means my connection to them is getting stronger.
So to new moms reading this post: It doesn't get easier... but it keeps getting better.