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Dear Hopeful Pregnant Kayla: From Your Older Wiser Self

Dear Hopeful Pregnant Kayla: From Your Older Wiser Self

Last updated on May 7th, 2024 at 07:34 am

Dear Hopeful Pregnant Kayla: From Your Older Wiser Self
Photo Courtesy of Hollister Photography & Designs

“Tonight, I cried. Around 7:45, I decided to put Derrick down for bed. Olivia was fussing in my arms so I quickly said prayers with my son and left the room. I sat down to nurse, looked down the hallway, and saw Derrick standing at the end of the hall, making the sign for hurt (his way of telling me he was sad). I knew he wanted me to lie with him in bed (just so he could play with my hair while falling asleep), but at that moment, I couldn’t. I kept telling him, “Go back to bed.” but he started crying. A minute later, Claire woke up and started crying to nurse too. All three of my children were crying. The twins were crying because they wanted to nurse and Derrick was crying for me, his Mommy. I gave up on Derrick sleeping and let him run around the house while I tandem breastfed the girls. After the girls were back asleep in the crib, it was time to put Derrick down. I decided to rock him, like I did when he was a baby-baby, and tears poured down my face. I had so many feelings rushing through me. I was frustrated that Derrick did not fall asleep when I first put him down. I was sad because he wanted me to comfort him and I couldn’t. I was angry that I was doing this alone. I was so overwhelmed that all 3 kids were crying. I felt guilty that I couldn’t comfort all my kids at once.”

This is an entry from my personal journal, last summer, when I was a mom of four-month-old twin girls and a not yet 2-year-old boy running around the house. My husband was working out of town, and I faced the most hands-on moments of child-rearing by myself.

I wrote a lot about being stressed out, overwhelmed, and tired.  I tandem breastfed the twins, built Legos, changed diapers (all 3 were in diapers), made meals, colored, gave baths, took home videos, showered quickly, read books, tackled the kitchen, folded laundry, or swept the floors. I never caught up on anything and felt guilty for falling behind on the housework, and then I felt guilty for caring about the housework at all.

Photo Courtesy of Hollister Photography & Designs
Photo Courtesy of Hollister Photography & Designs

I appreciated the couple of random times when family came and brought food, cleaned bathrooms, babysat while I went grocery shopping, sorted laundry or vacuumed the house. Honestly, I needed more daily help. I wanted my husband to just come home. He did his best to comfort me over the phone, but I was overwhelmed and lonely. (Sadly, I lashed out at him for the most part.)

On the hardest days, I’d pack everyone in the car and drive around town until they’d fall asleep, eat fast food (still in the car), and then show up at my parent’s house and say, “Surprise! You don’t mind, right?” I’d tell them all about my day as they held the babies, then they’d make me dinner and send me off with words of wisdom, “This will pass. This is a season. You can do it.”

I heard all the time, “If you need something, let me know.” I’d say, “Okay. I will,” and truly believed that I’d be able to anticipate the moments I needed help the most. But those moments when I desperately needed the help (like the story above), I didn’t even know how to gather my thoughts, let alone call someone.

When they say that the first year with twins is hard, they aren’t kidding. If I could go back and give myself advice about making it through the day when Chris, my husband, worked out of town and couldn’t come home, I’d say:

SONY DSC

Dear Hopeful, Pregnant Kayla,

I know you’ve tried to prepare for it all. You’ve read the top articles on “welcoming a new addition (or two) to your family” and all the ways it can impact your marriage, parenting, and housework. You’ve organized your hall closet (because, thank the Heavens, when all the babies are crying, at least your towels are folded properly). You feel ready.

But, this year is going to be bringing you down to your knees, literally. With all the preparation and planning you’ve done, remember to rejoice more. You have a healthy family of 5. Please worry less. It will eventually get done, I promise. (You’ll find yourself worrying about other people’s opinions a lot. Stop it.) Remember to love more. This is hard for everyone, not just you, so be more loving and graceful when it gets tough. Always play more. You will cherish the long afternoon play-dates with your sister and her children more than the day you mopped the floors. Learn to relax more. It is okay that you chose Facebook over folding laundry. Finally, embrace it. It will all pass, and you will survive.

I promise.
Love,
Your Older Wiser Self

Need some more advice on raising twins through the first year? Check out Natalie Diaz’s new book “What To Do When You’re Having Two”, available in stores now!

Kayla Dickens

Kayla Dickens is a wife to her best friend and a full-time mother. She has a 2-year-old Daredevil and 11-month-old twin girls. She loves to share about her adventures in pursuing Christ, her marriage, living simply, parenting, raising chickens, blogging, being a friend, crafting, and more on her blog Chasing a Daredevil and Twins. Connect with her on Facebook too.

Are You a New Twin Parent?

Check out Natalie Diaz’s book:
What To Do When You’re Having Two
The Twin Survival Guide From Pregnancy Through the First Year

what to do when you're having two book

In What to Do When You’re Having Two: The Twins Survival Guide from Pregnancy Through the First Year, national twins guru and founder of Twiniversity (and twin mom herself!) Natalie Diaz provides a no-holds-barred resource about life with twins, from pregnancy and birth all the way through your duo’s first year of life.

Accessible and informative, What to Do When You’re Having Two
 is the must-have manual for all parents of twins.

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