By: Brandy Black
We have reached 8 weeks with twins and I’m learning a very important lesson. One that I don’t think I mastered with Sophia and to be perfectly honest I don’t think I will ever quite wrap my head around. And that is sometimes you have to accept it when a baby is crying. I am loath to admit that the truth is when you have three kids you can’t be everything to everyone. I will be quite honest. I was convinced with Sophia and probably am with all of my kids that I can stop their tears if they are in my arms.
Yesterday was Sophia’s 4th birthday and Susan had to work the first half of the day. I wanted my daughter’s day to be special, filled with pancakes, balloons, kisses, and all the attention a little girl can handle. You can imagine the pressure I was putting on myself as if I don’t do that enough already, I swear my shoulders are up to my ears and I could use a massage every day of the week. When Sophia woke, the babies were sleeping. It was perfect timing to indulge in the excitement of her waking to a bundle of balloons. We chatted and cuddled and soon the babies were up, both crying and hungry. I fed them and then we all made our way out to the kitchen.
“Mom said she was going to make me pancakes for my birthday” Sophia said sweetly.
Oh great, of course Mom said that and now Mom is working and Mama has 2 babies wrapped in her arms. I wanted to say “well it’s cereal this morning and Mom can make pancakes later” but after looking at her dear sweet birthday face, I set the babies down in their chair together and said, “Well let’s make pancakes then.” Sophia cracked the eggs, careful not to get anything on her pink birthday dress and the babies began to cry. I continued on with Sophia, taking a deep breath, understanding babies cry, they are fed, changed and burped, just let it be. The cries got louder. My breasts began to hurt, for those nursing moms out there, you understand, when your baby cries your body goes into a tailspin wanting to fix everything and my body always assumes more milk even though I actually adhere to a pretty strict feeding schedule. I broke down and picked Bella up, she kept crying, I set her down after a minute and picked up Penn, he stopped crying. Sophia was ready for more instruction, I set him down and they both began to cry again. I took a deep breath and gave all of my attention to Sophia, talking myself off the ledge. The funny thing is that Sophia is unfazed by their cries, maybe it was all that pre-baby preparation but she just ignores it and so I followed her lead. After 2 minutes of heartbreaking cries they stopped. Penn stared blankly at us and Bella went to sleep. I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t have to help them. They learned to soothe themselves. Even as I write this I secretly hope Susan doesn’t read it because she takes a much more lighthearted approach. She admits that she just lets the babies cry when she can’t fix things, she even admitted that if she tried everything and they were still crying she’d probably take a 3-minute shower to get away from the tears. That made me mad. So mad, I did a Facebook poll to see who was in the right and Susan actually won. Most moms said that it would actually be good to step away. I couldn’t do that, honestly, the tears only bother me when I can’t fix them and I can always fix my babies by holding them close and giving them lots of love, it may take 15 minutes but it always works. The idea of ignoring them or taking a shower kills me but yesterday I realized Sophia needed my attention. The reality is, things are different now, it’s likely someone will always be crying, if it’s not Sophia, Penn, or Bella, it will be my dog or my wife or maybe even me. We can’t be everything to everyone. We must spread our love and attention around and that is a big lesson for this Mama to learn.
Oh and Happy Birthday my dearest Sophia! I loved going to Lady and the Tramp with you and having a hamburger milkshake picnic at the Roosevelt Hotel. You are truly gorgeous in every possible way.
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Originally published on The Seattle Lesbian
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