The first week home with our twins wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be.
I was home from work, trying to make the most of my final two weeks of summer before I had to go back to school. At this point, they weren’t awake for any real stretch of time, and they were relatively low maintenance.
Ignorance was bliss. Big time.
I was nowhere near prepared for the madness that would ensue over the next few weeks, and even worse, at the exact time I would return to the classroom. Not only the classroom, but the school track as well, where I would spend three hours each day after school coaching the cross country team.
This is the part where I would thank all of our family members for taking a month off from work to live with us. Or where I would sing the praises of our devoted full-time nanny. Or the kind neighbor who came over every day to help us manage two newborns.
But it was just us.
More specifically, just Mom.
She was a one-woman team from the wee hours of the morning when I left the house, until my arrival back home nearly twelve hours later. I would also spend a few hours tutoring kids on two days of the week, which extended my time away from home. It was totally unrealistic to expect her to do all of this on her own, but she did it. And she did it well. She was defying the odds and probably pushing the boundaries of her sanity.
She was amazing. People were astonished when they learned of my long hours at work and her longer hours at home. I felt very guilty about it, because honestly, teaching all day and coaching for a few hours after school was so much easier than caring for newborns twins, all day, by yourself.
And she knew it too, but she was she gracious enough not to remind me how much harder her job was. Actually, she was downright normal about the whole thing.
When I arrived home each night, I was usually greeted with a friendly, “Can you please wash your hands and take someone?”
That’s it! That’s it?
No cursing, crying, or yelling? Nope.
She wouldn’t even dump the babies on me and leave the house, like I know I would if it was me staying home with them all day.
But I didn’t understand the system right away.
For the previous seven years of our life together, I would come home from work and start making dinner. When I tried to do that a few times this year, she reminded me that she had taken care of babies all day, so dinner could wait, or she could make dinner while I cared for the babies.
Duh. Of course. That makes total sense.
Even though it made total sense, it still didn’t click with me. I had my routines that I followed for years and I had a hard time changing them. I realize that I sound crazy, but it was something that I struggled with for a while. And I’d be lying if I said that if I still don’t hang onto my old ways. And it would take a while before I could really accept it.