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Free time

March 4, 2007

We were up at the inlaws today to celebrate FIL’s birthday. They love being grandparents and it’s always nice to visit them. My SIL has wanted to start a family for at least a year now and her DH has been dragging his feet. He and I were talking and he was very excited to hear that the babies go to sleep at 7pm. Here’s the conversation:

BIL: So they go to sleep at 7pm?
Me: Yep, I had read in a book that 7pm is the best time to put them to sleep. That they’ll sleep better and longer. And it’s true for them.
BIL: That’s great. 7pm. So you get some free time in the evenings after they go to sleep. That’s great.
Me: Yeah, it’s nice to have some time at night. Of course, free time often means time to straighten up, do laundry, cook dinner….

I kind of felt bad bursting his bubble but I also didn’t want him to go into parenthood with unrealistic expectations. Hopefully, I wasn’t wrong. I will say that once we started the 7pm bedtime things got really good around here. DH and I finally had some time together that didn’t involve babies. And I do get some time to myself each night which is nice. But I also realize that a guy-without-kids’ idea of free time and a mom’s idea of free time are probably miles apart.

I think that going into this whole “twin parenthood” thing that I had a much clearer idea of what the first year with twins would mean. During my pregnancy I read constantly and frequented alot of message boards for twin parents. My DH read one book. This really caused some problems for him and for us. They say that the hardest step in a growing family is going from one kid to two. And we made that change in exactly 60 seconds. At 11:06AM on December 29, 2005 we were a family of three. At 11:07AM we became a family of four. Yikes!

Looking back I really wish I’d gotten DH to read more twin books or something because it’s been a rough adjustment for him. Which means it’s a rough adjustment for both of us. He’s an excellent father but the sheer amount of work and stress involved with raising twins didn’t really hit him until we were home alone with two crying, hungry babies. So maybe I should have lied and painted a picture of the kids going to bed and the parents doing all the things they did pre-baby. But I think that would have made things worse in the long run. Hmmm, I guess time will tell.

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