I wouldn’t say I’m particularly easy-going, but I’m definitely not a worrier. The idea of being late to catch a flight will keep me awake all night, but other than that, there are very few things that cause me worry in my day-to-day life.
I have noticed, however, that with the babies it seems I’m always finding some new thing to worry about. At first it was if they were eating enough. Twins are typically a bit small when they are born and ours were no exception, weighing around five and a half pounds each when they came home. As a result, ensuring they gained weight at an appropriate pace was a focus. Partner this concern with breastfeeding, which really is a very mystical way to feed a child. You can’t see how much they are eating, and have to guess when they are truly full. This worry virtually consumed all of my energy for the first two months.
One of my twins would repeatedly fall asleep while nursing. They called her “lazy.” She’d then cry when you put her down, and she awoke hungry again. This led to worrying constantly if she’d had the right amount to eat. I woke her up to eat time and time again. Not surprisingly, fast forward and she’s now the larger of the two babies.
The other twin left no doubt she’d had enough. She’d eat ravenously, until she was full and exhausted, falling to the side a complete zombie. My husband and I would joke that if left to her own devices on the side of the road, she’d survive. She’d throw her baby bindle over her shoulder, flag someone down, have them feed her, and turn out just fine. Because life has a funny way about things, she’s now the smaller twin. So my new worry is she’s not gaining weight fast enough. I fear repeating this one-then-the-other process in an endless loop for all eternity.
If you google any particular motherhood concern, you’ll find thousands of other mothers on chat boards sharing the exact same worries. Every chat thread seems to end in, “if you’re not sure, ask your doctor.” While I do feel I have good access to my doctor, it’s likely he’d think I was a little over the top asking some of my questions. “Is it possible for a baby to sleep too much?” was a recent search. Look, I just want to be sure, ok?
The worries aren’t just immediate, however. I found myself worried about how they would fare in school. Will they only be friends with each other and not make other friends? Will they be able to keep up with the bilingual kids in the area? Will they be good enough at sports to be chosen for a team, but not so good that we have to spend all of our time and money on an Olympic bid?
How will they fare with modern technology? Will they hate me if I won’t let them have a the latest electronic device? How can I protect them from the bullying little girls all seem to go through? How can I teach them to be strong, independent thinkers, who stand up for themselves? How can I protect them without being over-protective?
Keeping the worrying under control is now a focus. I take deep breaths. I tell myself I’m doing just fine. I try to remember that kids are resilient. Just like adults, they really just need food and love and sleep to survive, to thrive, and to grow. I’ve got those areas covered. The sleeping part…hopefully not too much.