As we wind down (or gear up, depending on your point of view) for the summer holidays and all that traveling with young children entails, my stress levels are rising. And they have not been helped by the obligatory pre-holiday visit from the in-laws.
We are taking BabyBoy and BabyGirl to visit my parents this summer (woo hoo!). They live overseas so it’s a big deal for us to go. My in-laws, on the other hand, live a few hours drive from us and we see them all too regularly. However, this has not stopped my mother-in-law from acting like we’re emigrating.
‘Grandma’s going to miss you sooo much!’
‘You’re going for such a looong time!’
‘BabyBoy, will you talk to Grandma on the telephone while you’re away?’
Yes, she’s piling on the guilt thick and fast. And those are sentences she has said to my 2 year olds.
But as a final, parting shot she decided to remind us that she still, still, has no respect for us as parents.
I’ve been making a real effort to try and understand my mother-in-law recently. Trying to get to the bottom of why she acts in certain ways. We’ll analyse that another day. In the meantime, here’s another anecdote from my life-with-new-grandparents stories.
Regular readers will know that my mother-in-law is fond of making me feel inadequate by questioning everything I do. I get the impression that she thinks I’m too rigid and strict. Continue reading
Many baby books stress the importance of a bedtime routine – and with that I have to agree. I have my own bedtime routine (considerably altered post-babies) and it seems only fair that the children should have one too – it signals to them that the day is over and nighttime has begun.
For us, the bedtime routine is bath, milk, story, bed.
When you bring a newborn home a bedtime routine doesn’t seem terribly important – you’re up at all hours anyway, there is no real difference between night and day. But (hopefully) there will soon be a difference as baby sleeps for longer stretches at night (and eventually really long 10 – 12 hour stretches) and at that point you need to consider – when does nighttime begin?
It might seem a daft question, but if you have a parent(s) who works late, you might be tempted to have a later ‘bedtime’ so that a parent who has not been around during the day can have some special time with baby at night – in our case, this would mean starting bath around 9pm, and nighttime effectively beginning at 10pm.
Well, we tried it. It was ok. Multidaddy was thrilled to see BabyBoy and BabyGirl. But the day was very long, and the babies were cranky and had very disturbed evening sleep. Starting the night at 10pm didn’t mean BabyBoy and BabyGirl slept later in the mornings – it just meant their night was shorter. Continue reading
Routines are great and, with twins, I would say essential.
My life revolves around BabyBoy and BabyGirl’s routine – when they need to eat and sleep and play. Now they are a bit more flexible as they’re almost a year, but particularly in months 3 – 9 things were tightly organized and I was always always trying to be ready for the next thing.
When I took the babies ‘home’ to visit my parents and sisters overseas for several weeks at 6 months, I was in hyper-organized mode. There was a system, and it just could not break down (partly a symptom of my PND, but mostly because I knew the chaos that would result if things like feeds were not ready on time). I planned and planned and planned. Everything was bought in advance. Areas of the house were rearranged to accommodate cots, changing tables, playmats, highchairs. I sent copies of the daily routine out via email before we arrived. I arranged for a nanny to come for a few hours every morning to help so that I could get some sleep, and a cleaner to come in twice a week so that my mum could spend more time with the babies instead of housework. The only downtime I had was an hour after the babies went to bed and I had finished preparing for the next day.
And I have just learned that I was classified as a mean b***h by two of my sisters. Apparently I was not considerate when asking them to help (particularly at dinner and bathtime, different tasks were carried out by different people) and barked orders.