I Fought My Dog for a Bagel: My Unsolicited Advice for Mothers of Multiples
by Annette Vazquez
Last week, I registered my twin girls for kindergarten. It’s hard to believe they are already going to be 5 years old. It seems like just yesterday, I was proof that the walking dead really do exist and I was just dreaming of that magical moment when I would get a full night’s sleep again. Now, they will be heading off to kindergarten.
When I first joined my moms of multiples group, someone told me “the days are long but the years go by fast” and they were so right. The years have flown by. It has gone by in a blink.
In the world of moms of multiples, surviving 5 years seems like an impossible feat. There were so many days where I didn’t think I could do it; that somehow, I was just messing it up every second of every day. But I realized I needed to ease up on myself. I’m a perfectionist by nature and if everything isn’t perfect, then I am failing. But the truth is…I’m not…WE are not. We are strong. We are survivors. Life is perfect in its own way…it’s perfectly chaotic and that’s exactly how it is supposed to be.
As an “experienced” mom of twins (and I use the term “experienced” very loosely), the number one question I am asked by new moms of multiples is “when does it get easier?” The truth is, it doesn’t. It never gets easier. It gets different. There will always be challenges. My newest challenges? One twin who declares she “hates listening” and another who spends more time at the table moving food from one side of the plate to the other than actually eating.
As I look back on the craziness, I remember one particular day when my girls were about 6 or 7 weeks old. I was just starting to get into the groove of life with twins, figuring out how to survive one day at a time. I was starting to pick up on the girls’ cues and knew just about when they’d be hungry. Since I knew that time was approaching, I came up with an idea. We had fresh bagels in the house that my husband had bought the day before. I was ahead of the game, for once, so I figured I would toast my bagel and have it all set. Then I’d change the babies and nurse them while I ate my bagel. It was a brilliant plan. I’d get a chance to eat with some sort of peace since the girls never made a peep while they were nursing.
The bagel was toasted perfectly and had just the right amount of butter. I put it on my nightstand so I could get all my nursing supplies in place before bringing the babies in. I brought in the nursing pillow, my phone, burp cloth, and remote control when I look up only to see the horror of my life…my dog licking my bagel and preparing to take it for himself. My heart sank. That was likely the only decent thing I’d be able to eat all day. I ran over and yelled “no, it’s mine!” and began a tug-o-war with the dog. He gave up pretty quickly but not before he dropped it on the floor and slobbered all over it. At that point, I didn’t care. I got the bagel back, that’s all that mattered. I picked off the dog hairs and dust from the floor, and I’m not going to lie…I ate it. I was THAT exhausted. I was THAT desperate for some sort of normalcy in my life. I fought my dog for a bagel and I won (of course, “winning” is relative considering I won a dog slobber-covered bagel).
Life with multiples is challenging. And we all have our own other life challenges to stack on top of life with multiples. But know that you are doing OK. Cut yourself a break. Take a breath and keep on going. We’ve all been there. And when you’re having a really bad day, just remember that I fought my dog for a bagel.
*Published in Mar/April 2016 edition of TWINS! Magazine