Being a big sister to twins is rough. The babies need more watching and are in the stage of wanting to be held all the time. We have to give in to that often, and when I feel guilty, I remind myself that we did the same for E and we wouldn’t want to parent any other way. But it does mean a lot of “you’ll have to wait” and “I’ll be there when I’m done with the babies.” It can suck for E, who has always craved one on one time with us. We do try and give her snippets of our time just with her, whether that is bedtime stories or snuggling once the babies are asleep. But it’s still often that we have to hop up when both start crying.
To make sure she knows that we still adore her, we have dates with her. Whether it’s as simple as G taking her for coffee and the park, or me handing the twins off so she and I can color and paint our toenails, she says she loves Mama-Eleanor time or Daddy-Eleanor time. And quite honestly, I miss having just her to focus on too!
A week ago she and I went on a date to a pottery painting place. We got tea and cookies and set to work painting. First, she painted a big red dog (she’s a fan of Clifford). I spent the whole time painting a plate for our afternoon tea. Once she was done with the dog she kindly offered to “help” me paint my plate. I thanked her and kindly told her to back off and got her a plate of her own. We went for coffee after to round out the afternoon.
This Saturday we went to pick up our creations. They were perfect. She was super proud of her work, and I think we’ll be heading back soon. I have my eye on a vintage style santa to paint, and my heart is set on more quiet moments with the girl who made me Mama.
We’ve been in England for nearly 2 months. I wrote a post the first week we got here, but it never got published as I was editing it and then got busy with the babies, finding a new home, and dealing with some hormonal PPD sorta issues. The gist of it was: as soon as we landed in the U.K. I felt like I could breathe for the first time in 5 years. Really breathe, deep breaths of life.
I love it now as much as I did before. The air here is fresh and the clouds are lower, more blanketing. The pace is slower.
We’re settling in. We move into our house in under 2 weeks. It’s nice and spacious for what I’m hoping will be a growing family. The girls have a large playroom that I can see into from the kitchen. I can have a large garden out back, and even chickens if I get bold.
I struggle with community, with letting people in. I rarely am quick in friendships, preferring to take my time. I guess I’ve been burned too often to just want to leap into a deeper connection. But the reality is that I don’t have time for shallow connections. I’m often overwhelmed by motherhood. I don’t need ladies to do lunch with….I need a tribe. I’ve found that I miss my crunchier mamas beyond what I expected; and so I’m having to just dive into getting to know people. Luckily there is a spouses group here that is active, and I’ve really enjoyed meeting people through that. I’ve met other mamas at an indoor play place on base. And I’m going to be getting active in our church’s women’s group that meets for things like tea and knitting (seriously, I haven’t met them and I love them already!).
The twins are 5 months old and their huge personalities are really coming out. E is rounding the corner towards 4 and I just want her to pause and let me soak up this time. Being in England with 3 littles is vastly different from being here just G and I. Outings have to be planned more carefully (and often result in frustration as the twins have hit the 4 month change). We can’t just hop in a car and go off on an adventure, and we’re frequently running late. But still. It’s Home. Even with all of the chaos, I’m so happy we made it back.