The Pressure of the First Family Christmas

2015 was an amazing year. It was full of excitement, testing challenges and opportunities for growth. Of course it also contained some of my most favourite memories, which are now safely tucked up my sleeve to be recalled on the next rainy day.

But I can’t say I’m sorry to see it go.

Back when the boys were newborns, I naively thought that by six or seven months of age, they would be sleeping through the night with regular daytime naps, be generally happy and settled, and everything would be hunky-dory. How wrong could I be? I knew having twins would be hard, but my goodness, the last three or four months of it have been some of the most testing of my life. (Hence my lack of blogging).

At the end of the summer I remember the night time sleep routine had become a fairly regular 7:30pm-3am, feed, and then straight back down again until 6:30/7am. Then the dreaded 4 month sleep regression kicked in. For the next month or so, the boys would wake regularly and need resettling. As soon as that phase was over (or so it seemed), Arthur began to dislike being put down at night. He would scream and scream, even kicking and arching his back as we tried to calm him into submission. The unsettled nights continued. We tried teething remedies, checked for fevers, rocked, patted and shushed. Every wake up was met with a tired squint at the clock and disbelief that only thirty minutes had passed since the last time. We tried to console ourselves. We consulted the “Wonder Weeks” app and counted down to the next happy sunny period. “It’s just a phase” became our mantra. We just hoped it was the truth!

Arthur slowly became calmer at night again and although he would need his dummy put back in occasionally, he slept longer stretches once more. Now it was Douglas’s turn for the same behaviour…

This led us up to Christmas. The time of year I was most excited for and had dreamed of. But we arrived there as two very tired parents. In fact, Christmas Eve was possibly the worst night’s sleep we have had. On Christmas morning I felt terrible, but managed to rally and get in the swing of things. The day was by no means the perfect one I’d hoped for, but it was still full of happy moments. The grandparents enjoyed cuddles and watching the boys opening their presents. We all enjoyed our meal together and pulled crackers.

If I’ve learned anything during this time it’s that I just can’t control everything – some things will be as I hope and some won’t be. It’s okay to have dreams, but having twins is bloody hard work. Don’t worry when your big dreams don’t come true, but be pleased when the little things fall into place – they have one nap at the same time, or sit up for thirty seconds, or enjoy some food that you made them.

Fingers crossed, we think things are getting better again. It has been a good start to the New Year. The routine I’ve relied upon for so long is being shaken up, but I think new patterns are starting to emerge and am hoping it’s a sign of things to come. My boys are growing up.



What memories do you have of your first Christmas as a parent? Do we put too much pressure on ourselves?

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  • Reply
    January 6, 2016 at 9:22 pm

    Did I write this?! I am at one with every sentiment although if I had written it, it definitely would not be quite so eloquent! We thought we had the sleep thing sorted and now every night is a gamble…. Your photos are just lovely. Happy New Year my fellow twin mum survivor!

    • Reply
      January 6, 2016 at 9:58 pm

      Thank you so much! Hmm yes, a gamble with sleep seems the right phrase. I feel on tenterhooks each night! Happy New Year to you too. May we both have lots of exciting times ahead this year!

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