When we found out we were having twins, to say we were nervous would be putting it lightly. We were downright terrified. How were we going to survive having twins? Having just one kid was rough, but going from one to three? That’s just crazy talk.
We were afraid of the lack of sleep and the diapers and the never-getting-out-of-our-house-ever-again-ever. As someone who struggles with depression, I was afraid of the increased hormonal swing and greater possibility of postpartum depression moms of multiples experience. He was afraid of the expenses with double the babies and double the food and double the stuff. We were afraid of the laundry and the feeding and the going, going, going, going, of having twins and a toddler. But it was weird. I was never really afraid for our marriage.
[bctt tweet=”I was so afraid of having twins, that I forgot how having twins might impact my marriage.”]
Can our marriage survive having twins?
I don’t mean just barely survive, as in just barely remain married. I mean survive. Like, really survive. The marriage you went in with is the same or better on the other end. Not a hollow shell of the partnership that used to be.
The answer answer short answer is “Yes.” In fact, in our case, having twins has been a wonderful adventure that has brought us closer together.
The long answer? Yes, our marriage did survive and even improve, but that’s not to say it hasn’t been difficult. For all the reasons I mentioned and so many more.
That also doesn’t mean we were instantly closer. There were months where we were like ships passing in the night. He would take the first night shift from 8 pm to midnight. I would take all the feedings after that. Then he would be up and off to work, and I would be home all day. At night, he would take our toddler, and I would hunker down with the twins. Or we would trade for a bit, so I could get alone time with our son, while daddy managed the girls. Then 8 pm would hit, and we would do it all again.
Though we were working together it was extremely lonely at times, parallel parenting in different parts of the house with our designated children. Passing the baton and sprinting for the finish line though we didn’t know where it was.
See you in a few months when the smoke clears, sweetie!
If the smoke clears at all.
We did all we could to survive each day. No, to survive each hour. No, to survive each minute of exhausted, divide-and-conquer parenting.
Then the smoke cleared.
And when it did, and I took a breath and surveyed the scene. We did it. We survived. Not just as individuals, but as a couple. Our marriage survived. We still liked each other. We hadn’t inflicted wounds or caused irreversible damage while we battled in the dark. We had, luckily, come out the other end unscathed.
Now, a year later, I think I can spot a few things that helped our marriage survive the first year with twins.
1. We had help
Oh my gosh, you guys. Get help. Some how, some way. Get yourself some help. It will change you and bless you in ways you can never imagine. It will make you a saner person. You will have more energy to not be terrible to your spouse because someone else is folding your laundry. None of us are super heroes. We can’t do everything. Delegate some of your work, so you can reserve that energy for being kind and loving, or at the very least, not completely rude.
I am certain the prayers of our friends and family sustained our marriage. 100% without a doubt. The Holy Spirit came down and dwelled in this house and protected us from ourselves. He made us laugh at the absurdity of our overwhelming life instead of lash out at one another in frustrated exhaustion. He inspired us to see the best in one another instead of counting each others sins. Prayer is everything.
3. We dwelled in the past and the future, not the present
Again, I think this is where the Holy Spirit stepped in, but I made an effort to remember the man I fell in love with and believe I would see him again one day. I would meditate on fun times we had together, the kind of things we used to do, the people we used to be. AND. (The AND is very important.) AND I believed we would do and be that way someday very soon. I did not hang out in the present mess and mourn the loss of yesterday. I did not throw a middle of the night pity party. I just remembered and believed.
Now we laugh about those truly insane days. And pray for those in the middle of their own insanity. And thank God for His provision and protection. We know through His power alone will our marriage continue to truly survive.