Have you ever heard the phrase “change is the only constant in life?” I am certain this has been told to me before, and I likely brushed it off. I never thought much about the concept of change because my life evolved normally and gradually…until I became a mother to twins. Suddenly, I realized the truth behind that adage. The first twelve weeks with my girls were a blur. Immediately after I got out of the fog of taking care of newborns, I felt the first transition of their lives beginning.
It started with moving the girls out of our bedroom and into the crib. Then it was out of the swaddle and into a sleep sack. Adding solid foods. Dropping a nap. After much trial and error, we would fall into a good groove. But it barely felt like a few weeks before their development brought on a new change. Multiply that by two babies, and my mind felt like it was doing mental gymnastics all day long. Witnessing our children hitting milestones has been exciting and liberating, but there was more than one occasion where I found myself almost in tears — often in the middle of the night — because I felt like I couldn’t keep up. How were you ever supposed to feel like you were doing anything right when everything changes so frequently? As dramatic as it sounds, it’s typically in these spirals where it feels like the constant transitions may never end.
I am happy to say that my mindset has shifted considerably since those days filled with doubt, now being fourteen months into motherhood. But it took the twins facing what feels like their most challenging transition yet to change my perspective. Around the eleven-month mark with my girls, I started to fixate on the next big hurdle: weaning off bottles. I had read that it is ideal to get rid of the bottle by one year, and I talked with my pediatrician about how to go about doing that. For several weeks, I was slightly neurotic about implementing the weaning process. One of my daughters would happily still take a bottle while also successfully drinking from a cup or straw. However, my other daughter refused anything that wasn’t what she was used to. Long story short: It didn’t happen when they turned one. I felt guilty and like I had failed each time I handed them a bottle.
Ultimately this hurdle made me realize that my all-or-nothing attitude towards these transitions – encouraged by Instagram, online forums, and Facebook threads – had to stop. I had to step outside of myself and reflect. At 31 years old, I am still transitioning. I am changing, sometimes almost daily. What makes me think that my children are any different? Once my girls drop the bottle, are all transitions done? Of course not. Just like I am not a robot, neither are they. We are on a lifelong journey together, and I want to be able to model to my children how to respond rather than to react when changes — big or small — happen. I want them to feel safe knowing that we are always changing, always able to pivot and that doing things in our own time is perfectly okay. In all of the ways that transitions can be stressful for a mother, I take comfort in knowing that I am a work in progress, just like they are as they grow and develop into the little humans they are meant to be.