Guest Blogger: Melissa of Learning Mommy

I gave birth to twin boys at 26 weeks gestation. Doctors didn’t know whether they’d survive, but after months in the NICU and procedures and surgeries they made it and we got to bring them home. Life was manageable. At least that’s what I started telling people after a while. See, I had a secret. Life with our twin babies was actually amazing and astounding. Sure we were tired, but I felt happier than I ever had in my life. People would ask me how I was holding up and when I said “We’re doing great. Life is so happy right now,” they looked at me funny. Once I had two sets of twins I would scramble, “Well, a nanny helps me,” or “We were lucky to get such good babies.” I felt sort of ashamed at how joyful I was about my babies. I’ve traveled, I’ve won awards, I’ve had a good career, but I felt that nothing in the world could be better than this love we felt for our babies.

A new era came upon us when my older kids hit three and developed a seemingly implacable will – I wasn’t scrambling with excuses anymore. Whining and hitting was the new norm. Sharing was a catastrophe. Life at home was definitely not as blissful anymore. The one good thing was more people laughed and snorted and identified with my new responses.

After an especially trying moment I picked up a couple parenting books. One read led to another and I’ve wound up with over a hundred parenting-related books by psychologists, therapists, moms, pastors, writers – everything from 1-2-3 Magic to How to Really Parent Your Child to Mitten Strings for God. Basically, I was creating “DIY Mothering 101.” I keep track of all my learning and applications to real life on my blog, Learning Mommy.

In all my readings, my (mostly) wise author-friends have led me to a simple discovery that has changed my life: Parenting is supposed to be hard. It’s a journey that, among other things, challenges me to become my best self. My children are my companions on that journey. As they cope with the stresses and challenges of expressing themselves respectfully, controlling their feelings, listening, and problem-solving, I am also learning, ahem, to express myself respectfully, control my feelings, listen and problem solve.

Trying moments? Of course. But those are really miraculous opportunities to obtain the very best gifts life has to offer.

Melissa Puente is a Los Angeles-based TV editor and a stay-at-home-mother of two sets of twins, 4 and under. She documents her journey to be a better mom on her blog, Learning Mommy.

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8 comments

  1. Wow, you hit on it so well. I loved having Twin girls. In fact when asked if we would have another, I said yes! As long as I can have another set. And people look at me as if I am crazy. But as much as it is a challenge, it is also a blessing.

  2. "As they cope with the stresses and challenges of expressing themselves respectfully, controlling their feelings, listening, and problem-solving, I am also learning, ahem, to express myself respectfully, control my feelings, listen and problem solve."

    Now THAT is good writing! And a very true and important point! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Oh, I loved that quote, too … I kind of want to print if off and put it somewhere where I can see it all of the time. Especially now that the kids are firmly into their terrible twos, ha!

    Keep up with me, Ted, and our Fab Four at four-by-two.blogspot.com.

  4. I so needed to hear this today. I was wondering what happened to my sweet babies now that they are two years old…..they are teaching me to "express myself respectfully, control my feelings, listen and problem solve" every minute of everyday right now….glad to now that it is not just me who has so much to learn!

  5. MandyE (Twin Trials and Triumphs)

    It is amazing how we see and learn things anew, through our children. I just have to remind myself to back up and learn…and not get too caught up in the moment.

    I just checked out Melissa's blog. It's fantastic!!! So glad to have met her!

  6. lyndsey @ the stationery place

    Melissa is really one of my heroes [and a real-life friend]…she is such a good example of a mom who tries her best. Love this guest post — thanks for the inspiration on this Friday morning!

  7. I can't relate to the second part yet but I'm glad to know other twin mommies find such joy in their babies. Mine are almost 5 months old and it has been the most glorious 5 months of my life. And I think at least part of that is BECAUSE they're twins and not in spite of it. Now we'll wait for those terrible threes….

  8. I have 21/2 year old twin girls and I needed to read this today and the way she talked about it just made me smile. Thank you for sharing and for your encouraging words.

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