Lately I have been thinking a lot about how much our lives changed the day that we became parents (X 4). We tried for so long to have a baby, and then planned and prepared for the four that we were blessed with. However, there are SO many things I was not at all prepared for! I decided it would be kind of fun to come up with a list of the things I wasn't expecting with parenthood....
1. I had no idea that you would feel guilty about EVERYTHING! I spend most of my time trying to be the best parent possible, and enjoy every minute of the babies while they are little, but I still find myself feeling like I didn't pay enough attention to them today, or didn't get them outside today like I wanted, etc. Although there is only so much time in a day, and lots of other household things that need to be done. I would much rather spend my time playing with the babies!
2. Becoming a mother to quadruplets has been quite the experience for me, and despite how much you try to mentally prepare yourself for the challenge, there is no way I could have prepared myself for all the crazy things I get asked when people find out that I have quads. I often hear, "Oh I bet you have your hands full!" or "Wow! I'm sure glad it's you and not me!" or "Did you know you were having quadruplets?" or "Are they identical?" and my favorite...."Can you tell them apart?"
To answer the first question, I ordered a t-shirt from a fellow quad mom at Designed for Babies that says, "YES I DO HAVE MY HANDS FULL!" I love the shirt, and wear it quite a bit when I am out and about with the babies. I think another shirt should be made to answer the second statement as well. I hear it all the time. The shirt could say, "I'm glad it's me and not you too!" The third question still gets me every time! I think that question comes when people don't know what else to say about the shock that they are looking at quads. I don't have any other explanation because if you thought about it for longer than a couple of seconds, you would know that there is no way you could show up on delivery day and not know you were carrying quadruplets! :) All four of my kids look so different from each other that I don't know how anyone could not tell them apart, but then again I am around them every day.
3. I also had no idea that becoming a parent would make me so emotional! I never used to cry much at all, and now all I have to do is watch a show on TV about kids, and it makes me tear up.
4. I did not know it was possible to love someone so much, and certainly had no idea how much you could love 4 babies equally. In fact, when I was pregnant I worried all the time about how I was going to be able to love 4 babies the same amount. It was love at first site, and all those fears went out the window the minute that I saw my four precious babies for the first time!
5. I was certainly not prepared for the amount of worrying you do as a parent. Before I go to bed at night, I always check on the babies to make sure they aren't too cold, too hot, are breathing, etc., however it never fails, the minute I lay down, and am almost asleep, I get this anxiety that tells my brain I need to check on them one more time just to make sure they are OK! I cannot seem to shut my brain off long enough to go to sleep!!
6. The biggest shock for me about parenthood is how fast your kids grow up. I remember when they were tiny newborns coming home from the NICU for the first time. We were so sleep deprived, and scared that something would happen to our fragile little babies that we worried ourselves sick most of the time. At that point it felt as though time were going so slowly, and we would never know what it's like to be rested again. I swear it feels like I blinked for a few seconds, and my babies grew up. How can they be almost 11 month old already?!
I'm sure my list could go on and on forever, and maybe I will update it later as the babies get older. I thought it would be a neat reminder to myself to look back on! Here are some cute pictures that were taken last week of the babies!
It looks like we forgot to feed them before pictures! They thought the leaves looked tasty!
Our Little Dotzler Quad Squad!
(L to R) Max, Emme, Brady, Sophie