As an openly LGBTQ parent of twins, a question often asked is, “how different is it raising your children?” This question always seems to find a way to squeak out as somehow parenting in our household must be a complete contrast from our heterosexual counterparts, right? Well, sure, of course it’s different. We’re different people and therefore different parents, but not by virtue of our sexuality. After all, being LGBTQ is just a part of our identity – it isn’t everything. Nevertheless this question got me thinking about the differences that DO exist.
I’ve put together our household routine – let’s count the differences together, shall we?
Wake Up and Sing
Every morning we wake up and sing, “Good Morning Sun.” We take off our sleep sacks, stretch our arms and give great morning smiles. Sometimes we go on the tummy to stretch out our backs after a long sleep in the same position, and then we go into our next task: fresh diapers.
After we sing and stretch we change diapers. The kids really love their diaper change! (And can you blame them?) In fact, our six month old daughter thinks it’s part of the best play-time ever! She loves to roll away and reach for the wipes, the aquafor and recently loves to grab the clean diapers! Once diapers are changed the kids go into their bouncy seats while I work on the next task: Bottles.
Feeding Time and Bottle Prep
While the kids are in their bouncy seats, I sing while preparing the daily bottles. I set aside the morning bottle that they’ll eat together, and also dose out their daily Zantac (baby reflux is real!). Once bottles are ready it’s time for first feed! The kids love their first bottle of the day! Slurps up, then we burp and move on to the next activity.
Tummy Time and Play Time
We head to the mat and gym area of the house and play. First we play with toys on our backs while they digest. I usually am singing to them while showing them a myriad of toys to touch, chew and explore. After about 15 minutes, we then roll over for tummy time and giggles…oh, and drool while chewing on the toys. A day isn’t complete without loads of drool!
After having so much fun playing with toys, rolling over, sitting and standing up, it’s time for our morning nap. All this work really wears the babies out! I set up their sleep sacks and prep the nursery so the noise makers are already on. The blinds are shut and the lights turned off – a slumber haven. I swaddle baby one and bring them to their crib and sing their own lullaby. Once down, I swaddle and bring in baby two and sing them their lullaby.
And then while the children are sleeping, it’s time for me to wash the bottles, load the dishwasher, sweep, clean the bathrooms...you get the idea. I straighten up (as best as one can with twinadoes living in the house), all of this in the hopes the kids don’t wake up before I’m done. Sometimes, if i'm lucky, I have 10 minutes to sit and enjoy a cup of coffee...in silence.
Then once they wake we repeat much of the above routine. In fact, I’d bet as you read this you’re thinking, “this is exactly my life, too…” This is why it’s funny when I am asked how different parenting in LGBTQ household is. In reality it’s exactly the same. At the end of the day parenting is parenting no matter the house. We all have similar routines to keep our kids happy and our sanity as best in check as possible! It’s that easy. Well, we have multiples so really nothing is easy…
Parenting can at times be seen as an “equalizer,” of sorts. It’s one thing that is truly universal in that it’s something that can help bring us as closer together and find common ground not only as parents but as people, too. While we are all different people, our differences are just a mere portion of who we are. As people we are way more similar than dissimilar and when we find that common ground we build a strong platform of support and understanding. After all, as parents of multiples, the support we surround ourselves with directly impacts our daily sanity!
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