dad life part 2.

Larkyn SmileIn my last post I was really honest with what we are going through as a family but I feel like I made it sound like our lives are nothing but struggle and we have no fun around here. Let me just say, the days can be long and hard but our family still is having fun. Not the same kind of fun we had when it was just MaK and I, or just MaK, Maebyn, and I, but it’s still been a great time of life. So, with that said, I thought I’d share the brighter side of what three kids just one year a part is like.

After we got the diagnoses that the twins had TTTS our lives shifted in a dramatic way and it hasn’t been the same since. MaK and I really relished the time we had before the twins got here because we knew we’d be confined to our house for an unforeseen amount of time after they arrived. With having 2-4 doctors appointments a week and a one year old, our time was still limited in what we could do but we decided we were going to go out to eat while we still had the opportunity. We frequent Mexican restaurants and one time while walking into one of our favorite Mexican joints a woman stopped us (as was the usual with MaK’s huge belly and a not-quite-one-year-old). She asked us what we were having, how old was Maebyn, are you guys nuts, and this that and the other. Upon finding out that we were having twin girls, the elderly woman stopped talking leaned into me and said “Ya know, it takes a real man to blast the balls off.” I was honored by the comment but thought if she only knew I actually wanted to keep the balls on.

Mom and GirlsAnother thing that has been fun to see is how Maebyn has assumed her role as the second mother in the family. If one of the twins is crying, she’s right there with a paci, blanket, or bottle. She may not know how to use them or where exactly they should go but she knows one of those three things usually stops the crying. She already loves her sisters very much. Any time she can get to them, she wants to kiss them and hold them.  She does most things in series of two. Someone’s crying? Two paci’s are needed. If we’re blessed with another child and only one shows up next time, we’re gonna have some serious explaining to do. Also, she got two baby dolls for her birthday and all day long she carries one or both of her babies around saying “baby, baby” all the while rocking, burping, and pushing them around in her shopping cart. We love seeing how Maebyn has adjusted to the craziness of our life and how she already loves her sisters at such a young age.

cousinsAnother perk to being outnumbered by babies is the response we get when we’re out and about as a family. We went to Chipotle last week and not only did the cashier insist on carrying our food to the table but when we looked around the restaurant for a high chair and all were conveniently being used, a sweet family immediately lifted their little boy out of the high chair and brought it to me. The husband gave me a pat on the back and said “you guys need this way more than we do”. It sometimes feels like there must be a huge “HELP!” sign on my back when I take the girls out judging by the response I get.

We are finally starting to enjoy being a family of five. Yes, our lives are much different and mostly about our kids, but the joy that has come from having children and being parents is unmatched to the struggle. It’s taken 2 months to get out of the haze of bringing home 2 tiny babies but seeing them smile, snuggle each other, and get kisses from her sister have started to ease the daily frustrations. MaK and I both want a big family and are thankful for the three kids that the Lord has blessed our family with.

– Ross

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dad life.

Dad_DaughterI haven’t written a blog post in awhile and that’s mostly due to the fact that every day is the same. Wake up around 4, hold a baby until 6, feed the twins at 6, Maebyn wakes up at 8:30, feed Maebyn breakfast, feed the twins again, feed Maebyn lunch, put Maebyn down for a nap, feed the twins again, Maebyn wakes up from her nap, feed Maebyn a snack, feed twins again, MaK gets home from work, feed Maebyn dinner, feed twins again, put Maebyn to bed, feed twins again, space out on couch, feed twins and hope to go to bed for a couple hours…. And repeat.

Ross and MaebynThe day to day adjustments have been hard and taking care of three kids is not easy but by far the hardest thing that I’ve learned through these last couple of weeks is I no longer have a life outside of my family. I know this is a season of time but the complete surrender of anything going on in my life has been the hardest part. I know it’s because I have a lot of selfishness inside of me but one thing is for sure, selfishness is getting rooted out of me day by day. All I am is dad. Caretaker of our three kids. Before the twins, it was difficult, but I had time and energy to do things that I wanted to do. I had energy and time to work out, spend time with friends, do Bible studies, and run errands. Now, the sheer task of keeping everyone fed takes up most of the day. God has been slowly stripping me of things I’ve tried to find identity in other than Him. In fact, this has really been going on my whole life. I want to be attractive, a person people consider wise, interesting, influential, a good dad, a good husband, and every time I’ve tried to build identity in those areas on my own accord, the Lord has graciously stripped me of my striving. I know my true identity lies in being a son of the King, my heart just has a tough time deeply believing it. I’m constantly pulled the way of the world.

twins 10 weeks oldWith the birth of the twins, I’m constantly being asked “how do you do it?” Amongst many other comment of astonishment about our circumstances. Every time I hear one of these comments I cringe, because of my insecurities and because of a lot of the undertones that come along with them. “Don’t you want to work?”, “Why doesn’t your wife want to take care of the kids?”. Even though people may not be saying or even thinking these things, I do. Being a stay at home dad is isolating. I don’t have much to talk about with other guys because our day to day lives are a lot different. People may think I’m doing the right thing but ultimately, I don’t feel respected. And we all know that it’s too easy sometimes to fall into the trap of making our “feelings” our reality.

At the end of the day, I’m exhausted, MaK’s exhausted, Maebyn is exhausted, and the twins are wide awake. Hah, funny how that works out. I don’t know how long this season will last and to be honest, the biggest blessing in all of this is that each day is hard enough on its own so looking to the future isn’t even on my radar. The Lord is teaching us many things through this season. I wish I could say we are walking through it better, but sometimes frustration with our kids, each other, and ourselves seems to be the theme of our day to day routine.

I guess at this point of the post there is supposed to be some sort of culmination into how all this corresponds to a bigger, better purpose… well, it does. Right now it’s hard to make sense of it or even understand, for that matter, how it all “works together for good” but I know that it does. I think that is one of the biggest issues our family is facing with this new normal – recognizing that feelings and beliefs can often be very contradictory and we meet at a crossroads of letting one or the other win. Insecurities, mundane routines, exhaustion… all fight with me to trust my feelings. But I’m trying to rest in the confidence of my beliefs and what I know to be true.

Romans 8:26-28 (The Message)

Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.

– Ross