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Is the grass really greener?

I sometimes catch myself wondering how different life would be if we had only had one baby this second time around, or if we had had twins the first time around. Essentially, I wonder what our life would be like with just two kids.

To be sure, things would be simpler. On weekends when Jack is working, I probably would simply bundle up the kids and take them to the park, to the zoo, to the bookstore, etc. Instead, we stay in the house all day. I do, to my credit, occasionally buckle the three of them up in the car and head out to Trader Joe’s, Sam’s Club or Costco, but it isn’t a regular occurrence.

I’ve gotten little tastes here and there of this other life. A couple of weekends ago I took just one baby to Trader Joe’s on Saturday and on Sunday I took the other to Albertson’s. It felt… freeing to not have to haul out a stroller. I unbuckled my baby, grabbed the shopping cart cover, and was able to cruise the aisles with an actual cart (as opposed to shopping bags hanging from hooks attached to the stroller) all while smooching my child sitting there right in front of me.

But on each of those trips, something was clearly missing. Every time a stranger would comment on the cuteness, I felt compelled to work into the conversation that this little wiggling mass of adorable was missing another wiggling mass of adorable. “Well, thank you,” I would reply to a compliment on how pretty and bright-eyed my baby girl is. “She must be missing her twin brother, though.” “Yes, indeed,” I would agree with an assessment that my baby boy is an affectionate little guy, “But he’s probably wondering where his twin sister is.” Why couldn’t I just say “thank you” and leave be?

Could it be that I somehow need to convey to the outside world that the reason my hair is up in a messy ponytail and I have no makeup on is not just because I am taking care of one little baby, but because I take care of two? Does having two babies at home somehow make it more okay to have a shirt that is a little wrinkled?

So I think about what life would be like with one baby. I fantasize about it, even. Would I be a more put-together Mom? I could go more places, to be sure. You can always hold one baby on one hip, but a baby on each hip severely limits mobility. We are a very housebound household, quite limited in the places we can go, but we are… us. We are… right. One less baby would surely be less work, less hassle, less complication, but one less baby would make it not… us.

One Comment

  1. Pobba says:

    I feel that way about time. Each phase of my life has offered new opportunities and adventures. All are good.

    Well written.