Parenting work x 2
Today’s interview features Candace Rieske, a wife and full time mom of 3 boys, two of which are twins. Candace owns her own business designing jewelry, and when she isn’t feeding kids or making jewelry, she lifts weights, runs, and spends time on a boat.
Hi Candace. Thanks for being here today. Can you tell us a little more about some experiences you feel are unique to your parenting experience or your identity as a mom?
My twin pregnancy was anything but easy. When I went into the first doctor’s appointment where they look for a heartbeat, they weren’t able to find one. The doctor’s office had me come back in a week to see what was going on. One week later, I went into the appointment and was shocked to find out there were two babies with two hearts beating. My twins shared a placenta but had a thin membrane separating them. At 21 weeks, they were diagnosed with stage 1 TTTS. One of the twins had twice as much amniotic fluid as normal and I needed to go on modified bedrest. Luckily the TTTS didn’t progressive any further than stage 1. At 35 weeks, I ended up having severe preeclampsia and my twins were born preemie. I was thrilled to have the twins here and both doing well. My husband and I brought them home and then the work x2 began. It took a month or two to get used changing two diapers, two sets of clothes, and bath time. It took longer to get used to carrying two car seats and feeding both solid foods.
Oh wow. That definitely adds to the load. Does connecting with other twin moms help?
I feel connected to other twin moms. I have gained so much knowledge from them along with tips and tricks. I often will see another twin mom out and about and we wave to each other and tell each other how good we are doing, and we can survive the tough days.
I realized I can’t do it all and do everything myself and that I need other people.
Describe a moment when you needed a reminder to be compassionate and kind towards yourself as you parented. This could be a specific struggle or a period of time that was particularly hard. What helped you get through this moment?
I have learned that my 6 year old son, Seaborn, really wants to help out with his twin brothers. At some point, I decided I needed the help so I let him. I realized I can’t do it all and do everything myself and that I need other people. If both of my twins are crying, Seaborn will hold one and I am able to hold the other and we both work together to calm them down.
Looking forward to “me time”
How do you find moments of respite to re-energize you and remind you of the aspects of yourself that sometimes get pushed to the side when you’re caring for others?
I utilize nap time, in school time, and after bedtimes to do some of my hobbies. There are so many things I love to do, I often multitask. I’ll listen to a podcast or audiobook while painting or running. A month after my twins were born I started scheduling 15 minutes a day of me time.
My “me time” has gotten a little longer, and I look forward to it all day!
Any funny parenting moments you’d like to share?
I told my son, Seaborn, that after the twins go to bed he could watch a movie. I left the room and came back, and my twins were missing. I looked around for them and Seaborn told me he put them to bed!
(Candace stops to warn that this is gross story)
My twins have a terrible gag reflex and when they eat something to big for them they gag. One of my twins found something on the floor and tried to eat it. Which resulted in him throwing up all over. I ran to grab paper towers. My husband ran to grab spray to clean up. And in the 5 seconds we were grabbing supplies the twins thought the puddle of throw up was fun. And they were rolling around, splashing in it like it was a puddle of water.
To read more about Candace and her family or to check out her super cute jewelry designs, head to her Instagram account @candicovedesigns.
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