Erin and I have been making a conscious effort to go to church more since Grace and Ana were born. I have to say that it is not easy. And you may be thinking "Oh they must be such a handful while you're there." That surprisingly isn't the case. The girls have actually always been pretty well-behaved when it comes to mass (knock on wood). It is more about the preparation and the ability to wake up in time.
Life with twins isn't nearly as hard as I'd imagined. It is just different than I thought it would be.
I thought they would wake each other up at night, and that would keep us up at all hours. I feared they'd both want attention at the same time, and I'd have to choose one over the other. I worried they'd be all over the place and hard to keep track of. Those things have happened a few times, but it hasn't been nearly as constant as I'd thought. Maybe it's just because we've been blessed with good babies, or maybe they are just saving up all their acting out for later on. Either way these aren't the difficulties with which we have dealt.
The real problem is getting them and ourselves ready.
We are rarely on time any more. No matter how much prep time we give ourselves, we always seem to be a few minutes behind. We always seem to be rushing out the door immediately after getting them dressed or feeding them. There just never seems to be enough minutes in the day when we have to get somewhere by a certain time. There is always one more thing to pack, one more bottle to make, one more diaper to change, one more spit-up to wipe away. That is the secret shame of a parent of twins: constant tardiness. As a person who believes that 5 minutes early is on time and on time is late, this KILLS me. There are many times where not leaving the house is the easiest thing to do. Like screw this, we don't need to get you ready for church. Play on the floor some more. So there were many Sundays over the last few months when going to church became an afterthought. It just seemed like too much work. Too much prep.
But that of course is the easy way to deal with things, and we don't want to teach our girls to always take the path of least resistance. Sometimes you have to do things that you may not want to do or that seem like a lot of effort. I'd definitely prefer a path of least resistance. Could I get one of those? Something where I don't have to work and get rewarded? Unfortunately we weren't born with silver spoons in any orifice, so that ain't happening. But it is a good lesson for Grace and Ana. Doing what is hard now may lead to an even easier path down the road. Plus the sense of fulfillment always outweighs the desire to be lazy (at least that's what we'll teach them because being lazy is pretty fantastic).
So I love that we're trying to be more active in our church if only because it gives us a reason to go each week. Erin has signed up to be a reader. We've joined the baptism team (basically we teach the class and help during the actual baptisms). Most importantly we get to do these things as a couple/family. Of course it gets hard putting Ana in her dress as she rolls and tries to crawl away. And I definitely feel the eyes on me as Grace screeches during a quiet time in mass. I worry how we'll be able to attend to them when we're coordinating a baptism. I have no idea how we'll handle it when they're walking. It doesn't take away from how good it feels to be there. I feel like a part of something bigger as people from this community tell us how beautiful our girls are or comment on how much they've grown in the past few months. I love how both of them squeal during songs as if they want to join the choir. It's adorable how they recognize their mom's voice while she is doing her reading.
These things make all the preparation and work leading up to mass (or any outing for that matter) worth it.