When the twins were a few days or weeks old, doctors asked me if I was bonding with them. Without hesitating, I said yes, of course. But here’s a big confession: I had no idea what they meant.
I liked the twins well enough, I guess. To be honest, I felt as if I had no other choice in the matter. They were born and they were mine now and I had better do everything I could to make them happy and comfortable. But did I feel bonded to them? Not really. At least not in a way I could articulate, or in a way that I authentically understood. But I lied and said yes, because I figured what they were really asking was if I was going to take care of them properly, and the answer to that question was yes.
There is a saying about parenting, “long days, short years” that is meant to reflect how quickly time passes when raising children. Moms with more experience pass this phrase down to you in hopes you will cling to it when you’re at your wits’ end. It’s true, there are very long days and I’ve found myself desperate for time to pass. I wished away the long nights of being awake between midnight and four in the morning. I wished away the breastfeeding marathons. I wished for more time for myself. Everyone seems to say they fell in love with their babies at first sight. No one tells you how hard it will be to love two small beings who can’t really express anything back to you. I guess it’s a taboo sentiment.