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Rose Bianchini shares her adventures as the mom of twin boys

It has been seven months and counting of being a mother of identical twin boys.

When I started this column about DIY nesting, before Emmett and Simon were born, it was all about reading, researching and crafting to create a home that reflected our unconventional outlooks and creative pursuits. Which still inform our parenting decisions— but the early months are really about survival. Figuring out the daily stuff: how to get the babies to sleep, why are they spitting up so much, why are they crying, when to start solids etc. Now, my husband Jason and I finally have what I like to call our parenting sea legs and can think beyond a few hours till the next nap.

It is a fascinating time to be a parent. In Canada, according to Census Canada, we are having a baby boom. The population of children aged 4 and under increased 11 per cent between 2006 and 2011—which hasn’t happened since the  original baby boom from 1956– 1961. And due to the controversial TIME magazine cover of a hot mom breastfeeding her toddler who was standing on a stool  the debate of attachment parenting—which involves co-sleeping, wearing one’s baby and extended breast feeding—is very much part of the zeitgeist.

We are also overloaded with conflicting information about what is good and what is harmful for our children.

How do I decipher the ‘right’ way to parent? From the very second the boys were born an overwhelming feeling overtook me, that from speaking to other moms I know they experienced too. Guilt. How do I make sure they are developing at the right pace? There can’t be any chemicals in their soap, detergent, food, clothes, toys etc. When you’re childless, it’s easy enough to make all sorts of claims about what you will and will not do — no plastic toys, making all the baby food, using cloth diapers only and sleeping in one big family bed.

The reality of parenthood is very different – and keeping everyone happy means the ethics have to slide a little sometimes. Overnight, literally, I went from a childless woman to a mother of two. As much as I had attempted to prepare myself for it, I had signed up for an all-encompassing, wonderful, terrifying lifetime commitment blindly.

In moments away from Emmett and Simon, it is surreal to walk down the street by myself as a separate entity. My spit-up covered clothes, disheveled hair and bleary face are like a giant sign over my head that says MOM.

I am forever changed.

I have no criticism of attachment parenting per se— but I am suspicious of following any one parenting philosophy. Now that Emmett and Simon are real and not just a theory, they are letting us now what they need and we are trying our best to listen. No they don’t want to co-sleep cause they wake each other up multiple times per night. They like to be carried in carriers so they can kick their feet and see the world from our vantage point. They become their own people so fast. Already I see their willfulness. They giggle, squeal, complain, slobber on our cheeks, chew on everything, look into our eyes, become fascinated by objects, touch things and snuggle their heads into our necks. I am amazed by all the ways they connect with us. We parent them based on who they are and what they need and want.

I don’t think one parenting philosophy can truly encompass the nuanced uniqueness of every kid.  They just provide a compass.

Not only am I tasked with clothing and feeding these children, I also need to teach them how to navigate life, how to be kind and how to pursue their dreams. Jason and I will be their window to the world and that is quite an awesome responsibility.

As I watch many of my urban creative friends start families I am awestruck by how they continue to prioritize their artistic careers. Be it writing, music, film or visual arts – they haven’t traded it all in yet for the burbs and an office job. Although according to Doug Holyday, the Deputy Mayor of Toronto, it is not safe to raise children in the city. I wonder if we can continue to pursue our interests while giving our kids a stable life. Is it okay to be a parent and grown up and not have it all quite figured out yet?

I do know that kids are mind-bogglingly perceptive and astute. The only way we can truly teach them to always be true to them selves and follow their dreams is to lead by example.

So with all that in mind, I look forward to many family art projects and adventures.

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