Looking for some advice for having twins?
One of my biggest inspirations for starting a blog period has been my journey of being a parent. Not only being a Mom but being a Mom of twins. My sole purpose for this post was to hopefully pass on some learned wisdom and the best advice for having twins!
When you become a parent of twins or multiples in general, you become part of a tribe you didn’t realize existed. This tribe is made up of bad a** survivors of twins or God bless their souls, multiples of MORE!
You may not recognize them at first, let me tell you though, they recognize you from a mile away.
I’m not so sure it’s the double stroller or two babies that give it away either! I think it’s an inherent ability to recognize the look of exhaustion and defeat only obtained from that of personal experience with twins.
One thing is for certain, it ain’t easy but it is more than worth it.
Here are in my opinion, the top 5 pieces of advice for having twins.
1. GET THE MINI-VAN
Believe me, this one was hard for me too!
With twins due for arrival, the need to get a family vehicle with more storage capacity and seating was not up for discussion. Already having Alexa and our dog Rusty, it was unavoidable.
Ask anyone who knows me though, and they will attest to my complete disdain at the mere mention of a Mini-Van.
No, no, I was going to be an SUV Mom, me, drive a loser cruiser, no way!
The choice between a Mini-Van or an SUV led to high tension debates in our house for weeks!
When the time came to visit the car lot, my husband’s cousin, worked at the dealership and had lined up several possible suitors for us to test drive in pursuit of our new family ride. First, on the list, a Mini-Van, need I mention I don’t think that was by coincidence but rather a calculated move orchestrated by my husband.
Much to my dismay, I climbed in and dangit if that sucker wasn’t spacious, it was luxe, and it was loaded.
Who could resist all those features?
I deeply wanted to not like it but the storage… the number of CUP HOLDERS…rear AND passenger temperature control! And my favorite, my lifeline, the automatic sliding doors!
The ride was smooth and the seats were comfortable. I knew then that nothing was going to compare let alone beat all that Mini-Van possessed, and to my bitter disappointment, I was right, they didn’t.
We signed the papers that same day, and I signed my cool SUV Mom life away. And I can’t be any more thankful!
I have embraced the Mini-Van season of my life. I know one day, I will be sad when the twins are grown, the need for the Mini-Van is over, and I can buy the SUV.
Until then, when I’m toting a baby on each hip, I’ll thank my lucky stars for those automatic sliding doors. Here are also some other items you’ll want!
2. GET YOUR TWINS ON THE SAME SCHEDULE
This one is KEY. I can’t stress how important it is in order for your life to carry on outside of caring for your twins.
Fortunately, in my experience, this didn’t take very long. All you need to do to regulate this is, if one is hungry, feed them both. If one needs a diaper change, change them both. If one goes to sleep by all means necessary get the other to sleep too.
Above all, if one wakes at night to eat, wake the other to eat. Yes, you heard me, wake that sleeping baby! If you don’t they will be waking you…again, a short while later.
Our routine when the twins woke at night was to change them, feed them, and put them back to sleep. The twins quickly adjusted to this and created a routine that was manageable.
I’ve created a FREE Daily Twin Log that I wish I would have made for myself!
3. DON’T BE HARD ON YOURSELF
Mom (or Dad) guilt is real.
As accomplished as I would feel at the end of a long day, it was always outweighed by the guilt. All day, I felt as though I had been neglecting one baby while I was tending to the other.
The twins as individuals never got my undivided attention, at least it seemed. And the squeaky wheel always got the oil.
This was a feeling I never gave thought to when mentally preparing myself to be a Mother to twins. It made me feel like a complete failure at times. It didn’t matter that every day was spent with them! It still felt like I had been away from both of them for half of the day!
What helps me to know, is that I have a 6-year-old, she has no recollection of all the sacrifices I made or what I did or didn’t do when she was a baby! The twins will be none the wiser as well.
At the moment, they are only 9 months and it is already so much easier to share my time and not feel split down the middle all day.
In the end all that matters is that you are meeting the needs of your twins. They can’t tell you yet but they love you for it.
4. ACCEPT AND ASK FOR HELP
Caring for one baby alone is hard, not to mention twins or more! You are exhausted, anxious, and STRESSED! Your own needs and wants have been put on the back burner since giving birth. All the while you are probably riddled with guilt for feeling this way because, what a gift you were given!
I felt especially guilty, having been devastated by a miscarriage, battled infertility for 2 years, and had IVF to finally become pregnant again with not one but TWINS ( as in two babies)!
I didn’t dare want to mention how overwhelmed I felt. After all, FINALLY, I got what I had been praying for and envied for so long!
Accepting help is tough, asking for it is even worse.
I’m not sure why I certainly don’t think less of anyone who asks for help. If anything it shows a lot of strength to be able to put your pride aside and wave that white flag.
Both my Mother and Mother in-law stayed the night with us to help with the twins on several occasions in the beginning and my Father in-law has been making us food for the week, every week, even now.
We have been more than fortunate to be surrounded by a magnificent support system and have always had family and friends offering their time and assistance.
My problem was I stubbornly tried to be super Mom and bottle up just how exhausted, miserable, and overwhelmed I was. I began to feel so alone inside and almost trapped which only led to depression and more guilt.
When I finally was so fried, I pretty much felt crazy, I ASKED FOR HELP! It was long overdue and A LOT probably could have been avoided had I just spoke up.
You are not alone, if you don’t have family or friends able to help, don’t be afraid to reach out to someone.
Hop on your computer, there are resources, groups, and even community blogs dedicated to help and encourage you. Here’s a couple to get you started:
Also I recommend reading:
|Holy Sh*t…I’m Having Twins!: The Definitive Guide to Remaining Calm When You’re Twice as Freaked Out|
5. IT’S OKAY TO WALK-AWAY
When I say that, I do mean briefly. it may be really hard, Mom guilt and all, but it could be crucial to your sanity.
This tip has proved to be the single best word of advice for me and has saved me from more than one mental break-down. The sound of crying babies should be used as a form of torture! Sometimes it’s all you can do to gather a single thought.
When this happens, take a deep breath. If your babies are changed, fed, and you have tried all you know to do, it is perfectly okay to lay your babies in their crib in a safe environment. Shut the door, and walk away to calm and collect yourself.
I feel like this goes back to the rule of putting your oxygen mask on first and then helping to put your child’s on. You must remember that caring for yourself, in turn, helps to care for your babies.
Every time I allow myself those few minutes to catch my breath, I am able to calm them almost immediately once I return.
One last thing I can tell you with certainty because it’s what every member of our tribe I have come across has told me, it will get easier. The general consensus seems to be that it gets better after the first year.
The clouds will part and you will start to see the Sun. Don’t forget to enjoy these fleeting moments.
UPDATE: My twins are now 14 months and it DOES get better!
Do you have other advice for having twins to share?