“The first year is a blur. That’s what I remember the most.” Every twin mom I meet says the same thing. And nine months in, they were right. Even my first ultrasound was a blur. “What did you think when you found out it was twins? “ I don’t like to admit it, but what I thought was not pleasant. Life changing they say. All the thoughts running through my head were certainly life changes and not ones I really wanted at that moment. In a moment my professional life was history and so was my future dream home. It was several weeks before I came around to accepting the cards life had dealt me and moved on, throwing my (formerly) Type A self into researching, organizing and getting ready for babies much earlier than moms-to-be of singletons. I mingled via social networking with several twin mom friends and extended family members to learn as much as I could BEFORE the babies came. My husband’s cousin’s wife sent me a long, long letter, which I can no longer find (Type A personality out the window!), and a copy of a book, Ready or Not Here We Come by Elizabeth Lyons. Some of the thoughts I was having were similar to the ones she had and said it was perfectly normal to feel that way. My copy of the book she sent, showing signs of wear and tear, is referred to often. Now I am sometimes consulted when other moms find out they are pregnant with twins. Although I’m not an expert, I do like to share some of what has worked for me as well as what I’ve learned from others.
- Get them on the same schedule as soon as possible or you will never have more than a few seconds to yourself. I did this by always, always feeding at the same time. I suggest getting two boppy pillows, one at each end of the couch and sitting in the middle of them.
- Keep the food diary they give you in the hospital going for a LONG time so others can easily step in during your hopeful unconsciousness. Include feeding time and ounces, number one or number two for diaper changes, and whether they burped or not with an asterisk as this can be very important to know in the middle of the night!
- Accept early on that they will just have to fuss more than a singleton. They will learn patience pretty early or take matters into their own hands and learn to hold their own bottle. (Still waiting for them to give up and change their own diaper though!) Listening to the fussing has probably been the hardest on sister and grandma.
- Use modern, inexpensive conveniences such as generic diapers, formula, disposable bibs, etc. I blend up my bottles at night and store in the fridge until needed. You can either microwave to take the chill off or serve cold. However maintenance free you want them to be!
- Buy a really, really good double stroller. It will be your lifeline for at least the next three years. And you will need to get out.
- Don’t be afraid to go places with them by yourself. What’s the worst that can happen? You have to go home?
- Ask, ask, ask. Ask for help at home, in the grocery store carrying out items, in the doctor’s office, etc. Borrow baby equipment, clothes, etc. Most people genuinely want to help, they just assume you want privacy or don’t know what to do for you.
- Prepare to leave the house WAY earlier than you need to to be somewhere and you will be relatively on time.
Wow you think, she is still Type A. Oh no, ask my family and friends. I now take one day (sometimes on hour) at a time and have accidently overlooked many things on my calendar. As I enter the beginning stages of toddlerhood with two, I know there will be new challenges. I look forward to leaving morning naps and bottles behind but dread four little feet running in two different directions. So, if you have any advice for me on how to handle that feel free to send me a note!
*Special thanks to our guest blogger today, Laura Mallicoat!!
Laura is a new to staying at home mom to Megan, seven years, and Boyd and Cale, nine months. She and her husband, Steve, enjoy spending time in their rural Solon home with family and friends and their two German Shorthair Pointer dogs Bailey and Dakota. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in public relations from the University of Northern Iowa and most recently worked for Linn-Mar Community School District as Information Services Coordinator.