Experiencing the first ultrasound in a pregnancy is a magical moment for both the mother and father. For a small majority of us, that moment will also come with a rush of mild panic if the ultrasound tech finds two heartbeats!
Having twins is a blessing and I feel so grateful everyday for my two wee ones. However, let’s be honest, the months leading up to preparing to welcome not one but TWO babies into our lives included some panic, lots of preparation and a lot of wondering if I could handle it all. If you are expecting twins and you are feeling overwhelmed with how to cope, then read on for my top 5 tips on thriving as a parent of twins.
- Get the Gear
Of the very few parents who are lucky enough to have twins, even fewer of those will be graced with two stay at home parents or a nanny. There is no doubt an additional set of hands with two babies is ideal, but when that is not available the second best thing is a double pram. I refer to my pram as my freedom machine. It allows me to get out of the house and walk to the park or coffee shop with both babies. Be sure to find one with a lot of storage so you aren’t lugging a big diaper bag full of gear in addition to the pram.
- Sleep Schedules
There are times when it will feel impossible, but you can get your babies on the same sleep schedule. Using things like the double pram and taking them for walks at the same time each day is a great way to get them on the same routine. Charting sleep and feed schedules is a real life-saver. At first I found it tedious and wondered if it was just adding another task to my day, but soon realised that patterns emerged that I otherwise wouldn’t have noticed. So have a paper and pen handy to jot down schedules and notes. You will thank yourself later in the day when you can’t remember anything!
- Take Care of Yourself
Your babies need you to be awake, alert and functioning. So set yourself up for success and be sure to take care of yourself! For the first few months sleep may be a distant memory – so focus on what you can do. Eat breakfast, drink plenty of water (and then drink some more), eat nutritious food, and enjoy gentle exercise. Never underestimate what some fresh air can do for a tired brain.
- See your partner as your partner
As mums, we tend to think we can do everything better than our husband. And while this may be the case, it is crucial to see and treat your husband as your teammate in raising your twins. Sure husbands can’t breastfeed or settle a baby that just needs his/her mum. But they can tidy the house, prepare dinner, change nappies, entertain one baby while you feed the other. So let that controlling guard down and allow your husband to own some tasks.
We didn’t have a lot of extra money when my twins were little. However, there are a few things I prioritised with our spare cash. We got a cleaner in the house once a fortnight and had groceries delivered to the house. These small delegations in my life made the biggest difference in my stress levels.
I had my fare share of meltdowns in the early days of raising twins. But ladies, I am here to tell you that you can take care of twins and have a good time doing it. Stay positive and prepared and embrace the chaos. Delegate where you can. Except help from your husband, friends and family and even strangers. And now that soon your twins will be entertaining each other and you will be sipping a cup of tea remembering fondly those early days and how incredible you are to have managed it all with a good sense of humour.