It would be great if there was a step by step survival guide that worked for all twin mums but lets face it every child, scenario, parenting style and core beliefs and values for each parent varies. Being the second time round for us I naively believed that apart from the obvious challenges of dealing with two babies we “had it in the bag.” Who would be more equipped to deal with twins than someone with experience and is perhaps a little older and wiser. Well that was an absolute farce.
With our first children (I say that as there is a 16 year age gap between our once youngest child and our baby twins) we did our best to learn and mimic other parents who had similar family values and ideals. We were young and knew that with our lack of experience we needed to glean from more ‘seasoned’ parents. In hind sight I like to think we did okay…sure there are many things I would probably have done differently now but generally speaking we were able to parent three children without too much drama (excluding some of the teenage years but that’s another topic for another day) and even enjoy the whole experience.
This time round it has been quite the experience. Some days feel like I am running a marathon. The days can be relentless….slow and steady I go about my day, trying to get all the housework done as well as enjoy my babies and even trying to have a bit of a social life in the process. My confidence that I experienced whilst pregnant with the twins has dwindled to feeling like a first time mum navigating the uncertainty of it all. But amidst the chaos is giggles, joy, excitement and two cute little faces to wake up to each day (and sometimes in the middle of the night…sighhhh).
My tips for surviving the first 10 months are –
- Coffee – This is number 1 for a reason!
- Routine – I am not completely rigid with this but it does tend to make things run more smoothly when the girls sleep at the same time and I get a break.
- Exercise – Without this I don’t think I would have the energy to parent….Even just taking the twins for a walk around the block helps.
- Hanging with other twin mums – We need one another and what better people to connect with than other mums who are living the same experience, who totally get the craziness of it all.
- Make a choice to enjoy it – I can sometimes get lost in the busy-ness of it all….the copious amounts of nappies, the constant feed times and the lack of sleep but one thing I remind myself is that this stage only lasts for a little while and I will never get these baby years back again. God has totally blessed me with these babies…Just focusing on the simple highlights of each day, their little smiles and watching them grow and change….just amazing!
- ‘Me’ time – Ohhh so important!! I am more than just a mum. Whether its going on a girls night, dinner with my man or a night out with friends I need time to do things other than the laundry, washing, cleaning, bum wiping,etc,etc……..
- Don’t be too hard on yourself – We are our biggest critics yet to our babies we are just the greatest. I am well aware of my short-comings,my imperfections and insecurities all of which can effect my parenting and cause me to make mistakes. Learning to forgive myself has become so liberating and actually helps me to parent better. There is nothing more soul destroying and joy stealing than wallowing in self-pity or comparing yourself to other mums.
This has been my basic survival guide and has gotten me through thus far. To think that the girls are already 10 months old is just incredible and I am absolutely loving it (most of the time).
We got this!!!