Tough times always bring a mess in our lives. Having three under two has changed our peaceful life in million ways, and, to be honest, I’m sometimes afraid of whether or not my fragile nervous system can handle it. For sure, life won’t be easy. House will never be clean and quiet again, and looks like nothing anymore can stop my hair from turning grey. But that’s okay. Despite a complete lack of sleep, eating, and basic hygiene, somehow, we have managed to survive in this madness. And if anything, it seems like we’re enjoying it. Here’s how we do.
To really understand the difficulty of caring for infant twins and a one-year-old toddler you have to actually live it. It’s not the same as having three kids even with the smallest age gaps. You have to be really prepared. If you are a future mommy of twins or multiples, or even a singleton, look for support and have a talk with other parents. You’ll know better what to expect and how to cope with any difficulties.
It has been a month since we brought our twin girls home. Since then my husband and I have slept in the same bed at the same time only four times. One of us always sleeps in the living room where the crib is placed. This way during the night we don’t disturb Anya, our oldest daughter who sleeps in the same room with one of us.
The philosophy of “sleep when they sleep” doesn’t work for me, especially with three under two. Even though the twins pretty much just sleep and eat, during the day I have to do small chores in order to survive—like washing bottles, baby items, doing never-ending laundry, general picking up—all on top of taking care of a toddler.
However, I’ve managed to create a good system so my husband and I can have a little bit of sleep. I do weekdays, and he let me sleep on weekends, and his mother comes to help us in the middle of the week. I have three carefree nights of sleep, which is not bad.
One piece of advice that we got from our friends with twins was, “Get helpers!” As I mentioned before, I have an amazing mother-in-law who comes to our place once a week to let me sleep at night and take care of myself during the day. It’s my favorite time of the week. For a few hours, I can escape from the chaos and mess and take a breath.
We must feed twins every three hours, sometimes four, if we get lucky. Thank God, I don’t breastfeed, and we can share this tiresome duty (yes, I’m a selfish, lazy mom, let’s move ahead). I think the key is to keep twins on the same schedule. When one girl wakes up hungry, we wake up the other and feed them both at the same time. It’s easy when there are two adults in the place, so each can take one baby and bottle feed her.
When I’m alone, it’s different. First, I make sure that Anya gets busy. After I place both twins on pillows and give them bottles. I don’t even need to use hands anymore. This was the best advice I had received from another twin mom Shea (she has an amazing blog, btw). The first thing she said: “BUY A BOPPY! It’ll save your life!” I ordered it the next day. Best decision ever.
Involve the toddler
From the first day, we try to involve Anya ad much as it’s possible. We never separate her from the twins. She is allowed to play and interact with them as much as she wants. Of course, I’m always here to watch them out because Anya can be very dangerous as she doesn’t really realize her weight when, for example, she puts her head on the babies to show them her love, or her strength when she hugs or kisses them.
She even tries to help me take care of them. Most of the time she only leaves more mess, but that’s okay. I don’t want her to feel left out or upset, so I try to give her all my attention, which is not easy. Sometimes I get the feeling that I’m not as close to the twins as I should be because I give all my time to Anya. It’s very hard to find the right balance, but I’m working on it.
Make things easy
The hardest thing is to cope with a constant tiredness that drives you crazy—really crazy! In the past month, I’ve cried more than all my children because at the end of the day it’s hard to find an energy and patience with yourself. However, I try to slow down, to let go and not stress about what does and doesn’t get done. It’s no big deal if the house is messy and your legs are not shaved for weeks. These are just unimportant details. Love yourself and everything around you. Try to get out when it’s possible. I’ve managed to do it with three of them at the same time.
It won’t last forever
No, I’m not talking about having a hard time. I’m talking about the sweet newborn stage that passes so fast. They will never be as tiny as they’re now. I know it well: I had a newborn baby year ago. It’s a precious time in your life when you’re able to place both babies on your chest, smell their heavenly newborn smell, and play with their tiny fingers. I try to close my eyes to all the difficulties and enjoy every moment with my little birdies. That’s all that matters!
The past month has been nothing short of incredible. I learned to take multitasking to a whole new level, such as the time I managed to feed both babies at the same time while trying to potty train my everywhere-peeing toddler. I’ve watched my tiny premature twins grow into smiley, healthy babies, and my one-year-old toddler evolve into a caring and loving big sister. For all of you twin parents who told me how amazing is to have twins, I get it now, and I can’t tell you how blessed I feel to be a proud member of your club!