Hi friends! Apologies for the long gap between posts, I’ve missed you all greatly.
A few days ago our boys turned one and to say we’ve been reeling from how absurd that seems is an understatement! How did we get here – was it not just yesterday that Derek was carrying both car seats down the hospital hallway while I waddled my stitched up self out of there? It seems like we blinked and a year went by, but then if I truly think about it some of that time seemed like it could not have passed slower.
Derek says it best that this year was the fastest year, slowest year and also the year we’ve been awake for the most hours in our entire life. My eyes have never been more open than this year (very literally).
I thought in honour of surviving our first year I would jot down a few points that would go into our “survival guide” for twins. Listen, I’m not saying you should follow it, I’m not even saying any of it is necessarily great advice. What works for you and your babies works for you – don’t feel like you need to follow any sort of structure because I PROMISE there isn’t one. But, in the off chance that some of this will help an expecting mom or a parent of multiples…. here we go!
Twins Survival Guide
Learn how to install your carseats early. Do a practice run putting them in and then practice again. We had ours installed 3 weeks before I delivered and it was really nice to have one less thing to worry about.
Pack food in your hospital bag. I can’t say this with more urgency – you will be STARVING after delivering babies and if you think the meals they give you in hospitals will be enough, they 10000% are not.
Have your baby containers ready, this is especially for parents of multiples. Have your swings or bouncers ready to have them in during the days. It’s wildly difficult to have two babies to carry around so having safe places to put at least one down at a time is very important.
Leave the house. I found this especially true in the early days when I was still in the “oh my god I just got hit by the train of motherhood” phase. It’s really easy to spiral so if you have things to keep you busy it’s a bit easier to keep your mind in check. If you let the fear of going out consume you, you legitimately will not leave. Understand that things will take longer now and there are a lot more unexpected variables but be easy on yourself and take your time.
Look at motherhood like you would a new job. You aren’t going to be great at it right away, just like you wouldn’t be great at a brand new job right away. You’ll practice, and make mistakes and over time you’ll get better at it! Although, spoiler alert: no matter how good you get you will never get a raise. hahaha
Make a “nothing counts at night” rule. Derek and I made the rule that nothing we said in the depths of exhaustion in the middle of the night counted or could be held against the other. When you’re tired and frustrated and delirious it’s easy to let those things speak for you – don’t give it much weight it’s just the tired talking!
Take a million photos and videos and don’t feel bad about it for a single second, but don’t miss moments by trying to record them either. Sometimes you only get memories and that’s ok – you won’t be able to document every second of their life (as badly as you will want to).
Never leave the house without checking that the diaper bag is packed and ALWAYS have extra clothes. Pro tip: make sure you do a check every once in a while that the diaper and clothing size that’s in the diaper bag are right and current.
Keep your twins on the same schedule. This is not a suggestion it’s a direct order.
Don’t expect your babies to act the same just because they’re twins. They will have their own personalities and temperament – it’s important to remind yourself once in a while that they are individuals and they should be treated as individuals (even though they’ll still be referred to as “the twins” 24/7)
Understand that you’re going to have meltdowns sometimes. They’re going to be ugly and they’re going to involve crying. Just a heads up.
Don’t feel bad if you don’t have a lot of “me time” during the first year with twins (or any babies honestly). Everyone will tell you that you need to make time for yourself and the whole “self-care” spiel and I’m not at all saying it’s not important but if you get consumed by momming in that first year don’t feel bad about yourself for it. If your self-care means getting to eat breakfast or have a hot coffee in the morning or having time to wash your face at night – figure out what you need to do to feel good and make time for that (big or small).
This too shall pass. And once it’s past you’ll miss it.
I still can’t believe that we’re a year in. I can’t even remember the person I was before these beautiful babies arrived. I can’t believe how far we’ve come. I can’t believe how much stronger and deeper my relationship with Derek could get. I can’t believe how deliriously happy we are so much of the time, even during the tough times.
Parenting is a constant battle between excitement for the future and incredible nostalgia for the past. Truly all you can do is exist in the moments you have in the moment they’re in and appreciate that for what it is.