When I decided to start a blog, I knew I would write about our life, warts and all. Let me tell you, the first three months after the twins were born were not our best. We were beyond exhausted and stretched way too thin. Hubs took off for the first two weeks and then went back to work full-time. I was “off” for the first four months, but when you run a business you’re never really off. I was also exclusively pumping every 3 hours and getting up to feed the girls at 11pm and 2am (Hubs fed them at 5am before work). Gray did fairly well but he had just turned two and he had some new “fun” behaviors to work through. BUT, we got through it and at about 3.5 months, things got so much easier. Here are the things that helped us when we were in survival mode:
- We got the girls out of our room quickly. With Gray, we used the co-sleeper and he slept in our room for 6 weeks. The twins were a different story. They
wereare noisy sleepers and every peep they made would wake us up. We moved them into their room after a week and everybody slept a lot better.
- We slept whenever there were other people there. They say sleep when the baby sleeps. Ha! When you have twins and a toddler, the odds of all 3 sleeping at a time are pretty slim. Whenever family came over, we handed them babies and went to bed. It was awesome.
- We had a mini-fridge in our room. We inherited a 10-year-old mini-fridge from my parents and put it in our bedroom. It was a godsend when I was pumping because we could store milk in there and pre-make bottles for the day. I know it doesn’t seem like a big deal to walk downstairs and go to the kitchen, but when you are exhausted every minute counts.
- We put Gray in preschool. Gray started an amazing preschool for half-days when I was 4 months pregnant. When I was 8 months pregnant, he started going full days. I was so miserable the last month of my pregnancy, and I couldn’t really keep up with him. I wasn’t thrilled with the idea of my 2-year-old going to school 7 hours a day, 5 days a week, but in hindsight it was an excellent decision. He absolutely loves school and when he is there I know his needs are being met. When I pick him up at 3:30, I am recharged and ready to devote time to just him.
- We had a TON of help. I cannot emphasize this enough: If you are going to have a toddler and twins, GET HELP. Family, friends, neighbors, nannies, postpartum doulas, whatever you can find, it really does take a village. We are extremely lucky to have all 4 grandparents live within 20 minutes of us. We also have an incredible part-time nanny.
- We lowered our expectations. Our kids cry a little more than Gray did when it was just him. They have to wait for things. We watch more television than I thought we would. Our house is messy and cluttered. Some days we eat junk food. If everybody is fed, (somewhat) well-rested, loved on and in dry pants, it was a successful day.
- We have incredible friends. Raising
twinskids is HARD. You need people you can talk to/cry with/vent to/drink with/ask ridiculous questions/borrow things from. After I had Gray, I went on Meetup.com and found my people. A kickass mom’s group who loves books, cocktails, celebrity gossip and dirty jokes as fiercely as they do their children. We go to museums, parks, have birthday parties, do mom’s night out, and book clubs. I have met some of my favorite people through this group. Remember, a true friend is one who will leave vodka and cookies on your doorstep after you have babies.
- We got out of the house whenever we could. We had an amazing Saturday a few weeks ago. We grabbed the double stroller and the baby carrier and headed to the mall. We walked around and ate at Rainforest Cafe. In our previous life when we didn’t have 3 tiny children, there is absolutely no way you would find us at either of those places on a Saturday night but it was fantastic. The girls slept, Gray got to see cool stuff, we got to talk without being interrupted and we were all together – out of the house. My point is, broaden your horizons and find ways to all get out together.
- We respected Gray’s boundaries and routines. Gray is a kiddo who thrives with routine, structure and rules. After the girls were born, we strived to keep his routine as consistent as possible. This took some experimenting in the beginning. One night, I brought a fussy baby with me for his bedtime routine and it was a disaster. Since then we try to do the bedtime routine with just the 3 of us (Gray, Mom and Dad) and it’s a nice way to finish the day. He doesn’t like the girls in his bed or in his special chair and we respect that. He doesn’t have to share everything.
- We got the girls on a consistent schedule. Gray was a big, 9lb, 3oz baby born at 41 weeks. He was exclusively breastfed and our pediatrician allowed us to feed on demand from the beginning. It was just the two of us. We nursed, we napped, we played. Whenever we wanted. It was great. The girls were 37 week, under 7 pound babies. We had strict orders to feed them every 3 hours until 6 weeks. It made sense to put them on a schedule from the beginning and it made life with 2 much easier. Now, at 5 months, they have a great schedule that works for our family and it is much easier to plan our day.