As a twin mom, I know that the first year is full of love, but it also comes with a lot of challenges.
Multiples do not come with an instruction book, although I wish mine did.
New parents have their hands full with one baby and as a twin parent, our first year is double the work. I wanted to share a couple of tips and suggestions that really helped me during my first year.
1. Parenting is not an exact science, I found that the best parenting advice did not always work for my twins (especially when it came to sleeping through the night).
I always looked to others to solve my parenting struggles and I became disappointed when the solutions didn’t work for me.
I learned that there is no quick fix. Do not feel guilty. You will be able to figure it out eventually on your own. The best thing to do is listen to all the advice and remember it because it does help you find your own way.
2. “You can do it” – I learned this lesson from my grandfather.
Growing up, whenever I was worried about school auditions, tests, tryouts, later in life it was interviews, wedding planning, moving, etc….I would sit down and talk to my grandfather and all my conversations started “I want to do _____, BUT…” and I would start to self-doubt.
I think others might do that as well and he always stopped me and said: “You can do it”. He never let me continue. This at the time drove me crazy but taught me such a valuable lesson. My father followed this too; however, he always had to hear me out and walk me through all my worries.
I learned through this that I can do it and so can you! Please try not to doubt yourself. It isn’t that you can always be the best, but you can always do it and try your best. I didn’t get every interview, audition (I rarely did); but I “Did It” every time by attempting and giving it my best. So please remember “You Can Do It”! Life is not about being perfect. It is about being perfectly yourself.
3. Organization is important.
I was never that organized before twins, but after they were born, I found that keeping things organized really helped make my day easier and less stressful. Twins have so many things (clothes, furniture, equipment, and toys). Walking through my house is usually like an obstacle course most days.
I found that having a place for everything made cleaning up so much easier. I always leave out my twin’s favorite toys and keep them easily assessable. Other toys that are less played with are gathered up and put into 6 different tubberware containers. We call them surprise boxes at my house. I keep them in a closet and each day I will bring out a new surprise box. It will contain toys, puzzles, and activities.
My boys find the items in the surprise box so much fun (even though they were filled with toys they barely played with when they were easily assessable). Putting them away made them new again when they were brought out. It turned into a very fun tradition for us and my boys love getting a surprise box. It also gives me a little free time every day which is a wonderful thing.
4. Other parents, friends, and even strangers will rush to give you advice and recommendations. Do not let what they say bother you.
So many people told me how many places they visited or what they did the first year they were parents and being a new mom to twins those adventures were not possible. Over time I learned that I would be able to do all those items and more! You know what will work best for you and your two. Outings are not easy with twins during the first year, but it will get easier.
5. If something wonderful, fun, silly, or unexpected happens write it down. You will be so happy that you did.
Over time the details of some events will be forgotten and you will love to reread your memories. I write down my favorite memory every month in a notebook and I look forward to reading it to my boys at the end of the year. I love reliving those moments and memories.
Please remember that the days are long, but the years are very short. Enjoy and celebrate each milestone. Watching twins grow and seeing their close bond is incredible.