Having multiples? Not quite sure how you’re going to manage without losing your mind? Here are some tips for how to make it look easy.
Accept offers of help.
When you’re newly home from the hospital, family and friends are likely going to offer support through providing meals, helping at home, etc. Take them up on it! There is nothing nicer than not having to think about what you’re going to eat as you’re getting accustomed to your bundles of joy and their needs.
Get your babies on the same schedule as soon as possible.
Though it makes feeding time chaotic, having your kids on the same schedule will make for some down-time for you when they are asleep. That time is invaluable for preparing meals, straightening-up, resting or having a cup of coffee.
Teach independence from an early age.
Obviously, newborns are dependent on their parents to meet their needs. As your babies grow, however, they may begin to take on small (but hugely helpful!) tasks. They can begin to hold their own bottles, eat easy finger foods and help put on their shoes and coats. They are excited about their new skills and, as a parent it frees you up for other necessary tasks.
Don’t let yourself make your kids an excuse.
All new parents are faced with the challenges of maintaining friendships and meeting the needs of their newborns. Often this results in canceled plans and parents spending years living their lives by their kids’ schedules. Some creativity and in-the-car naptime can make it possible to still do lunchtime BBQs, meet friends and family for breakfast, etc. If you don’t let yourself have a life outside of your children’s schedules, parenting multiples may end up feeling like a life sentence.
Let go of your quest for the perfect house.
It is often difficult to accept that the perfect home is no longer attainable when you have little ones running around. Give yourself some grace at the baby play yard in the living room and the Cheerios that never seem to entirely be swept-up.
Politely listen to others’ advice, but know that unless they’ve had multiples, they have no idea about your situation.
You will, no doubt, get lots of advice (from anyone who has been a parent.) Only those who have been parents of multiples truly identify with your unique challenges and perspectives. While everyone is well-meaning, that doesn’t mean that they have a clue.
Consider joining a group for parents of multiples.
There are lots of online and community groups for parents of multiples. Consider seeking out one that seems interesting to you for additional support. Ask your pediatrician or neighborhood newcomVen the YWCA might be a resource.
Know your limitations and be okay with them.
Going back to “not all friends will get it,” there are some things that are simply not possible (and also safe) when you are the only one home with your babies. Friends who invite you to the pool, the park or the baby gym may not understand why you have to decline for a time when you can have an additional adult with you. Inviting them over for at-home playtime may be a better option.
Plan frequent date nights with your significant other.
Being parents of multiples can be a challenge, even on the best days. Between feeding schedules and diaper changes, you may feel that you and your spouse are ships passing in the night. Date night makes sure that you remember your relationship with each other and have a chance to focus on that connection. Feeling guilty about leaving your little ones with someone? Have a family member or friend over and go for a quick dinner out after the kids are in bed.
Give yourself credit for the super-parent that you are!
Think about it. You have been multi-tasking since before your babies were born. You are raising more than one child simultaneously. You’re meeting their developmental, social and emotional needs 24/7. While being the parent of multiples is a wild-ride, it’s also well worth it. You are an extraordinary parent who deserves credit for the incredible little people that you are raising!
* This is an unsponsored guest post by Becky W.