– From the movie “I Don’t Know How She Does It”
In my first year as a double twin mommy I found out just how true that statement is! I still shake my head in wonder of how I made it through organizing so many people, both little and big, and all our activities. Not only was I handling two sets of twins, two boys age 3 and two newborn girls, AND trying to double nurse, but I also had responsibilities as a wife, a personal trainer, a Pilates instructor, a nutrition counselor, and a business woman that I couldn’t leave alone for more than a few weeks. AND we also had two miniature schnauzers bouncing around our little house!
Now if you know me, you know I LOVE a challenge. So I guess it’s not surprising that one of my favorite roles as a double twin mommy soon became ‘Master of Logistics,’ aka figuring out how we were going to get everyone everywhere on time, dressed, fed, and clean.
So how did I manage it all and get everything done without LOSING my mind?
Looking back there were a few things that kept my head above water. I’ve compiled them into these SIX tips that kept me sane as a new mom of multiple twin. I don’t claim to know it all, but regardless of whether you have twins, singletons, quintuplets, no kids, or a pet bird, I hope these tips help you create a little time to focus on you and your health.
1. SCHEDULE. SCHEDULE. SCHEDULE.
I have high expectations for what can be accomplished in a day, or rather what NEEDS to be accomplished in a day. I can get it all in with a solid plan. this is important not only for mommy’s sanity, but for the kids as well. Kids need to know what to expect, i.e, we get dressed for the day right after breakfast, nap time is right after lunch, we take a bath right before bed, etc., etc. Now I’m really not that much of a ‘Type A’ personality, I’m actually a fairly laid back ‘Type B.’ So if nap time starts a bit after 1:00, its ok. But never fear… it will be happening. Scheduling also prevents getting stuck in a stressful situation as a mom of twins, like running to the grocery store when the kids are hungry or supposed to be napping. No one wants to be that mom at the store with screaming kids.
When the boys were first born someone told me that babies can sense when their mother is stressed, and it only makes them more irritable. Therefore, if something goes wrong, I try to stay calm. Adding more unwanted stress or worry to the situation won’t make your baby stop crying. It only makes YOU more upset. Don’t do that to yourself! You need a clear mind to be able to solve the issue at hand.
One of my favorite quotes…A woman with a plan is a powerful woman. I always have a diaper bag packed and ready if we need to hop out of the house in a hurry. Every night I’ve got a plan for the next day. While the boys are eating breakfast, I prep for lunch. While the boys are eating lunch, I prep veggies and marinate meat for dinner. I pick up toys little by little throughout the day to prevent a huge, overbearing mess from building up by evening. I prep afternoon activities during naps. I used to send emails and research recipes on my cell phone while nursing the girls. (Thank goodness for cell phones!)
4. SIMPLE things can make a huge difference.
Call me crazy but what a difference it makes when I find the time to take a shower! A quick, two minute shower can be energizing and refreshing. Try to continue your beauty routine as well. If you like to wear make up, then do it. If you need to get up 5 minutes early for this to happen, it is worth it. It sets a good tone for the day, uplifts your mood, and will save your sanity.
5. Workout EARLY.
Get it done and get it over with. If you try to squeeze it in later, it will get squeezed out! One common tip that really works for me as a mom of twins – setting out clothes the night before. Then I can wake up I can quickly throw them on, even in the dark!, and sneak out of the house before anyone else is awake. One thing to note: with newborns or sick kids, remember it’s ok to give yourself a break. If you’ve been up all night, you might need the sleep more than the workout.
6. LIVE in the MOMENT as often as possible.
Enjoy your kids! They want to engage with you, to play with you, to be important to you. So play, cuddle, wrestle, laugh, have a tea party, whatever! Be creative. You will be more relax and have more fun than you think if you are truly present in the lives of your children.