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No help

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
I have a question for mothers of twins. How many you did not hire help and did alone? My husband is only taking 2 weeks and after that I will on my own. I have no family in the area. If you did alone how did you survive and any tips are welcome as far scheduling, feeding ,sleeping?
post #2 of 26
Do you have other kids? That will make a huge difference in your ability to manage it all. If I had just had my twins I would have been fine but my two year old was very, very difficult during that time. I did not hire anyone to help and after the first week or two our families very rarely came over to help. My dh did take off 7 weeks but he spent pretty much all of his time with our older ds and I spent that time with the babies. I could easily handle the babies (they were very easy as little babies) but them with my older ds was really, really hard. I made it through it of course, we all do, but it was the hardest time in my life that I have gone through so far. I think it really does depend on the temperment of your babies, your older kids if you have them & how much you expect to accomplish around the house or are expected to accomplish. Once my dh went back to work I was really not able to do anything around the house while he was gone so every night after we got them all in bed (thankfully they all went to bed at 7) we would clean the house up together. My housekeeping standards have changed a lot since having twins. Also what kind of job your dh is working will make a difference too. Mine has a pretty easy job so I do not feel bad making him help with housework but if he worked a hard job I would probably feel bad about it. Anyway, I am rambling a bit here but you will make it just fine! Make sure if anyone asks if they can help you take them up on it and if you can make meals now and freeze them that will help you a lot when they are born.
post #3 of 26
I had my husband home for 3 days, then my best friend stayed for an additional 5. Then I was on my own for about 5 more, then my mom was there for a week. Then I was on my own completely.

I suppose it depends on the person. Prior to my twins I had four babies in four years. I've adapted to how to take care of lots of little people at once and I'm fairly immune to babies crying until I can get to them. Builds character! I also already had a good handle on nursing and my twins were full term and born at home so the transition was fairly easy.

I needed the help for those 2 weeks though because my abs muscles needed time to adjust. I could barely walk or breathe for a good week or two. I also needed to sleep a lot while I recovered from the pregnancy.

Otherwise, I felt like I had enough help. Would I have LIKED more? Absolutely. Suck up as much as you can find. But I managed OK without.
post #4 of 26
If you have the resources to hire help, by all means do it! I have family in the area, and it would be too taxing on us to hire help, so we didn't. If someone could come to your house every other week to do light cleaning - vacuum, bathrooms, dust, absolutley it would take a big burden off of you. Maybe a teenager to come start and fold laundry. Also, lowering your standards of house hold cleanliness will help a lot.
My dh also took off for two weeks.
Scheduling - I know some MOMS swear by the schedule. . . I find that if the schedule is not adhered to, the only one getting po-ed is me - their needs change so often, that a schedule is sometimes pointless. A doctor may say that baby only needs to nurse every three hours, but are they there in the middle of the night when baby is hungry? A natural routine will develop, and then undevelop due to growth spurts, meeting milestones, teething (the bane of my existence right now). You may find it helpful to keep a log at the beginning just so you know what to expect. I will periodically keep a food/sleep log to see if adjustments can be made here or there to sync up naptimes. I like when they take opposite naps for one on one time, but I also like when they sleep at the same time so I can have some me time or eat in peace. Make it your rule that when they are sleeping together you lie down too. Catch up on housework on the weekends when dh is home and he can sit with the children. Try to get out a little by yourself so you don't get stir crazy. I think having twins is hard, but I also have no other children and nothing to compare it to. I tell myself every day to just go with the flow, somedays it is harder for me to do that than others.
post #5 of 26
I didn't have any help at all, not even a husband who was home at all while the kids were awake, until the past month or so. Now we're living with my parents and I get a lot of help when they are home but no help during the day while they are working (they both work long days). I also have a 2-year-old in addition to 7-month-old twins.

I'm still alive, but I can't say it's been a ton of fun. We have good days and bad days like anybody, but for the most part I'm pretty overwhelmed. My parents' help has made a big difference. But everybody has been sick, and the past few days the babies basically screamed all day (thankfully they are better today). The truth is I'm starting to look for a job, even though I won't get much from it financially because of having to pay for childcare (a nanny since I don't want the babies in daycare getting sick), but really for my own sanity. I truly think I'd be a better mother if I weren't with my kids 24/7. Then again, I've never been completely satisfied as a SAHM.

Probably not what you wanted to see, but I'm being honest. If it was just the babies I'd be fine, but I really have trouble with all 3, especially as my oldest is, and has always been, difficult (and adorable).
post #6 of 26
We couldn't afford to hire help and I had no family nearby except inlaws who were useless. The only friends I had were the people I worked with and they were already short staffed as it was cause I wasn't there. My dh said he'd be helping me when we brought them home from the NICU and then the first day home decided he needed to work instead. So I got left alone for 15 hours the very first day both of them were home. I've not had much help since, except that we've moved near my family so now they help me. I find I need much more help now at 2 1/2 then I did w/ newborns. Looking back, having two infants has been much easier than having two toddlers. Sorry, probably not want you want to hear!

I think I just got it in my head from the beginning that I just needed to go with the flow. I probably was not going to get a shower, or get to eat much, or get to clean anything and obviously I was not going to sleep much and I just accepted that. I found that when I had no expectations I didn't get as frustrated. Basically, after babies were taken care of my priorities were sleep, food, shower. Sometimes I could only pick one, sometimes I could grab something to eat and lay down for 20 min. Everything else, like cleaning, making phone calls, etc - didn't matter. Once in a great while, one would sleep and I would rock the other to sleep and I'd read a few pages of a book, just for a little "me" time. But those times were few and far between in the beginning.

The NICU nurses had them on a schedule : cause I didn't really know any better (hadn't found MDC yet! ) so we ended up kinda sticking to that, not strictly or anything, but it was helpful later in establishing more of a routine rather than a timed schedule. That happened more around 4-5 mo though.

So if you're just worried about how you'll take care of two babies at once, then I have to say you'll do great. I was amazed at how well I was able to handle it. I'd say the biggest challenge will be getting enough down time for you and that's definitely important.

Of course, if you can afford help or have people who are willing, definitely don't turn away the help!
post #7 of 26
I did it alone. I couldn't afford help and while I did have family living in town, they all worked. My dh took off 1 week, then my mom, then my MIL so I had 3 weeks of help and that was it. I did most of the night time alone, my dh worked from 6am-3pm (sometimes longer) everyday. Honestly, I look back now and I have no clue how I survived it. Both twins were colicky, they never slept, very demanding babies. The first year was a complete blur to me. Somehow we seem to manage to care for our babies. You will fall into a routine that will work for you.
post #8 of 26
We had a bit of help at first. We had local friends drop by and bring meals. Once in a while a friend would come by to help clean a bit. My SIL came for a few weeks and was great at holding babies. But mostly I was on my own once my dh went back to work. Probably the biggest help I had was hiring a neighbour girl for 3 days/week from 9am-noon. She would come over and play with my two older dc's. The babies I could manage. Having all 4 dc's was much more difficult. Now it's easier having all 4 (babies are almost 6 months). We haven't had "help" for about 3-4 months and I feel like we're in a pretty good groove. My babies are pretty easy-going but I can imagine if they were a bit more difficult I might need some help. Every once in a while they go through a bad spurt (teething, growth-spurt, etc...), I get tired and then things feel like they're starting to unravel. But then it gets better again, I get dh to help out a bit more, I take a break or whatever.
post #9 of 26
I was a single mom of twins, but I had a LOT of help. I accepted help from anyone who offered -- I had people from churches, synagogues, mosques, etc, helping me! I just asked for any help possible. Doing laundry, holding a baby while I showered, etc. It was a very difficult time til I met my dh, but I recall very fondly all the people willing to help.

post #10 of 26
If I could have afforded to hire help, it would have been a wonderful idea. As it was, I had a husband with me for a week, then we were on our own-- me with 3 older children. My older children really stepped up to the plate for me, though, and were wonderful helpers!

It can be done without hired help, but WOW I can imagine how hired help would make a difference. Also, coordinated efforts from friends and religous groups would be wonderful.
post #11 of 26
When my twins were born, my DH was off for a couple of weeks, but after that, it was just me, my twins and my 4 year old daughter.

-I just went with the flow. I didn't stress out about a "schedule" although I did try to do things at the same time, if I could
-Nothing got done for a few months. Crock pot was my friend
-I just found what worked for my babies, depending on them. One of them would be fine in the swing, but my other boy had reflux and cried pretty much all day, and puked over me few times a day.

After a few months, things got better. Still difficult, but we managed.
post #12 of 26
Originally Posted by kalynnsmom View Post
Crock pot was my friend
I just read this 'crack pot' which probably says enough about my current sleep deprivation and inability to focus on pretty much anything

Get help if you can; if you can't: you'll survive and hopefully feel a stronger woman for it!
post #13 of 26
Like Intertwined said, it took a good two weeks to be able to walk and breathe normal again. My mom was here for 3 weeks after the babies were born. The morning she left was also my husband's first day back at work. I was on my own with 3. Some of the women I know did a rotation of meals, about 3 a week for a couple months since I really didn't want a baby shower, it was their gift. I live overseas and could hire someone to come clean the house for super cheap 2x a week. We finally decided after the babies were 1 to have a full time helper. I'm so thankful we can afford it, just barely.

If I had no older children, I would've been able to cope with two, if they were easy babies and not born early. You can do it, some days will really suck, but then it gets better and they find a routine that works for them. I was so terrified of what to do with the babies after they were born that I just didn't read anything!
post #14 of 26
Oh yeah, about the schedule. I let the babies set it and it's flexible. But I have pretty laid back children, except my oldest, and they go with the flow. I know a lot of MoMs who swear by it. I think to think of it as a "routine" more than a "schedule". I try to keep naps around the same time of the day and we just nurse whenever they are hungry. They go to bed before the oldest ones so I can focus on their needs (bedtime is stressful around here!)
post #15 of 26
My husband was off for 2 weeks after the boys were born and then I was on my own, but my older children were very helpful with the little things (fetching things, entertaining me, etc.).

My wonderful MIL hired a cleaning lady for me the last month before they were born and for a month after. That ROCKED! I miss her....

Friends brought dinners for a week. That ROCKED too! I miss that....

That was the major help I got, and I wish I had more, to be perfectly honest. Someone to entertain the big kids or just hold a baby or come over and cook or clean or whatever.

Tips? I say go with the flow and don't expect to get anything done. Just do what you can without stressing yourself. There will be enough to do without piling on more. Get lots of fresh air! Bundle them up and go for walks - that always kept me from going cuckoo. Just take good care of them and tend to their needs and listen to your instincts. They were made just for you and given to you because you are the best person to take of them! Oh, yeah, and take all the help that is offered!!
post #16 of 26
I had almost no help. My cleaning lady stayed extra and helped throughout the day for a few times and then that was it - I don't even have a cleaning lady anymore .
I desperately needed help. Oh, we did get meals for a while from friends.
I still desperately need help - well, not desperately, but I need a live-in cleaning lady (I do have 5 kids - my twins are the youngest).

Tricks: have your dh help as much as possible: whatever is your hot spot/issue - have him tackle that so that you will feel more relaxed in having to let htings go. Get meals from friends. If someone offers, SAY YES!!! I never was able to accept help before twins; now if someone even suggests helping I jump on it.
If you are able, make meals in advance and freeze them. Declutter your house as much as possible so that everything has it's place. Know your grocery needs and make a list up that your dh could go shopping for you. If he doesn't know how to cook - teach him to make a few simple meals or nourishing soups. Have ready-made snacks and a pitcher of water at your side for better nursing. Wear one baby while carrying the other. My brest friend was great for me for nursing the twins - I used it a lot.(I'm still nursing the twins - they turned 3 Sept 1st this year.)
Envision what you want your nursing to be like - I kept that in mind when things were rough. HOld, hold, hold your babies - of course I probably don't have to say that. Don't listen to people who say "oh, they aren't on a schedule? or you nurse that often? or anything else negative. Keep a positive outlook and don't let negativity encroach your space.
Even if nursing is rough in the beginning it can and will get better - persevere. EVERYONE told me that I couldn't nurse twins (the ped especially was shocked). Well, they were wrong. Even today, people ask how I do it - silly of them, I know - I just tell them that G-d gave me two sides and I use them both.
what do they say? don't sweat the small stuff and accept help whenever it's offered.
post #17 of 26
My mom stayed with us for a week after the twins were born. I definitely couldn't have done it without her, though DH worked during that time. He only took off the days I was in the hospital. Then after mom left I was on my own during the day and have DH at night. People from church brought meals every other day for 2 weeks. And others came occasionally from church to help, but to be honest, after about 5-6 weeks they weren't much help anymore. It would help me get my laundry or dishes done, but my kids would end up getting off schedule, as I would end up visiting with the people who were helping and not doing the essential things that those people couldn't do. Partially that is because I have a 2 year old that CLINGS to me. If there were just twins, you could have your help take care of them while you took a nap. That was what I missed most...sleep. And still do at almost 3 months, but it's certainly gotten better.
post #18 of 26
My wife had 4 weeks off to stay home and help me. And it was definitely helpful. It would have been hard for me to be on my own before then, mostly just because it took me a while to recover from the pregnancy (I had been on bedrest for a while and had gotten very anemic during the pregnancy) and get used to nursing the babies. But from 4 weeks onward, I did great on my own. I would spend most of the day sitting on the couch, nursing the babies. I set up a whole station so that things I needed were in reach (i.e. laptop, water bottle, snacks, telephone).

For me it was also key to GET OUT OF THE HOUSE. Even if it was just a quick trip to the grocery store. I got connected with a baby group and the days that the group met were by far my favorite days of the week. I needed to talk to other moms. And everyone was always very helpful with the babies.

Learning how to wear both of my babies made getting out of the house easier for me, but if you have the kind of babies that are happy in their infant car seats (I did not), you could also just get around with a stroller that that car seats snap into. I used two pouch slings, one on each shoulder and my babies were instantly calmed as soon as I'd pop them in.

In my experience, we were all much happier outside of the house, at least for some part of every day.

I think if you could arrange to have someone stay with you for two weeks after your husband goes back to work, that would be a great thing (your mother? MIL? Aunt? Best friend? Retired local wanna-be-grandma?).


post #19 of 26
Originally Posted by kalynnsmom View Post
When my twins were born, my DH was off for a couple of weeks, but after that, it was just me, my twins and my 4 year old daughter.

-I just went with the flow. I didn't stress out about a "schedule" although I did try to do things at the same time, if I could
-Nothing got done for a few months.
-I just found what worked for my babies, depending on them.

After a few months, things got better. Still difficult, but we managed.
me too
post #20 of 26
My husband took 2 weeks off after our last babies were born. We have no family in the area and I have had no help at all other than meals from our church for the first 2 weeks. It is hell sometimes. Quite honestly, it is not fun sometimes. I absolutely do not recommend doing it alone. Of course I also have 6 little ones so it'd be quite different if it was just 2 babies. I thought it was easy after my first set of twins were born and my singletons were ages 3 and 1 then. A lot depends on your circumstances! A lot also depends on your babies and whether they are more "high needs" or not. Any way you look at it, having twins is hard work. Don't be afraid to ask for help!
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