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Mothering › Groups › February 2014 Due Date Club › Discussions › DDC Ladies, help me problem solve!

DDC Ladies, help me problem solve!

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

This is cross-posted with the parenting multiples forum too -- but I wanted to ask your guys input, I feel loyal to my Feb 2014 buddies joy.gif

 

I think I'm over my freaking-out about twins and now I'm just having Very Reasonable Worries, ha! Post below:

 

I'm still in the first trimester, so I know it's early for me to be having all these worries, but I have to say that I can't stop thinking about this stuff and it's making me a little bit batty. Well, that and the terrible nausea, but y'all can't help me with that part! wink1.gif I am sorry to have written a small novel here, but my mind is just racing and I'd love some input from Been There Done That Mamas who can help me problem-solve.

 

We live in a small (Manhattan small) one-bedroom apartment. It's a third floor walk-up. We're at our limit in terms of what we can afford for rent, so there's no hope of us moving somewhere else. We are actually priced out of Brooklyn, and in terms of location we can't move to the farther boroughs (outer Queens, Midwood, etc) due to our jobs & some other factors not worth getting into here. We figured we'd have the kid, make it work in our cozy space for a year or two until the dust settled, and then try and figure out where to move/what to do next. Sharing the space with a nb-2yo really didn't seem like a big deal. (Did I mention we also have two dogs and two cats? We used to live on a farm and had more space, we're not entirely insane) We talked specifically about really concrete things, for example:

 

  • Co-sleeping- because there's no room for a crib and we can't really afford one anyway.
  • Ergo carrier- because I love them (have used them as a nanny) and there's no room in our place for a stroller to park. PLUS I couldn't imagine having to haul one up three flights of stairs every day.  I know the Maclarens are light but if I was going to get a stroller I wanted one that had the baby facing me and Maclarens are great for a lot of things, but not Mommy-facing.
  • Childcare- I teach university courses, so I figured I would just strap the kid onto me, head to campus and hire a student (not my student) to watch Baby while I taught my 75 minute class. Saves having to pay while I commute!
  • Cloth Diapers- Save money, save the earth, have a cute baby bum while doing it? Sign me up! We don't have laundry in the building so we were planning on buying a Haier portable washer that hooks up to the sink then line drying in our apt. and using that system for the diapers. A friend of mine in the city does this and it works fabulously for her.
  • Breastfeeding- Saves money, better for the baby, more convenient for me, yes!
  • My part-time Nanny job: No problem -- the mother is super supportive of me coming to work with  the baby on my back in the Ergo. The family is wealthy as all get-out, they love me, and pay me really well. We aren't high earners so we need to keep this extra income.

 

Twins have totally upended everything (at least in my head)

 

  • Co-sleeping- we have a queen sized bed and my husband and I are both sprawlers. I'm sure we could make it work with one baby, but two? Out of the question -- we just wouldn't fit comfortably and no one would sleep.
  • Ergo carrier - I'd still love to have carriers and use them when Hubs and I are both out with the babies but it's not practical for me to think about carrying both babies on my own that way 100% of the time. I know a lot of women tandem carry but I am not strong enough to tandem carry two growing infants all over New York City while I'm trying to live life (grocery shop, get to work, etc). We'll need a stroller now, that much is clear, but we still don't have room for one AND we still live on the third floor. Honestly, how can I get up the stairs carrying two babies and a stroller? I don't have that many arms!
  • Childcare - At this point I can't even fathom how I would get to campus with two kids. NYC Subways don't come with elevators (at least not the stations I need to use) and, well, see above for my stroller quandry. I've helped many a mama carry her stroller up and down stubway steps, but I've never helped someone with a twin stroller -- heck, I've never even SEEN a twin stroller on the subway.
  • Cloth Diapers- Cloth diapering twins with a mini washer that hooks up to our kitchen sink? I'd just be doing laundry all the time, not to mention the sheer investment of buying enough cloth diapers for two. My super frugal "prefolds and covers" plan was already expensive for one, but two?? Our new decor would be five drying racks full of damp diapers. Oh, did I mention we don't actually have space for a gazillion drying racks? Disposables aren't really a better solution since it'll be so expensive to disposable diaper two babies.
  • Breastfeeding twins- I know people do it but it just seems like A LOT. And what if they're premature and can't bf? Or what if I don't make enough milk for two and we need to supplement? Formula is SO expensive and formula for two? Holy moly. We're making ends meet, but barely, so we wouldn't qualify for WIC (I don't think?)
  • My part-time job: Forget it. I don't think there's any way I could care for the kids I'm supposed to care for AND two of my own. I've nannied for a family of 6 before, but it's another thing to bring your own kids into someone's house. One is fine, not sure how they'd respond to two. I'm sensing a no.

 

All of these problems wouldn't be problems if we lived in a bigger place that had a elevator and/or had fancier jobs where we earned a lot more money.  Unfortunately we have none of those things and no nearby family either. I know there are a lot of twin parents in NYC but  I think of them as older successful types who've had ART and have the financial wiggle room that allows them to cope (move to a bigger place, get a nanny, etc). I know that's not fair and there are probably lots of struggling young people in NYC with twins (right?) but it doesn't feel that way. 

 

I'm a graduate student, my husband is a manual laborer (no jobs for cowboys in the big city), and I just don't know what to do. I know that having twin children will be easier -- they can walk, eat normal food, use the toilet, etc -- but we've got to go through the baby stage to get to that part!

 

When we got the news that it was twins I laughed (because I called it) and cried because my mind immediately went to, "Oh no, what are we going to do?"

 

I know we'll figure it out but I would love, love, love any words of wisdom you ladies can share with me. I'm excited for the babies to come, I'm thinking positive thoughts every day for their health and well-being, but I'll feel a lot better if I have a plan.

 

post #2 of 7

holy sh-t, twins!!!! wow what a shock. i am a twin and i love it. must have been hard for my mom though. i think your concerns are very reasonable.

 

i'm not sure what to do about most of your problems. I lived in a 1 bedroom basement suite for 15 months when i had my first. it was small but okay. we were happy to get a larger place once she started running. so i agree that your space may work for a little while but eventually you'll need to move. 

i'm sure you can fit the twins in there somewhere, when i was little my mom had macrame bassinets that hung from the ceiling for my sister and I. A smaller bassinet/playpen may work until they are about 3 months. cosleeping might work, do you have a couch or futon that your husband might be able to move to? it might help him get sleep. 

breastfeeding will probably go fine. don't worry about that for now. 

 

for a wrap, you can fit two in there until 2-3 months. beyond that you will need a stroller of some sort. can you park it downstairs somewhere so you don't have to lug it up the stairs? chain it up? sounds like you have some subway stair good karma coming your way. 

childcare, hire two students.

cloth diaper: look into a diaper service. they have multi child discounts and often costs less than disposables. you'll have to get that portable washer thing too though because you will have a ton of baby laundry. they spit up, a lot. 

 

i hope the multiple board has some great insight. i live in a small town in canada so i don't know much about NYC. 

 

congratulations!!!!

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

Jesse - thanks for the tips! I have to say one thing stood out though: macrame bassinets! Wow! I'm not crafty in the least so I wouldn't trust my babies hanging from the ceiling in anything *I* created but your Mom's sound awesome :)

 

We used to live in small town SW Alberta so I know what that's like too! At least there we never lacked for space :)

post #4 of 7

Can you sidecar a crib? (Take one side off and shove it up against your bed). I don't know how small your bed/room is but if you have a couple of spare feet on one side there is probably a way to make this work. It shouldn't be too hard to get a used crib to do this either. Putting both twins in one crib should work fine for a while. 

post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 

Yes, the side car option seems to be the one we'll have to go with -- we just weren't planning on a crib at all so that's a little wrench in the plans. I've been looking at diaper services and happily there is one for our area that looks okay -- but it still seems expensive ($35 a week for a single baby, they say they have multiples discounts but even so...) Maybe my inventive husband will figure out a way to attach some drying racks to our walls/ceiling!

 

The biggest trick has been looking for a twin stroller -- they're all so HUGE! Where's a hoverboard when you need one?
 

post #6 of 7

Do you need a twin stroller? Could you wear one and push one in the stroller? There are single umbrella strollers that fold down to almost nothing, though I haven't tried using one with a really little baby. 

post #7 of 7

There are some cool stacking type double strollers that are narrower and not as long.  I have friends who use them while doing mission work in Ukraine where everyone lives in apartments and takes public transportation.  However, I'm pretty sure they have an elevator.  Maybe  you could get the large co-sleeper attachment to your bed, maybe even two, one for each side.  I had the mini co-sleeper.  It basically worked as a glorified bed rail for my singleton, but for two, you might find it gets actually used, and they can swap places in the the night.  

You'll probably get the best answers from other mothers of twins though.  I know that I can put up with a lot from one baby what I probably would have to start regulating with two.  I'd probably need SOME semblance of a schedule and the babies to sleep at least a good chunk of the night without waking.  So, you'll probably need to talk to other moms who have BTDT.  But I would say you can probably make it with a whole lot less baby stuff than you think you need.  When they actually start to get big and mobile, THEN you may have to look into other options.  But while they are small, they might be able to share a crib, be worn in the same wrap, share a co-sleeper, etc.  And you'll probably have to "just say no" to a lot of stuff that people give you and stores/ads say you have to buy.

Look into European and Asian products and practices.  MANY people overseas live in small apartments with many children and make it work great.

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