Soooo, what if you can't afford any help? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 22 Old 05-04-2012, 07:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So, yeah. Nothin' in the budget for help at home - frankly we barely even have a budget for the lowliest of takeout. I am going to be home with the two babies and my 5yo DS. My husband is gone 12+ hours a day during the week, from 7-7 or 8 usually. I am lucky to have close family and friends nearby,but everyone works until 6pm or has 3+ kiddos of their own to take care of. DS is going to be attending a full-day kindergarden program (wish it were half day, blah blah blah long story, anyway...). I'll need to walk DS to and from school, which luckily is right behind out house...unluckily it is through a patch of woods. Actually that's lovely, but not while carrying two babies. Not sure how long DH is going to be able to take off from work, but we'd be lucky to get two weeks. (Don't get me started.)

 

My biggest concerns as far as not having help are: basic self-care (getting the minimum rest to be functional, basically), food prep, cleaning, and having one-on-one time with DS, especially for a little while when he returns home from school. I'm not talking about cooking everything from scratch or ironing my curtains, but in my experience it's not really possible to "let the dishes wait" or whatever. Things don't have to be spotless but they do have to be hygenic. And you've gotta feed your kids!

 

WWYD? Any tips for me? help.gif


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#2 of 22 Old 05-04-2012, 10:00 AM
 
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Do you have a freezer? Can you pre-make meals for after birth? This is pretty much the only way that we ate after DS was born..

 

As for snacks and such for DS- I pre-made a bunch of things which stored a long time, so when he came home I could just give him say a glass of milk and some homemade granola bars or a piece of fruit with peanut butter

 

With showering what I have found to work is to wake up 10-20 mins before everyone else, even if this means 4:45am and take a shower 2-4 times a week.. mentally this saved my life after DS was born.

 

Do you live in an area you can get groceries delivered? most markets will do this for 3-7 dollar delivery fee.
 


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#3 of 22 Old 05-04-2012, 01:30 PM
 
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some ideas:

1.) if you do have friends/family nearby, make a list.  hopefully you have 10 (20 would be better), ask them if they would commit to coming by one day (not the whole day, just a couple of hours) a month until you have your feet under you (this may take some time, so I would say first 6 mths if they are wondering).  afternoons to help with doing some laundry, start dinner, do dishes, is probably what you need the most.  but anytime they are willing, take it.  be shameless about it.  ask everyone and anyone.  you really do need the help. 

2.) find someone that is willing to swing by and get your boy and take him to school in the AM.  mornings are tough, you can probably manage afternoons, but if you can find someone to do that too, all the better.  find a couple of people so if someone gets sick you have a back-up.  someone that has a child going to your child's school would be optimal because they are going there anyway. 

3.) rely heavily on DH to do grocery shopping, as this is the hardest chore to do with little ones.  if someone is offering to give you a baby shower, ask if they would be willing to coordinate a thing were in leiu of a gift, people can donate their time and do some chore for you, or drop by a meal once a week (or whenever).   

4.) need to talk to DH and get him to understand it will really be a team effort for the 1st year and you will really be needing his help.  it is going to be hard, neither one of you will probably get the sleep or time alone you want/need.  but it's just for a little while!

5.) lots of AP folks don't like bouncers or any other baby holding contraption, but they will save your life.  my twins didn't really like swings, but they loved their bouncers.  they didn't like the vibration, but when I moved them with my foot.  if you do it right, you can move two bouncers with one foot.  and while you are doing that you can sit with your son and read or whatever.

 That's it for now, if I think of more, I'll post it!

It's gonna be OK, breathe!  LOL

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#4 of 22 Old 05-04-2012, 02:20 PM
 
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I agree with the carpool/walkpool. Even with two kids. I find the baby always seems be asleep during these times. Ideally a neighbor mom that is walking her kids or even an older kid in school.

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#5 of 22 Old 05-04-2012, 09:24 PM
 
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ithappened freezer food idea great.

And everything queenofchaos suggested is awesome, especially being organized about having friends come and help. If they can put it in their calendar and know they'll be at your place once a month or every two weeks, they'll totally look forward to it. People really do love to help! The problem is that I don't have a schedule, so it often means ringing around when I have a problem (husband has to stay late at work suddenly and I need to get four kids to bed) and people having to say "so sorry, but I'm..." They don't like to say that they can't help after they said to call them anytime, and it's not fun for me to call around begging neighbors and friends. So schedule would be awesome. And then, you may be pleasantly surprised by how smoothly it goes (I was - but I had very low expectations), and you can decide then how much help you really need. I pretty much thought I'd have my dear parents-in-law living with us (we have a guest cottage, thank goodness) for the first year, but after a couple weeks, they went home and have been back just now and then to help.

 

One thing that saved my life was pumping with a hospital grade electric pump (Medela symphony). That way, I could go and sleep for a very long stretch (I still go to bed at 7p.m. with my oldest dd!) -- shockingly long, actually -- and then take over for my husband at like 1 or 2 a.m. (and get some more sleep on the couch while nighttime parenting the triplets). Being rested trumps every other need in my world. For some people, it's being clean. For me, it's sleep.


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#6 of 22 Old 05-06-2012, 09:15 AM
 
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My twins are 8 weeks old now, and I have two older kids. The hardest part about having two babies has been dealing with the older kids. That, along with having someone hold the babies while I do a load of dishes or laundry or take a shower, has been what I've needed help with. I think it's a good thing that our older kid is in school; he will, at least, be getting some sort of activity/interaction, even if it isn't with you. 

 

I'm a member of a local API group and we do meal lists for households with new babies (organized with www.foodtidings.com). I didn't have to worry about dinner almost every day for 6 weeks. Some people brought by snacks instead, and those were nice, too. Several people stayed for a little bit and helped out, too. 

 

You may be pleasantly surprised in terms of being able to take showers and other such things! :) My babies are sleeping *amazingly*. They're swaddled at night and we bedshare, and this, along with them having each other, leads to them sleeping really, really well, and I can slip out of bed most mornings and take a shower or do a load of dishes or snuggle my big kids. 

 

I was freaking out at the suggestions (here and elsewhere) that you need round-the-clock help for weeks/months, and then regular help for a year. While I'm sure it's nice, it's certainly possible survive - or even thrive - without it. 

 

One thing you may want to look into is finding a postpartum doula who is working on getting certified. Many offer discounts for training families, and then you could ask that people give you gifts of postpartum help if they has how they can assist you. A postpartum doula would be more likely to come over and actually get things done, vs. coming over and chatting about the babies or just wanting to hold them a little bit.

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#7 of 22 Old 05-07-2012, 07:04 AM
 
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well, I can see how someone can get along ok, if their babies are sleeping well, in fact it would be a cakewalk. but if they don't, or there's health problems due to prematurity, or mom has health problems, or (fill in the blank), you do need help.  I think it is wise to plan ahead and arrange things.  If you don't need it great, but if you do and don't plan for it, ouch!  With twins it is better to plan for the worst possible scenario while hoping/praying for the best.

People underestimate the huge burden of guilt some MOMs experience because they are unable *do it all*.  With all due respect to Tipper, for some MOMs having help isn't *nice*, it is essential.  It just makes me cringe a little bit when I read that someone has this great experience and how they don't need help and it's all wonderful BECAUSE there will be a MOM that will come along and read that and wonder why her experience isn't the same and be upset/disappointed/angry/depressed/etc.  

I remember reading certain books and other MOMs accounts of their experience during my twin pg and I would start to panic.  But then I would force myself to stand back and realize every MOM and her situation is unique.  It's better to hear about the good, the bad and the ugly, though, that way you can be prepared.  

Tipper, I am in no way bashing you or your comment.  I have just seen too many MOMs crash and burn (though they did recover) due to unrealistic expectations of either there own or what others placed on them.  I think your experience of being a MOM is wonderful.  It is the ideal.  It's great to hear about a MOM who had a healthy pg, delivery and is now getting along so well.   

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#8 of 22 Old 05-07-2012, 12:54 PM
 
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I think we do the best we can with what we have. I know if my local twin breastfeeding group a lot of moms have mother's helpers or nannies or some kind of paid help and I always feel a little bit jealous (and poor!) because although we are lucky to have wonderful family nearby who help us a lot, I don't have that kind of help. 

 

For the first weeks I would plan on making things as easy on yourself as possible.  Use paper plates.  Prepare meals for the freezer ahead of time if you can.  My SIL did a lot of baking for me and always brought a date bread or bag of muffins from the freezer and it was great because it was an easy snack I could eat while nursing and didn't need to be heated (and reheated).  If you have family who can come and help you, be specific in what you need from them.  I think this time we are going to do either a list or a calendar (or maybe both).  A list to keep handy that has things on it that need to be done so when people ask "What can I do?" you can tell them!  People really do want to help, and they don't mind, but it can be awkward and sometimes difficult to think on the spot about what needs to be done.  Having someone throw in a load of laundry when they come and toss it in the dryer before they leave, run errands if they are going out, unload the dishwasher, etc. is really helpful and doesn't take long.  Another thing that was really helpful for me, was when my SIL came a few times a week, she always chopped a bunch of fresh veggies/fruits so they were ready for snacking and that way I had healthy snacks that were easy to grab for me, but would also be great for your older child.

 

I think the amount of help you need will depend on a lot of factors, from the temperament of your babies, to your own needs for sleep, to your partner's capacity to help out, and as time goes own, you will quickly realize if you need more (or maybe less) but it's definitely easier to turn down help you don't need than to be scrambling at 7pm because you need something at the store and can't find anyone to make a quick run. 


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#9 of 22 Old 05-07-2012, 02:17 PM
 
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Originally Posted by queenofchaos View Post
People underestimate the huge burden of guilt some MOMs experience because they are unable *do it all*.

 

This is me.

 

110% I felt HUGE guilt because I could not do it all and I spent a lot of time wondering what was wrong with me because I felt I needed help.. I didn't know how or who to ask for it and it came with so much internal guilt I didn't ask for help.. within a year of birth I was severely depressed.. .

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mamalovex3 View Post
 If you have family who can come and help you, be specific in what you need from them. 

 

 

After having my sister here the last week and feeling like she was absolutely no help, even though she wanted to be, I have no idea how to do this.. . make a list? timelines? I just don't know how to ask without feeling guilt or weakness on my part..


DS1 Dec 2009 fuzmalesling.gif DZ Twins July 2012 babyboy.gifbabygirl.gif

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#10 of 22 Old 05-07-2012, 04:07 PM
 
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Make lists. Definitely. (our fridge said "empty the dishwasher, load the dishwasher, start laundry, fold laundry, bring in the mail" for a very long time.) That way you don't have to ask (and feel bad) and they don't pick the one thing you don't want them to do. Instructions on how to do things (say, instructions at the washing machine on how to wash things, labels on baskets of clean versus dirty...)

 

On the feeling guilty and weak, I'm very very good at that. But I try to get over it and remember that people really do want to help. And I try to figure out how they want to help. (my mom loves taking early morning shifts, a cousin, when she's by, loves cleaning the kitchen, my mother in law would rather read to babies while I go do something else...)

 

Asking is really really hard. Try brainstorming to yourself while you're alone what someone else could do. 

 

But I hear you. It's hard.

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#11 of 22 Old 05-07-2012, 05:44 PM
 
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Gozal-

 

I have 10 1/2 month old twins and have had little help. It's very hard (and probably harder with an 5yo), but you can do it. After 6+ months it does get way easier. My mother lives over an hour away, and my DHs family I always felt awkward to ask them to help with chores (every time they'd visit they'd just want to hold a baby and I felt like I had to entertain them). I had a few offers of help "with the babies", but I always felt weird taking anybody up on it and I knew they had their plates full too (school age children etc). My husband also works 12 hour shifts 7-7, 11-11 etc.

 

To address your specific concerns:

Rest: Make yourself sleep when your babies sleep (and your son is at school or in bed). You will have to figure out if sleep is your priority or a clean house. I personally got over the cleanliness thing and chose sleep.

Food Prep: I relied heavily on microwave meals, cereal, and yoghurt. In retrospect, I wish I had a stockpile of a months worth of home cooked single serving meals. Try to cook some freezable meals starting at say 32 weeks. Also, I've heard multiple clubs like "mom's of multiples" have volunteers who will bring you meals-- look into that.

Cleanliness: In the beginning, the babies sleep a lot and you'll actually have more time then when they're say 6 months old. My house was pretty clean the first 3 months, and my laundry was done. From then on, I prioritized what grosses me out the most (and I was a CLEAN freak). What annoys you most? Dirty dishes and a messy kitchen? Then every night after babies are asleep take 20 minutes and just clean up real quick. Figure out what can wait for a heavy cleaning every few weeks (when your hubby is off you can tackle together or one watches kiddos and the other cleans).

 

Finally, try to get your babies into a good routine especially when it comes to sleeping. Start a consistent bedtime routine from early on. My girls have had the same bedtime/naptime routine from day 1 and it is absolutely essential for my mental health! They've slept through the night from about 6 months and 8 months, and are very happy girls. They are also great nappers too.

 

Good luck!

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#12 of 22 Old 05-08-2012, 08:10 AM
 
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Make lists. Definitely. (our fridge said "empty the dishwasher, load the dishwasher, start laundry, fold laundry, bring in the mail" for a very long time.) That way you don't have to ask (and feel bad) and they don't pick the one thing you don't want them to do. Instructions on how to do things (say, instructions at the washing machine on how to wash things, labels on baskets of clean versus dirty...)

 

On the feeling guilty and weak, I'm very very good at that. But I try to get over it and remember that people really do want to help. And I try to figure out how they want to help. (my mom loves taking early morning shifts, a cousin, when she's by, loves cleaning the kitchen, my mother in law would rather read to babies while I go do something else...)

 

Asking is really really hard. Try brainstorming to yourself while you're alone what someone else could do. 

 

But I hear you. It's hard.


Agreed!  Last time we were reluctant and honestly just didn't know how to ask for the help we needed.  As a result, we had one or two family members who were awesome and coming over and just DOING - anything that needed doing but for some people it's awkward for them and although they want to help, they don't know how.  Keep a list going - maybe a whiteboard would work well - that's what I'm planning this time around - of things that need to be done and that way when someone says "can I help with anything?" you can reply "There's a list on the fridge, any of those things checked off would be a huge help!" and they can go from there.  I specifically remember an awkward moment when I was (as usual) tandem nursing on the couch and noticed my SIL folding my underwear - lol.  Awkward - yes, but helpful :)


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#13 of 22 Old 05-08-2012, 09:52 AM
 
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Finally, try to get your babies into a good routine especially when it comes to sleeping. Start a consistent bedtime routine from early on. My girls have had the same bedtime/naptime routine from day 1 and it is absolutely essential for my mental health! They've slept through the night from about 6 months and 8 months, and are very happy girls. They are also great nappers too.

 

twinsmama do you mind sharing what this routine is for the sleep/napping?
 


DS1 Dec 2009 fuzmalesling.gif DZ Twins July 2012 babyboy.gifbabygirl.gif

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#14 of 22 Old 05-09-2012, 10:02 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow guys, such great stuff here. Thank you so much! Seriously! I love the idea of keeping a whiteboard list in the kitchen. I always get flustered when people ask me what they can do and I have no idea in the moment. This also gave me the idea of posting intructions near the washing machine for laundry help (much as I too am mortified by people other than, well, me folding my underwear). Also a shopping list with my basics and brands - usually I just lists the "exotics" (things I don't buy regularly but just ran out of, like Worcershire sauce). Basically I find that I get really frazzled when someone is trying to help me, but they keep asking what washer cycle to use, whether store brand milk is okay, etc. I am also thinking that when it comes to friends, I'll mostly ask them to take DS to the park/playdate/etc. That seems the most comfortable. My mom and sister can help me with lighter housework like dishes, sweeping, vacuuming, mopping, and wipe-downs. I'm thinking DH and I will have to switch off for the heavy-duty cleaning, meaning bathrooms mostly. I just don't feel okay asking anyone else to do that. I'm planning to grocery shop on Sundays - all by myself or maybe with just DS. I could send DH but I'm gonna want to get out, even if just to the grocery store! On your advice, I think my mom could come in the morning before work just in time for me to walk DS to school for the first months. And I will definitely join my twins club, though it's not so close to where I live (about 20-25 mins.). 

 

Question about prestocking the freezer: I think I could fit about a week's worth of meals in there, but not much more. It is usually full as it is. I wish I had the option for an extra fridge but we live in a condo. Do you think it's worth it? Do you have any favorite freeze-ahead recipes? I'm thinking of assembling ready-to-make stuff, like frozen stir-fry veggies with cut-up chicken breasts that anyone (even my culinary-skills-challenged DH) can throw in a wok.

 

As for sleeping when the babies sleep...does this really ever happen? Sleep is definitely the priority for me - even as a clean freak! I looooove sleep. But my DS never slept long enough for me to sleep too. He mostly slept in 20 minute increments as a newborn, and usually on me - I couldn't move him. Sometimes I dozed off but mostly he woke up by the time I closed my eyes. I totally wish I could go to bed early, even 9pm would be great. But I can't. I really thought having a baby would "fix" my night-owledness but it didn't. No matter how exhausted I am, I cannot fall asleep before 10:30-11. Even that is very early for me, but I can often do it. I found with a high-needs nonsleeping baby, since I had so little time to myself, sometimes it was worse lying there trying desperately to fall asleep instead of taking a little time to relax or get something done, usually something that desperately needed to get done. During the day, I mean. At night I just kept nursing him in bed every time he woke up. After 3 or 4 wakeups from deep sleep I was usually done, I couldn't fall asleep again. It was bad. I would love to do whatever humanly possible to avoid becoming that sleep deprived again. We did do a consistent bedtime routine form 6mo and it helped a lot, still does to this day. But it did not keep him asleep. (He is also very irregular as temperament goes. Does not naturally have or like routines. I'm expecting my future babies to be the same, so my expectations are super low.) All that is to say - if you have any tips, especially for multiples, please share!! 


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#15 of 22 Old 05-09-2012, 10:47 AM
 
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Shopping list resource:  Dh inherited an ipod from our son and found a great app for shopping, http://buymeapie.com/.  I don't know how many devices it works on, but I'm sure there are other similar apps.  You can use this one on the web, too.  What I think might be useful for you, is you can create a standard general list.  As you buy things, you cross them off (by clicking or tapping them) but they don't disappear.  When you go to make your list again, you can scroll down and just re-add your weekly go-to items by clicking or tapping them again.  You could specify brands and quantities when you enter them.  I can see at a glance all the things we need to buy every week, that I may or may not remember to specifically add.  Then you can refer the list to your helpers, maybe just make a manual list from it or whatever works.  My dh does the majority of our shopping because he has access to larger stores with lower prices in the city he works in, so we bought the pay version and I can make the list at home, or add to the list, and then sync it.  Much nicer than sitting and listing things verbally for him over the phone.  We also have separate lists for separate stores, so I can see that rice cakes and almond milk are cheaper at Walmart which he can pick up on the toiletry run, but produce (and nearly everything else) is cheaper and better quality at Woodman's...

 

Do not be discouraged.  My dh works and is in school 3/4 time.  I have no money for paid help.  I do have my 12 yo home, which is helpful in a pinch, but also means I have to try to keep two babies quiet during class time, etc.  And deal with 12 yo girl attitude.  But, it can be done.  The most helpful thing for me early on, was another twin mom from our school volunteered to run my preschooler home for the rest of the school year last year (they were born in March), and often picked up my older kids at the end of day and ran them home, too.  She lived right next to school, and her twins were in the public high school, so she would literally pass our house en route anyway.  She was such a blessing those first few months.  

 

Then during summer vacation, I would get my oldest up when the babies woke in the AM and he would watch them so I could get some sleep alone in my bed.  He often had to work (we have a friend with a lawn service who employs him), so he'd need to be up early anyway, and then the other kids would chip in when he left.  Sleep was and is much more critical than house work, so whatever you have to do to achieve that, I would prioritize.


Mom to eight!!  Our twin girls arrived 3-3-2011.

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#16 of 22 Old 05-09-2012, 11:25 AM
 
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On the flipside, I wonder what I'm neglecting and if our quality of life is super-low compared to everyone else! :) I may not "need" help... but that's because I set my expectations really, really low. The bar for whether or not we're "surviving" is if we are actually all still alive at the end of the day. Anything else is icing on the cake.

 

There have been times I have asked for help because it was urgently needed. Since I suffer from postpartum mood issues, I have had to stay very self-aware and ask for help very firmly. In my experience, even if people say they want to help, it's very hard to actually get help. That's one reason I cringe when I've heard others suggest/insist that you need steady help for weeks/months; there's just no way I'd be able to get it unless I hired someone, as nice as my friends and family are. 

 

I hope there are women who read my perspective on things and feel hope instead of guilt. Gosh, I feel guilty all the freaking time. My house is totally trashed, we're eating a steady diet of food that isn't that great for us, and my big kids are bored. I had to go back to work (part-time, thankfully) at 7 weeks postpartum because I had no leave time left after taking some off before the babies arrived. It's not all moonbeams and rainbows just because my babies were born full-term and sleep well. (It's not like they sleep very long on their own, after all.) BUT it's not all doom and gloom, and will pass (so they tell me), and even those people who cannot afford or cannot find help other than their husbands and the occasional friend or family member can make it, too. 

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#17 of 22 Old 05-12-2012, 07:40 PM
 
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I do have paid help but still need help because my husband works so many hours & we have so many kids. It is hard to ask people for help but it does get easier. If anyone asks you if there is anything they can do say "can you help with a feeding time or drop off a meal" and get them to commit then & there. I am still not always good at it. But if you don't get people to commit they will think you don't need them. A tip from a different triplet group I belong to was again the whiteboard. The woman I heard about it from wrote even the most basic things on it. Then when people ask what tney can do all they have to do is look at the board. If they don#t like the choices they won#t ask again right Figure out your hardest time of day whether its school pick up drop off or bedtime and ask people if they can commit to 2-3 hrs at that time of day.


Leslie, mama to Paige 8, Zara 3 and Audrey, Sophia & Nina June 7/11 @32.6
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#18 of 22 Old 05-13-2012, 02:33 AM
 
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I really like the idea of a list or board with things people can do- I think I will do that-- it cancels out the need to ask and when people ask DH (since he's the native speaker) he will have something to reference.


DS1 Dec 2009 fuzmalesling.gif DZ Twins July 2012 babyboy.gifbabygirl.gif

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#19 of 22 Old 05-14-2012, 09:34 AM
 
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First off, congrats on your twin pregnancy!  It's a whirlwind once the babies arrive, but you can absolutely do it yourself as long as you set realistic standards and pick what are the absolute must-dos and what aren't. Secondly, take all advice as just that, advice, not fact.  You will find your own groove.  You can pick and choose what you want to do or try, but the key with twins is FLEXIBILITY!  I had ideals before my twinkies were born.  Some of them had to change.  It crushed me at first that I couldn't do everything I wanted, but I got over it.  Please don't beat yourself up if things don't go the way you plan!

 

My twins are now 4.5 months old and so I remember very vividly what the beginning months are like.  The first 2 months are definitely the hardest, but don't worry, things ease up!  This is how a day typically looks like right now:

 

The babies are up between 5-6am for the day.  I am asleep for this and DH is on baby duty.  He feeds/changes and plays with them until 8:30 or 9 when I get up.  He showers and gets ready for work while I throw something in the microwave for breakfast.  The babies are playing under their activity gym.  DH leaves for work and I scarf down my food and then sit on the floor and play and sing with the babies (I cannot stress signing enough.  Babies LOVE it as you probably remember from when your DS was little)  

 

Then as 10am approaches, I change diapers and then we have story time.  Then I nurse them (at the same time with a twin pillow) and they are super sleepy and ready for a nap by 10.  Once they are down, I swap loads of laundry, unload the dishwasher and reload, run the vacuum through the part of the house the babies are not in (shutting doors to vacuum inside room to keep noise level down) and then I run through and tidy (using a laundry basket to collect things to put away.  By now, it's usually around 11:30.  I sit down and have a little me time.  As noon approaches, I slip the babies bottles of pumped milk (I started this after they hit 6 weeks and could go back and forth from breast to bottle)  They don't even wake up fully, just enough to eat.  When they stop suckling, I remove the bottles and they continue to sleep.  This time I use to pay bills or work on knitting or any household project I want to work on.  I usually am munching on lunch during this time too.  If I'm tired, I nap with them.

 

As 1:30 approaches, the babies usually begin to stir.  When they are awake, I change diapers and then nurse.  Then we play on the floor together.  As it nears 4pm, I set the babies in the seats (bouncy seats or nap nannys or swings will work) and I set them in the kitchen and I sing to them while I prepare dinner.  SOmetimes I tell stories I make up or just talk to them about what I'm doing ot tell them about holidays or what-not.  We eat at 5pm whether DH is home or not.  I sing to them while I cleanup dinner and I leave the dishes for a couple hours while I start bedtime routine.

 

I start by playing with them on the floor after dinner for about 30 minutes.  Then at 6pm, we take baths.  One is in a seat while I bath the other one.  Then the freshly bathed baby goes on the floor on a rubber mat, naked with a towel draped over for "naked kicky time"  I do this to let their bottoms air out.  They've never had diaper rash.  After baby 2 is washed, I diaper and pajama them and we have stories until "lights out" at 7:30.  Then we rock and gently sing to sleep as I nurse them.  DH goes to sleep at 9pm and sleeps till 3am while I do baby duty.  My babies still wake every 2 hours to eat.  I go to sleep at 3am and DH wakes and does baby duty.  I slip in a shower during part of story time while DH reads. During my 9am - 3am shift, I'm washing laundry (we cloth diaper, so every day laundry is a must) and I do the dinner dishes and wipe down during this time.  

 

I don't have any older kids, but you can probably squeeze in 1on1 time with DS as you prepare dinner, fold laundry, etc.  Multitasking really is a must.  

 

For errands, I use a side by side double jogging stroller.  It turns on a dime and glides soooo nicely.  The babies sleep very easily in it.  We did convertable car seats from the beginning.  Mobys are awesome for everything.

 

It took some time to get into a routine that worked for us and getting the babies on a predictable schedule.  In the beginning, they sleep at odd times and not always at the same time.  I advise you to wake baby 2 when baby 1 wakes to eat and feed them both.  Try to get them both to sleep at the same time.  After a few weeks, you will see that they will start to go down and wake up almost within a minute or two of each other.  They do get off sometimes, but then you just work to get them back on.  In the very beginning, we did the bare minimum.  Clean dishes and laundry were a must, so that's all I did.  The floors were gross after a month, but we did what we had to do.  It does gets easier as time moves on thankfully.  

 

My MIL did stay with us for the first week and a half, but we were 100% alone after that with no friends or family over to help at ALL.  One of my babies has a severe problem with his eye and we spend a fair of time in the hospital and to see specialists, but we still manage.  It's tough, but it can be done if you make lists and prioritize.


Me: 33 PCOS Him: 33 vericocele
13 long years of TTC using various methods before the twins finally came - Too much history to list
IVF #1 11 weeks
IVF #2 Liam and Maisie (now 2 years old)
IVF #3 BFN and no frosties
IVF #4 BFP!!!! Twins again!

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#20 of 22 Old 05-14-2012, 10:15 AM
 
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Quote:
I advise you to wake baby 2 when baby 1 wakes to eat and feed them both.  Try to get them both to sleep at the same time.  After a few weeks, you will see that they will start to go down and wake up almost within a minute or two of each other.  They do get off sometimes, but then you just work to get them back on

 

This is a great tip. thanks :)
 


DS1 Dec 2009 fuzmalesling.gif DZ Twins July 2012 babyboy.gifbabygirl.gif

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#21 of 22 Old 06-14-2012, 07:04 PM
 
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I just wanted to add that I did sleep with my twins (and 4yo) every afternoon.  I never did that with my first dd, but needed it desperately with all three kids.  I found I could nurse both twins in bed and then lay down with one on each side of me.  Each would be on their side facing me with their heads kinda in my armpit/shoulder and my hand under their bottom.  Then I could pat/bounce them until they fell asleep.  Older dd would lay down in bed with us too and we would all sleep together.  I did this until the twins were 6 months old, then I started working on getting them to sleep not in my arms.  I still nap when/if I get all three kids down at the same time.  :)

 

Oh. . .and my housecleaning standards have really dropped.  They are only now returning with 2.5 yo twins. 

 

I am still alone almost all the time (dh works 14-18 hour days) and can manage.  Bed times are the hardest, but you get a routine and the kids get used to it.


J A with DD1 7/06, lost twins 9/08
DD2 12/09 & DS1 12/09
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#22 of 22 Old 06-25-2012, 01:17 PM
 
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That is a great suggestion ithappened! I was having trouble with this issue as well! Thanks!

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