Whether you will really need help depends a lot on the circumstances surrounding the births of your twins.
Our babies were on the big side for twins, 3 days shy of their due-date, and caught onto nursing right away. I was adamant that I needed to "hit the ground running" (as much as one can while resting a lot!) because we have older kids ages 2, 4, 6. I refused almost all birth interventions, it went great, and we left the hospital less than 12 hours after they were born.
The twins are four months old now, and it gets easier all the time. The first month was defintely the hardest. We were basically holding/wearing babies all the time and I was nursing rather continuously. My husband works out of the house sometimes. He was able be almost completely on holidays for their first three weeks.
I co-sleep on my side while nursing and couldn't feed them together at night this way. So his nighttime help was particularly important as he would get out of bed to provide cuddling and comfort as one twin usually awoke hungry and crying before the other was finished. We chuckle that it took having twins for us (him) to finally know about that bleary-eyed fatigue other new parents talk about. I continued to make good night sleeps a priority.
The fatigue in the first month was weird, but not at all horrendous. We felt bright, fine, and mentally alert almost all day every day. But if we reclined on the couch for even a moment we were pretty-much instantly asleep (soundly!)
We had family members and friends bring us prepared meals about 6 times and that was AWESOME! Our nearby family has continued to be available as pinch-hit babysitters for our other kids. We didn't really have people come to just hang out and do housework. There are a few times I have specifically called my mother-in-law or sister-in-law to help:
- hang around the house and baby-cuddle while I packed for our out-of-town trip
- wash the kitchen floor twice while I took the twins and two pre-schoolers to a mom and tot session in town
- iron a whole whack of DH's dress shirts b/c my MIL loves ironing and I just wasn't getting around to it
- general house-cleaning, streamer and balloon decorating and baby cuddling on the morning we were preparing for the 6-year-old's birthday party.
We didn't freeze-ahead meals in anticipation of the birth because our small freezer was already full. I didn't assign relatives to come in and do laundry because by the time I explain how I want to clothes sorted to best preserve their colors, what soaps and stain removers to use where, what items DO NOT go in the dryer, etc it's just faster to do it myself. We have such an overabundance of clothes (mostly hand-me-down and 2nd-hand buys) that I can easily go 3 weeks without doing laundry for anyone - except the twins, so this gives me a lot of flexibilty.
Another reason why I didn't specifically phone relatives to come in was that everyone is busy with their own lives. Yes, they would have gladly helped if I'd asked. Yes, they told me to ask anytime. But I know they are giving up things they need to do to come here and I'm really not doing that poorly. If I were to have someone here cleaning my bathroom, that relative AND I would be thinking, "Man, here's the lady of the house just sitting around!" I have TONS of time to be on the internet and read while I'm nursing and cuddling content little babies. As soon as I jump up and do something is when they get upset (this was worst in the first month). I would feel that it was an ineffective use of resources to have my relatives sacrificing their own needs to clean a bathroom while I nursed babies and yakked on internet forums. I just put up with a dirty house and we're all doing fine in spite of it.
I should underscore that what has really made an enormous difference
(in a positive way) is the help I get from my 4-year-old daughter during the day and her 6-year-old sister after school. I know it sounds cliche, but it really is the littlest things that make a huge difference during the day. My daughter grabs the ringing phone since I often forget to set it beside me when sitting down to nurse. She can grab a kleenex for her snotty 2-year-old brother while I'm nursing. She can hold one or both babies so there's no howling while I snag a shower every few days. This is not the kind of help that it would be practical having a second adult hanging around the house to provide, but it's great that she is available and I feel the help more than offsets the work I have parenting our 3 older kids.
In summary, in my personal experience, having twins has been a lot smoother and less work than I thought it would be (having read some real horror stories). I love it. I feel happy, busy, but well-rested. I've kept up with things like parent meetings, an arts council I sit on, mom & tot sessions, shopping trips out of town, occaisional "dates" to small concerts and lots of restaurant meals. I've decided to temporarily care even-less-than-normal about washing the kitchen floor, windows, bathroom, etc. Everything seems to be meeting up nicely in the middle.
I think the key is to do everything you can to get those babies to term and keep a relaxed attitude front and centre. My husband read a funny thing from some frustated parent on a twin forum, "Just remember, this two shall pass!"