When I found out I was expecting twins I read all the books, consumed all the available advice and found out everything I thought I needed to know…what a flippin’ waste of time! Time that I could have spent stuffing my face with cake and biscuits while I had a viable excuse. So me passing on my wisdom is rather hypocritical but it’s what you do when you’ve had kids so listen up.
1. Get a coat with a hood
This simple piece of advice has saved the day on a numerous occasions. When you’re out (some days you will actually leave the house although at other times it feels like you’re under house-arrest), if it rains you’re in big trouble. First you’ve got to work out how to put the raincover on the damn pram and then you’ve got to figure out how to carry an umbrella over your head while pushing a double buggy. It can’t be done. I am speaking from experience
And while we’re on the subject of what you need, don’t bother with a changing bag. These are designed for people who only need two spare nappies, one spare bottle etc. etc. and more importantly have one free hand. Nappy bags don’t take into account that you might need two free hips to balance babies on or that when you bend down one baby might get whacked in the face by a falling bag. My advice is get a sensible rucksack to match your sensible hooded cagoule (girl, you’re a mum now, suck it up).
2. Get a really really good buggy.
Buy cheap buy twice. I don’t want to patronise you and I understand that you might not have enough cash to buy the Mercedes Benz of buggies. However, I really recommend that you put down that fifth slice of gateau (or was that just me?) and do your research. Go to the baby stores and get the assistants to demonstrate how the prams/pushchairs go up and down (some twin buggies are more complicated than the moon landings). A simple rule of thumb is if the shop assistant has difficulty then your husband will too!
When your twins get older and start to walk, you might want to invest in a cheaper stroller. Can I suggest that you get one with a handle that goes across not two handles?. It is nigh’on impossible to carry one whining toddler and push a two handled buggy in a straight line. Fact.
3. Don’t expect to get into an instant routine
When my twins were born someone (not a multiple mum) said I would get into a routine after about a month. Needless-to-say I did not. Be easy on yourself and go with the flow. You, better than anyone will know when your babies need a nap and slowly you will get there. Perhaps with two babies you won’t establish an exact routine (remember everything takes twice as long) but you will find your own rhythm. Have realistic expectations of you and your babies.
4. You will become a control freak
Before my twins were born I was pretty laid-back, I was unfazed by life and calm in a crisis. Nowadays I can’t leave the house without double checking the contents of my sensible rucksack (chopped cucumber -check, dummy – check, cagoule -check, sanity – …)*. These two little mites will become an all-consuming obsession.
*Do not expect the same from your husband to do the same. He will leave the house will just kids and car keys. Sigh.
5. Don’t accept advice from anyone (but accept help from everyone)
I advise you (see what I did there?) to ignore everyone’s advice, especially those people who have no clue what it is like raising multiples. Ignore those people who tell you “oh, you should sleep when they sleep”. Er no…if and when they are both asleep at the same time that is when you race around doing all the stuff you couldn’t do when they were awake.
Ignore all those friendly old dears who tell you to “enjoy it, they’re not babies forever”. Yes, obviously I am enjoying all the lovely cosy parts, all the cuddles and smiles, but who in their right mind enjoys twins with a tummy bug, teething twins and the never ending demands of living with multiples. Some parts of babyhood I waved goodbye to without a backward glance (feeding, sleepness nights, bijillions of nappies).
So I wish you good luck on your journey. It really is a fabulous ride x
Is there any thing you would add to the list? Let me know.