The first year or two of having twins is a complete shock to your system. No amount of books you read, advice you gather, or diapers you stock will prepare you for the day the hospital lets you walk out with these two little people. THEY LET YOU JUST WALK OUT WITH TWO LITTLE PEOPLE!
I will NEVER forget finally walking out of the hospital with our two little guys, loading up, and looking back. My husband and I looked at each other, feeling like we just stole a couple babies. We sat there clueless in the parking lot, almost scared to death to drive away realizing we were suddenly parents on our own! Babies do not come with a manual. There is no instruction booklet tucked in the car seats. No 800 number to call for help. Nothing. Nada. Two of us. Two of them. This can’t be THAT hard, right?
After a couple weeks adrenaline kicks in and takes over and instinct guides you in the right direction, but there are so many days my husband and I looked at each other and said, “What the hell do we do here?” It’s a big mix of exhaustion and confusion; excitement peppered in with a ton of diapers and spit up. You go on auto-pilot. Bottle. Burp. Diaper. Bottle. Burp. Diaper. Nap. Swing. Bottle. Burp. Diaper. Bottle. Burp. Diaper. Nap. Swaddle. Swaddle.
It’s a good auto-pilot. An auto-pilot I longed for, for so long. I needed them as much as they needed me; our family finally under one roof! Exhaustion. Casseroles. Juggling work and babies proved to be a lot harder than I thought it would be. Keep trying momma.
New twin mommy tip: I had a calendar on my fridge with chores or shifts that needed to be done. So as the sets of grandparents came by for “visits” they would actually take a 2 or 3 hour shift so I could shower or get a little work done or they would do a quick chore – clean bottles, fold laundry, etc. (Click here for an example!)
Everything during this time seemed hectic to me. Frazzled. But at the same time nothing else mattered to me. The babies, of course, became #1! And even though my life felt so crazy and scattered since they were here, my life was perfect!
I’m sure from the outside looking in, it didn’t look so perfect. My conversations with other adults became non-existent. It seemed as soon as I got on a phone call or met up with a friend one of the boys began crying or crawling and soon walking in opposite directions. Conversations with grown-ups seemed more of a chore and I’m sure the other person didn’t enjoy them either with me barely paying attention to what they were saying. I looked more like a puppy chasing a squirrel than an adult trying to talk to a friend, I’m sure.
I would run into other twin mommies and they would simply say, “Don’t worry, it gets better,” with kind of a little wink. And I would think, what gets better? Because it wasn’t bad… There has never been anything bad about it. It’s just…. different. I kept thinking “WHAT, Twin Mommy? WHAT gets better?” Why do they keep saying this to me?!?!
And then one day it clicked. I felt like I woke up. I snapped out of this “twin baby cave” I lived in for 2 years… I cannot explain it. It’s in your head. How do I do this? Am I doing this right? Both are crying. Both want mommy. They need a schedule. They need a nap. I NEED a nap. No time to nap! Which formula should we use? Have we fed the dog in 3 days? Did I change both of them or one of them twice? Where are my keys? If they pee in the bath should I run new water? I’d have to run 3 bath tubs a night! Ok, you’re bathing in pee water! Organic food only! Did I find my keys? Why is only one baby crawling? Should they have a schedule? Oh no! What is that? Diaper rash? Desitin please! Do peas give them gas? Are they teething? Pampers or Huggies? Where is my phone? Did everyone get fed? 2% or Whole? When do we go to 1 nap? Where are my keys? Did anyone feed the dog yet?!?! My mind was in a frantic tail-spin for absolutely no reason at all!
As a first time mother after trying so hard to get these two perfect little people, I wanted everything to be perfect! But then it clicked. Life is not perfect. My children are not perfect. And I am not perfect. I will do my best and that’s all that I can do. I am a good mom. I am a great mom! And these two little guys will love me no matter if we put Pampers on them instead of Huggies, if we feed them a non-organic apple instead of an organic one, even if they take a bath with a little pee in it every now in then. And looking back, they have NO CLUE which formula they had. Heck, I can’t even remember the name of it.
Just breathe new baby twin mommas…. You WILL get through this. I promise. Every emotional second that you feel that the brand of diaper or the fact that the schedule is a little off is going to alter-your-world-as-you-know-it will pass and in an instant they will be grown. Don’t concentrate so much on the “pee pee bath water” and the non-organic apples that you miss that first “love you too mommy” or the squeals in the house when you have a tickle fight or those sweet sweet double snuggles that only a twin parent knows!
So now it’s my turn to say it to you…. “Don’t worry, it gets better!”
Boys were born in 2012 and I wrote this in 2014.
This post comes from the TODAY Parenting Team community, where all members are welcome to post and discuss parenting solutions. Learn more and join us! Because we're all in this together.