Gina Ford, A Contented House With Twins. The title sounds innocent enough. Perhaps that will be useful when the twins arrive. I’d better buy it, just in case. Might have some interesting ideas in there. She’s a best seller after all. Must have some truth in it. I’ll just have a read tonight while I’m on the sofa rubbing my baby bump.
And so it begins.
Lady. Stop. In just a few pages you will be reduced to tears. You WILL feel the fear and your mind will not let you forget her words.
This book is a must-not read for all twin mummas to be.
I remember reading this with my husband when I was pregnant and both of us becoming more and more afraid until we threw the book across the room a couple of chapters in. THIS cannot be true. THAT cannot become our lives.
Gina Ford’s Contented House With Twins is an evil book that begins by Alice Beer telling you about her horrendous twin pregnancy, how everything went wrong, how she ended up on bed rest not being able to move for MONTHS and how she eventually lost control of her hands with carpal tunnel syndrome.
Her pregnancy sucked.
Her labour also sucked.
Then being a mum to twins also sucked.
In fact the whole book sucks the life out of the whole motherhood experience and will put the fear of God into any expectant twin mum to be.
Let me just reassure you now. Life with twins is NOT how she makes out.
I’m three months in and I’m still waiting to have the moments Alice Beer describes in detail where me and both the twins are all three of us crying, desperate and sad and miserable. I’m still waiting to feel like my happiness has been swallowed up by two tiny red faced devils and my ability to make rational decisions has deteriorated.
Yes life with baby twins is a chaotic busy roundabout of feeding, changing, washing, washing up, tidying, burping, cleaning and rocking, but the JOY, oh yes, the JOY of twins is something that’s so special and something that NOONE has written a book about.
While there are fleeting references to the love that you’ll have for your babies in Gina Ford’s CHWT book, it’s glossed over, in favour of all the practical things, but as a pregnant mumma with twins on the way, you need to know that the payoff is going to be worth it.
Let me tell you that it is!
Marvelling at the two tiny wonders you’ve created takes up a big portion of your day. Playing with each unique bubba and getting to know the things that make them tick takes up another big portion of your day. Seeing them together and making them play together takes up some more of your day and each and every moment is filled with love. A mother’s love – it really is the best kind!
Meanwhile in A Contented House With Twins, the nights are sleepless, the days are thankless, relationships are fraught, tensions are high, life sucks (and all because when Alice Beer had her babies she didn’t have the book A Contented House With Twins to refer to).
And ok, there maybe some truth in some of Gina’s approaches, but anyone reading the suggested routines will soon suffocate at the thought. Every. Single. Second. Is. Taken. Care. Of.
There’s no flexibility or reality check here. Every moment of every day is taken up with the suggested routines. At 7.45 eat your toast. Do not let the babies eat any later than 4pm. Put the babies down for their nap or else! Etc.
All well meant advice. But a huge part of you just wants her to F-off, because babies don’t work like that. Motherhood doesn’t work like that. Life doesn’t work like that.
Do not expect to be able to follow a Gina Ford routine. Maternity nurses I’ve met have even said there’s no way they’d ever be able to implement a GF routine.
Take the pressure OFF.
Put the book down.
You already have twins – that’s pressure enough!
Luckily you can have a HAPPY house (not just contented) with twins, just by doing what feels right for you.
If you do have Gina Ford’s A Contented House With Twins, read it after they’ve arrived.
There ARE actually parts of ACHWT that make sense. She is a best seller after all. The trick with this book is to ignore everything negative Alice says as she is SUCH a drama queen, and just cherry pick parts that sound good to you.
Here’s what you actually need to know to get a contented (or even, *gasp, a happy) house with twins.
- Set up some kind of routine (for example, it makes sense to feed the twins at the same time – even something as simple as this equates to a routine).
- Try to put them down for their naps at the same time.
- Wake them to feed at the same time.
- Take a cue from the routines that Gina sets out in terms of how often to feed them/give them naps e.g. every 3 hours etc when they’re little, increasing to every 4 hours when they’re bigger) – but trust your judgement too – newborns need to be fed on demand to increase your milk supply and to grow bigger and as long as they get some sleep in the day it doesn’t matter at what time.
- Ignore the rest of the book.
And that is it.
Maybe I’m being unfair to Alice Beer – she was unlucky and did suffer in her pregnancy but the fact she has hired help when the twins arrived and still managed to complain about how hard it is with twins did get my back up a bit.
When you have twins on the way you have to accept life is going to be very different. You have to go with the flow. You have to accept there will be good days and bad days, and that you can’t live life by the book.
I’ve never felt so low in my pregnancy as I did after reading Gina Ford and Alice Beer’s ACHWT. When I needed reassurance about how life with twins was going to be all I found was negativity and such a rigid routine that my life would be devoid of all happiness. Ironic with that title really!
So, if you are pregnant and have time to read, don’t waste it on the baby books (the only one I found really interesting is Your Baby Week By Week), instead stock up on all your favourite authors and read the things that make you happy. Continue to do this when your babies have arrived, combined with taking a relaxed approach and accepting the good with the bad, and hey presto – you have a contented house with twins!