Unbelievably a year has almost passed since I gave birth to my twins and I thought now would be a good time to share some advice for fellow twin mums to be, about surviving that first crazy, wonderful year of motherhood.
God it’s such a rollercoaster. I’m still catching my breath. I’m still exhausted and I’m still in awe that I have two children – who are almost 1!
Becoming a twin mum for the first time, can be the most challenging and isolating thing and yet it’s the most joyful and uniting thing as well. You will never feel as alone and as supported all at the same time.
Becoming a twin mum lets you into a club of all the other twin mums who are nothing but helpful, sympathetic and generous with their time.
No one else quite understands the shock that you go through becoming a mum to twins. But trust me, it’s beautiful.
The past year has taken me out of my comfort zone, introduced me to the most wonderful women, filled my heart with pure joy and made my dream of having a family come true. Safe to say it’s been emotional.
So… some advice. Here’s some of the things to bear in mind to get through the first 12 months, and from what I’ve heard, if you can survive those, then you’re set.
Cut yourself some slack
You’re a twin mum for goodness sake, you now have an excuse for pretty much everything.
Take each day at a time
Don’t put pressure on yourself to do too much.
Celebrate the small things
You found time to order your groceries online? Go you!!
Find time for you.
Scrap that, MAKE time for you.
Get your other half to babysit
Take up that offer of babysitting from a friend, and do whatever it is that makes you happy.
Do something every day that makes you feel good
For me it’s putting my make up on. It’s a tiny daily triumph.
Sleep when you can.
Particularly in the early days. Fuel up on scraps of naps.
Don’t compare yourself to mums who only have one baby
This is the worst thing you can do. Those mums may be able to get the train, wear their baby and walk around with a tiny changing bag, they might be going to classes, working out and teaching their baby how to speak three languages. You don’t have time. You’re a twin mum. And if everyone is fed, you’re already rocking at this mum thing.
Make compromises with your partner
Understanding each other is everything.
Expect disarray and accept it
Your daily nemesis will be to get the house looking like you like it. Let it go.
Know that arguing with your partner is totally normal
You’re going to both be stressed, tired and overwhelmed. If you suddenly feel like you’re a million miles apart from each other then don’t panic. Your relationship is just adapting.
Cry if you want to
You will cry when they cry. You will cry when they don’t cry. And sometimes you won’t cry and they won’t cry. But tears are a great way to just let it all out.
Lasting help. The newborn days are hard but life doesn’t end there. Get ongoing arrangements in place to give you back some support or help. Get your mum to come over one morning a week. Hire a monthly cleaner. Get your neighbour to mow your lawn. Whatever it is, it will save a part of your sanity.
Don’t compare your body to pre baby bodies
It’s a waste of time. Your body did an incredible thing and you’ve got the scars to show for it.
Be kind to yourself
Every mum is doubting whether she’s doing it right. There is no right way. There’s just your way, which is perfect for your children.
You won’t remember everything – it really does whizz by.
The moments pass too quickly.
Get a routine
It’s essential for you and for your babies.
Get out every day if you can
Fresh air and being able to leave the messy kitchen, stinking nappy bin, front room full of toys and unhappy neighbours (babies make noise!) behind for an hour or so is good for the soul.
You won’t have a choice but to stay strong, it’s built into us as mothers. The power of motherhood gets you through even the most desperate of times.
Do what feels right to you
Whatever the situation, that mothering instinct of yours? It’s never wrong.
What would you add? What helped you through your first year of motherhood?