How I Manage My Twins. ALONE.
Are you a twin mommy or going to be one soon?
Most people I know can’t even handle just one child, let alone taking care of twins. A full time stay home mom to multiples is no joke, it really drains you
all some times and you’re basically on duty 24/7.
I hear you now, and I feel you.
People have always wondered and asked me ‘how do you manage to take care of twins and doing it all by yourself?!’ Most of the time my reply will be ‘Chuan dao ciao tou zhi ran zhi’ (things will pan out). Here’s some ways that I believe made my mommy life easier.
Cooking for one.
I know some parents cook separate meals for adults and babies. While I do admire your dedication, why put unnecessary cooking and washing to your already long list of household chores? Cooking for one means cooking food that allows you to cook in the same pot or dish, reducing washing and preparation. Look for recipes that allows you to cook things together in a dish or pot. For example, chicken clay pot rice is easy and delicious with very little prep time. (I will share my recipe next week), or delicious comfort stews.
One of the popular questions I am always asked is how do I manage to bath everybody. If you intend to bath one at a time, you’re gonna have a hard time. The moment my kids are able to stand with assistance (7-8months), they have always been in the shower with me. I will bring a sturdy stool (got mine from IKEA) into the bathroom, they will stand there and play with the water while supporting themselves with the stool, and I shower. Once I am done, I will shower them. When they are slightly older and bored of just playing with water you can bring some toys in for them to play. An excellent ‘Toy’ would be just a cup and a pail, which they will use to fill up and pour out.
If you are concern about them slipping when they are very young, you can place non slip mats for them to step on, and after shower just stick the mats up on the tile walls to dry.
breastfeed as long as possible
While this is more of my style of parenting, I prefer to breastfeed. Not only is breast feeding a lot cheaper, it is fuss free. I am able to dash out of my house with just diapers and wet wipes. I have always cringe when I see my friends with a diaper bag full of milk bottles, milk powder, hot water flask etc. Breastfeeding definitely made traveling easier and a lot lighter. Also, there is no need for washing of milk bottles. One thing about breast feeding that I really like is that during night time feeding there’s no need to wake up, switch on the kitchen light, and with your eyes squinted against the sudden brightness you try to prepare the milk bottle while the baby scream the house down. The down side is that they will wake up slightly more often for night feed as breast milk is not as filling on the tummy, but I am hardly full awake to feed as they sleep beside me and all I need to do is to roll on my side and feed them lying down. I usually sleep between the two of them, so that whoever wakes for feed I will just roll toward her and feed lying down. Another plus point I found is when they were very young, breast feeding meant I could feed both of them at the same time without assistance. All I need is to put them on pillow support. Also, because I feed them both at the same time, my hands are usually free to hold my phone or iPad. And that is always a plus, keeping me sane with my “me” time.
Set a time table for household chores
There’s no need to sweep and mop the floor everyday. I know some people do that, but personally I find it unnecessary. I usually sweep every two or three days apart and mop twice a week. Also, if I am pressed for time, I usually vacuum on one day, and I mop on the following day. I also try to plan around my cooking so that I use as little dishes as possible to reduce washing, and I wash all my dishes only once in the evening, meaning after lunch I do not wash up but I just soak the dishes till evening.
get the child involved
My children hardly allows me to do anything in the house, unless I get them involved. That means that when I am washing some lettuce for my salad, I give them a piece of leaf to play and munch on. If I am busy cooking, I will let them play with some plates and bowls (unbreakable ones of course), or some plastic containers. Keep some toys in your kitchen cupboard and store them in a clean container, so that whenever you need them you can pass the toy to them as entertainment. If I’m taking out the laundry to dry, I will pass each of them a piece of laundry to help me bring it to the drying area. Then I will make them pick up the laundry and pass it to me while I’m hanging it out to dry.
Actually I think we women always scares and doubt ourselves more than we should. I know some parents will try not to bring the kids out by themselves because they think it will be disastrous. But truth is, there’s always a way to deal with the kids. And what’s the worst that could happen? A meltdown? A lot of parents are scared of such scenarios and the embarrassment it brings, but truthfully anybody who is also a parent will empathize with you, although the real question we should think about is does their opinion really matters? So I say you should just try to relax and have fun and bring them to the lovely park for an outing! In all honesty, my twins have always behave better when I bring them out alone, than when I bring with out with another adult. It is like they know when to throw a tantrum. Weird right?
When a crying session is about to begin, I usually try the diverting attention method. This works 1000 times better than you trying to ‘hush’ your child or worse, tell them ‘don’t cry’, it NEVER ever work. Either I draw their attention by pointing out to them there’s something ‘interesting’ in some random direction, or I play peek-a-boo, or I sing a nursery rhyme, or give them a snack or drink. If all else fail, then it is ok to let your child cry for a while. Really. Even when the whole mall is looking at you. Don’t worry, it won’t scar anyone emotionally except you. (See the relax. Breathe. Tip above).
So thats my not-so-secret tips for handling my twins. do share with us any tips for handling twins as well. Stay strong mommies!