A is for ATTENTION.
No matter where you go you will attract a lot of attention, from passing smiles to overhearing “Look! Twins!”, to strangers stopping you and kissing your children (this happened last week), you will get it all whether you want it or not. Be prepared and have your generic replies at hand; “yes they’re a handful… No twins don’t run in the family… They’re nearly eight months… Yes they’re identical…” And so on, and so fourth!
B is for bottles/breastfeeding.
If you’re bottle feeding be prepared for your kitchen being overtaken by bottles, teats, sterilisers… Your work tops will be sticky with powder being left from making up bottles in a mad panic.
I was so adamant on breastfeeding that I didn’t even have a bottle in the house when the twins came home, which wasn’t ideal as I was expressing for Bonnie initially, so my sister landed at the door with bottles when the girls came home.
Breastfeeding is no fuss in regards to preparation, but when it comes to feeding twins, or any baby, do whatever works for you and them!
C is for COTS.
Don’t waste money buying two Moses baskets, we put both girls into one cot in our room from day one. We then used their pram cots for napping in downstairs during the day.
When you need to get two of everything you need to choose carefully where your pennies go. We got two cot beds from ‘mamas and papas’, they’re perfect for longevity, and when you’re buying two of everything, how long something will last needs to be considered.
–Paddy putting up the cot beds. If it’s big enough for a grown man, it will do a pair of newborns.
D is for DELEGATE.
This is something I didn’t do too well at the beginning. When you have two newborns and a line of visitors at your door each day looking for a cuddle and who will hand baby/babies back at first sign of a whimper, it can be stressful.
You’re trying to keep the house tidy and you’re trying to ensure you’re dressed and have a bit of slap on for all of your expected, or unexpected, callers… Well, let them in but let them work for their cuddles. They should make you a cuppa and/or bring a nice healthy lunch/snacks (very important for breastfeeding mums, my sister in law Lucy used to arrive with a bag of groceries if she was out doing her own groceries, I sometimes may not have eaten until she arrived, that I won’t forget), if you have a load of clothes sitting to be ironed and folded, don’t hesitate to ask for a hand. People might not think to do these things but if you ask they’ll be more than happy to help. Hopefully they won’t just take you for a diva.
E is for EASIER.
With newborn twins life is nuts, did I mention that already…? I would hang on to the words from other twin mums with older twins who would tell me “It does get easier…” YEAH RIGHT! I thought they were only trying to make me feel better. But it is true, it does get easier, and I can put my hand on my heart and say that I would not change one single thing. If I had the option to go back and take away all those bad days where I mentally struggled, I wouldn’t, because those times have enabled me to learn so much about myself, and help me see that I’m really not a bad wee mum at all.
F is for FRIENDS.
When babies (or baby) arrives, it will surprise you how your relationships can change. Friends you thought would have more interest and be there for you may not be, and friends you never expected to form a closer bond with will crop up. And it’s not always ‘other mums’, it’s people who will make the effort and just ‘get it!’, and often closer bonds with your already best friend will form when you see just how much they dote on your little ones too.
G is for GIRL POWER.
As cheesy as it sounds, when us ‘girls’ carry and nurture two babies inside of us, put our bodies through so much, to then be met with two beautiful little babies and then have to readjust our lives entirely once pregnancy has ended, and then to go through each day, and night, looking after two tiny humans alongside all of the other things life throws at us… Multi tasking at it’s best! I honestly believe there’s a reason why men don’t carry the babies. Hmmmm, girl power? I get it!
H is for HOSTAGE.
Sometimes life will feel as though it’s being held hostage by two little imposters…
I is for IMMEDIATE RESPONSE.
Twins will cry at the same time, that’s a given. In the early days, I had strong anxiety at the sheer anticipation of this happening. ‘I can’t let a baby cry…’, I thought, ‘…it will stress them out and they will remember it and think I’m the megabitch for the rest of my life!’.
Once I finally got my head around the fact that a baby crying is the most natural sound, for them it is their one main form of communication, it’s OKAY for a baby to cry. When you have two of them and they are both demanding attention, often one will have to wait, ‘immediate response’ is not always possible.
That is when the twin mum guilt kicks in, that is when it’s tough seeing other mum’s with one baby tending to the first sign of a whimper with their baby, and you know you have to tend to one and make the other wait. It is genuinely so tough trying to tend to the needs of one baby while trying to placate the other until you can finally get to them. Initially, I found it so tough, but as long as we keep telling ourselves that crying is a natural sound, and we will respond to the cries as soon as we can.
Nota bene: Twin mums need to be cloned!
J is for JEALOUSY.
Friends on nights out;
Mums with babies who sleep all night while yours are still up partying three times EACH during the night;
Another mum sitting in a coffee shop with one baby while peacefully enjoying a cuppa, with their little one strapped to their boob, while one of your twins screams and the other is about to blow (we have DOUBLE the chance of crying babies);
Yourself PRE pregnancy and those perfect size 10 jeans you got your perky ass into… Is it still ok for me to wear maternity leggings? WAHHHH!!!
Your husband leaving for work (honestly, it baffles me why I get jealous by this);
The unlit houses of your neighbours when you’re up feeding at 1am, 3am, 5am, etc…
But hey, THIS TOO SHALL PASS, and we can get our lives back sooner than most as we will have had two at once… RIGHT? But then, we will have nobody to go on those nights out with because your best girl is just about to pop out her second sprog. PANTS!
K is for KETTLE.
If bottle feeding, buy two! You can’t use re-boiled water for the baby’s bottles and when you have timed the kettle perfectly so that you have boiled water at a certain time for it to be ready in time for the next feed, then some eejit comes along and hits the switch to boil the water again, an extra kettle (purely for bottles), could be the one thing that will avoid you commiting murder.
L is for LAUNDRY.
That horrid unrelenting pile of dirty washing, or clean washing for that matter, that you just haven’t got round to folding… And probably won’t! Don’t even mention ironing…
M is for ME TIME.
It doesn’t come around often, so make the most of it when you get it. That is all…
N is for NOISE.
When I was pregnant I had never considered how the soundtrack to our home would drastically change. I am currently tucked up in bed with only the noise of pressing keys on the keyboard, and a low mumbling of Paddy watching the TV downstairs… The girls are on the go ALL DAY LONG. This house is never quiet, and when it is, it’s unnerving… When I haven’t heard a peep over the monitor for 30mins or so, I feel compelled to go and check on the girls.
Bring back the noise so I can relax…
O is for ONE-TO-ONE.
Making a little one-to-one time with one twin for a little while is such a lovely feeling. Paddy and I make a point of doing this for an hour or two at the weekend, even if it is just me taking one of the girls into town for a while, or out for a walk in the carrier, it just feels lovely. AND EASY!!!!!!! When you are used to two babies, and then you only have the responsibility of one for a little while, you feel like you could do it with your eyes closed!
-one to one with Miss Isla
-one to one with Miss Bonnie
P is for PROZAC.
You little gem.
Q is for QUESTIONING.
I haven’t stopped questioning myself since Bonnie and Isla arrived… Why am I doing? Am I doing this right? Is there anyone who can tell me the right way to do it? Am I going to f**k them up? I tell myself it’s completely natural, and I assume the questioning will never stop!!
R is for ROUTINES.
I was never a stickler for routines. Before the twins arrived, all of the twin blogs I had read kept reinforcing how crucial a strict routine is when you have twins. This had me panicked from day one!
I tried everything! Gina Ford, The Baby Whisperer, random internet sites, etc… But the more I tried to get the girls into a routine the more difficult things became. For a solid week I followed their lead, when they seemed tired I put them down for a sleep, I generally knew the times they would feed, and I always kept bedtime routine a constant.
I believe babies shouldn’t be expected to follow ‘routine’, and that, if anything with having twins, there needs to be room for flexibility. We may never have had a strict routine, but we have consistency.
S is for SPA.
Since having twins, getting the time for an uninterrupted shower when they go to bed feels like a day at the spa. Yet I still have the shower door wide open with the monitor in full view hoping they don’t make a peep and I get time to condition my hair (shaving my legs would just be a luxury, sorry Paddy!).
But last week, I spent the day at galgorm spa with my best friend Sophie. I did not know myself.
A spa is reassuringly unfriendly, and unwelcoming, to children. It was bliss. I felt like I could have been Beyoncé sippin’ Mai Tais on a yacht!
So, if you ever get the chance for a baby free day, do something special! Spas can be pretty pricey, but there are often good deals if you keep your eyes peeled!
T is for TIREDNESS.
When will I not feel tired? When will I feel normal? What is normal? It gets easier, I promise you!
U is for UTERUS.
Is mine now the size of the moon after carrying two? EUW!
V is for VEHICLE.
Unless it can accommodate EVERYTHING UNDER THE SUN, you’ll have to change it!
W is for WORK.
When your maternity leave is into its second half, I guess it’s time to think about returning to work. Something which I always have wanted and intended to do. In my own opinion, I feel it’s important for myself as an individual (not a mother, not a wife), to hold on to your ‘professional’ self.
Now, if only us parents of twins weren’t IMMEDIATELY hit with a double whammy of child care costs. Now there’s an expense… There are no exceptions for us with multiples, which I have found anyway. And the sick thing is that full time child care for two babies at the same age, is a full time wage for most of us mere mortals!
There is absolutely no incentive to return to work, which is disgusting, and currently something in which I am trying to figure out a compromise.
The thought of leaving my girls full time in the care of others breaks my heart, so I’m hoping for a compromise where home life and work life can co-exist.
Please inform me if I’m dreaming…
X is for Xylophone.
Y is for YOU.
You are still you! Just because life has been taken over by motherhood, does not mean that you are not still the same person. When you can, take the chance to do the things that you still enjoy that are completely unrelated to motherhood. And don’t for one second feel bad about that.
Z is for ZARA BABY.
Cutest clothes for little ones and reasonably priced! My girls have got a lot of bits from Zara, unfortunately more than I get these days. (My sister Carla has bought the girls so much, I have genuinely not had to purchase the girls any ‘essential’ items. I jokingly asked Carla to send me an invoice for it all, but praying that she doesn’t or it’s beans on toast for a month). But the sizes are quite small fitting. Or else I just have big babas!!