I don’t know about you, but growing up I always thought it would be so much fun to be a twin. Unfortunately, I wasn’t a twin…. BUT I did marry a twin and then have twins of my own!
10 things I’ve learned since becoming a twin mom
1. Twin dads basically have to be a second mom.
All I mean by that is it literally takes double the hands to get things done with twin babies than it does with a singleton. If I’m up feeding the babies in the middle of the night, then Cory’s up too… and if I’m changing a diaper in one room, then Cory is changing a diaper in another room.
I always think it’s funny when people ask me if I get nervous when I leave the babies at home alone with Cory. Cory feeds both babies alone just like I do, Cory plays with both babies alone just like I do, and Cory puts both babies down for naps alone just like I do. So why would I be nervous? Twin dads are rockstars! (Especially Crew and Collins’ dad!)
2. Schedules and consistency are important.
Since day one, the nurses at our hospital had us feeding every 3 hours, which is what we continued doing once we went home. Regardless if they were already awake or if we had to wake them, we fed the twins every 3 hours, which we still do today, except for overnight.
FOR THE MOST PART, Crew and Collins nap, play, eat, go to bed, and wake up at the same time every single day. Obviously every day isn’t perfect, but I would credit a huge piece of their happiness and easy going personalities to the predictability and consistency of the schedule they’ve been on since they were born.
On the flip side… I think the schedule they’re on is just as helpful for me as it is for them. Knowing how to plan my day would be somewhat impossible without knowing what time the twins eat, play and sleep!
*We use the schedules provided in a book called Moms On Call.
*This is what has worked for us, but I understand that every baby is different.
3. Dividing my attention between two babies is hard.
I would say one of the hardest things about having twins is that my attention is constantly divided between the two. Sometimes I feel like the sweet moments of having a newborn just don’t happen as much because there is always another baby that needs me. For example, when I’m alone, I never get to hold the babies while I feed them because I’m always juggling two babies with two bottles and trying to get them both burped. Or as soon as I start rocking one baby, I wish I could also rock the other baby, but I just can’t. Sometimes it feels like I don’t have enough hands to do everything I want to do.
4. It takes a village!
Since the day we brought the twins home, our parents have helped us SO much! They’ve woken up for middle of the night feedings, watched the babies so Cory and I can go on date nights, helped with laundry, cooked for us, and SO MUCH MORE! We are incredibly thankful and not sure how we would of done it without them! Crew and Collins are lucky to have such amazing grandparents and family to look up to!
5. Other mommas are the best teachers!
Of course all moms are superhero’s, but twin moms are a group of women that I admire so much! I can’t even tell you how many messages and texts I’ve sent to mom friends during moments that I had no idea what to do. I have learned SO much from these girls and am a better parent because of the advice I got from them. At the end of the day, I always do what I think is best for our babies, but sometimes another mom’s wisdom is just what Crew and Collins need.
6. Comparison is a trap.
For some reason, I feel like people always want to compare twins to each other. My husband has an identical twin brother, and I’ve literally heard people compare them out loud to their faces. It bothers me, and even though the world will probably always try and compare Crew and Collins to each other, I hope they grow to encourage each other verses compete with one another.
My mother-in-law once told me that she always taught Cory and Coby to be each other’s biggest encourager, and I understand the need for that even more so now that we have twins of our own. I pray that Crew and Collins grow up knowing that God created them equally, unique with individual gifts and purposes rather than the feeling of constant competition.
7. God provides what you need.
Want to know one of my biggest concerns going into the delivery of our twins? It wasn’t the fact that we would be taking care of two new humans, or that I wouldn’t be able to go out as much, or even the delivery itself. The truth is, my biggest concern revolved around the amount of sleep I was going to get. Haha! That might seem funny, but it’s true. I’ve always been one to think I need at least 8 hours of sleep to be happy, and as far as I knew, that wasn’t going to be the case once we had babies. As crazy as this may sound, I never felt like I got to the point of delirium that I expected. Don’t get me wrong, I was TIRED with a capital T, but I never felt like I couldn’t handle it. I truly believe God provided me with energy and strength to get through those long nights, family to let me nap when I needed, and also a realization that I can function just fine with a lot less sleep.
8. Feeding two babies by yourself is challenging.
The first time I was alone and fed Crew and Collins at the same time, I literally felt like I conquered the world! Haha. I’m getting the hang of it more now thanks to my Twin Z pillow, but it definitely took some practice.
9. Plans don’t always happen the way you hope they would.
Before the twins were born, I knew I wanted to breastfeed. However, once they arrived it was a little harder than I hoped. While we were still at the hospital I tandem fed Crew and Collins, but once we went home and were without help from the nurses, that was no longer something that seemed sustainable. I decided to breastfeed them one after the other, but even that was difficult because we would think one baby was full and move on to the second baby, only to have the first baby start crying because they actually weren’t full. But by the time I figured that out, I was already feeding the second baby, so the first baby had to wait another 20 minutes until they could eat again. Haha! All of this would take over an hour and by the time we put them back to sleep, it was almost time to wake them up again for their next feeding. See my dilemma? After about a month of trying to juggle two breastfeeding babies, we decided that I would exclusively pump.
Things also didn’t go according to plan when it came to giving our babies formula. Right after Crew and Collins were born, they both had jaundice, which is when you have too much bilirubin (a yellow pigment) in the blood. My milk was slowly coming in, but our doctor recommended supplementing with formula to get them extra calories, which would help the jaundice go away. We were SO hesitant about giving them formula because I wanted them to only drink breastmilk, but ultimately the health of our babies was the most important thing and giving them a little formula was the best option.
On top of that, the day after we took the twins home from the hospital, Crew had to go to the emergency room (that’s another story for another day) and was eventually transferred to another hospital 45 minutes away from our house. Cory stayed with Crew at the ER and I stayed at home with Collins. Crew ended up being on formula for 48 hours while he was there. Again, that was hard because I wanted to solely breastfeed. It all worked out though! Now we supplement with formula and I’m SUPER glad formula exists!
Long story long… I’ve learned things don’t always go as planned, and you just have to be okay with that 🙂
10. Life changes, but definitely for the better!
I’m not sure I’ve discovered a single aspect of life that didn’t change when we had kids. I no longer eat when I want, sleep when I want, shower when I want, or basically do anything when I want, but our two babies make it all worth it! Having kids changes everything, but in the BEST possible way!
Being a mom, regardless if you have singles or multiples, is SUCH A GIFT. Their lives are SO incredibly precious and I pray that one day we see a world where babies are fully valued in and out of the womb.
On top of that, being a twin mom is the BEST! I get double the smiles, double the laughs, double the LOVE! I still can’t believe it’s my reality.
I’m sure I will continue learning how to be a better twin mom for the rest of my life, but for now, I’m going to enjoy my little babies’ sweet giggles and their never ending desire to grab my face with their sharp nails that I never seem to file short enough. Also, in case you missed my post on our favorite helpful baby products for their first 3 months, you can read that here. Check back soon for our favorite baby products from 3-6 months! I’ll leave you with some more pics of our babes!
Love, Amy Cotton