This post is entirely self-oriented and it is doubtful whether it will be relevant to anyone who ever reads this blog. That said, I am writing it because I am having twins in November! Being somewhat clueless about what to expect and how to handle them when they are born, I decided to find a book that would give me some advice. The Amazon reader reviews enthusiastically recommended Juggling Twins: The Best Tips, Tricks, and Strategies from Pregnancy to the Toddler Years, and so here I am now, having read it cover to cover and ready to share what I’ve learned.
I could hardly get through the first section of the book without crying. Everything sounded so daunting. The author, a high school and English literature teacher who wrote this book after her own experience with twins, certainly doesn’t try to whitewash the difficulties of caring for the newborns. Paragraphs like this one urging me to hire a nanny for the first few months didn’t make me feel secure about my abilities to cope after leaving the hospital:
“Prepare for the cost [of hiring a nanny] as best you can, as early as you can, understanding that as outrageous an assault on your budget as it may seem, it is not a luxury any more than expensive medical care or car repairs are luxuries. Even if you partner is totally on board and can be home to help care for the twins, it is still essential that you have help…. You can expect to pay over $100 per day or over $200 per night for this service.”
$100 per day for a nanny? That’s not happening. Even if your partner can be home to help care for the twins? My husband will be working full time and going to school full time when the twins arrive.
Many other comments made by the author early on in the book were no more inspiring. Take back all the cute baby clothes you get at your shower and use the money to stockpile diapers, because diapers are going to cost you a fortune. Be prepared to feed the newborn twins every two hours. Oh, and it takes about an hour to feed both of them, because you can’t do it at the same time unless you have help, so every other hour of your time (night and day) will be spent breast feeding.
I read all the sections covering the time up until the twins are three months old, and after reading those, I had to take a breather. What was the purpose of this book, anyway? Was it trying to make me spend my entire third trimester in depression and dread?
After spending a week gathering up my courage, I plunged ahead into the next portion of the book. Things started to look a little brighter. The author had very helpful advice about how to get out of the house with two babies (don’t lock yourself out of the house while one baby is inside and the other baby is in the car). I also appreciated her suggestion of setting weekly goals for yourself (read for twenty minutes a day, get out of the house with the kids at least twice) so that you don’t go crazy just taking care of babies all the time. Other good tidbits gave counsel about how to get the twins on the same sleeping schedule at night, how to get them to nap without waking each other up, and how to deal with potty training two at once.
I finished the book very excited about having the twins and feeling positive about my abilities to take care of them. Now, I just have to figure out how to get through the first three months without hiring a nanny….