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….
Don’t hire a nanny – call Auntie Amy!!!! Conveniently, the long holiday break starts mid-November, just so Auntie Amy can have lots of free time to spend being a cost-free nanny. Please?????? 😉
Most definitely! 🙂 You’re welcome to come help out anytime.
There is hope. 🙂 Anyone with a newborn spends a lot of time at home, nursing and taking care of their baby. I imagine it will be just more intense with two at once. You may want to join a breastfeeding support group (La Lache) or see about a parenting group for people with multiples (www.meetup.com) or Yahoo.groups. Other friends of mine that had twins ended up nursing many times in bed because you can nurse both at once safely and comfortably. Have you talked with Jessa Greenfield? She might have some encouragement. I’ve often found Dr. Sears website and several of his books very helpful and informative. “The Baby Book” is one of our favorites. He has good advice for breastfeeding twins: http://www.askdrsears.com/html/2/t026200.asp
Praying for you. It will be worth it. What I encourage young moms to NOT do is set themselves unrealistic goals….at first the house may get messy, you may only get “pretty” for church and “all” you get done in a day might seem like feeding, changing, comforting and putting your baby to sleep, but it’s important work and they grow up so quickly you will be in a new phase before you know it.
Better stop, I’m getting long-winded. 🙂
Thanks for the encouragement, Moriah! I am really looking forward to the experience, but know that it will be challenging.
Loved your review!
I must say though: If I can do it, you can do it! Twins are challenging…but they’re not *that* hard. I’m typing this as my 13 month old twins are poking their cute little heads over the baby gate blowing raspberries, dancing, and saying “Mama? Maaaama!”. (The baby gate is keeping them from getting tangled in the computer cords or rebooting the computer…again.) You can and most likely will figure out how to nurse them at the same time. And it usually doesn’t take an hour. Getting two newborns to nap isn’t that much harder than getting one newborn to nap. It just takes patience.
But…you ‘ll have two smiling, raspberry-blowing cutie pies. And most people just have one. 🙂 Twins really are the best. 🙂
Thanks for the note, Jordan! I really am excited about having twins….I feel very blessed that I get to have two!
Only one of my babies ever took a whole hour to nurse – the others were more like 15 minute nursers – you probably won’t get the worst-case scenario in every situation. 🙂 With all of your female relatives, I think you will have lots of support, if not exactly round the clock nanny-ing. I probably can’t come down and help you with my 4 kids, but once you get adjusted enough to go out, I’m looking forward to babysitting!
Second the recommendation to join a local La Leche League group. I did this before the birth of my first child and was of great benefit. I would do this before your babies arrive as it provides great encouragement and tips for later. http://www.llli.org/Web/Oregon.html
Hi. I have one year old twins and a four and a half year old daughter. I can tell you that the author of that book gives you good advice. You will need a nanny. This are your first kids, so in any case a lot of things will be new and two together, believe me, you’ll need help. I am not sure what your mom/ mom-in-law situation is, but if you don’t want a nanny, then get one of them to be with you for the fist few months (if possible). I’d still say, consider the nanny. Cut costs elsewhere, but this will make your life easier, no, let me re-phrase it, it will keep your sanity.
I have gone through it, and even now, with my twins a year old, it’s tough, but I live in India and am fortunate to be able to afford help, and I have LOTS of it!
The babies will give you great joy, so having a nanny will let you enjoy them without losing your mind..
I think that you have nanny covered, what with the multitude of actual and in-the-lord aunties and grammies that surround you. 🙂 Don’t be shy about asking for help, we all would Love a chance to hold a baby, do laundry, or make dinner for you while you rest up.
Oh, and as for locking yourself out with a baby inside, yes that happens sometimes, but if you keep a brick around, or a spare key this is not too big of a problem… I had to go the brick route twice. 😀 (self locking front door)