Can you imagine running after a one-year-old child who is learning to walk while 9 months pregnant with twins? Take a watermelon, put it in a backpack, wear it frontwards and run after a rolling basketball. It’s not easy. Last year, this was me. I found out I was expecting fraternal twin boys just as my first son turned one. I was about to have more babies than I had hands and believe me, I had no clue what I was in store for.
At 5-ft nothing, I carried my twin boys full-term. They were born 1 day shy of 38 weeks each weighing nearly 6 pounds. Happy, healthy and a handful!
I’m a wife, working mom with a full-time career, who also runs her own business and three boys under the age of three. In the past year, no one day has been the same. Managing my household is a challenge. Most days are chaotic, but precious and amazing. Having made it this far, I have learned a few things worth sharing with other moms who may be struggling.
You don’t have to do everything.
As kids get older, they become more independent. I am so accustomed to doing everything for everyone that I run around in “get it done” mode a lot. Recently, my two-year-old shouted the best thing ever to me: “Mommy I can do it,” he said. After finally using the potty with ease, he wanted to pull up his own pants. He struggled a bit in the beginning and it took some patience on my part, but once I slowed down, I learned that he is capable. Now if I can only get him to wipe his own butt, I would be happy…
I decided to see what else my two-year-old could do, so I gave him a few chores. Turns out, he is capable of a little responsibility. It’s now his job to put the toys in the toy box before bed, and he actually enjoys it.
Take care of yourself. You will need the energy.
Most nights I don’t sleep well because someone always wakes up. My mornings involve quickly grabbing the twins out of their cribs before they wake up the entire house. Then I change diapers, fix breakfast and bottles and get the two-year-old ready for school. We are typically in a rush and I rarely eat before I leave the house. With an hour commute to my job, it’s no fun being on a crowded train famished. I’m a morning person so starting my day in a good mood has never been hard for me, however, I realized by not eating I would walk into work like the Incredible Hulk.
After, burning myself out too many times, I have learned to slow down and take care of myself first before jumping to attend to everyone else’s needs. I now hide a bag of nuts or a granola bar in my work bag so that I’m prepared. I also fill my water bottle up and add “greens” to help keep my immune system strong and give me just the energy boost I need. I carve out time during my work week to go to the gym even if it’s for only 30 minutes. A quick work out late in the afternoon gives me the energy I need to get through my evening routine with the boys. My health is important, both mental and physical. I know I will never have as much energy as my three boys, but I can try.
Somedays a clean house just isn’t possible, and that’s OK.
I use to stress myself out about trying to keep a clean house. My husband works nights and is a little OCD so I would try to ensure our home was clean by the time he walked in. On a good day, I am successful at cooking, washing the dishes, feeding the kids, cleaning up their dinner, sweeping the floor and putting the kids to sleep. Good days are few and far between. Most days, I am tired. After working all day and coming home to feed the kids, then chase around my two-year-old to put his pajamas on and attempt to sleep train the twins; cleaning up is the last thing on my mind. I’d rather get some sleep, phone a friend or catch up on some TV. And that’s OK. The dishes can wait. The floor is swept every day, how dirty can it really be… Most days I’m supermom, but even she needs a break.
Find your tribe.
My tribe consists of moms who have one, two and three children, working moms, mompreneurs, stay-at-home moms and retired moms. I’ve got a soft spot for twin moms. When I found out I was expecting twins, I didn’t have anyone in my immediate circle that could offer insight into how my life would significantly change. Through a friend of a friend, I connected with one of the most helpful twin moms I’ve ever met. There is nothing like connecting with another mother who knows exactly what you are going through at that moment and can offer solutions to you. Outlets are so necessary. I love speaking to other moms who understand my challenges and can predict the next phase my kids will go through. As cliché as it may seem, find your tribe and love them hard.
In a world full of curated photos and canned copy, I may look like I have it all together. Some days I do. But mostly I’m just figuring it out as I go along and sharing my story in hopes to inspire other moms like me.