Raising twins is an art that requires a bit of creativity, a bit of planning and an immense lot of patience.
While the rewards of raising two kids together far outweigh the challenges, it is still a tough job! Being a mom of twins myself, I can say the first year with twins is the toughest as kids are fully dependent on mothers for almost everything. As they grow up, things do get easier and we too become more adept in our parenting ways. One thing that surely helps us sail through and make our life easier with twins is proper planning and time management.
Sharing here some tried and tested tips that can help you make the most of your day and efficiently manage time with twins in tow.
1. Set a Routine
Plan your day and set a routine for yourself and the kids. Be it feeding or putting them to sleep or giving a bath – schedule every task and create a timetable.
My twins are three and a half years old now and they still follow the same routine which they used to have when they were three months old. Except that from two naps a day, they have moved to one nap.
Sticking to a routine not just helps me organize my day but also makes it less chaotic.
2. Sync Their Schedule
Ask any mom of twins and the one advice she would have to offer is to ‘put your twins on a similar schedule’. That is, coordinate their feed time and bed time and make them do everything together.
I remember the first two months with my twins; all I found myself doing was feeding, burping, changing diapers and putting kids to sleep, one after the other. There was no break and it seemed like a continuous cycle. It was then I realized how important it is to sync their schedules together. It wasn’t easy of course! Both my twins had a different sleep pattern and it took me another two months to put them on the exact same schedule. Here are some tricks that helped me –
- Feed both the kids together. I used to tandem breastfeed most of the time.
- If one child falls asleep, try to make other sleep too within fifteen minutes. Do not try to prolong the time gap.
- If one baby wakes up, wake up the other one too. (Sounds crazy? But it works!). I used to follow this especially for night time feed, so that both kids feed and sleep together and I can catch on some sleep too in between.
3. Share Responsibilities
Share responsibilities with your partner. He is the first person who can support you in a great way. My husband and I have divided tasks among ourselves. If I am busy feeding one baby, he helps feed the other. When I am busy with both the kids, he helps with household chores. Dividing responsibilities and sharing the load this way helps taking away the stress and makes things easier for us.
4. Hire Help
Caring for twins is a lot of work, especially in the first year. There are two mouths to feed, two diapers to change, two babies to put to sleep. Don’t try to do it all alone. Accept any help offered by family and friends. Or hire a nanny or a domestic help whom you can delegate some responsibilities related to baby care or household chores.
5. Plan in advance
Think ahead and plan in advance. For instance, prepare as much you can for the morning a night before. I personally rely a lot on checklists and create a to-do list every night of all the tasks for the next day. Also for our outings, I always keep our diaper bag ready with one set of essentials which helps us save a lot of time.
6. Prioritize And Choose What’s Essential
Prioritization is the key. Think what’s important and what can wait. Choose your tasks basis what requires immediate attention and what can be done during the week. I always divide my to-do list in three sections – tasks that need to be taken care of immediately, those that can be done during the week, and those that are long-term projects. This again helps me pick my chores wisely.
Following these above tips, one can reasonably overcome the difficulties attached with parenting twins, making life more joyful and less stressful.