Taking Care of Your Twins--Alone or With Help?

Discussion in 'The First Year' started by amelowe9, Aug 12, 2008.

  1. amelowe9

    amelowe9 Well-Known Member

    Is anyone on here taking care of their twins solo? How are you coping? I have a little bit of help during the week and my wonderful husband is helpful in the evenings but I'm alone during the day and it's tough... For those doing it alone, how are you doing and does it get easier (I'm only 9-weeks in...):)
  2. Azevedo7205

    Azevedo7205 Member

    QUOTE(amelowe9 @ Aug 13 2008, 01:07 AM) [snapback]927588[/snapback]
    Is anyone on here taking care of their twins solo? How are you coping? I have a little bit of help during the week and my wonderful husband is helpful in the evenings but I'm alone during the day and it's tough... For those doing it alone, how are you doing and does it get easier (I'm only 9-weeks in...):)

    I am taking care of my baby girls alone!! It is ALOT of work but it has gotten easier then it was when they were 9 weeks old! I say do what you can and don't stress if laundry or house work doesn't get done.. relax during at least one of there naps.. maybe during the other nap do some house work.. that is how i coped!! It is working great for me.. if you Need more advice let me know
  3. belinda07

    belinda07 Well-Known Member

    My DH works a lot, like 6 to 6, 6 days, sometimes 7 days a week, so , mostly I do it alone. My mom lives interstate and my sister has 3 kids of her own.
    I am waaaay down the track from you and yes it does get easier, usually for a bit, then they might get sick, then things might get really good for a while, then they start regressing - boycotting naps, eating things off the floor, wanting to be in your presence constantly. :) I have found it goes in waves. At certain stages one thing is easy, say dressing them at 3 months is EASY. At 9 mths it's a challenge. They weigh less at 3 months - you have the arms and muscles of Xena when they are 9 months, backaches, sore shoulders etc. ......the list goes on. KWIM?

    but of course........they start to laugh at each other :) they try to talk to you...... and more often than not, they are more pleased to see you than anyone in the world. :wub:
  4. sbcowell

    sbcowell Well-Known Member

    I do have help with my twins and have since the beginning. Family was around for the first 4months and after that we hired help. I had some pretty bad anxiety and depression, so dh and I figured it was worth my sanity to hire some help. Yes it is expensive, but I am very glad we made the decision we did.
    I know though, that there are BUNCH of women on here that do it by themselves and they seem to cope just fine!
    You just have to try and make sure that you get breaks anyway you can - don't worry about housework, ask a neighbour to come by, or a friend to come and help, take anyone up on offers to help!
    9 weeks is a HARD spot to be in, you are still in the thick of it! The first 3-3.5months were super hard for me because there was so much crying, me and the babies! hang in there it does get better!
  5. b/gtwinmom07

    b/gtwinmom07 Well-Known Member

    I did it alone since week 2. My mom came in intervals but she worked full time and had my nephew to care for and she lived an hour away. DH helped in the evenings and weekend days it was all me. I agree with PP, you are in the thick of it. It does get easier but it gets different too. Each stage brings new challenges. When they roll over, crawl, stand..etc. Then their is teething and if they get sick.

    But a dear friend of mine used to tell me to put my big girl panties on and do what I need to do to survive. Sleep when they do, eat when they do, let them sleep wherever they want. Before 6 months you can't spoil them so if they are in their swing or bouncy chair so be it.

    like PP said also, they smile for the first time or take those first few steps and you are beyond the moon and all that other stuff fades away making this all worth it....

    PM if you need to talk or have any questions.
  6. AimeeThomp

    AimeeThomp Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    I take care of them alone during the week and then when DH is off work he helps and on the weekends my mom helps. I'm 9 months in now, and taking care of them alone is just second nature to me. Don't worry, it will be to you too one day, it just takes awhile to adjust and get in a good routine. Now if someone wants to come help me they only get in my way! :hug99: just be patient, it gets easier!
  7. cohlee

    cohlee Well-Known Member

    I am a single mother, my sister has been helping me 2 days a week since the beginning but other than that I am doing on my own. I found that each week it got a little easier and at 6mo things really started to go smoothly when I got them on a schedule. Predictable naps and eating was really the key for me.

    Congrats, Good luck and hang in there!!
  8. jec34e

    jec34e Well-Known Member

    In the beginning I had help from my mom and mother-in-law but for the last month or so, I've been doing it all by myself. They started daycare this week so I haven't done it this week. It is difficult. Some days worse than others. But there has definitely been a turning point in the last month or so. They seem happier, more content and I guess I found a routine to the day. I think babies are better with schedules so I'd try to establish one. I agree with the napping though, nap when they do, so at least you're not completely overtired while trying to take care of them! It definitely got easier for me...it will for you too!
  9. megkc03

    megkc03 Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    I am a SAHM and I do it alone too. Yes-my dh does help out once he gets home from work-but I fly solo during the day(and mil-who lives 5 minutes away-doesn't come over! Which I guess is a good thing-but she will if asked...). Dh went back to work after 2 weeks-well he actually went to Atlantic City for a few days(work)!

    Like cohlee said-it gets MUCH easier. They start doing more, interacting, etc... You are in the thick of things right now. Once they could tolerate their stomach or back for a longer period of time-things started to look up. And then-once they sat up on their own-look out! :)

    We won't even talk about crawling! ;)
  10. cjk2002

    cjk2002 Well-Known Member

    Yes...it will get easier! I take care of them by myself and have been since they came home. Except for two weeks when they were around 3 weeks old, my DH had maternity leave. After that, it's been all me. At first he was going to wake with me at night for their feedings, but that ended up not happening because he needed his sleep so he could function at work.

    He leaves the house around 7:00 a.m. and gets home around 6:00. The boys go down for the night around 6:30. The weekends are a little better but there is so much that needs to be done around the house, he usually ends up doing that.

    Around 4 months they started to have a schedule and sttn :banana: and now that they are 7 months things are like clock work.

    A good read is Healthy Sleep Habit, Healthy Child. I got it used on Amazon for $4. It really helped me with naps and getting them on a schedule.

    For me it was hard to nap when they did. Every little peep that came out of them kept me awake. One thing I would recommend is putting them in their crib to nap. I made the mistake early on leaving them in their swings or bouncers which I found out later from that book that it is really not restful sleep.

    I am a big believer in having a schedule. At 9 weeks that is not possible, but know in a few months it will get better. When they get a little older, you can put them in a jumperoo or exersaucer and they will entertain themselves.
  11. JennyR

    JennyR Well-Known Member

    Oh sweetie, I have so been in your position. We conceived via IVF after 2 miscarriages. I felt like I should be the happiest person in the world, but I completely regretted the decision -- never mind the financial cost. The babies were born at 31 weeks. They both came home on apnea monitors and one was on oxygen. Both our families live 6 hours away and DH works ridiculous hours. We had visitors on and off for the first few months, but basically I was on my own. When I was where you are I never would have believed it, but I am now happy to be a mother. In fact, I love it (most days)! The best advice I can give you is to feel no shame in your misery. You are NOT alone even though you might feel that way. Do WHATEVER you need to do to get yourself through the day. At my lowest, I finally called the doc and asked for Prozac. Then, I moved myself and the babies in with my parents for a few months (DH took the train up on weekends). It made a HUGE difference. Are you pumping right now? Finally stopping that also helped a lot (at 7mos). It was a birthday present I gave to myself -- maybe the best ever. Also, if you can manage it -- GET OUT!!! The house starts to feel like a prison after a while. Pile the babies in the stroller or the car and just get out. If the doc will let you, wander the mall. If you can't be indoors, walk around the block. If that is too daunting, just drive. Go through the drive through and stuff yourself with fastfood. Whatever it takes to feel human.

    Tons of hugs to you,
  12. HinSD

    HinSD Well-Known Member

    No help here :) Weeks 6-8 or 9 were the toughest. It does get easier!

    I also like the book Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child, but about sleeping in swings/bouncys, I say do whatever works especially at this age. Mine went through a period of time where that was the only place they would nap.

    Hang in there! :)
  13. angie7

    angie7 Well-Known Member

    I was solo during the day until they were almost 1. My mom retired then and would come over to help. The days were HARD! It did get a little easier the older they got.
  14. mrsmoon

    mrsmoon Well-Known Member

    It is VERY hard the first 3-4 months. I think around 6 months was when things really got great b/c they were more on a schedule. I did not have any help with the babies. DH will help too but he mostly takes care of the older two boys when he gets home and I have the babies most of the time.
  15. ldwa

    ldwa Well-Known Member

    there is a ton of good advice there.

    for me, I'm on my own during the day- dh will "help" when he gets home which is anywhere from 7p-10p but frankly, his help is often less than helpful-- though it lets me get a shower in.

    we had family constantly here until 5 weeks (I HAD to- I physically couldn't do it-- too anemic) and then after that we hired a post-partum doula (check out the DONA website) to come 3 nights a week. I figured the thing I needed most was sleep- so she's been a gem, she comes at 11p and I go to bed, pump once in the night, and she leaves at 7a. I get 3 solid nights of sleep. Well. I did. we started weaning ourselves of her because our girls were finally sleeping more predictable and solid chunks-- then I started taking on more nights and now they're as bad as they were back then- last night my longest bout of sleep was less than 1.5hrs-- not sure what is going on.

    anyway- that's to say, I think we may hire her back on for a while if she'll do it.

    do what you have to- I know it's cliche, but honestly, do it- if it means you need a bulldozer to plow a path from the bedroom to the living room because all you're doing is sleeping, eating, & taking care of your babies, it's okay!!!

    we've been there. we know the nightmare it can be. the important thing is to just get it manageable enough so that you don't feel like you're sinking into the abyss.

    hang in there, we are always here to listen and know EXACTLY where you are.

  16. akuaba

    akuaba Well-Known Member

    I take care of the little ones alone a couple of days a week. It does get easier!! I took care of them almost every day before I went back to work when they were 2.5 months and that was the hardest time (birth to 3 months). I remember just wanting a BREAK!!! My husband would come home from work and I would say "OK..I am outta here for a half an hour". I would run out the door :). He understood. I just needed to get out for a bit, take a deep breath and have some time without listening for a cry or holding one of the little angels. I loved it but you definitely need some time to decompress when you can.

    Now that they are about 4 and half months old..it SO much easier. I am still running around all day but they can keep themselves occupied for 10 - 20 minutes or so with a toy. And their crying has lessened. They can hold their heads up on their own so they can sit up with help from the bumbo or the exersaucer (sp?). I have different play "stations" and that helps keep them occupied and happy. That makes a world of difference. Hang in there..it does get easier when they can occupy themselves and waking up from a nap doesn't instantly mean crying. My little ones wake up with a smile on their face and ready to play now. Oh..and..when they sleep through the night..that is a huge deal. You are much more rested and that makes a WORLD of difference. My little ones started sleeping through the night about 4 weeks ago and we are all in much better moods:)
  17. Kendra77

    Kendra77 Well-Known Member

    I'm a single mother and for the first 5 weeks my mother stayed here and helped because of my c-section. After that I was really on my own, but I think I've done okay. My babies are 6 months old now.
    The only thing that bugs me is that now when my mother comes to visit she ALWAYS complains about how messy my place is . I tell her I'm busy with the babies and housework isn't the biggest priority right now, but she doesn't understand. ..and when she comes all she does is hold the babies and she NEVER offers to do even light housework.
  18. Cynthia3200

    Cynthia3200 Well-Known Member

    I do it alone during the day M-F. I found it much easier once they hit about 6 months. At 8 months, it's even easier because they can sit and play together or at least entertain themselves. Naps are a bit more predictable.
  19. BeckiAllen1130

    BeckiAllen1130 Well-Known Member

    I did it mostly alone, but my mom stayed for a week after they came home from the NICU & after that she would come a few times a week to help. As my girls have gotten older she only comes once a week MAYBE, sometimes she doesn't come at all. The help is SO nice at first. I bottle feed the girls, so it was really nice to have someone hold the other baby & feed them. As they've gotten older & I can prop one up to feed, I actually prefer going it alone. I would say it noticeably got easier at 4 months. I really started to enjoy them then. And now at 7 months they're a lot of fun!! So I would say take the help that you can get, but don't be afraid to be alone with them. You CAN do it :)
  20. amelowe9

    amelowe9 Well-Known Member

    Thank you each and every one of you for your responses. I have read and reread them several times already and find SO much comfort in your words. I realize this is a phase that WILL pass and that I have to suck it up and go with the flow, do my very best, and get out on my own when I can for breaks...This site and forum have been the most helpful to me and I learn so much from all of your posts and responses. Thank you so much...:)
  21. San12

    San12 Well-Known Member

    QUOTE(amelowe9 @ Aug 13 2008, 02:07 AM) [snapback]927588[/snapback]
    Is anyone on here taking care of their twins solo? How are you coping? I have a little bit of help during the week and my wonderful husband is helpful in the evenings but I'm alone during the day and it's tough... For those doing it alone, how are you doing and does it get easier (I'm only 9-weeks in...):)

    Lea, I have to say I've been alittle spoiled. My DH has been home with me since the babies came home. although I do all the washing and such myself, dh is here and helps with diapers and feedings. However this is about to change, dh is going back to work soon and I am really scared of how I will cope. Up until now there have been a couple of hours here and there on my own but a whole day scares me.

    I'm sure your doing awesome. Hang in there, they say it gets easier. although I'm not sure I believe it yet.;)

  22. heathertwins

    heathertwins Well-Known Member

    I had my SIL here for 2 weeks (NOT HELPFUL) and my parents here for 2 months in the beginning. They went away for a week during that time and my dh as well so I was immediately alone during those first 2 months. In away it was nice for it to be just me and the girls. When you do have other people you spend alot of time -- telling them where everything is, what is for supper, how to use your appliances, the babies schedules, how to do this and that.. With people in your house you can't just walk around in P.J.s and nap on the couch. I also found I was in the kitchen making meals (esp. with my SIL) while they sat and enjoyed the babies. My mom on the other hand was fantastic and cooked for me. I do have a housekeeper once a week. We cheap-out in other aspects of our spending but having a cleaner has kept things more manageable.

    Those early months are really tough and sometimes even with help it just means more people to organize plus your babies. It really does get easier and easier. Try to get out of the house (yes easier said than done) and so at least you can say... "I was out with 2 twin babies !!" The extra attention doesn't help but just for your brain and sense of well-being ... get out of the house. Chocolate and a warm shower. My rule was mommy eats and showers and babies can cry during that time. Oh and washroom too. I was bf so I'd make up a plate of food and then sit down and hold them. Keep writing down a schedule - it is way too early for them to "really" be on one, but it is something to work towards. eg. feed them at 7 am, then everyone out for an AM walk, then feed at 9 ... play music before bedtime at 8 pm..... A bath is always a great way to calm them. (mine screamed until they were tummy down in the bath) Heck use the sink for a quick one.

    Not sure if I was much help.... it will get better and you will miss holding them all the time.

  23. cole715

    cole715 Well-Known Member

    I had my dh for the first 8 weeks, he had 8 weeks of paternity leave, During this time we had a night doula come twince a week at night so we could get some sleep. Then we had a nanny every day for 4 hours a day until they were 3 months old which is when we moved to another part of the country. I thought that when my dh went back to work I would just need help a couple of days a week, after 1 day on my own, I begged the nanny to come every day. I was lucky she was flexible and was such a help. I had experience taking care of childred, it was just har dmaking both of them happy at once. After 4 months it got so much easier and we no longer had any help. As I said we moved to another part of the country where we know no one and it is fine.
  24. ddancerd1

    ddancerd1 Well-Known Member

    i'm pretty much doing it on my own. the only help i get is at bathtime every other night when dh helps out, and he gives them their last bottle (if he's home), then we both put them to bed.
    i had someone over almost every day to help me in the beginning, but at 8 weeks i shoved everyone out the door and insisted i do it myself. and i have been ever since, and it gets easier every day, every week, every month. i pump/rest when they nap, i clean while they play (or if someone comes over to play with the girls i'll clean then).
    my girls are almost 10 months old and it's so awesome. i walk in their room first thing in the morning and they scream with delight! i watch them hit milestones during the day, i watch them interact with each other more and more... you're going to love it!!!
    like a PP said, get out of the house when you can... go for a walk, go to the mall, meet a friend at starbucks with the babies...
    once you put them on a schedule (we had one by 6 months) you can "plan" things more easily around the babies' schedule.

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