Yes! We made it through the holidays. With two tiny tots running around and getting into any and everything, making it through the holidays in one piece is like running and winning a marathon. From cooking to cleaning, shopping to gift wrapping, decorating and baking, the holidays quickly become time consuming and potentially stressful. Now add to the equation two little ones who require round-the-clock parental supervision and you can barely keep your head from spinning.
By eighteen months I have pretty good handle on the dynamic duo so all I did was apply old lessons to novel situations. Here are a few things that helped me conquer the holiday season;
1. Keep them Busy
I learned from earlier experiences that the best way to do anything while keeping your little ones safe is to keep them occupied in the same room you’re in. When in the kitchen, I would play music and take some breaks to dance and play, all while allowing them to bang on my pots and pans with utensils.
2. FEED THEM!!!!
Food makes everyone happy especially little ones! Snacks keep toddlers happy for an extended time period allotting you time to complete the task at hand. As long as my tiny tots had food and drink, they were very content children.
3. Make them Feel Useful
At eighteen months, toddlers love modeling what they see and thrive on praise when completing the task correctly. Give them a tiny twin size task to take on and make sure to applaud them for their work during and after completion. For instance, while cooking I would ask them to cook me a meal on their kitchen set or if folding laundry, I would give them two blankets to fold (or cover their faces and chase each other with :-)).
4. Make Good Use of Naps
Lets face it, some things still aren’t capable of being completing while your tiny tornado’s are awake. Once they lay down use the time wisely to finish (or start) the task at hand .
While these 4 things assisted me throughout the holiday season, they can also make your daily chores more manageable or family events throughout the year. I hope all you twin supermoms had a MARVELOUS holiday season and I wish you all the very best of God’s blessings for the upcoming year.
Traveling with babies can already be cumbersome, but when you have two babies it can become down right difficult. Hopefully you are a supermom of twins that fall asleep the moment the car starts moving and will only wake up to eat. If that supermom is you, I surely do envy because if your like me, your little sweethearts want to be held, and entertained along with the normal eat and be changed during a long car ride.
The first trip we took with the babies was for family get together in New Jersey. It was a six hour car ride and they were 3 months at the time. Being a breastfeeding mom, it took a little more work on my part to keep them calm and satisfied. At that time they were nursing every 3 to 4 hours, and my daughter (that little diva) refused to take the pacifier and would only nurse to sleep unlike my son who would sleep just fine with a pacifier. After a few times of taking them out the car seat, nursing them and getting them comfortable, they finally fell asleep with only 3 hours left of the trip. In hindsight, it wasn’t that bad of a ride. The only thing that made the trip challenging was the lack of space to comfortably nurse.
At 10 months, we took a trip to Albany which thankfully was only a 3.5 hour trip. This time the trip went a little differently. They did not want to just sleep and eat, instead they wanted to stand, look around, and see the fascinating scenery. Entertaining them was most of the battle. Since they were on table food, I could feed them in the car seats and give them their sippy cups to satisfy them until I could nurse. Thankfully I had them on a sleep schedule so around the time we left they slept a good portion of the ride. Trying not to throw off their schedule too much, when we arrived I continued our normal routine which was to bathe them, nurse them and lay them down to sleep through the night. Surprising enough, this did work and even when we returned home they maintained their regular sleep schedule.
Though somewhat challenging at times, from each trip I learned a few things;
- For smaller babies, make sure you make their car seat as comfortable as possible. Place a plush blanket behind them and on the sides to keep them in place. When the car hits a bump you don’t want to disrupt their sleep so make sure they are secured in the midst comfortable fashion.
- If nursing, nurse one at a time and make sure they are well satisfied so you don’t have to constantly take them out the car seat or have to pull over to nurse.
- Drap their car seats with a light blanket (a receiving blanket) to shield them from the sun if traveling during the day. Though car seats have visors, some babies need darkness to sleep so a light blanket can do wonders.
- For older babies, bring lots of entertainment such as their favorite small toys, DVD player if they have a favorite tv show and snacks to keep them happy. The best toy for them often times is you mommy so get your best funny faces and tickle fingers ready. As with younger babies, you want to keep them as comfy as possible, so bring a nice blanket to help them cuddle into and hopefully sleep will be sure to follow
As another supermom once told me, it only gets easier, so as always enjoy the journey where you are and make the most of the time you share.
Having twins can definitely be time consuming, so much so that it may seem as though you have no time to spend with your older children. Well I say “Make time”. It can be hard for your older children, depending on their age, to understand how much your new little joys are dependent upon you. My son was 6 when my twins were born and was surprisingly understanding of my time once I explained to him what I needed to do for them on a daily basis. As understanding as he was, my first love still had his moments when he would become quite discouraged when I couldn’t play at a moments notice, or when he had to quietly play with his toys because I was putting the babies to sleep.
As patient as my little boy was with me, I still wanted him to know that he was not forgotten and still held a VERY special place in mommy’s heart. Prior to the babies birth it had been just the three of us, so we decided to pick him up early one day from school and treat him to lunch at his favorite pizza place and a movie. Needless to say, he LOVED it and was appreciative of the time we spent with him.
On the weekend when dinner and a movie weren’t an option we have what we call “sleep overs”. During our “sleep over” we spread covers on the floor in the front room, watch t.v, eat snacks, and laugh and play until we fall to sleep. My son LOVES this and I love the quality time I get to spend just him and I. Seeing him smile brightens my day, so knowing how special our “sleep overs” are to him is quite rewarding.
Whatever you do, make time for your older children. Let them know how special they are to you and that no matter how many more children you have, their place in your heart will only and forever belong to them.
Being a mom can have its moments when you just need a breather, especially when dealing with little babies. Just like any person, babies have mood swings as well and your the lucky one who gets to deal with their emotional roller coasters while still dealing with your own. It wouldn’t be so bad if your little angels could express themselves with words, but until then crying is their main form of communication.
So what to do on those days when you wish you could just run and hide? Take a breath and remind yourself that this wont last always. I know it sounds easier said than done but BELIEVE me it works! When my babies bombard me with the trail of tears I just look at their precious little wet faces and remind myself how lucky I am because not everyone is fortunate to have children but God saw fit to give me two. Once that reality hits me, I change my attitude, pick up my little loves and focus on making them smile and laugh. Positivity attracts positivity and your little ones can sense it.
But what happens on those days when your optimistic thoughts aren’t enough to get you by? Take a break. This is when dad, grandparents and friends come in handy. Drop the babies off or have someone come over and take a few hours for you. For me a nice nap can sometimes do the trick. If no one is available, place the babies in a safe place, such as their crib, and take a few moments to relax. Its completely natural to feel this way SOMETIMES, but if these feelings persist don’t be ashamed consult your physician. Woman are hormonal by nature and sometimes your problem could be physiological.
Regardless of the issue, just know that this too shall pass and sooner than later this will be nothing but a distant memory.
If you’re an experienced mom, you know about keeping your finger nails low. This is especially important when handling two infants at once. With longer nails it is almost inevitable that you may scratch your little ones accidentally. Maintaining a low cut manicure can also prevent the spreading of germs since dirt can easily become trapped under your nails. Being that your fingers do so much for your babies mainly serving as your babies number one chew toy, you want to keep your fingers as clean as possible which also mean foregoing nail polish for awhile. You don’t want your nail polish to accidentally chip in their mouths so keep the polish just on your toes for now. When they get all their little teeth and their oral fixation has ceased, a nice mani-pedi would be a great gift from your husband to help bring back your inner diva 🙂