My boy/girl twins are turning ONE this week! It hardly seems even possible. At this moment, the year feels like it has flown by. But, I know there were so many times that I felt like time was standing completely still, and the chaos around me was going to completely swallow me. Being a mom of twins is probably one of the hardest things I have ever done. It is right up there with being pregnant with twins. Ha! But, really. It is often not very easy, and the feelings of being overwhelmed are real, even if you have support at home. If you have a family member or a close friend that is about ready to have twins, this article is for you! So many times in those first few months, my family would ask me, “what can I do” and I didn't know.
Now that I am a full year in, I can look back with some clarity and tell you the ways you can help a twin mamma. My family jumped in and did some of these things for me. At the time, I didn't even know I needed it or that it would be helpful but, it made a difference.
Bring food when you come meet the babies for the first time. Bring food a month later when you come to see the twins. I barely cooked at all those first few months. Hubs took over grocery shopping for awhile and tried to grill as much as possible. We also had take-out a lot those first few months because it was easiest. We didn't have a ton of visitors for the first little while but if your twin mom invites you over, bring food! Bring a meal, bring some baked goods, etc. I remember a few times when food was brought to me, and it was sincerely wonderful.
When we invited my mother in law over to meet the babies the day after we got home from the hospital, she brought tons of food. I remember a crock pot of chicken and dumplings we ate for days. There was a bunch of other food she brought too. Since we were in the hospital for several days, grocery shopping didn't happen for a bit, and her gift was so helpful! When the babies were a month old, my grandparents came over to meet the babies. They drove 3 hours to see us. She brought all of my favorite food. Some of her recipes she made that I loved and even some cake from a bakery by her house that she knew I liked. I know she brought a gift for the babies, but I just remember the food. At a time when its hard to find extra time and energy to cook or even feed yourself, gifts of food are such an amazing way to show the new parents how much you care.
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Make Food to Stock the Freezer Before the Babies Arrive
When I was pregnant with my twins, I had so many plans to make tons of make-ahead meals to put in the freezer. I knew the benefit of having the freezer stocked with meals and snacks I could just heat and serve. I planned to do all of my make-ahead meals the last few months of my pregnancy so that they would be good for the longest amount of time after the twins were here. What I didn't plan on was how hard those last few months of being pregnant with twins was. I was barely able to stand for 10 minutes without my feet swelling. I got very few freezer meals done.
Then a few weeks before my delivery, my sister came over and spent a whole day making food from scratch for my freezer. It was a huge blessing. I remember feeling super helpless as I sat in the kitchen with my feet up while she cooked and prepped food for my freezer. The time she took to come to my house and make all of this food for my freezer was an amazing gift and one the future twin mom will not even know how much she needs. I was able to pull one of those hot pocket sandwiches (pictured below- baked from scratch and then frozen) from the freezer and eat it after only microwaving for 45 seconds. When you have two screaming babies and need to eat because you're so hungry from all of the nursing, those freezer sandwiches became super valuable. Even now a year later, I still remember how much that helped.
Give Your Time to help with the Babies
We don't live super close to my family so when my mom and my sister made themselves available for the single purpose to just come help with the babies and big sister periodically the first year; it was such a blessing. I often couldn't get any time alone and these planned out visits were times I could plan to intentionally leave the house for a bit. Taking some time for myself was so necessary. They drove a long way to do this for me, and they knew it was not going to be all snuggles but instead a lot of work, and they did it anyway. It has been an amazing gift. Once we started to get past the first few months, I wanted to get out of the house more. The first few times, I relied on my mom to come with me. Things like taking the kids to see the Easter Bunny and visit my grandparents a few hours away. Having her with me made me feel more relaxed and capable of handling it. I think because of that I enjoyed those first few outings much more.
Gift a Cleaning Service
This was something I would have loved during the first year. I wanted and needed to spend all of my time taking care of my new babies and my self. Taking care of the house on top of it was impossible. Trust me; twin mamma is not going to be offended by this gift. Having someone take care of the house details is something we don't even realize we need until we are in the thick of things and it is already out of control. When we were in the hospital having the babies, my mom came and cleaned our main living areas for me so we could come home to freshly washed floors and bathrooms. It was so nice not having to worry about those things the first little bit. It was always something I really appreciated.
Gift a certificate for Meal Delivery
There are many places that now offer meal delivery service. We received this when our twins were born, and it was awesome. I was able to go on line, pick out my meal preferences from their menu and on our cook day, a week's worth of meals was delivered to us. It was so nice not to have to worry about cooking for a whole week, and the food was amazing. Any new mom would appreciate a gift like this, and it is a great thing to have a bunch of the family go in on, as ours did.
Gift Items to Make Mom's Life Easier
Have you seen the Insta Pot
These things are amazing! You can really make healthy food fast. It is a pressure cooker, a slow cooker, a steamer, a food warmer, and a rice cooker all in one! It even can saute and make yogurt. This would be a new twin mom's dream come true. Watch a video at the above link to see how it works. There are even some great cook books to make it even SIMPLER for your new parents.
Even a traditional Slow Cooker
would be a sanity saver for the new mom. This is the one I have and it is awesome because of the programmable timer. I can set it in the morning and the timer lets me know when it's ready. I absolutely love it. You could even bring the new parents a crock pot meal in the new Slow Cooker and then leave it with them to enjoy making their own slow cooker meals.
The other thing I absolutely have loved this year is the Nutri Ninja Auto IQ
This blender is absolutely amazing. I often make a protein shake or a smoothie for breakfast. It is quick, easy, little mess, and powerful. I don't know about you, but for me taking the huge blender out and then having to clean it along with cups was just too much work. A twin mom in the first year does not have time for that. This little gadget allows you to make a smoothie quick and drink right from the cup you blended it in. It is perfect and makes it so much easier for mom to take care of herself the first year.
Think of anything that you use in your own life to streamline and make things easier. Things that save you time. These are the things the new parents of twins need.
Overall your twin mom and dad in your life needs your love and support while they adjust to two babies at once. Mom will have double all of the hormone changes that go along with twins. Be patient with her and reach out to her. Don't wait for her to call you to ask for help. She probably doesn't have time to figure out what she needs. If you can offer your time, it will be so helpful. If you can offer food, cooking for her, or even a kitchen tool to simplify and help her cut time when she doesn't have any to spare, these will be so critical to her well being.
In time things will get into a routine, and it will get easier. As the babies grow, twin parents become more comfortable and confident, and things will get better. The first year is hard, and twin parents who get support from family and friends will really be set up for success. Good luck to you all and congratulations and welcome to the multiples club!
Please feel free to reach out and join the conversation. I'd be happy to answer any questions. Just leave me a comment. Also, if you'd like to stay connected, sign up for the newsletter where I will continue to share other helpful info as I raise my own twins.
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