Melissa did her first MOM interview back in March when she was 35 weeks pregnant and delivered her 2 beautiful girls at 37 weeks. I thought it would be fitting to do a follow up with her now that they have been OUT as long as they were IN. You can read part 1 here and part 2…well… here 🙂
What is a typical day like for you?
Oh crap they’re awake – diaper diaper – dress dress – eat eat – play – why are you crying – play – oh please please please sleep – huge sigh– coffee – laundry – oh crap they’re awake – diaper diaper – dress dress –eat eat – play- why are you crying – play – oh please please please sleep – hugh sigh– coffee – oh crap they’re awake – repeat until husband comes home –pass babies to husband – hugh sigh – glass of red wine – zzzzzz.
Do you prefer to stick to a routine, or be more flexible with your day?
I’m all about routine. It’s the only thing that gives me sanity. Whatever happens in the day, knowing that they’ll be in their cribs between 9 and 11 and 2 and 4 is so important to me. I’m sure it frustrates people, and I like to think if I had one baby I’d go with the flow a bit more. But with two, I find routine is key.
How are you approaching food/mealtime with the twins?
I have one who will happily eat anything and another who refuses all food. So mealtimes are a mix of fun and frustration. I try to tell myself food is meant to be fun and think about the long game here, and I figure she will eat when she is ready.
How are you approaching sleeping with the twins?
Sleep is the biggest stress in my life. It’s what I want most and they want least, apparently. We sleep trained at five months because before that it was really becoming a joke. I think sleep training is a dark period in so many parents’ lives. For me it definitely was. But they are great night sleepers now (for the most part) and having nights back has really given me some of myself back. Plus it’s a time for my husband and I to reconnect, if we are able to keep our eyes open long enough. Naps continue to challenge me. My great eater is a poor napper and my picky eater sleeps great. I guess you can’t win them all.
About your VILLAGE:
Have you been able to create any time for YOU yet?
No, not really. I have a supportive husband who tells me to take the time I need for myself, but it’s me who finds it such a hard thing to do. It’s something I definitely need to get better at.
What do you do with that time?
The few occasions I have escaped I’ve mostly just wandered around town, had a coffee, read a magazine, window shopped. I’ve had one haircut in eight months and it was a real treat. I remember very early on, when the girls weren’t even a month old and I tried to have some ‘me time’ and ended up in tears. I was so overwhelmed, I wandered the streets aimlessly not knowing what to do or where to go – something I had never experienced before. It was the first time I really felt like I had lost touch with the pre-babies me. (I think I’ve found her again since then.)
In what ways does your partner help?
My partner is a never-ending source of help. I think with two babies you are both thrown in the deep end immediately. There is no opportunity for one person to carry the load. You’re both in it, 100%, whenever you’re at home. The best thing he does is bedtime. The days are long and it’s nice to know my day gets easier when he gets home from work, and I get to walk out of their room and have 20 minutes to myself while he puts them to bed – dreamy.
What has surprised you most about parenting with him?
I’m not sure if surprised is the right word, but he is such a flexible thinker – this is where I need him the most. I’m much more of a fatalist – if something isn’t working I think ‘oh no, this isn’t working, we need to completely change it.’ But he thinks, ‘how else can I approach this to get it to work?’. And then it usually does.
Who else has been able to help? In what ways?
My mum is a huge source of help. She tirelessly comes over once a week and brings me breakfast, lunch and dinner. The girls adore her and the extra set of hands is such a relief. Food is also such a help. Everyone who brought us over a pot of chili, some frozen meals, some muffins, I am so grateful. We had a stocked freezer for the first six months or so because of so many people’s generosity and thoughtfulness and getting to the end of a loooong day and not having to think about what you’re going to make for dinner is a GREAT THING. The twin mum community has also been an incredible support to me. People I’ve never even met have gone out of their way to come and lend a hand, offer advice, answer questions, bring over useful supplies…it’s definitely an amazing group of women. We are all in the trenches together, and knowing others went before you and survived makes the toughest moments gentler.
About the Twins:
In what ways are the twins are similar?
They are similar in that they are born on the same day and they are babies.
In what ways are the twins different?
Luisa is long and lean never stops moving. Ivy is round and sedentary. Luisa is headstrong, picky, hot or cold. She loves or hates. She’s a doer. Ivy is temperate, easy going, calm. She laughs easily and observes. Luisa is my performer and Ivy is the best audience.
Which moments make you smile the most with them?
Right now they are each in an exersaucer giggling and squealing and baby sighing at each other, so that’s pretty great.
Which moments make you think WTF the most with them?
When I have two screamers and not enough hands.
About being a MOM.
What tricks or tips have really helped you through? (if anything)
The biggest thing is having them both on the same schedule. I know people believe in feeding on demand and not waking a sleeping babe, but since they were born if one was hungry the other got fed, and if one was awake, the other was woken.
I also come back to my mantra, which was shared with me by another twin mum, “I can do today. Maybe I can’t do tomorrow, but I can do today.” It gets me through the trying moments with them.
Oh also, exersaucers.
What would say is in line with how you thought Motherhood would be, and what is very different?
I’m not sure what or how I thought motherhood would be, but I do know I expected it to come easy to me – that I would instinctively know what to do and how to navigate through the waters with my smiling babes. But it didn’t; I don’t. It is incredibly tough. At the moment, the rewarding is starting to outshine the gruelling, but it took us a long time to get there.
Finally: After re-reading your first set of answers, is there anything you would want to tell/warn/share with “pregnant Melissa”?
Who are we kidding, I don’t have any time to go back and read those answers! Pregnant Melissa had NO IDEA WHAT SHE WAS IN FOR. But mama Melissa has two babies to love, so it’s a win, I think.
WE’RE NOT IN THIS ALONE!!
Each month we feature a mom of multiples and share how they handle life and all the unique situations that come with parenthood. Check out previous M.O.M posts here.