Time Management with Newborn Twins

My twin girls are now two and a half years old and in some ways the time has just flown by and in other ways it has dragged on. The first 3-4 months with twins were intense! There was a lot of crying in the house and the babies cried too. It was tough in terms of sleep deprivation and the amount to do and regularity of feeds. Whenever possible I had to take a nap when the girls were napping. It seemed like I was not getting things done but in terms of mental sanity it was essential.

<img src="/sites/default/files/Twins-newborns-min.JPG" alt="Newborn Twins a couple of days after birth" width="450"/><center><small>Annabelle & Amelia a couple of days after birth</small></center>

<h3>Get help from Family and Friends</h3>
My mother flew in from interstate and stayed with us for four weeks after the birth of the twins. The birth ended with an emergency Caesar and so that slowed my recovery. My mother helped in countless ways.

Our church were also incredibly helpful by providing us meals for the first eight weeks. They had a roster and we had meals brought to us daily. It was awesome! We loved all the food and often it lasted more than one meal. Since then I have often cooked meals for friends with newborns as I know the difference it makes. Even getting this done though a meal plan or local restaurant would be a great substitute for cooking. When I got back into the kitchen I usually stuck to using a jar to ease my way back to the heart of cooking and ultimately baking.

Friends were helpful when they would pop in for an hour or so to visit, play with the girls or help with bath-time. Some friends even did the dishes or put the washing on the line. One friend from my mothers group visited weekly and insisted I go for a walk or go shopping during the hour of her visit as she knew how much I craved being able to get outside and have some time-out.

<h3>Get help from the Outside</h3>
We decided to hire a cleaner to come once a week to give us a hand with the cleaning and washing. I could have done with more help but that worked and got the bigger jobs done. The cleaner gave me more time to commit to my girls which I desperately needed. As time passed, things got a bit easier and we reduced this and eventually by about 8 months we were able to manage again without the cleaner. To my surprise when discussing this with my Mothers Group, they all wanted our cleaner’s number, though they had only one child. I started to see that is was a totally viable and essential way that people choose to save time. Many continue to do so, especially when they head back to work as they want to spend their spare moments with the kids not cleaning the bathroom.

Aside from all this it's good to read further about how twin-feeding and a strict routine are preferrable when managing twins. These were both challenging to persist with but alternatives were time consuming and emotionally draining.

If you have a newborn or are expecting a bub or two I wish you well and encourage you to get lots of support as you will need it for your physical and mental health :)

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<h3>Other articles you may be interested in</h3>
<a href="http://www.cravetime.com/save-time/household/time-management-newborn-twi... the Dad's perspective here</u></a>
<a href="http://www.cravetime.com/save-time/household/save-time-cleaning-why-clea... Time Cleaning - Why Cleaning is a Waste of Time</u></a>
<a href="http://www.cravetime.com/save-time/household/save-time-cooking-meal-prep... Time Cooking</u></a>
<a href="http://www.case.edu/magazine/fallwinter2008/twicethelove.html" target="_blank">Twins and Sleep Deprivation</a>

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Do you have tips on how you survived with a newborn?

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Comments

Great article Christine!
I know when I was a single young mother with a son (while studying), Help from friends, family and church were invaluable.

Well done Christine. it's good to hear about your journey over the first few months with the adjustments to becoming a parent and juggling it all. Best wishes as you continue this journey
Keryn

Thanks for sharing your journey Christine and some great tips there for Mum's with newborns! I still remember the time you brought your cleaner over to us for a cleaning session at our house when I had a new bub - which was a lovely gift to us and so much appreciated - thank you! Not to mention the other times you made meals for us, visited and chatted on the phone - all while you were looking after your little ones!
Yes, family, friends and church - really make the difference in times such as these!
Emma

Beautiful as they are, I had my two children one at a time.. Thank goodness!! It was difficult to cope as a young mother with one let alone two.. Family and Friends support come in very handy when little things such as naps in between become a necessity to function.. You're doing an amazing job Christine and thanks for sharing your journey..
Cheers,
Ruslyn

That is such great advice, Christine. No matter whether you have one baby or multiple, 1 child or 12, I think time management is always on eof the greatest challenges for mother's. Do I rest when the babies are sleeping or do the housework? Do I sit and play with my baby or race around and do the laundry and dishes while they're happy? I have often made the wrong choice in these areas in my quest for a pristine house. It often has come at the expense of my emotional and spiritual well being, as well as the extra love and attention I could have given my kids.
Thanks for encouraging others to make meals too - I didn't realise what a blessing that was until someone did that for me. It can be hard to let go of our pride that doesn't want to acknowledge as mothers that we need help - this is a good reminder too that it takes 'a village to raise a child' :)

It's so good to hear from other mums that we should be striving for happy time with kids. I remember hearing on Oprah one day about how wonderful these mums were because their houses were always clean and their children beautifully dressed. I regret having this echo in my mind for so long. The feeling of embarressment when there was a knock at the door and the dishes wern't done and the breakfast mess was still on the table...and floor at 11am, oh dear. Last few months I have realised more that in 10 years time I will not remember that on 15th of Jan 2010 I had a clean, well organised house. But I will see the positive effects of the time I spent with the children...who I stayed home for in the first place. I think the idea of getting a cleaner once a week is fantastic-windows, dusting, vacuuming and ironing. When the budget got too tight for $50 a week another option might be to paya responsible teen who loves little ones to come and spend time adoring your kids while you race around doing the stuff you know needs doing. I know I'm not the one spending time with them, but at least it isn't the TV who is babysitting them. Let's face it, the state of the house does tend to reflect our state of mind, but finding the balance of mess & "us time" vs clean house & lonely child, is liberating.

A helpful idea for mums craving cleaning/sanity time: Organise a group of trusted friends to mind each other's kids for one hour per week. This way everybody has an hour of minding, and an hour of free time.