Time Management with Newborn Twins - The Dad's perspective

<p>Since the Dad (me) didn't get much of a mention in the <u><a href="http://www.cravetime.com/save-time/household/time-management-newborn-twi... article about time management with twins</a></u>, I've decided to respond myself [smile].</p>
<p>Our twins, Amelia and Annabelle, were a huge blessing. We were ecstatic when we found out at 20 weeks that we were having twins. When they were born, both my wife Christine and I were so happy and the joy in our community of family and friends was unbelievable. I never realized how much an event like a birth would bring people together.</p>
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<img src="/sites/default/files/Twins-Birth-min.JPG" alt="Our family at the birth" width="450"/><center><small>Our little family a few minutes after they were born</small></center>
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<h3>Get help</h3>
<p>I wholeheartedly agree with my wife's suggestion about getting help. Yes, definitely get help from friends and family and get help from others outside. This sounds easy but it was a journey for us. Now the story is written from the perspective of a Dad and it is for specifically for Dads.</p>
<p>Getting help is important. Even when your wife says she is doing fine, if she is crying when she says it... you know she is not. Before looking for outside help, there are simple ways that you as the Dad can help. With twins there is often no other option but for the Dad to help. I found changing nappies wasn’t too difficult and there was never a shortage of practice. Dads, you may need to train your wife not to be too critical of your baby handling skills. Because the Mum is with the baby 24hrs a day she may develop extremely efficient ways of doing everything. There’s a lot you can learn from the way the Mum does things but there’s often more than one way to do things. Both of you can also use different techniques that complement each other. For example, to settle a screaming baby I loved to carry them around in a “Hugabub” but Christine found this hurt her back.</p>
<p>Even when lots of people want to help, getting help may not be easy. There was a time when Christine was exhausted and really need more help. Instead of accepting this help Christine seemed to do the opposite. I remember once organising a break for Christine. She could stay with a relative during the day and they would help look after the twins. Instead of being glad, Christine was upset that I organised this without her knowledge. I was stressed because I couldn't find ways to help Christine. In the end I had to accept that I could not fix the problem. I could listen to my wife as she shared her feelings and frustrations with me. We had to leave the problem solving for later and for a time when Christine was in a place where she could accept help.
If things get desperate there are organisations like Tresillian that can help and your Paediatrician will refer you if necessary. They were a great help to us when Christine was still doing 3 hourly feeding at 7 months.</p>
<h3>Get Sleep</h3>
<p>Mum’s have it tough! They’re the ones who wake up at night for feeds and they are the ones who do not get a break from the baby. Because they have it so hard, sometimes they may not have sympathy for the Dad who has it ‘easy’. I remember once coming home and telling Christine that I was tired and just wanted to sleep for 20min. “Tired! You’re Tired” she responded in disbelief, “you’re not the one who was up four times last night”. Christine had been desperately waiting for me to get home so she could hand me at least one baby and get some rest. I learnt that when I arrived home was when Christine needed me most – it was all hands on deck. Dads, don’t expect too much sympathy regarding sleep from your wife or other women. Share your experience with other guys.</p>
<center><img src="/sites/default/files/DadwithTwinsLying.JPG" alt="Sleepy Dad with Twins"/><br /><small>Sleepy Dad with the babies</small></center><br />
<p>In the end I found other ways to catch up on sleep. I slept on the train. My mobile phone was handy as an alarm and I only missed my stop once. I slept on a couch in the office at lunch where 20-30min nap made a huge difference to my productivity. I also went to bed early as I knew the girls would be up soon.</p>
<h3>Work flexible hours (if you can)</h3>
<p>If you have a good boss, see if you can organise flexible leave. It was great to take the first two weeks completely off. I had a great boss who let me take 2 weeks off and then work half-days for four weeks. That made a huge difference! I was able to use my leave in a way that really worked for me.</p>
<h3>Get Exercise</h3>
<p>It’s important to get some exercise just to keep sane. See the article on <a href="http://www.cravetime.com/save-time/wellbeing/why-busy-people-need-exerci... target="_blank">why busy people need exercise</a>. I had no time to do specific training so I would just run to places I had to get to. I'd run to the shops and I’d run to the train station. Christine and I would sometimes go for walk with the pram. Core-body and back exercises are important and I should have done more of them. I ended up getting neck pain because I didn’t remember to keep good posture. There were lots of times when I was leaning over the baby’s cot.</p>
<h3>Thanks</h3>
<p>Our twins are now older and soon we are expecting our third child. I’m often asked if I’m sure it’s just one more. We are looking forward to a whole bunch of new challenges. Thanks to everyone who helped us – our parents, our church, friends. Also thanks to Christine who has an amazing stamina to demonstrate love with our babies - even when exhausted beyond words.</p>

<h3>Some random twin specific advice</h3>
• Stay on a schedule.
• <a href="http://www.twinsane.com.au/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=f...
" target="_blank">Twin feeding pillow was great</a>
• Keep a <a href="http://twoferthepriceofone.blogspot.com/2009/04/flashback-twofer-newborn... target="_blank">chart of when each twin sleeps and poos</a>. It’s hard to remember when you haven’t slept much.
• Make sure your wife sleeps when the baby is sleeping.
• Join a local <a href="http://www.amba.org.au" target="_blank">multiple birth association</a>
• Get out of the house. Give your wife the chance to get out too.
• Call your wife from work. If the babies are sleeping, make sure she is sleeping and not <a href="http://www.cravetime.com/save-time/household/save-time-cleaning-why-clea... the house!</a>
• Read as much as you can about <a href="http://raisingchildren.net.au/articles/feeding_twins_and_multiples_-_cyh... target="_blank">raising twins</a>
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Make sure you read Christine's article on <a href="http://www.cravetime.com/save-time/household/time-management-newborn-twi... Management with Newborn twins</a>.
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Tell us how you survived with your newborn(s).

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Comments

Thanks for the insights into living with babies (1 or more - all take up at lot of time). It's good to know that others are going thru the same kind of difficulties. Wish I could have helped you both more but living interestate make this hard. Best wishes with your newbie due in 11weeks. I'm sure you are kicking in to high gear just like we are to make sure things are all ready for the new arrival of your little one.