Eat, sleep, poop…repeat. With two babies, that routine is really on constant rotation.
It is not uncommon that new twin parents tell us how quickly they begin to feel overwhelmed by the thought of managing their new normal after bringing home two new babies.
Whether you’re as organized as Martha Stewart or more of the “all over the place” type, finding a system that works for your family and keeps everyone on the same page is key.
There is a learning curve as a new parent. Give yourself some grace while you find your groove. Here are some helpful tips to new twin parents who are trying to tame the chaos at home.
5 Tips To Manage Life When You’re An Overwhelmed New Parent:
Create a schedule…but be flexible:
When you leave the hospital, or the midwives and helpful family goes home, chances are you might be craving some sort of normal routine. People will visit, drop off meals and offer to help with the laundry for a while, but when the dust settles what does your new normal look like?
For the those first few weeks, your babies won’t know their days from their nights, which means having them on a predictable schedule will be unlikely. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t create a schedule for yourself, however.
Take a moment to define what matters to you each day. What are the things that you do that help you feel organized and normal? For example, do you need to make your bed daily or take the dog for a walk? Build those things into your daily routine around the things you must do to meet the needs of your new babies. Setting priorities in your daily routines, even if they focus on you, will help you to regain a sense of normalcy in your life as a new parent. If you put off washing your face and brushing your teeth until 2pm every day…it’ll start to wear on you.
You can take steps to organize and systematize your household as well, which we talk about in one of our most popular organization posts. There is something to be said for giving yourself a way to feel like diapers and bottles haven’t completely taken over your life.
Give Your Self Permission to Just Get By:
They say, sleep when the babies sleep, but for most new parents that is more challenging than it sounds.
Those two babies you just brought home will sleep, but not necessarily at the same time. So while one is napping, there is a good chance the other one will be wide awake. Hang in there…this will pass once their sleep starts to be more consistent.
Nap time seems like the perfect opportunity to get caught up on household chores and such. But the reality is, adjusting to your new life as a parent takes some time. You will eventually settle into a routine and be able to accomplish the extra chores that come with raising kids.
So when you see the dishes in the sink or the laundry piling up, know that all you really need to do is get by. Wash the bottles (as you’ll need them during the night) but let the other dishes sit. If that will drive you nuts, finish the chores that will make you go bonkers and let the other stuff go.
The laundry, the dishes, the emails, and the vacuum can wait. You will soon discover how quickly time flies by, so just sit and soak it all in!
Never Turn Away Help:
Take up every helpful offer you get. Seriously, don’t ever turn anyone away who is willing to hold a baby, do a load of laundry or bring you a meal. The time where people offer you their time to help is pretty short-lived, but during those first few weeks after your babies are born, whether you all are at home, or commuting back and forth from the NICU, having extra hands around is invaluable. If you are sick of people coming over, get crafty and ask them to help outside of the house. For example, send someone to pick up your online order of groceries for you. This way they are helping but you also can have a little space too!
Organization is Your Friend:
On a practical note, we don’t feel like we are doing our jobs if we don’t tell you that finding your organizational groove will be your saving grace as a parent. We talk about getting organized as you prepare to welcome your twins in our book, You Can Two!: The Essential Twins Preparation Guide, with newborn twins in tow, you’ll learn real quickly that many spaces in your home will turn into another version of the nursery at times.
We often tell expectant twin parents to repurpose many of the common spaces in their homes into mini versions of the nursery by adding baskets filled with necessities in those areas. Some may contain the remote, Kleenex, Ipad, water bottles and snacks for you. Other baskets can be filled with butt paste, diapers, pacifiers, and swaddles. It’s up to you, but you’ll feel more organized and less crazed as a new parent when you don’t have all that clutter laying around your living room and you’re not having to run to the nursery 45 times a day to change diapers or get clean clothes.
Save Those Gift Cards:
When you finally get out and about and find yourself driving around when your newborn twins fall asleep, you most likely will keep on driving to stretch out that snooze. The best trick we found was to stock our consoles with a few gift cards…think coffee or snacks…it’s a nice way to treat yourself guilt-free. If people say, “What can I get you?” and you already have 10 meals frozen in the freezer, simply ask for a small gift card! It may feel weird at first, but if you’ve had a long day and you don’t feel like making dinner, it’s nice to grab be able to grab takeout from a local restaurant!
Expert Mom Tip:
We know what you’re thinking here if my kids are asleep how in the world will I run into a restaurant to grab my take-out. Well, speaking from experience here, you may be surprised how many restaurants will run your take-out to the car for you when you simply say I have sleeping babies in my backseat! Try it, it really does work, just throw a few extra dollars on that tip! There are also places with curb-side pick-up options; you won’t even have to take those sleeping babies out of the car!
Let us reassure you that YOU’VE GOT THIS! The more prepared you are the better, but when you are in the throws of two infants, spit-up and dirty diapers, remember these 5 tips to help you feel less overwhelmed and that much more successful as a new parent.
Have any other creative tips that helped you navigate the early days as a new parent? Drop your ideas in the comments below. All of the new parents out there will thank you!