Never in my life would I have thought that I will have twins. My initial reaction (apart from shock) was a pragmatic one - where do we find space to house TWO babies at the same time in our small duplex apartment? We still grapple with that - today they are still sleeping in the same cot in our room (no space for 2 cots). A bit of a stretch now, given I woke up this morning to see one wriggling on top of the other.
This whole raising twins thing feels a bit like being thrown into the deep end of the pool - you just have to keep swimming to stay afloat. Thoughts on raising twins? Sure have. Here goes:
- Get on a schedule
I swear by this. It might not be the case if I have a single baby at a time, but with 2, having somewhat of a schedule keeps everyone (the babies and us) happy. Babies seem to thrive on routines, and by putting both of them on the same feeding and sleeping schedule, it allows us pockets of time to get back to our other roles apart from that of a parent. There were times when their feeding schedules went haywire, and so did we.
- Be flexible
This applies to everything. Appointments, plans, to-do lists.
- Be open to help, and loads of it
This itself require a whole blog post. We had gone through countless lengthy discussions on live-in help vs live-out help vs infant care vs no help. For now, we settled with a live-in help. I wish I could say I can do it all on my own, but unfortunately I can't. Doing so without any external help, while technically possible, will mean that I will have no energy and time for any other interests/people/activities. With a regular help in place now, it makes us so much more balanced, and a balanced family is a happy family!
- They might look similar, but they are different
It's cute to see two similar babies staring back at you. However, they are clearly two individuals and that's how we would like to treat them. One prefers to learn how to make all sorts of sounds (must be fascinating for them to discover their vocal chords), and the other prefers to learn how to turn, and turn and turn. One almost always naps when out for walks, and the other always has her eyes wide-open scanning the surroundings.
- Learn to wait (the babies, not me!)
When there's just one of us around, and two crying babies, someone's gotta wait. Patience is a virtue. Hopefully they agree.
- Get used to being acquainted with strangers
Especially with the neighbourhood Aunties. I lost count of the number of times we have had to stop and chat with them when out for walks and groceries. They all meant well and it's quite amusing. I would do the same :)
- Having 2 doesn't mean buying more of everything
Clearly for some things, you do - such as diapers, milk bottles. However, I am really really grateful to so many friends who have passed us pre-loved clothing and all sorts of baby items so that we do not have to buy. Babies do grow out of everything so quickly and it'll almost be a waste of money (and effort) to stock up on too much, especially clothing. I'll love to pay it forward, just let me know!
In the picture above, was one of the first few moments when the two of them started verbally communicating with each other with oohs and aahs. It was such a nice moment to watch. I look forward to many more of these moments, and for them to entertain each other (while I get some time off!)