8 Secrets to Surviving the First Year with Twins
Schedule Alone Time with Your Spouse
One of the biggest concerns I hear from women with multiples is that when the kids are grown and leave the house, they and their husbands will look at each other and exclaim, “Who are you?” It is important to make your best effort to nurture your relationship with your spouse to ensure this does not happen. When your babies are young, this will be easier (though it may not seem that way at the time) than when they start moving and talking nonstop. However, as the babies get older and the house gets crazier, you may feel as though you and your mate haven’t talked about anything other than where you’re going as you dart out of the house just as he pulls into the driveway. Get a sitter when you’re comfortable taking that step; instead of viewing the cost as an extra 30 dollars for an evening out, look at it as an investment in your marriage and your family. Or forget the sitter and just plan on a late dinner for the two of you when the kids have gone to bed. Sit down and talk about something other than finances, who tackled whom that day, and how you’re going to negotiate the plane ride to grandma’s. I know some days it won’t seem like there’s anything else to talk about, but there is. Remember what you did on your first dates, fantasize about your ultimate retirement or vacation destination, or better yet, plan a date for the following week or month.
Maintain Your Sense of Humor
If you don’t have one, get one—quickly! Smiling causes your brain to release chemicals that make you feel good. Additionally, laughter releases endorphins in your body that allow you to relax. So, when you can only laugh or cry, do the former. It is more fun (and less expensive) than anxiety medication or therapy.
There’s an old saying, “Attitude is everything.” Keith Harrell, author of a book by the same name, agrees. He states, “Your attitude dictates whether you are living life or life is living you. Attitude determines whether you are on the way or in the way.” And remember, as a general rule, those with positive attitudes enjoy better overall health—a true gift from you to your new bundles of joy. Just when things seem to be at their lowest point, remember: it could always be worse. When I was having a particularly bad hour during the first year with our twins, I would remind myself that there were women in the world juggling sextuplets or more that very second. That usually provided enough clarity to get me through those 60 minutes.
Schedule Regular Alone Time
Many mothers begin to feel as if their lives are somewhat one-dimensional. They become convinced they are losing their own identity in the midst of raising their family. It is extremely important to carve out some time for yourself each day. Even if it’s only to snuggle into bed at night and read People magazine or a chapter of a book that’s been collecting dust on the shelf. Plan to spend time as often as you can with friends in the evenings or on weekends, and plan to do this without your kids when possible. Truly, you cannot take the best care of your family unless you are taking the best care of yourself.
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