Seriously…How Do You Do It?

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Categories Attitude, Co-parenting, Family, How Do The Moms Do It, Infants, Parenting Twins, Pregnancy, SAHM, Sleep

The name of this blog is just so appropriate.  I meet people all the time who say “I don’t know how you do it!”  My own mother can encourage me (or commiserate!) when she says “I don’t know how you do it!”  But it was under a year ago that I found out I was having twins, and after the initial shock and happiness wore off, I was left with the question “How will I do it?”

I think lots of MoMs to be, particularly if this is their first pregnancy, must ask themselves this question on a daily basis.  From carrying and birthing two babies, to breastfeeding, to soothing in the middle of the night, we just don’t know how we’ll cope.

And it’s not just the newborn phase or even the babies themselves—it’s the stroller, the high chairs, the clothes, the stuff—everywhere we turn we are confronted by another overwhelming child-rearing dilemma.

Project Procrastinot newborn twins
We had no idea what we were in for!

Nearly six months in, my “how will I do it” moments are quite different than they were when my twins were born.  Currently, I am wondering if I will ever sleep again and what introducing solid foods will be like.  For every transition we face, there is a brief moment of panic when I try to figure things out (okay, sometimes it’s not so brief).

When I was pregnant and asked every mother of twins that I could find “How do you do it?!” The vague and ubiquitous answer was “you just do” or “whatever it takes.”  And now that my twins are almost HALF A YEAR OLD (how did that happen!?), I can say that this is the same wisdom I wlll pass down to other MoMs to be.

But what does that mean?  For our family, it means not overthinking things.  I get more stressed out when I try to analyze every detail or plan every nuance.  The babies have a way of teaching you what works best.  So go with the flow, specifically, their flow.  You will find a way that works for you.  And don’t panic if it’s not the same way that Suzy Q does it, or if the first way you try doesn’t work out.  At this moment I have two cribs next to each other IN MY BEDROOM.  Certainly not something I planned, and not the arrangement I hope to live with forever.  But for right now? It’s what we gotta do and it works.

Mercedes and her husband live in Aberdeen, Scotland, where they spend restless nights with their b/g twins born in September 2012. 

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6 thoughts on “Seriously…How Do You Do It?”

  1. It’s all about priorization (as lunchldyd noted in her comment on my last post, on disorganization).

    I have an ordered list of life priorities (documented at http://www.motherhoodsisterhood.com/2009/06/how-do-you-do-it.html, although it needs updating in light of my divorce), and I use them as my touchstone in everything I do. Things that fall outside those goals just don’t matter, and I don’t expend any energy worrying about them.

    That works for me.

  2. It’s true. Although I love hdydi, the question from strangers is just weird. How do you do it? Well you just do. What else would a twin mom do, give up? Stop? You move one foot in front of the other, drink lots of coffee, and keep going. Your babies will teach you, too. Great post!

  3. It sounds like you’ve got it pretty well figured out! Do what works for your family and block out know-it-all naysayers. Because unless they have or had mulitples…they just don’t get it. Enjoy those little babies! And remember: They won’t spend their wedding nights in the cribs in your bedroom. So if they’re there now? Whatevs. :)

  4. We have several friends with triplets and I can definitely say that I am constantly thinking to myself “how on earth do they do it”- and that always makes me laugh since I go so crazy with the amount of people that ask me the same thing about having twins. I guess it’s about perspective- if you have one baby, I am sure twins do seem overwhelming. I find the idea of triplets very daunting, but have often thought that having twins is easier in many ways than having two babies close in age (especially if you are only planning on having 2 kids)! I totally agree with Kristin- whatever works for your family is great- and they really won’t be in your room forever :)

  5. I feel like I’m in the weeds too. Twins are almost 4 month and I’ve been working on a schedule for a couple of weeks now. Thankfully, they sleep great at night with one feeding around 4am. But during the day there’s no rhyme or reason to how much they eat or sleep. And I’m constantly helping them get back to sleep so their naps can total a decent amount of time. I think the craziness is due to me trying to get them to sleep at the same time. That’s been incredibly stressful. Just thinking about it… One waking up the other, finally rocking one to sleep when the other wakes up… I want to just give up.

    Ideally I would like them to not feed at night, sleep a predictable 3 distinct naps, and eat the same amount at each feeding, regularly spaced. Oh, and have one of their naps correspond with Toddler’s. Too much to ask?

  6. Sadia, prioritization is definitely key! I love especially not wasting energy about things outside of priorities.

    Linda, yes, the babies definitely do teach us!

    Kristin–you’re right! They just don’t get it…

    Christy–triplets seem daunting. Even though twins are hard work, I think it’s manageable between my husband and I. I think triplets would definitely require some outside help! But you’re right–perspective is everything!

    Lunchldyd–I felt things get better around three months, and now again that they’re six months they are a little better still. I don’t stress about keeping them on the same schedule, though, it’s almost too much work to fight their natural rhythms!

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