Would love some practical advice... 3 under 2!(11 Posts)
Just looking for a bit of encouragement really. I have two lovely children aged 5 and 17 months and am 27 weeks pregnant with mcda twins. Although very shocked (I conceived accidently whilst breastfeeding!) my husband and I are delighted. However it is slowly dawning on me how mammoth an effort the next few months/years are going to be.
We both work, I have 6 weeks left, but money is going to be very tight so we are in no position for paid help. Just wondering if anyone had any practical advice on how on earth I will manage day to day!! Thank you.
The only thing that I think you can do is not to struggle against what is going to happen. It is going to be very hard. It will be made harder if you fight and fume.
Accept that you are not going to be able to go out and that you are going to have to be very organised.
Have you got any parents that might help?
Other than get help that you say that you can't afford, you need to relax and try and keep calm. The mindful meditation tapes can be downloaded from Guildford Mindfulness off the web. Even if you you do a three minute meditation it may leave you feeling calmer.
The only consolation is that the awful , feeding, nappies, no sleep etc will pass and in time you will have a wonderful family. Amazing to have lots of children.
You will find them to be a utter blessing. Best of luck and be patient.
I had two under 1 at one point - so not quite the epicness you're going to have - but still enough that people think it's a tough task.
In a way it is - but I've always tended to think of it in terms of getting the rough littlie stuff out of the way at once - and it's getting easier very very quickly as my youngest approaches the two year mark.
Things that helped me - a decent pushchair and backpack reins as well for the eldest - plus "training" the eldest to do lots of little things - like climb up into her car seat while I'm clipping her younger sister's straps in, so then I just need to whizz back around and do hers up (gets her out of the way of the car park ASAP as well), handling stairs well, routines getting in and out of the house and into the car - she always has the "jobs" of going and saying good morning to the spiders in the flower bush and knocking on the door coming back into the house to keep her busy while I wrangle her sister... daft little things like that if that makes sense?
Being organised as well really - I always have the system where I replace anything used out of changing bags (or indeed out of DD1's nursery nappy bag) within about 5 minutes of getting home so I have things always ready to just pick up and go getting out of the house smoothly... I keep things like waterproofs and wellies in the car boot so I don't get caught out by the weather - things like that and no one goes up or down stairs without carrying anything needed up or down. Doubling up nappy change equipment wherever you're going to spend time during the day as well - so I wasn't upstairs with one with a rampaging toddler down the stairs destroying the place!
You might like to contact Homestart to see if they could help you once a week. I found them amazing.
I had 3 under 2 - DD1 was 19 months when DTs were born. As you've obviously realised, it was pretty hard work!! The first year is all a bit of a blur. Some practical things:
Think about your logistics before the babies arrive. I had changing stations down and upstairs, also toothbrushes etc. We basically lived downstairs in the daytime because getting the three of them upstairs was tricky.
Second the advice about always having nappy bags etc packed and refilling them automatically.
Think about how you're going to take them all out. I had one twin in a sling and the others in a buggy for first six months or so - after that DD1 had to walk (on the positive all my kids are great walkers now, possibly because they had no choice early on), which limited how far we could go.
Do go out. For your sanity, because some/all of them might sleep, and because all the strangers admiring your babies and the fact that you are functioning enough to be out will do you good.
Think about changes you can make to your older kids routines now that might help you when the twins arrive. (My DD1 would only sleep in her cot, and napped for two hours every afternoon, which was a blessing in some ways, but hopelessly inflexible - I used to have to wake her up so we could take the twins out for a nap in the buggy.) I got in the habit of giving DD her main meal at lunchtime, so when the babies were colicky early evening I could just give her toast etc for tea.
Accept help if it's offered and think about what help would be useful, eg a couple of meals for the freezer (I remember my SIL brining us a crumble over early on, it just seemed an amazing treat!).
Remember (and this is a cliche which used to make me want to thump somebody!) that it'll pass and it'll get easier. Six years down the line, it is brilliant having children so close in age.
Hope some of that helps - will try to think of some other things too. And take care of yourself as much as you can now - it's hard work being pregnant with twins!!
Thank you so much everyone, there is some really useful stuff there i hadn't thought of. Will save this and re-read!
I'm worried about the school run as that can be a challenge just getting my daughter out of the door on time.
My husband is laissez faire to say the least but I know this is going to need a much more organised approach than we are used to!
I'd recommend Homestart too. They have very experienced volunteers who help in exactly this sort of situation.
No personal experience, but I know several people who've had 3 under 2 - all have survived it although all had varying degrees of help. In one case a nanny, where finance allowed, but with the others it was mostly family help. If you have any local FE colleges with childcare courses it may also be worth contacting them to see if they have any young people looking for experience, which you might be able to get free or at very low cost. What I hear from others is that it is the 4-7.30pm period of the day that is hardest and when you might need most help. If someone can come in for just a couple of hours a few days a week, to help get older ones bathed and into bed, plus do a few minor chores, that could be a massive benefit.
Are there any other local parents who could help with school run for the 5YO - pick her up from home so you only have to get YOU ready and not the rest? Even if just a couple of days a week it could be helpful.
Do not be afraid to ask for help. In my experience people are often delighted to try and pitch in, especially in the early days.
It's clearly going to be tough.
But hey, how lovely . You must be so pleased.
I think you need to work on ways to protect the development and attention for the older two and especially the 17 month old.
Nanny colleges (or courses) need people for free placements- they aren't left alone but it's still help. Also work experience placements on other FE college courses.
Ask for help.
Don't expect much of yourself.
Try to get a free half hour every day.
This could be handing them all over to your DH and having a bath or doing 30 minutes of whatever when he gets home.
Give every child a full 10 minutes of personal attention every day. I read of a woman with 17 kids who did 5 minutes a day. It isn't a stupid idea, if you think about it.
I'm not going to patronise you re household stuff- you know you're going to have to think of ways to cut corners for the time being.
On the other hand, I have 5, and can say that in the longer term you can expect an army of contributors and helpers, providing they're all taught to expect it!
Join a twins club for extra advice and surf the net for useful tips?
I have a 5 year old & 8 week old so vastly different but I'm thinking about school run here.....
Plan your mornings with military precision ( I have to)
So babies get clean baby gro's at night & providing they are clean will wear them all the next day... That's 2 kids less to get dressed in the morning.
Pick a room where mornings happen, I suggest lounge/ kitchen. Have school uniform laid out ready so 5yo can get dressed after breakfast whilst you feed toddler/ babies. (Also have spare teeth stuff downstairs for older ones)
Lay breakfast stuff out night before too. Its crazy how little time it takes At night but how much it takes in the morning.
Book bag, coat hat shoes all by front door ready to go.
Obvs 5 yo gets free lunches so take advantage of that, then give 17 month old a larger lunch thus meaning tea at 4.30/5 pm can just be sandwiches.
Get a dishwasher.
How will you get to school? If you can then I suggest drive!!! It will save precious time when the babies are tiny , there's time for walking later!
Teach your toddler to get own coat & shoes maybe have pegs low down so they an reach to Hang up.
How do you plan to feed babies?
The TV is your best friend during feed times despite what the hippies say it will save your sanity.
You can and will get out the house.
Eat!!! Keep stocks of cereal bars so you can eat one handed / on the go / in the car!!
Shop online for groceries!!
Share the load . your working day never ends so DH's can't either he needs to know its a team effort when he gets home . He can be in charge of making your dinner & make his own lunch. Get him to make a packed lunch for you too so you know you have something to eat the next day.
You will do great!!!!
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