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Kate Moreland offers tips and encouragement to new moms of multiples. (We think any new moms can benefit from these tips!)

There seem to be a lot of twins arriving in Catholic families lately, and even more advice about how to handle multiple babies. Much of it is decent advice, but there are a few key items often missed. To you moms with new twins, or moms who are expecting twins, let me add a little advice that I wish I had been told when I was in your shoes.  




You Can Do This. Mostly. 

Everyone will tell you that you must have help; this will be so hard; you will never sleep, eat, clean, or do anything useful ever again. While there are moments when this feels like the greatest truth ever spoken, it is not the reality most of the time. I knew I would be parenting alone for a large portion of my days, so I needed to take one item off my to-do list in order to keep my sanity. For me, that was serious cleaning. I had a cleaning company come every two weeks for the first nine months or so, and that was just enough that I could keep up with everything else. We pinched pennies to make it happen, and it was worth every lost take-out night.  

Really, it was okay. My life revolved around feeding people, and I spent a lot of time sitting in the yard letting the toddlers play while I held/rocked/nursed babies.  

If you have one prayer to spare while you are pregnant, pray that your babies nurse well. Being able to tandem feed is one of the biggest contributors to freeing up your hands and your time. It is also not half so hard as people suggest if you let go of perfection, and it can be a wonderful tool to help a weak feeder eat more or boost a weak supply. Once the stronger baby initiates the let-down, the weaker baby simply has to suck, however poorly, and milk will be there courtesy of the work his twin is doing on the other side. It is a built-in mechanism to help babies who are likely born early and smaller to thrive. 




Don’t Be Afraid to Try 

Before my twin babies arrived, my two other toddlers and I often went to playdates, story times, and other daytime distractions in search of adult conversation and something to do. Many were shocked when this continued after the twins’ birth, and I struggled to explain to them that, while we might leave a little early or I might have to wrangle tandem nursing at a playground (apologies to everyone who witnessed that hot mess!), it made sitting at home doing constant childcare manageable, even welcoming after a busy outing. Most people are so pleased to see cute little babies, much less the double cuteness of twins, that almost everyone was encouraging and generally unphased by the little circus we were.  

The other aspect to this is that people just do not pay attention to others. You might feel horribly self-conscious trying to latch one baby while the other cries, and the toddler is dumping books off a shelf. However, most people are simply living their own lives and focused on their own problems. Your problems are peripheral at best, and, if we are being honest, entertaining at worst. If our challenge or minor embarrassment brings a chuckle to someone else, is that really so bad?  

The benefit of keeping a social life with all the resulting friends, support, and conversation is such a boon to a new mother’s mental health that it should never be rejected in favor of the supposed safety of home.  




It’s Not a Crying Problem 

I ask my toddlers this all the time: “Is it a crying problem, or just annoying?” Toddlers have big emotions and little regulation, and so do moms of new babies. Especially moms of multiple new babies. A simple question can help to put the situation in perspective and help keep the breakdowns for big things. When we are tired, emotional, needed for more hours than there are in the day, everything can seem like a big deal. But a pause to remind our frazzled selves that not everything is the end of the world makes for a far calmer home life.  

Ladies, don’t tell your husbands about this one. It will never be a good question for him to ask you if you value your marriage. Keep it to yourself, but try to remember to ask quietly in the trying times, “Is this really a crying problem?” It’s okay if the answer is yes; truly. You’re still winning from taking the time to ask it.  


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You can do this: tips for new moms (especially moms of multiples). #CatholicMom



You Don’t Have to be Supermom 

Just be mom: love your kids, love your husband, and time will work out the rest. You can do this! 



Copyright 2024 Kate Moreland
Images: copyright 2024 Kate Moreland, all rights reserved