Public Service Announcement:
Advice from other mums can be helpful and is often sought after, but if there is one piece of advice that I would love to tell people to shove up their *wolf whistle*, it is: ‘You should sleep when they sleep’. If I had a dollar for every time I heard this I could help pay off our OTT Auckland mortgage while on maternity leave. On the weekends, when my partner and I run the house with military precision, I am more than happy to take this advice, but when you’re on your own it’s like some sort of twisted joke.
Unless you have twin babies you cannot imagine the relentlessness that is every day. It’s doing everything twice and then … just when you think you are done you look at the clock and they are due to get up from their nap (if they settled at all!) and you repeat the process. But by all means I invite people to spend a day with me and find out, because ‘many hands make light work’ and I like sleep. Funnily enough nobody seems interested. With two people, twins are actually pretty stress free. One person managing two babies is a completely different story.
But here’s what has to be done when I should, you know, be catching up on some zzzzzz’s.
- Two, maybe three loads of washing, including drying and folding everything
- Empty the nappy bin and the garbage bins
- Wash and sterilise the bottles and make more jugs of formula fresh for the next feeds
- Fill at least four bottles ready to go so you don’t get caught out with hungry babies and no bottles!
- Change the sheets that were puked on last night
- Wash and iron, yes iron, the Safe T Sleep which won’t sit right unless pressed to perfection
- Dust the nursery, maybe vacuum the house, clean the kitchen.
- Soak puked on things ready to go in the washing machine with umpteenthousand cloth nappies
- Re-settle one teething baby every 5 minutes during nap time because he keeps waking the other one and if you don’t rush in you end up with two overtired babies, instead of just one overtired teething baby. For those that don’t know, overtired + teething is one seriously shitty combo and you do everything to ease this time for your own sanity.
- Prepare pureed baby food and freeze it
- Stocktake on formula/nappies/other random baby shit that you need more of all the time and if you’re low order some online. Because you know, twins… you can’t leave the house, it’s not worth the stress.
Inbetween all of the above you barely get a chance to go for a pee or sit down for longer than five minutes, let alone go for a muthaflipping sleep. If you’re really lucky, you can attempt to make and drink a hot cup of tea (but you’ll probably make it, have one sip inbetween the tandem feed burp session and then reheat it five times before tossing it down the sink). Hopefully you’ll make a sandwich at lunchtime, but more than likely you will stuff an entire piece of peanut buttered toast in your mouth so that your hands are free to prepare bottles.
People of the world that know nothing of twins, please either change your advice to: ‘You should go for a sleep when they are down – I’ll take care of everything for you’ or Just. Don’t. Say. It.