There are some things I wish parents would talk about more openly with each other. One of them is this: If you get frustrated or are overtired when caring for your babies, it's okay—and often wise—to ask for help.
That might seem obvious to someone who is fully rested and clearheaded, but how often is that the case when you are the parent of young twins? During the course of taking care of newborns all the way through toddlerhood, there will quite simply be moments of panic, fear, dread, and even anger that come over you all at once. At these times, it is important to step away and ask your partner or a friend to assist you.
Emotional Roller Coaster
It's very common to experience these moments of strong emotions, especially early on. I remember a few nights in the first few weeks after the twins were born when I felt like I was literally the only person in the entire world awake at 4:00 a.m. I felt alone but at the same time so needed by the babies that it was a continuous emotional roller coaster.
Or sometimes, things would get tough during what I like to call the witching hour, from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. My husband would almost be home from work to assist me, and it was as if the babies could sense my need for a break. They would cry hysterically, seemingly enraged that I was hitting my max for the day.
Go Easy on Yourself
The truth is, the twins are the biggest gift I have ever been given but at the same time my biggest challenge. Every day since they were born, I have wanted to be my best, shiniest, freshest self for them and to be solely focused on them. But in reality, I am not so shiny half the time, and, because there are two of them, dedicated focus has always been an issue.
At times, I need to remind myself to heed my own advice and give myself a break. It's important to remember that I don't need to parent "perfectly." (Twin Mom Maritza talks candidly about letting go of mommy guilt.) Instead, I need to ensure that my babies are happy and that they grow into responsible little citizens—while making sure that I am happy in the process. I believe a mother's happiness truly extends to that of her children.
The stress and tension that accompanies twin parenthood extends far past diapers. I've learned a few techniques for managing the stress of parenting twins. But sometimes, you simply need to rely on the support of your partner to carry you through.
Ask for help.
Give yourself a break.
And remember to love yourself.
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