How to survive the first years with twins: Kennedy Style

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Since my boys are turning two today, I’m feeling reflective, and darn right sad. This time two years ago, I was in full blown, transitional labor, arguing with my husband about going to the hospital. Today, I have two amazingly handsome little boys. I can’t believe we’ve made it this far!

While far from an expert on parenting multiples, now that I’m a little further down the trenches, I feel like I can offer a little bit of help to others in the same mess boat. Want to hear some of my tips? You can check out some of my favorite pictures of my handsome men as well, along the way.

 

The boys, desperate for cake. Dad will lose this battle. March 2009

1. Get an excellent husband
I know – you all are tired of hearing me gush about him, but Brett has been beyond incredible through all of this.

 

From the time we found out about the twins until today, he’s been by my side, bailing water right along with me. There’s no way I can do this without his love and support. (plus his boundless patience)

Paging Nike – Thomas, the future soccer superstar -March 2009
 Adam, March 2009

 

 

2. Support systems will be your success
Do not keep your situation to yourself. Among my friends and family, everyone knows that I’m NOT all sunshine and roses. I tell it to people straight. Most days, or about 80% of the time, I’m completely overwhelmed. If people offer help (rarely for us), SAY YES!! Don’t be shy, or embarrassed. Brett and I say it would seriously take 3 adults to keep up with the Kennedy Kaboodle. Even then, we’d still be tired.

Normal around here: August 2009

 

3. Take care of yourself
From the time I saw the big fat positive on the test, these boys have been kicking my butt. My pregnancy wore me out — I was anemic, had mononucleosis (hazard of working ER), and was exhausted ALL.THE.TIME. I tried to eat as healthy as I could, but exercise went out the window. Now, exercise is my Prozac. I need to work out, not only to keep my weight under control, but to stay strong, and keep my sanity in check.

Tormenting the cat: Nov 2009

 

4. Say NO to things you don’t love
I can’t tell you how many things I’ve left by the wayside over the past two years. I made a conscious decision to stop spreading myself so thin.

 

Anything that was a constraint on my time, outside of my family and closest friends, has been shelved. I work and take care of my children – right now, that’s all I can handle, and I’m OK with that.

 

Adam, leading the way, Thomas hot on his heels. Note Blaze is just watching!(March 2009)

 

5. Lower your standards
Seriously. If the kids drink out of the dog’s bowl once in a while, it really won’t kill them.

 

I’ve learned to try my very best at not sweating the small stuff. Some days, I’m more successful than others. Your children aren’t going to remember that the ceiling fans were spotless. They’ll remember you flying kites with them in the backyard.

 

Thomas, vacuuming: May 2010
The boys, doing Laundry: Dec 2009

 

6. Hire a housekeeper
In our house, this is a necessary expense. You know, like the mortgage.

If I weren’t paying her to come twice a month, I’d be seeing my therapist more often. Trust me — it’s money well spent.

Thomas and Mommy: Jan 2010



7. You’re more than just a wonderful mother
As much as I believe that being a mother is a vocation for me, I know that it is not my entire being.

You need something that brings you joy, apart from being a mother. For me, it’s writing.

This is a creative outlet for me, a way to share with others, learn from others, and meet some amazing people along the way.

 

Adam, trying to drive the car: Aug 2009

8. Protect and nurture your marriage
I’ll be the first one to admit that I’m a slacker in this department. Too many times, I’m stressed, snippy, and short with the person most dear to me.

I’m trying hard not to dump on my husband, but it’s easier said than done after sleepless nights coupled with long days. Date nights have fallen by the wayside around here — I plan to remedy that ASAP!

Thomas and Father Scott: August 2009

9. Pray with, and for your children 
This is an area where my husband shines. He’s taught Rachel some of our traditional Catholic prayers, and I’m amazed at how well she does. If the boys ever learn to go to sleep easily, we will work with them, too.

Take quiet moments to thank God for your children, and ask Him to guide and protect them. In our house, with two crazy boys, I have a special affinity for their Guardian Angels. I know they are working overtime to keep my guys safe.

Tormenting the biggest sister: April 2010

10. Enjoy the moments 
It’s so easy for me to get caught up in the day to day tasks, chores, and to do lists, but not really connect with my children.

Constant rushing brings nothing but stress to all of us. Stop, watch the children as they watch an ant, play with bubbles, or bring you a book to read for the eighth time.

It’s certainly a cliche, but this time flies by so fast. I’ve blinked, and my tiny babies are running through the backyard. Cherish this time, and take LOADS of pictures.

Adam and Rachel, enjoying some ice cream: May 2010
Shaving cream painting: March 2010

 

P.S.  Having trouble getting out of a grumpy mom funk? We’ve got tips for that.

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Comments

  1. Hi, Thanks for this post from one new multiple mum in the same boat. My girls are 8 months and growing fast. Where did the newborns go? Yep there are changes to be made at home to keep a happy family. As double joy is waking up to two little people very happy to see you. L

  2. Great post, great pictures and I LOVE naked butt covered in saving cream photo! That is adorable!

  3. Yes! Standing ovation to this post! This is so true and seriously something I keep reminding myself. I laughed out loud at the part about them drinking out of the doggy bowl. I have had to relax so much more than I EVER though possible. I agree with you on it being a 3 person job and even if you actually had three people to help, you would still be exhausted. Sometimes days are lost running around. I feel like I spend all day saying Just a minute! It is so important to remember to sit back and enjoy it.
    Loved this post!!!!

  4. GREAT advice – if even just for a mom of ONE. 🙂

    You’re doing a great job!

  5. Well, you seem to have it down! Much of this is applicable to all moms of more than one little one. Great advice! Thanks! Congrats on your SITS day!

  6. Beautiful post about real life for all moms – not just those that have twins or as many kids hollering around the house. I have two toddler girls and all of this is just as applicable. It’s so easy to get caught up in the things don’t matter. It’s good to have reminders like you’re post to keep what matters most in mind.

  7. Happy SITS day and this was a heartwarming post – and most of it holds true for those without a large family, too! Loved the “Say NO to things you don’t love” – that is very true!!

  8. this a great list of tips and applicable to all mommies of 1, 2, 3 or more! Happy SITS day!

  9. Awesome post with some great advice, for anyone that has children (especially over 2 of them!)!

    My husband is definitely my biggest support as well. If your marriage is healthy, then you will be good parents to your children. My husband and I make sure that we have a date night every Friday, even if it is just watching an old movie with popcorn in our own home.

    Congrats on being the blog for the day on SITS!

  10. I love the last picture with the shaving cream! Too cute for words.

  11. Young Wife says:

    Stopping by from SITS. You have a beautiful family!

  12. Another awesome post!

  13. Yay for SITS day! I am going to send this link to my SIL, who is pregnant with triplets. She is close to delivering her brood of boys, so I figured this could help. BTW-I am a member of Catholic Mothers Online, too. 😉

  14. Visiting from SITS and Happy SITS day to you. I survived twins and your tips are right on target! Your children are adorable. They grow up fast, mine are 18 already so enjoy every moment, even the chaos!

  15. OMG, they are so cute! Hats off to you, I’m not sure how you do it, but mothers have an incredible strength and I know God smiles on them too. Happy SITS day to you!

  16. LOVE this list! I found you through Angie’s twitter feed…LOL. I have twin girls and this list is hitting home! 🙂 Such wise advice!

  17. alison blaisdell says:

    Hello, I have 2 yr old twins and a 7 yr old. I became sick after having the babies. I had no help and my husband was gone in an aircraft carrier in the navy. we were far from family, an just moved to a new place, I had no friends. Since they have been born my health has fallen fast. I know its stress. These tips are very helpful. especially hiring a house cleaner. I just moved in with my sister an around my family. They have been helping me. I am going through serious pain in the legs and knees.and I am having a hard time with the kids being so sick. i know by being here i will be better. there is hope for me yet. nutrition, first. to be a super mom u have to eat super foods, is what i been telling myself. lol. anyways thank you for the postings. nice to know im not the only one trying to survive lol. i am very sad that all this has made me sick. I was doing everything by myself. hank god for your family and definatly let them help. this is tipppy top advice!

  18. Thanks for sharing this great list. We found these principles to be very helpful with our twins too. When we reset our expectations, it made life a lot easier in that first year.

  19. I absolutely love the pictures!

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