This question comes from Marilyn. She says, “My son and his wife are expecting twins very soon. They have a 2-year-old daughter, and they live about six hours away. I’m going to be able to spend two weeks possibly with them. What’s the best thing I can do to help them out?”
Offer Overnight Help with Twins
Marilyn, your son and his wife will definitely benefit from your help. One thing I would recommend is that you try to plan your stay around when your son is taking time off from work, if he’s able to take time off. That way there will be at least two adults in the house at any time to help with the infant twins.
Now, during your visit, be willing to help during the night shift caring and feeding for the babies. This will be the biggest thing that you can do for your son and his wife is volunteer to help with the babies overnight. Because as parents of newborn twins, they’re going to be completely exhausted and sleep deprived. So if you can volunteer to help overnight, it will help relieve that burden from them.
If it’s the three of you in the house as adults — your son, his wife, and you — you can get into a rotation where two of you are on duty every night, and that will let you sleep through the night once every three days. This is what my wife and I did when we had people helping us with our newborn twins.
This question was originally addressed on the Dad’s Guide to Twins Podcast Episode 36: Finding a Nanny for Twins, Biggest Help with Newborns, Work Promotion vs. Family.
Picture by Bill Strain