Episode 115 of the Dad’s Guide to Twins Podcast Show Notes
I recently heard from a twin mom with 5 month old twins. She was feeling overwhelmed about being stuck at home and wants to get out of the house and work for her sanity if nothing else.
Listen to this episode as I discuss how this twin mom (and you) can overcome this cabin fever and get a break, including:
- a little trick you can do each day to keep a positive perspective
- how to not be alone when you can’t leave the house
- dad’s role when returning from work at the end of the day
- how to get creative in giving mom a break
- setting expectations with your spouse
- why little breaks can help you through the challenges of twins
Hi everybody and welcome to the 115th episode of the “The Dad’s Guide to Twins” podcast. This is Joe Rawlinson. You can find me on the web at twindadpodcast.com where you will find much more information on having and raising twins along with the show notes and transcript for this and all previous podcast episodes.
Today’s podcast is brought to you by my second book “Dad’s Guide to Raising Twins How to Thrive as a Father of Twins”. You can pick up that book at raisingtwinsbook.com once again that’s raisingtwinsbook.com.
Today we’ve got a question from a kind of a frazzled twin mom who writes in and says “My twins are five months old now and their teething, if I was overwhelmed before I don’t know what I am right now. I stay at home with my twins which is nice and I’m lucky and I know that but my issue is I need to get out of the house, I want to work, for my own sanity, what should I do?”
(RELATED: Love podcasts? Check out the entire Dad's Guide to Twins Podcast archive for additional twin tips and interviews with twin dads.)
So you are right in the trenches of it right you’ve got infant twins and you’ve got teething twins which makes that time very miserable because they’re not sleeping well and their very irritable and it is tough to have kind of prolonged cabin fever with the twins where you are locked in the house, you can’t get out and things are going kind of crazy at home.
You may have considered working in the past but it might not have been possible particularly if daycare costs are too high so if your husband is working and you want to go off to work too the cost of daycare may essentially equal the money that you’d bring into the household which kind of makes it financially not a good option to work just to pay for daycare.
So there are some other things that we can think through and talk about that may help alleviate some of the strain of your situation. First of all, is kind of some mind set changes. So what I want you to do is to count your blessings. You know, what is going right in your home with your family and with your babies. Now these things may be very small but they are still amazing. Think about when your babies smile at you or when they interact with each other or like the little baby cuddles that you get. What are those little moments that when you are in them it makes it all worth it? Right, soak in those moments and enjoy them and that will help you plow through the difficult times that will come each and every day.
If you are not able to get out of the house maybe you can invite some friends over. Now you can invite over other moms that have children of different ages. They may just have a baby and babies love to kind of interact with each other and it’s kind of like exploring their world. Even older children love babies I know my older children love to babysit little kids when they come over to visit so that may be the case for you as well where you can invite over some friends so you can have some adult conversations the kids can kind of entertain themselves while you do general supervision.
In my families case my wife was a stay at home mom with our young twins and their two toddler brothers. So instead of heading out to work for her we had to be creative in finding other ways for her to get out of the house and kind of maintain her sanity.
I realized that when I was at work all day dealing with the stress of work she was at home all day dealing with the stress of raising these very young children. I realize that she was working harder than I was working you know, physically and emotionally, mentally compared to the work that I was doing. So when I came home I realized that we had to do some things to help alleviate her stress as well.
(RELATED: Expecting twins? Avoid these 4 critical mistakes expectant twin parents make.)
Some things that worked for us included that my wife would schedule a girls night out one night a week where I would stay home with the kids and she would go out with some of her friends. Now if you are going to plan this you and your spouse need to agree on this. You need to agree on a date you need to agree on the time of day how long that person is going to be gone and what are the responsibilities of the partner that stays home and remember that your partner may want the same thing too. If you are going to have a girls night out he may want a guys night out during the same week or you may have to alternate weeks or however that’s going to work out. So that’s something to discuss with your spouse.
When I would come home from work one thing that I would do is I would jump into helping with dinner and with the kids and it helped give my wife a few moments of quiet time alone in the evening when I got home from work. So if that sounds like something that could help relieve some of your stress of the day make sure you talk that over with your spouse. So that when he comes home from work the agreement is that he will jump right in and watch the kids for even 10 minutes, 15 minutes, while you get some alone quiet time in the house and then you get back together and work through the evening routine before the twins go down to bed.
Another thing that I would do is I would take the kids with me to run errands so my wife could relax at home or she could head out and do her own thing if she so desired. Now when twins are infants like in this case, 5 months old, their very portable if you’ve got a stroller you could just put them in their infant car seats is a great option as well to get out of the house with those babies.
I invite you to be creative in meeting each others needs. So you and your spouses needs. Twins are not easy by any stretch of the imagination and as you’ve seen they can really strain your relationship and I often see that relationships are strained when mom and dad are not talking to each other about what their thinking and feeling in the moment.
(RELATED: Still expecting twins? Will you be having two boys, two girls, or boy/girl twins? Answer these quick questions to see what several old wives’ tales claim you’ll be having….)
So listeners that are still expecting twins you need to talk through some of these scenarios ahead of the delivery of how you are going to balance who is doing what and when they are doing it and when each parent is going to get a break. If twins are already in your home, like in this case, with this question from this twin mom, you need to sit down and have frank conversations with your spouse as far as what are you feeling emotionally and what are you thinking and bring some potential recommendations or solutions like some of the options we talked through in the podcast today. Then you can band together to your families situation. For example, “Well yeah I can come from work and I can help take care of the kids for thirty minutes, or yes mom we can let you get a night out with your friends but maybe every other week” for example.
These are things you need to talk through together because in the first year of twins when everything is crazy and kind of blurry and hazy and is really difficult that’s when you both need to be selfless in making arrangements and serving each other to be successful as parents of twins.
If you can get some of these smaller breaks into your schedule, for example, getting out of the house, spending time with friends, or having dad watch the kids while you get a short break will relieve some of the fried and frazzled feelings that you are having.
So let’s take some little steps one at a time to relieve some of that stress and pressure by getting smaller breaks as frequently as possible and then you can move onto a bigger kind of lifestyle switch conversation about working outside the home if that’s ultimately what you feel is best for you and your family.
Well thank you so much for listening to the podcast today. Once again this episode is brought to you by my second book “Dad’s Guide to Raising Twins: How to Thrive as a Father of Twins” You can find that book at raisingtwinsbook.com. Thank you so much for listening and I’ll see you next time.
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Original photo by Ruth L.