As last Saturday was National Multiple Births Awareness Day, I felt it appropriate to share a little of what I have learnt being a mother of multiples myself.
My twins are almost 3 months old now, and already there are challenges I couldn’t have prepared myself for. Here are just 3 important details I feel could be beneficial for others to know about mothers of twins, triplets or more.
1. Wake Sleeping
This is not to be confused by the well known sleep walking, where you walk while sleeping. Wake sleeping is where you sleep while awake, when you are so sleep deprived that you have a gap out.
I’ve had so many conversations where I feel like I just check out. I’ll catch myself sometimes, realizing I’ve missed a whole minute of the conversation and try to catch up.
So if she seems a bit spacey or asks you to repeat yourself several times, try not to make her feel weird or uncomfortable about it. Remember, that momma is TIRED and has a lot on her mind!
2. Exhibit A & B
This one I did not recognize until about 1 month in. At first I just thought everyone loves newborns! I didn’t realize it was a thing until we took our toddler to the zoo and it seemed like we were our own walking exhibit.
I’m one proud mom and love to show off my beautiful children, but I’ve found I have to avoid the constant stopping while out doing errands. When every other person that walks by stops me, it takes me hours longer than it did to do anything before I had the twins. So I walk fast and avoid all eye contact. I’m not trying to be rude, just trying to get things done.
So when you see a mother of multiples in the store, remember it took that momma 2 hours to get those children ready and out of the house, it shouldn’t take her another 4 hours to do a 20 minute errand.
3. Give Her a Break
The first thing my OB told me when I hit my third trimester with my twins was “Whenever someone offers to help, the answer is always yes!” Easier said than done.
While a helping hand sounds great, it doesn’t always put a momma at ease. It’s no lie, twins are a lot of work! But a mother of multiples is just like any other mother. She wants to prove to herself and others, that she is capable to complete her tasks of motherhood.
So how do you know what help is appreciated and what help makes her feel incompetent? Well, just ask! Some would prefer you to just grab a baby when they are crying, another may prefer you to drop off a pre made meal, or offer to go grocery shopping with them to push the cart while they push a heavy double stroller.
Lastly remember, if you offer help and she says no thank you, don’t be offended. That overwhelmed momma just needs support and not another thing on her mind like — how not to offend those around her.
She may not feel comfortable leaving her children with you, and it’s not because she doesn’t trust you. And she may not like the way you change a diaper, or the way you hold them, and that’s okay too.
On behalf of all those multiples mommas out there — Thank you for all your support and help. And please remember these 3 things when you interact with us overwhelmed and tired creatures!