Need to Raise Twins

Getting the Support You Need to Raise Twins

You can find anything about getting the support you need to raise twins. We mentioned the difficulties of twin parenting and we gave some useful tips. Read the entire article for detailed information.

Double the blessing. Double the fun. Double the happiness. Double the work! Yes, twins are obviously more work than a single infant. But there is still plenty of help available for parents of newborn twins (without spending a fortune to get it!). Willing hands are as close as your own family, neighbors, local hospital, twin support group or online discussion board.

It’s All in the Family

If you are fortunate enough to have relatives nearby who are willing to help, then accept it! Take all the help they offer. Family members can assist you by watching the twins while you nap or go for a walk. A visiting family member can easily perform a quick clean up in the kitchen or do a load of laundry for you as well.

Sandra and Olivier Anderson of Frankfort, Mich., are the parents of twin boys and were fortunate to have immediate family living close by to help out when they brought the twins home. “Our parents were a wonderful support,” Sandra Anderson says. Her sister and niece also joined in to help with the daily care of the twins, while her mother-in-law made a computer-generated sign to post on the front door that read, “Shhhh, Mamma and babies sleeping,” to keep well-wishers from disturbing them.

Neighborly Help

Forget the sugar. The question for your neighbors now becomes: “May I borrow a cup of your time.” If you’ve established a good relationship with your neighbors and they have offered to help, then by all means accept it.

Rachel Eva of Phoenix, Ariz., a mother of twins, says the help of her next-door neighbor was invaluable. Eva’s husband is an airline pilot who works out of town five days each week, and her own family lived on the East coast. Her neighbor not only provided practical support by helping with the logistics of feeding and diapering twins, but also the much-needed adult conversation Eva missed while her husband was gone.

“We still make it a habit to call each other if we are going to the store, or running an errand, to find out if there’s anything the other needs,” Eva says. “Those small things can really be a big help.”

A trusted teen neighbor can be a great help as well. Try making arrangements with her to come over to watch the twins while you stay in the house. Take a nap, relax in the tub or just enjoy some quiet time in your room. Having a teen babysitter in the house is reassuring, because you can intervene if any problems arise. And finding respite from the demands of twins for even an hour goes a long way toward maintaining your sanity.

If you do need to leave the house but don’t feel confident enough to leave both infants with a babysitter, then leave one baby at home and take the other baby with you. This will make a shopping trip less stressful for you and provide some individual bonding time for your baby.

Trading Time

Bartering, once the hallmark of a bygone era, still has practical application today. With a little creativity, you can trade services to get your daily doses of laundry and cooking done. For instance, if you love to sew and if you have a friend who loves to cook, try trading skills. Trade mending for meals. You’ll save on the hassle of shopping for meals and the time it takes to prepare them. When you’re able, you can return the favor by doing some mending or altering for your friend.

Eva offered to work as a part-time church secretary. In exchange, the church would pay for the twins’ daycare bill. She also made arrangements with her neighbor for trading babysitting duties. They would take turns caring for each other’s children so no money would have to be exchanged.

And don’t forget to get husbands involved. Is he good with a hammer or does he enjoy tinkering with cars? Changing the oil in a babysitter’s car can be exchanged for a few hours of daycare.

You can click on the link to go to our previous article. (Baby Yoga for Moms and Babies)

Childcare Through Church

Meals and periodic visits are the norm for most new parents who attend their local place of worship. Many churches have committees that are specially designed to meet the needs of new parents. Penny Knauss, a member at Immanuel Baptist in Traverse City, Mich., enjoys making meal delivery arrangements for new parents who attend her church or who simply live nearby.

Often, church youth groups encourage their teen members to be active in the community. For many, this means helping out the sometimes-frazzled parents of newborns. Teens can work in pairs to care for your twins so you and your partner can enjoy a relaxing night out. And as part of their good citizen program, they usually baby-sit for free. However, ordering a pizza to sustain them while babysitting would probably be appreciated!

Community Programs

Start networking and finding out what programs are available in your area before your twins are due to arrive. You will have more time to read, research and gather information. Your doctor or midwife will have helpful knowledge of what is available in your community.

And don’t forget to call your local hospital. Most hospitals have a patient education department that can assist you in your search for support groups or classes offered in the community.

Besty Hardy is the program coordinator for Healthy Futures, a free program for new parents that offers education about preventative health care and child education from birth to age 2. The program, which covers northwestern Michigan, provides lots of information to new parents and can guide parents to other sources for help within the community. “A public health nurse is always available to answer questions or if you just need a sounding board,” Hardy says. “The nurse assigned to each particular county has a good feel for the community’s strength and what programs are available.”

Most communities have public health programs, like Healthy Futures or Parents as Teachers, another nonprofit resource for parents. A little homework now may yield some invaluable resources for when your twins arrive.

Support Online

The Internet is a great place to find support. Visit websites for articles, discussion groups, e-mail lists and community boards where you can meet other expectant and new parents of multiples from around the world and gain insight and camaraderie.

A helpful web site is Multiples of America. There you can check to see if your area has a local support group, as well as get helpful information on raising twins.

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