How much help do you need? — The Bump
Multiples

How much help do you need?

MoMs- how much regular help do you think you need in the early months? I have a friend who has twin boys and she has helpers pretty much everyday and her boys are 6 months now. I know one Of her boys has a lot of feeding problems, so I'm sure that plays into it. Do you think most MoMs need that much help? I'm a pretty independent person, so I'm hoping that I can figure out a routine that works after the first 2-3 months. What's you're experiences?

Re: How much help do you need?

  • I had DH for the first two weeks then I was completely on my own. It hasn't been easy but it's certainly doable. Let anyone and everyone help you though. As long as it's actual help and not people just getting in your way as they try to help, bc let's face it, that doesn't help.

    DH and I have decided to hire part time help 2 days a week so that I can return to my blogging part time but that's more for me than actual necessity. I miss blogging!
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  • I had difficulties so my mom stayed 2 weeks while I had so many doctor appts. My husband was off one month. In all honesty I wish I had lined up a mothers helper a few hours a day so I could rest and catch up. I did it all alone and it was tough. I had help with their ped appts though. I think twins are a 2 person job so take the help!
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  • SwetaVSwetaV
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    Our twins are a month old and I've had some family member or another come stay with us throughout. However, the last few days I have been on my own with some help from DH while he works from home. I am seriously considering hiring help, soon. It's a lot to handle and if you can afford to or have family that can help, I would suggest getting it.
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  • Gosh, need versus want for sure here. You can survive with no help, but the more you have the better! My husband was home the first 4 weeks which was great and my ILs stayed the first 2 nights I think and then again after a meltdown on day 5 :) In hindsight, I thought my husband being home would be help enough, but I wish I had listened to other MoMs and hired someone to come in for 2 hours 3x a week. I was still pulling an income then as well, there was literally no barrier than my own stubbornness! But FT help, while nice, isn't a requirement for twins for 6 months! And by about 4 months I had enough of a routine that I wasn't eating frozen food every day but just barely.
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  • My boys are one month old, but spent their first 13 days in the NICU. Since they've been home, we've had various pple stay resulting in varying levels of helpfulness.

    The time when we need help most is when our oldest is home, so dinner/bath/bed and in the morning. I'm not a morning person and it's brutal when your toddler wakes up at 630am and you've been up feeding babies at 11pm, 2am, and 5am.

    During the day, I can handle just fine with just the babies by myseld. It's adding my oldest into the mix where it gets tough solo. He goes to school FT, but if he didn't, I'd need much much more help.
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  • if you have a toddler, as much help as you can get for as long as possible. if it was just the twins, i'd say the first month or so would be great, by then you'll have the hang of it and be more comfortable juggling them both. i wish i had help still on weekends with my 2 yo. my dh works most weekends, so it's just me and the kids most of the time. i feel bad for my oldest since i can't really take him to the park or anything with the girls. he'd take off and i'd have to leave the girls to wrangle him. not cool imo.

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  • Honestly, except the time my DH was home in the evening, I had no additional help.  I did all night feedings and took care of them all day by myself.  From the time they came home from the NICU at 17 days.  My guys were super easy babies (even with Nicholas having reflux) and were STTN at 12 weeks (6 weeks adjusted). 

    I believe that having someone else in my house would have driven me nuts and made things much more stressful.


  • My husband was home with me for the first two weeks. When he went back to work I took care of our 4.5 year old son and newborn twins on my own. I never asked not expected help from anyone else. My MIL lives nearly 3000 miles away and assumed I'd need help but I'm the type of person that doesn't like when someone assumes that I can't do something. I have to prove them wrong. Was it difficult? Sure but it isn't impossible.
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  • Thank you for this post. The help I'll need is what I am the most nervous about. Reading about all these moms is very inspiring and reassuring. Thanks all. <3 <3
    BabyCottom
  • My twins are 3 months and I have a 2 year old. DH was home for the first week and I have been on my own since. It has been easier than I anticipated. I am the type of person who doesn't ask for help though. Also I think it depends on the type of help. Somebody in my house watching me take care of babies and holding one after I have fed and changed them wouldn't really be helpful to me. I do, however, schedule doctor appointments when DH can go.
    MamaToLuca
  • I was completely on my own from Day 1, all day and night. My boys both had colic until 5 months, and it was not easy. I much preferred no help or visitors though because I napped every single time they napped, was able to figure out how to handle them by myself quickly and could just be my tired, grungy self. My boys are 9 months now, and I still do everything by myself. 
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  • edited July 2013

    I had my DH for the first two weeks, and since then, my mom and grandma come up once a week and we go to my grandparent's house (I have young grandparents) every sunday and they help a great deal while we're there. The problem is that when they're great; I am 100% fine on my own, but when they are both fussing a lot on the same day, or if I'm not feeling well or there's something else going on, it is extremely challenging. I also worry that I don't give them enough one on one time.

    ETA: not really one on one time; but I worry about not giving them enough interactive play time, reading to them, etc. They have a lot of independent play but they seem to be happy with it.

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  • Dragonfly1226Dragonfly1226
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    edited July 2013
    It depends on the babies. For us dh had four weeks of paternity leave. After that he went back to work and I SAH with K&A plus our two and a half year old DS. We have a sitter come two mornings a week to take DS so he can run around outside and I can have a break from all three. It works fine for us but K&A are good sleepers so once I set them up they put themselves to sleep after an hour of being awake. Not sure what it will be like once they are awake more but I guess I will figure it out as we go. For now it isn't that bad.
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  •  My girls were a couple months early and had a lot of feeding problems. Plus I exclusively pumped for them. My stepmother helped every day for 4 months, and would have continued helping but my stepsister had a preemie baby in a city 12 hours from here, so she left to go help her. I needed the help with feedings because it took about 45 minutes to feed each one, and then another 20 minutes to pump. She would come around 9:30 and leave around 6:30. I honestly don't know what I would have done without her help!

    If the girls hadn't had such feeding issues, and if they could have nursed I would have been able to manage much better on my own.

    Good luck to you! You'll make it work.
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  • DH was home the first 10 days. After that, I was on my own with the boys for the most part during the day. DH and I did sleep in shifts and his help at night was huge. I did have 2 different friends who each came over about once a week for 1-3 hrs the first 3m to help out, and people from church brought meals a few times a week the first 2 months. There was also a couple from church who came over and cleaned our whole house once when the boys were about 1m old. All that was helpful. I probably could have used a bit more daytime help but overall, it was OK and I'm thankful for the help I did have. (No family around.)
    fraternal twin boys born january 2009
  • From 0-3 months, as much help as physically possible! After that we settled into a pretty good routine and I was fine with all five on my own. I would suggest trying to set aside a day to prep freezer meals every few weeks, but other than that....once they hit about 4m and are on a nap/sleep schedule, it's ten times easier to plan out your day and really get back to real life!
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  • Shel79Shel79
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    I've been on my own since DH went back to work when they were 2 weeks old, and we have been fine. We did have family and neighbors bring us lots of food, though, which was awesome! We would have been living on peanut butter and jelly if not for that and the frozen meals I prepared while pregnant!
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  • The twins are our only two, so I can't say how it is with other kids.  DH was home until they were a week old. I thought for sure I was going to need help.  My mom came to help the first day he was back at work, and I wound up sending her home.  Did I have time to cook dinner every night and make sure the house was spotless? No, but I was able to keep things running smoothly and keep the babies happy. 

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  • My girls are almost four weeks and I quickly realized that I need extra help every day! My DH was home for a week after we got back from the hospital and i thought i could do it all on my own, but it was so overwhelming for me without him. Fortunately my mom comes over three times a week and about a week in, I hired my mom friends daughter to come over three times a week from 10-3 to help me. They switch so I always have someone coming during the work week, even for a few hours. It's so helpful to have an extra set of hands! Otherwise I would probably go insane right now.
  • THank you all SO much for your feedback. It is super helpful to hear about all of your different experiences!
  • I really appreciate all the different experiences that are being shared in this thread. :) Thank you ladies!
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  • A2TPA2TP
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    I think a lot depends on the personality of your kids. I was a SAHM to my DS1 before the twins (DD & DS2) were born.

    My DD was born with some health issues and my DS1 did not adjust well to our new slow-paced lifestyle -- we had a lot of behavior issues because he wasn't getting the daily activity he needs. We ended up putting DS1 in daycare 3x/week when the twins were 6 weeks old his grandparents watch him a 4th day. The twins are now 6 months old and DS1 is almost 3. I do everything possible to avoid being on my own with them for a whole day on the remaining week day.

    My mom flew in from out of state to stay with us every other week for the first 4.5 months of the twins lives. She still comes one week a month. (Yes, we are INSANELY blessed to have this help). Between my mom and my sister we had a third adult living with us for the first four weeks. We also have my in-laws who live nearby, a ton of meals were provided by friends for the first 4 months and we have had 2x/month house cleaning since I was 28 weeks pregnant with the twins. We welcomed all help and still barely stayed afloat. I will add that all these people actually HELP. My mom and sister have been here so often that they just jump right in to the routine and my DH and I have become very laid back about having things done differently and extra people in our space.

    I just wanted to chime in as I tend to feel bad when I read about how other people "just do it" and it seems much easier for them to juggle multiple kids. There is just no way I could do it and I didn't anticipate that before they were born. I do think that the personality of your kids plays a huge role. My kids are all relatively easy individually or even in pairs, but somehow the three of them is a nearly impossible combination.
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  • I feel like the exception here - my boys are nine months and I feel like I need help every day - I find myself extremely overwhelmed by them. I think it is just their personalities. They are both bright, inquisitive and eager. They are also easily bored, fight sleep with everything they have and thrive on being busy. Both boys also have feeding/allergy issues which hasn't helped them in the sleep department.

    I feel badly reading all the other moms saying how manageable they find their twins. I do have help as much as I can (usually three days a week) and am looking for something more permanent. I hope you are one of the moms who feels like it is smooth sailing, but if it turns out that isn't the case, I suggest getting more help. It makes a world of difference.
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  • with both sets of twins, I had help for 1 week (my inlaws and my husband before he returned to work). It was most helpful this 2nd time around bc I could focus on nursing the girls while my inlaws took the boys to school, made dinner, helped with laundry, etc. Other then that week, it's just me. 
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  • My DH was off work for the first 2 weeks. He took over complete care for our 2 year old and helped with the girls when possible. After that, my MIL and SILs helped out when possible. After 2.5 - 3 mo., I preferred to go it alone. My 2 year old was much more well-behaved when there wasn't another authority figure in the house.

    And to echo others, things began to feel much easier around 4 months.

     

    J - 9/6/09 L and A - 1/17/12
  • I was nursing and my kids were crap sleepers for the whole first year so we got help. I used the extra set of hands to have one on one time with the babies and take them to things like mom and baby classes as well as take naps myself (they didn't start taking longer naps at the same time till around 11 months).
    I'm sure we would have survived without the help but it was a lot easier and more fun with it, we made choices like buying a smaller house and saving a lot when we were both working that allowed us to pay for it without problem.
  • My mom was in town from days 4-14, and our in laws came to visit when they were about 3 weeks old. Other than the occasional visitor, we have no help. Except I do count daycare as regular help, because it gives us a break ;) You can do it with no help, absolutely, but having people around in the early days is certainly appreciated. I actually found it really overwhelming to have people in my house that first month. Post partum hormones and BF difficulties made me feel like I wanted to figure this mothering thing out on my own without people in my face all the time, but at the same time it was a huge help to be able to hand the babies to my mom for their morning bottles and go back to sleep for an hour.
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  • My dh went back to work the following week and back to school at night immediately. I had my mom for the first week and his mom for the second week. Plus my sister came for a few hours every Tuesday afternoon (she still does) and my mom came on most Thursdays up until this month. 
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  • We had an almost useless pp doula for week 1. Not every day, thankfully. My mom is here now. TBH, I think my DH and I could do it on our own. He's off until the end of Aug. Having people do dishes, laundry, etc is nice though.
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