One of the best things I did for myself as a new twin mother was join a Mother’s of Multiples group. There are many commonalities between all mothers and the experiences that we go through but no one will quite understand a mother of twins like another mother of twins. There is also no mother more powerful than that of triplets! :)
When my twins were in their first few months, I found myself struggling immediately with the things that are just more challenging to do with two…. like feeding, taking them out of the house anywhere, balancing my time fairly between the children and attempting to find anytime to sleep in between caring for two infants. I felt like other mothers could just throw their baby on their boob and they would eat or they would just put their baby in the carrier and go out to run errands. It made me feel like such a failure because I just could not figure out how to successfully do any of these things. The longer I tried to get better at it, the more of a failure I felt. This frustration went on for months until I met other mothers of infant twins.
After a recommendation of a group from the Social Worker I was seeing for postpartum depression, I decided to join the North Suburban Mothers of Multiples group. I joined the Facebook group and was immediately welcomed in by these ladies. I noticed women were constantly posting questions and instantly had answers or recommendations to their posts from many women who had experienced exactly what they were currently experiencing. It was a huge network of women who understood exactly what I was going through right now. I started asking my own questions about infant reflux, as my twins were struggling with that and got recommendation on double strollers. These women were a wealth of knowledge and a wonderful support system during the most difficult time of my life and I had not even met them yet face to face. Another benefit was that I also started to feel useful because I could help other women who were pregnant with twins or had brand new newborns. I started to feel like not all my experiences were just my failures but rather experiences I could help others get through from my knowledge.
After a few weeks on monitoring their Facebook page daily, I showered, got dressed and went out on my own for my first meeting. I was floored by how welcoming and helpful the women in the group were. The first meeting I went to had a veteran twin mom panel so all us inexperienced mothers could ask questions with zero judgement. It helped me realize that, just like the veteran moms had, I would make it through this very difficult infant stage. They were telling us if gets easier and better and more fun with twins. These women take their kids out all the time to activities, on vacation and out to restaurants so this messy part of life does get more manageable. I just had to survive the exhaustion, spit up and crying phase of the infants but I would… just like they did!
The next meeting I went to was very informal, where everyone went around to introduce themselves and then we all just talked about what we were going through. We had the opportunity to ask questions to the group and other mothers would share their experiences or recommendations or support. There are also often snacks, drinks and occasionally wine J Other meetings were a bit more focused on us as mothers including a spa night with mani/pedis and massages and another meeting had a professional organizer come to speak. Each meeting is different and but each meeting allows its members to learn from each other.
For all multiple moms, I highly recommend joining a local Mother’s of Multiples group. It helps create a network and support system for you with women who are living the chaos that you are. It helps you feel like a part of something bigger than yourself. It helps you feel hopeful when you meet the mom of twins then two singletons and she’s still trudging along with a smile on her face. It helps you feel humble when you meet your first mom of triplets! It helps you feel less alone when you connect with someone who had a similar experience to you. It helps you feel less neurotic when you meet your first mom who had a NICU experience like yours and she’s lathering everyone in hand sanitizer. It helps you feel like your experiences can help someone else by sharing a similar story or a suggestion. It helps you to see women who have survived each stage of twins and you will too. These women were my lifeline in a time where I don’t think anyone else could have helped me feel sane.