In many states across the country COVID restrictions are easing, weather is warming and that is affording us with a bit more freedom than any of us have experienced in the past 12 months. During that year, so many of you have given birth to multiples. Have you been locked inside the bubble of your home with these perfect new babies and not had to venture out into the world because of quarantine? If you have, you may be starting to feel overwhelmed thinking to yourself, “I would love to try going to public places or running errands but how do I do that with multiple infants and still make it home before I need to feed them again? It seems too overwhelming!” Even before a global pandemic, this seemed like a terrifying idea to a new mom.
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As you have now learned, there are very small windows of “free time” between feedings, naps and diaper changes. So far it has probably been a struggle just to find a minute to take a shower, let alone run to Target to check the Dollar Spot section for some new seasonal décor! Trust me, we get it and have been there with you. In the beginning, the idea of leaving my safe space as a first-time mom with twins felt like an impossible task, so I just didn’t do it. My idea of an outing was a pediatrician appointment five minutes from our house. However, that is where I began to find the courage to start having adventures with my twins.
During their 8-week appointment, our pediatrician asked if I had been getting out of the house. I told him that I hadn’t, and it was at that moment that he changed my mindset and I haven’t looked back since. He said, “I know it seems hard but you need to start small and try to take a few little outings during the week. It can be as simple as going to Home Depot and walking the aisles for 15 minutes and then going home. I promise, you can do it.” Once I heard that and it was broken down so simply, I realized that he was right. An outing didn’t have to be an elaborate day where I was out of the house for hours, it could be a simple walk down the aisles of a store. I took his advice and started small with quick trips to a store, that became 30-minute story times at our local library, then long walks at a park, and so on until my twins and I were taking trips to the Philadelphia Zoo or rides to the beach for hours on our own. The confidence that I built as a mother knowing that I didn’t need to rely on anyone to help me make memories with my children was incredibly empowering.
My point to you is this; don’t be afraid to try. Start small and prep as much as you can the night before. Put the stroller in your trunk and pack your diaper bag. Some items that I always made sure I packed were; extra clothes for each child, diapers and wipes for multiple changes, pacifiers, a nursing cover, a snack for yourself and anything else that you may need so that the morning of your outing can go as smoothly as possible. These items will change as your babies grow but the process will remain the same. Once you are prepped, go about your morning routine and hit the road to make those memories!
Your plan may not always work out the way that you want. Give yourself grace and know that you will have some disasters along the way. At some point you will be that mom with screaming babies in a store, you may get stuck in traffic and be late for a feeding or someone may poop through their clothes, but that is ok! That is life with multiples or any baby for that matter and you will get through it. My advice is to let that frustration out with a good cry, shake it off and try again in a day or so. Do not let it discourage you and always remember that we have all been there and survived to tell the tale.
About the author
Kristin Ferri is TLC’s Philadelphia associate and the proud mom to 3.5 year old boy/girl twins. Kristin and her husband conceived their twins via IVF and they arrived at 33.3 weeks and spent 15 days in the NICU. She understands the challenges and fears that come along with the pregnancy journey and is always willing to share her experiences with others. Kristin lives in Southern New Jersey with her husband Troy, their twins Wyatt and Colette, and their two French Bulldogs, Auggie and Remy. Being a parent of multiples is such an amazing club that you never realized you wanted to be in until your membership card arrives and Kristin is so excited for the opportunity to share her experiences and help you prepare for the arrival of your little ones. You can reach Kristin at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details on our Philadelphia services.