by Katherine Betts
'Why I'm a Mom of Multiples Hero' aims to celebrate our inherent awesomeness, and share our parenting and personal wins. As parents of multiples we can be guilty of criticizing our choices, or feeling like we are not offering our children everything we would be offering a singleton child. It's easy to torture ourselves about the difficulties; but what about what we have achieved? Every one of us have overcome challenges, so lets share our wins and get to know each other in the process.
I'm kicking off the Mom of Multiples Hero series to share a little of my own story and showcase some of my triumphant moments. We'd love to have some other Moms do the same, it's just five questions, so please get in touch!
Why I'm a Mom of Multiples Hero
Q: Please introduce yourself. How old are your children and what's your favorite thing about them?
A: My name is Katherine. I'm British, and used to work as an Architect, but have been home with my kids since we moved to the US three years ago. My daughter Elsie is seven and I adore her sense of humor; she's insanely sharp and absolutely hilarious. My identical twin boys are 21months old and I love how different they are in personality. George has the most adorable facial expressions, he can express so much in just one look. He's obsessed with crayons and stickers at the moment and I love his creativity. Arthur is a man of adventure, he'll climb to the top of a slide and throw himself down on his belly without even a blink. It gets him into trouble all the time, but I love his curiosity and his cheekiness.
Q: What's the one thing you wish you'd known before having your multiples?
A: I wish I'd known more about preemie babies. I was aware it was likely my babies would be born early (the boys arrived at 36wks), but I didn't realize how different a preemie baby would be compared to my daughter who was born full term. Feeding preemie babies is tough because they are really really sleepy. It sounds great that the babies slept, but not when you desperately need to fatten them up! Preemie babies can also struggle to latch, I really had no idea breastfeeding preemie babies had additional challenges.
Q: How do you practice self-care? What do you do to pick yourself up after a tough day with the kids?
A: I've found the twins particularly exhausting recently. As toddlers, they are able to do so much so fast, and yet giving them instructions or rules to keep them safe seems futile... it's exhausting! I'm a stay-at-home mom, but when the boys were about 15months we employed a Nanny for two days a week to give me a break. Although expensive, it really has been a life-saver. Getting out of the house alone and sitting in Starbucks with my laptop (I blog) is my absolute fave. I love my mom dates and nights out on the town with friends, but when the kids have been running circles round me all week, being alone is the best come down.
Not everyone wants to sit in Starbucks and sip iced tea, but get yourself a pedicure, go to the library and read (another of my favorite hangouts... it's so quiet!!), or go to the movies on your own... I highly recommend it. It reminds you that you're actually an independent, choice making, living human being (easy to forget when you live for the little people).
Q: what has been your biggest struggle and how did you overcome it (or how are you currently work on it!)?
A: My biggest struggle was the timing of our twins. My father passed away in England when I was 11wks pregnant, and we moved from Texas to Arizona when I was 20wks pregnant. We had absolutely no family and friends here, I even put our realtor as our emergency contact for my daughter's school as she was the only person I had a number for. I struggled to find an OB that would take our insurance, and others said they wouldn't take me because I was past 20wks. We were in an Air B'n'B while we house hunted, and I packed and unpacked every box myself with a twin bump. I was alone in the hospital with the twins for the first five days because my husband was home with my daughter. It was a grueling year.
I knew I only had so long before I entered the housebound world of newborn twins, so I did my best to get out there and meet people before the babies arrived. I joined the PV MOMs group and went to the Fall picnic with my mega bump; I joined a moms support group at the hospital (I still go two years later), I started conversations with every mom I met at swim class and dance class. I found playdates and mom dates through the 'MeetUp' app and did my best to surround myself with some kind of support. Not all the people I met became good friends, but it's worth the awkward moments... You need friends when you have kids!!
Q: What has been your Mom of Multiples Hero hero moment? That moment you gave yourself an internal high five because you were totally bossing it?
A: I Took my three kids to the beach in California... alone! The twins were 7months old and we all bundled into the car and off we went. The stroller wasn't an option on the beach so I had to get the twins into their carriers on my own, set up a tent, carry towels, food, bottles (breastfeeding didn't work out for me), and my daughter was insistent on taking all her sand castle paraphernalia. We were quite the scene, and although the beach was full of people watching, only one person got up and offered to help, just as I was leaving... honestly, what is wrong with people?!
I totally nailed it though... I dug two holes and molded a sand version of two Bumbo chairs so the boys could sit and eat their porridge. They weren't sitting up very well at that point so I had to improvise! They even both napped after breakfast in the tent, we had a bit of grumbling but I stuck with it and rocked them in turn until they fell asleep. I then got to build a sand castle with my daughter, happy times. My husband joined us later that evening to hit up Disney for the weekend and I must say I felt like a total champ!
Calling all Moms of Multiples... we would love to feature you in our 'Why I'm a Mom of Multiples Hero' series! Please get in touch if you'd like to answer our questions and share your awesomeness with other moms. We all need a little help sometimes, and focusing on the little wins can be the perfect pick me up on a tough day. email@example.com or connect with me on Facebook.
Have something you would like to share? Email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more about writing a blog post.