Our typical day - months 1-6
5-5:30 : Daddy up getting ready for work, Mommy did morning feedings. Then put babes back to bed for a little while
6:30 : Three older kids up. Get Lucas ready for Pre-K. Get Breakfast on the table. Remind myself to eat.
7:40 : Get all five kids packed in the car and take the 10 minute drive to school
8:15-8:30 : unpack the remaining kids. Get bottles ready to feed babies again.
9:15-9:30 : Babies down for nap
9:30-11 : Race like mad to get caught up on anything and everything!
11:15: Feed babies again
11:40 : Pack everyone up again to get Lucas from Pre-K.
12:30 : Home, feed everyone lunch, Pray that babies sleep a little while.
1-1:30 : Try and get the three older kids to take a nap.
1:30- 2:00 : Feed babies again
3:00-5:00 : try to get kids outside while it was nice or play down stairs, snack time, Hopefully have dinner going.
5-5:30 : feed babies
6-6:30 : Dinner for other kids
7:00 : Bath Time, reading, hangout with daddy
7:30 BEDTIME for the three older kids
7:30-8: Feed babies, cuddle for a while, Mommy & Daddy time...aka time to eat dinner and try and stay awake to watch something on TV
9-10: last feeding before bed, pray they sleep 3-4 hours and none of the other kids get up.
1-3: early morning feeding, hope I didn't fall asleep while feeding one of them, put back to bed
5-5:30 : Up and at 'em, starting a new day.
By about 3 months the girls were for the most part sleeping through the night. And this is pretty much the same schedule we keep now, although the bottle feedings are not nearly what they were and the girls are eating table food and drinking milk now. Still I am not sure how I made it through all that. Not to mention all the doctor appointments that I had. We are on a first name basis with the doctor and nursing staff.
Taking care of a baby is hard. Adding twins takes a little more effort. Here are some things I have learned or have helped me out over the last year.
SLEEP when you can. I know easier said than actually done, especially when eight baskets of dirty, smelly clothes are staring you in the face. For me, catching a cat nap while the babies were sleeping and the three older ones were cuddle up with me on couch watching a movie worked best. Even though most of that was done with 'one eye open.' Ten, fifteen minutes can do wonders when you are so tired you don't know your name.
Color code/Mark everything. Blankets, beds, coats, towels, car seats, pacifiers etc. It makes it easier on yourself, and if someone helps out, easier for them to remember. Hair ties work great for keeping track of who's bottle is who's. The small sized ones worked great on the neck of the skinny Dr. Brown bottles, Silly I know, but when Anna would fall asleep on an unfinished bottle, and Audrey would be screaming for hers, but then turn around and fall asleep; I would have two bottles that were similar in amount and not know which was each baby's. Because by the time the other fell asleep, the first would be up wanting the rest of the bottle. It was especially useful to use the hair tie trick as colds got introduced, in attempts to keep germs away.
Utilize your help. It is not one of my most strong points to ask for help. I 'feel' the need to do almost everything on my own. But when you haven't slept in days, or showered either, take up that offer to have someone watch kids, pick them up from school, etc. It is a God sent blessing for your sanity!!!!!!
Make time for date night! Seriously one of the best things that we have done as a family. As much as I love my kidlets, I need a little time away to realize I am adult, to validate that there is more going on in the world besides bottle feedings, dirty diapers, and endless kids shows and movies.
Make meals easy! This one is for those with other kids. Again seems silly, but in all seriousness I speak the truth. If I didn't keep on top of making dinners - crockpot, casserole, etc. We wouldn't have eaten very well. Now saying that. I a pretty sure that my kids might have lived on cereal, pancakes and chicken nuggets and mac & cheese more times than I would like to admit over this last year. Some days were just better than others, and the quicker the better especially when all five were melting down at the same time.
Let it slide. Some people are idiots!!!! There I said it! People are going to make really dumb comments about having twins...and they make equally stupid comments when you have other kids than just those twins. Not to say I haven't been one of those people as one point or another, but I usually try to keep my mouth shut. And people will judge you on everything. Again let it slide. You are doing your best to take care of those little ones. You are a good parent. You love those babies and that will get you through!
Don't worry about the house. I am the first to say I can't stand clutter and disorganization, but when energy is lacking to do anything else besides taking care of babies, just let it go. It will be there another day. Keeping up on laundry has been one of my biggest problems. I could do two loads a day and still not be caught up. As long as you have clean bottles to feed babies, you're good to go ;) I have really tried to keep the house to the point it takes only 10-15 minutes to clean if people are coming. People will understand too.
"Remember the Older Kids." For those with other children. Don't forget to take time to play, read, and do fun things with the other kiddos. They need you just as much as the babies do. They are your special helpers and want to be a part of helping with the new baby or babies too.
Practice Patience. More days than not are going to be trying. Tiredness combined with attempting to keep up on things does take a toll. But learning to not let it get to you takes work too. My rosary and I became best friends. It helps me collect my thoughts, calm my nerves and relax my mind.
Laugh!!! Always laugh and remember these long, tiring days of baby tending are fleeting. It doesn't last long at all. Those tiny fingers and toes, and coos and laughs grow all too fast into walking, talking toddlers and big kids. Find that joy in everyday. Laugh at your disheveled messes. It won't always be like this. And one day you will look back and laugh about the poop and spit up that was everywhere all the time.
So that is it. Really take it one day at a time. That's how I've managed to make it through the last year. And it's really been a fun ride. I love my kids! I love my disorganized, mess we call a home. Each day brings some new adventure. I absolutely live for the chaos I call my family! Happy 1st Birthday to my Little Girls, Anna & Audrey! I can't wait to see what the next year brings for your personalities and what you will learn.