Dovetail Diary: You’re Having Twins!
It’s the third in our series of Dovetail ‘Life stories’ and this month it’s Liz’s turn! When I asked Liz what could she share with everyone that’s a bit of a life experience that others would find interesting – it was her experience of motherhood and having twins that sprung to mind.
Nothing can really prepare you for the realities of motherhood, but multiply this by two and it’s another whole ball game completely.
To learn that you are having twins was a bit of a shock
to both of us, but at the same time we were ecstatic thinking our family was over and done with in one go!!
In those days there was no such thing as paternity leave so my husband went back to work on the Monday after as normal and my lovely Mum came down from Oxford and stayed with us for 2 weeks – a baby each was do-able !! but after the 2 weeks she had to go home and look after Dad.
To say it was daunting is a complete understatement, but I was determined to manage and do a good job, so I looked at everything practically. I didn’t have any Apps to help, or blogs to refer to and no Facebook or Whats App groups to keep me in touch with a support network like you can today.
I had a book on ‘becoming a mother’ and the Doctors’ Surgery. So I had to get on with it!!
Once I’d got things rolling, it was a production line and I was super organised and I probably did all the things you wouldn’t do now.
They went into their own room from day one and when one woke up in the night they both got fed regardless. Lying on the floor side by side with a bottle balanced on the other so I had a free hand to mop up, then burp them in tandem. I wanted the quickest and most efficient way so I could get back to bed for more sleep. My husband worked long hours and often worked away from home and so I could not rely him to help during the night.
As all mum’s out there know, there is nothing more tiring than losing hours of that precious sleep you’re used to.
Our fridge was full of bottles of SMA milk made up for the day – which you wouldn’t do today but when two babies want feeding you had to act quick.
When they were a little older, they sat in baby bouncing chairs and I found a bar with rings on them that clipped onto the bouncer so I could balance the bottle. My feet then rocked them to sleep afterwards.
Food shopping was a challenge – I tried pushing a double buggy and a trolley at the same time and it was horrendous, it took me ages to get round. So I found a Sainsburys’ that had 4 openings from the baby seat so I could get 4 legs through and my husband cut me a piece of wood that fitted across the seat. They were not sitting up yet so I wrapped them tightly in a blanket and propped them in the seat (made for one) with 4 holes for their legs. Then it took me ages to get round the store because they looked so sweet and everyone stopped to chat!!
Shopping was always a struggle wherever I went because the stores did not think about getting a double buggy through the shop doorways. I didn’t have the luxury of shopping online.
One time we tried to get into Debenhams and the twins and I had a scheme – when I said hands on knees I would undo the buggy and squeeze it together then once through the doors and I would then spring it back – only one time Christopher took his hands off his knees and I caught his finger – he screamed the place down understandably and every shop assistant came running. I made a fuss and said if only you would make your doors wide enough this would not have happened!! Christopher never did it again and fortunately still had all his fingers.
Life continued and I was always looking for the next stage, thinking it would be easier – unfortunately I didn’t realise I was wishing their little lives away.
However, I was lucky enough that I did not have go back to work until they went to school so we had lots of time together and we were always busy doing something and I did make the most of them – we had very busy lives.
My husband always knew, at that time, he was third down the pecking order and would put his head round the door when he come home from work – and say did you survive another day!!
I cannot believe they are now 31 and have turned out to be well-rounded, personable human beings who are family oriented and have a great work ethic.
We survived !
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