View Full Version : What kind of help for when the TWINS come home?

11-07-2008, 10:57 AM
I'd really like to know what kind of help you had the first few weeks/months, what kind you wish you had, and what you would recommend.

Several people in my life are really on my case because I have not lined up any paid help for the first few weeks/months after the babies are born. I am currently a SAHM to a 3 yr old.

Our situation is that my husband will be able to be home at least from lunch time on for the first 3 or 4 weeks--maybe even 2 full days a week. I have a 3 yr old who is in pre-school 9-12. My mom lives around the corner, and works full time but will be glad to do anything for me when she is not working. I plan to breast feed.

I really just feel weird and insecure about having a nanny type in my home with me most of the time. It just doesn't feel right/ natural at all to me. That said, I don't want to end up run down and overwhelmed either. If I am going to hire someone, I would like them to start in Dec--the babies are due in Jan so that we can get used to each other and especially so my DS can get used to someone.

I mean really what I want is another me. Some one who can watch the kids, prep dinner, or pick up the house....Being with the kids is the best part. I hate paying someone to do what I enjoy the most you know? We do have a housekeeper for 1x per week deep cleaning (mopping, vacuuming, showers, toilets etc etc).

Thinking back to when DS was an infant--it felt like I was always busy...but I only remember nursing and him sleeping all the time. ;) Maybe I need a reminder on what it is like?

Can you guys talk to me a little bit about what kind of help you had/needed and what you think I should do about hiring someone?

11-07-2008, 11:30 AM
Post partum doulas "pick up the slack" - mine pout away my groceries, folded and put away my laundry, light meal prep (for me and my oldest son) and took care of the baby (sometimes holding / rocking) so that I could sleep when I was tired.

I HIGHLY reccomend going that route! Best money I spent!

11-07-2008, 02:46 PM
We couldn't afford help. I also tried to breastfeed, so I wasn't sure what help a nanny or night nurse would be - I mean I still had to wake up to nurse or pump! (I know a lot of people loved them, this is just what my thought was!)

A housekeeper or cleaning service would have been the most useful thing for me. (I didn't have an older child).

I also did not want someone taking care of my babies - I am a control freak and the thought of someone else bonding or whatever really didn't sit well with me. But someone to cook or clean - that would ahve been amazing :)

11-07-2008, 03:55 PM
I'm 6 wks postpartum, and there hasn't been very much help, but I'm doing reasonably well. A big thing is that I'm not trying to do much, even now, except feed myself and the babies (breastfeeding them). I might start an easy dinner (eg, turn on oven, toss something in), or do 1 load of laundry.

We did get a cleaning service set up a week or two before the twins came. We started weekly, and then switched to every other week. The only thing that really needs to happen in between visits is vacuuming, and that's because we have a large dog and two cats.

The other HUGE help is that DS1 is in full-time preschool/daycare. DH drops him off in the morning, which helps DH since he would otherwise be getting up and leaving 1-2h earlier, and he needs that sleep. It's getting better now, but DS1 can drain my energy very quickly these days.

DH stayed home the first two and a half weeks. The first week, one twin was in the NICU, and half of the time, the other twin and I were still in the hospital. The second week, he started working from home a few hours a day, and then finally, all day. He's still trying to work from home for 1-2 days a week -- it cuts his commuting time by hours. When he's working from home, he'll change diapers, hold a baby from time to time, and get me food or drink if I need it.

We had a teacher bring DS1 home for a week or two. Last week my in-laws were helping out, and they did pickups and dropoffs. Now, DH drops off and I pick up. It assures that I get out of the house at least once a day ;)

11-07-2008, 04:11 PM
To me it sounds like you will have enough help. If you DH can be home that much at first and your mom will be there sometimes after work I think that's reasonable help. I don't think you have to have paid help; I know I wouldn't have wanted some one else helping me. If you have the funds I would recommend doing a meal service ahead of time, those places where you go and make the meals and put them all in the freezer. If you want to pay someone to do something at the house I would have someone come once a week and wash all the clothes/vaccuum etc. As exhausted as I was when the twins were little, I could not stand the thought of someone else caring for them (well maybe my hubby or mom). But that's just my two cents...

11-07-2008, 04:13 PM
Sorry I didn't read very closely, I see that you already have someone cleaning once a week. What about taking your son to pre-school? It will be hard to get all three out the door twice a day for that....

11-07-2008, 05:54 PM
I'll admit that I didn't read your entire post since I have twins and a 3yo driving me crazy right now, but I'll say that I had a scheduled c-section for the twins birth and so lined up help up front. I wouldn't have had any night time help since my wimpy husband said he needed his sleep and didn't want to be bothered with the twins crying off and on all night (he does work a ton, though, so I accepted that). So, he offered to pay for a post partum doula. She came at night around 9pm and stayed until 5am. She did that for the first 3 weeks. Also, I had a fulltime, live out nanny that came around 8am and left around 5pm every day. She started when I was about 8 months pregnant with the twins because they were getting really big and since it was my 3rd pregnancy, the OBGYN was concerned about me going into preterm labor if I was too active. The nanny took care of my 4 and 2yo boys. So, after the twins were born I had a nanny take care of the older boys during the day and a ppdoula came to help with the twins at night. I took care of the twins during the day and my husband did help with the older boys in the evening and at night (though they are pretty good sleepers). Even with this help, it was hard. I was sore and trying to recover from that surgery and shrink organs back into shape. Also, Sisi was not gaining weight from breastfeeding so I was trying to supplement formula for her and she was going to the ped once per week for weight checks and to check her bilirubin. my goal at that time was to sleep and heal as quickly as possible so I could let the ppdoula go and take over more duties in the house.

Keep in mind, we have no family that lives nearby that could help me. And I knew this would be a particularly difficult birth to recover from because I was soooo stretched out. I was huge and the babies were big (6lbs and 6.5lbs at birth).

I suggest you have someone there to help you with the 3yo during the day (at least for the first 2 weeks) and get help with the twins at night from your husband or MIL or mother if they live nearby. Also, arrange for your DH or a friend or anyone who offers to help to wash and fold your laundry for the first few weeks. Twins generate a lot of laundry. You should also have someone else do your grocery shopping for you for the first couple of weeks and then arrange someting with your husband. You DO NOT want to grocery shop with all those kids. You might want to check into a grocery delivery service. We did this and it was wonderful.

I would say good luck and expect the worst. THat way you will be prepared for every eventuality!

ETA: I just had a moment to read your entire post. If I were you, I'd ask your mom to take your 3 yo to preschool in the mornings for you. Like another poster said, that will be hard with 3. And maybe your mother could pick the 3yo up? Or your DH? Or maybe you can carpool with another parent- at least in the beginning? And maybe your mother could help DH with the laundry? I'd have DH do the grocery shopping and absolutely get some meals made one of those Let's Dish or Super Suppers type places. If a friend asks how she can help, maybe you could pay for the meals and ask her to go and assemble them for you?

As for the uneasiness surrounding hired help, I'll admit I felt exactly the same way you did. But i did a very, over-the-top thorough job of checking references (I checked 4) and getting extra background checks done on our nanny. She has turned out to be wonderful with my kids who would have ended up watching way too much TV if she weren't here to help them. As it turns out, we still use her part time to help watch the boys 3 days per week. I still don't LOVE having her here although she is excellent and I am very happy with her work. The bottom line is, I'm crazy about having a nanny, but our house runs better when she is helping us so I suck it up and just think about how much better it is for my kids that she helps us. From what you've said though, it sounds like you'll have enough help and won't need to hire anyone like that. Rather than hiring someone to help with the kids, you would probably be better off getting your groceries delivered or having your DH to take your laundry to a launderer. That would be cheaper than a nanny and allow you to spend your time with your children rather than shopping and cleaning. hth

11-10-2008, 10:38 AM
Thanks for your thoughts. It has helped a bit to clarify what I might need.

I think I'm going to see about finding someone to help out with my toddler. That way he doesn't feel neglected and start acting out. I think letting someone play with him would be a big help, and not invade my comfort level of dealing with the babies.

12-29-2008, 10:04 PM
I think you should line up night time help. I didn't do that in advance, and it was a terrible mistake. I was so tired and out of it that I had to use a service so as not to deal with extensive interviewing, etc. If I didn't have a toddler, I probably could have dealt with nights, but the toddler thing throws you for a loop. Also, I have a part time nanny who was able to take my son to preschool. The physical recovery is pretty hard - I had a vaginal delivery with a 7 pd 6 ozer and 5 pd 2 ozer (baby b breach). Resting is key.

All that said, my guys are now 3.5 months and it's still pretty hard. So will pass along the advice that many gave me - line up as much help as you can afford.