I'm just back from sitting in on an Expectant Parents of Multiples meeting. The peer health workers that facilitated the meeting were discussing the many things to think about and plan for when expecting twins and how to handle things after they arrive. They talked about things like labour and delivery, epidurals and c-sections, the possibility of a NICU stay and possible pre-term births. We also got talking about what to expect after you arrive home with your bundles of joy. Some of the ladies were expecting triplets! Yeehaw!! Even as a mother of multiples (twins) the prospect of triplets does bug my eyes out a bit, I have to admit! Especially if those parents already have one or more children. You know what though? Where there's a will, there's a way. The importance of having a support network is huge when having multiples, in order to help you get through a challenging time like a NICU stay to bringing home babies and getting into a routine in your own home.
The following is a list of things that made me smile, which you might not think about when expecting babies. Friends, families and spouses might not even think of some of these small things, which can really put a smile on an exhausted mom's face.
- A hot cup of coffee or tea (decaf if mom's nursing) arriving without request just one random afternoon.
- A neighbour or husband clearing off your car after a snowfall (especially on mornings when there may be important appointments for the babies.)
- A mom or mother-in-law coming in and quietly caring for the babies and older siblings while mommy takes a quick nap or a shower.
- A friend preparing trays of lasagnas and other meals that can go into the freezer and wait to be eaten.
- A gift certificate for a housekeeping service to come and wash the floors and help sanitize the place, which mom feels she will never have time to get to.
- A friend or family member coming over to watch an older child while mom gets a chance to do some one-to-one or one-to-two bonding, which can be hard with an older child who deserves just as much attention.
- A friend or family member coming in and cleaning the piles and piles of baby bottles and other dishes.
- Letting mom get a sleep in morning, which is so rare!
The list could go on and will be different for many, but a lot of these examples I think are pretty universal. All we have to do is ask. Or when someone asks, what can I help you with or what do you need, don't be ashamed to ask, as most people are going to be more than willing to jump right in to help you with pretty much anything.
So, the point I am trying to make is, in order for anyone to be able to understand what you need and how to help you, you have to help them understand how to help you, simply by instructing or asking and letting go of some of the need to be Super Mommy and to do all!