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Tips for Getting it Done - Managing with Multiples

Parents of Multiples Share Their Tips for Getting It Done


Updated February 22, 2011

Parents of twins, triplets or other multiples have their hands full. Taking care of two or more babies, toddlers, or busy school kids takes round-the-clock energy. Juggling jobs, managing a home, maintaining their marriage and retaining a sense of self can be a challenge amidst the busy-ness. Here are some tips for getting it all done, as shared by parents in the message forum.

1. Hire Help

"I hire a 12 year old to come over one afternoon a week, for about 2 hours. She vacuums my entire house, does any dishes I've piled up over the week, cleans my bathroom, and does any other little chore I need her to do. I pay her FIVE BUCKS a week, because that is what her Mom and I decided. It is alot of money to a 12 yr old.  ...I look forward to every Friday afternoon when she comes over! She doesn't do a perfect job, but for $5 a week, who cares!" - Sarah

With twins or more, a set of helping hands will come in handy. Help can come in many forms, from full-time hired childcare to volunteer assistance with chores and meals. 

2. Establish Routines

"I put my twins on a regular routine, so I KNOW when they are going to be asleep or awake. So I plan my chores around their routine, though I hate chores and often put them off anyway. But it's certainly not my twins' fault!" - Sarah 

One of the most common pieces of advice that seasoned parents offer to new parents of twins and multiples is to get the babies on a schedule or routine. A poll on this site attracted hundreds of votes, heartily in favor of a regular, timed routine for eating and sleeping. The parents' comments offer even stronger recommendations. Will a schedule work for your family?

3. Playpen Pick Up

"A playpen is invaluable. It is a safe place when you absolutely have to leave one or both kids alone for a few minutes while you run and switch out the laundry or take a quick shower!" - Sarah

4. Daytime Discipline

"After my kids go to bed for the night, I absolutely refuse to do any chores other than cleaning their bottles for the next morning. I sit, drink some coffee, watch tv, spend time with my husband, read...anything but chores. Chores are for the day time! So, this gives me the motivation to get things done during the day, with the thought of rewarding myself with relaxation the moment they're in bed! Plus, the rest and relaxation at night refuels me for the next day." - Sarah

5. Kitchen Efficiency

"When I cook, I make enough for the next 2-3 meals. I also find simple meals that don't use 3,000 ingredients. I recommend a book called "The Four-Ingredient Cookbook", in which every single reciple only requires 4 ingredients each. Some people are successful with making frozen meals for the whole month, but I'm too impatient to spend an entire day or two in the kitchen...I'd rather break it up into smaller chunks of time and cook every other day or so. I know...I'm weird!" - Sarah

Getting dinner on the table night after night is a big challenge in any family, and even more when you're managing multiples. Try these strategies.

6. Shut Your Eyes

"We have an unfinished attic. It runs the length of the house so it's pretty big. I bought cheapo rugs to put down and that is where all the kids' stuff is. There are no toys allowed down on the first floor, EVER! This works very well for us because I don't have to see the mess. I keep the downstairs living areas clutter-free and it keeps me sane. As for their bedrooms and playroom I just shut the doors and don't try to go in there that often." - Heather

Got multiples? Got mess! It is amazing how even they can turn even the most well-organized home upside down. Try these strategies to manage the mess.

7. Systematic Approach

"I figure out systems for the different things we do... For example, I try to keep the diaper bag totally stocked, I try to grocery shop on the same day each week, I have eight bottles and nipples, so I just wash them all once a day, I buy a month's supply of formula and diapers at a time, and I try to keep the nursery very organized so I have everything where I need it." - Sarah

8. Teamwork

"My husband is the biggest help in all this. When he's home from work, he totally helps out with not only the babies, but also with certain household chores I hate to do like cleaning the kitchen floor and vacuuming. He sure knows how to keep me happy!" - Sarah

9. Stay In Touch

"Don't forget that part of getting it done entails having a little bit of breathing room for yourself. Make sure you have you time for yourself as if you are feeling out of touch with people it will make it much harder to stay home and get the STUFF done. Hope this is what you are looking for...... Oh yes...I use on line banking, automatic deposits for MOst of my checques as well as drive thru banking. I pay all my bills online too." - LostGazer

10. Steal Your Moments

"I have 7 week old twin boys and a 18 month old girl. I do things when I can. Like when they are napping in the afternoon, I clean up clutter and make bottles. I throw a load of wash in before I go to bed. I wipe down walls and sinks real quick after I take a shower. I pack diaper bags the night before if I know I have to go somewhere. It also helps to lower your expectations when you have small ones, especially multiples. So what if the house isn't immaculate? They are only babies once." - Dee
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