Dear Barb–The Trouble with Twins

Dear Barb:

My husband and I have been married four years and, recently, we had twin boys. We had some difficulty getting pregnant and we are so happy that we have our boys.

But the boys are four months old now and I can’t even remember most of what happened for the last four months. Our life is feeding, burping, changing and bathing the babies. Most nights we are both up numerous times. I am on maternity leave, but my husband has a very demanding job and works long hours. When he gets home I need a break and expect him to take over the care. I know he has worked all day, but I am so exhausted I need a break. We argue and both say hurtful things to each other that we don’t mean. I usually end up in tears, cause that’s what I do when I get frustrated, and my husband starts yelling because that’s what he does when he gets frustrated. My mom helped out for a few weeks after the boys were born, but she lives in another province and has her own life. My in-laws have been great and they live nearby, but I don’t want to depend on them. I am just so tired that I can’t think straight. I was wondering if your or any of your readers who have had multiples would be able to offer some help or encouragement to us. Thanks for allowing me to rant, Allison.

Hi Allison:

Congratulations on the birth of your twins! The birth of one baby changes everything, including a couple’s marital relationships. It’s no longer just the two of you enjoying a leisurely evening of Netflix, or Saturday mornings reading the newspaper, or yahoo news.  And the birth of twins is even more stressful.  As you mention in your letter, days are filled with all things baby with no time for each other.  Since you are alone with the babies all day, you need a break, but your husband is also tired from working all day so he is not able to provide you with that break. You seemed to have tapped into all the family resources you can. Another option would be to hire a college student, perhaps someone who is studying to be a child care provider. Even a couple of hours a day would give you a break and you will have another pair of hands to help with bathing, or taking the babies to appointments, or out in the stroller. If you are in Canada you can connect with places like Multiple Births Canada. They offer various support networks for new parents of multiples.  Also, there are a number of websites offering many tips for managing the care of twins, well worth checking out.

You and your husband have to take time for each other. This is a difficult time, but it will end, and you need to keep your relationship alive and healthy. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Hope this helps, Allison, and enjoy your time with your babies as it will go by far too quickly.