Real Mum Interview: Cathy Mudhune on Raising Twins
MV: How did you receive the news that you were expecting twins?
CM: Naturally it was a surprise, and we were in shock. My husband and I had to get used to the idea but eventually we accepted it.
MV: Was this your first pregnancy?
CM: No, we already had a son who by then was a toddler. It had been tough because he was not a good sleeper and had been a bit of a handful. So the idea of twins on top of that was a little intimidating.
MV: Sounds like double trouble! How did you prepare yourselves for this new blessing and challenge?
CM: We connected with parents of twins in our networks. I found this very reassuring because you learn that you are not alone in having mixed feelings at the onset. Plus you realize that others have done it so it can’t be that bad.
MV: What are some practical tips you gleaned?
CM: Some folks hire extra nannies plus a trained live-in nurse to help with newborn multiples. To each his own, but for us we found that between the two parents and two nannies it was enough to manage. We read everything we could get our hands on about parenting twins. What really helped us was getting the babies onto a set routine from day 1.
MV: Was that difficult?
CM: Not really. We were determined not to have them be a major disruption to our schedule. Our son had to go to preschool and our family had to function as close to normal as possible. We put them on Gina Ford and within a short time they had settled into line. By four months of age they were sleeping through the night. It was actually easier than parenting our firstborn when he was their age!
MV: What about Co-sleeping?
CM: The twins do not know where I live. They do not come into my room at all. We created their nursery and from hospital they went straight there. It worked out really well because Mum and Dad get their rest, and we take turns going up to feed them. It also gives us our privacy when the Nanny and their Grandma want to go up and feed them.
MV: How did you prepare your son for their arrival? It must have been quite a change for him.
CM: Actually we thought about this and during the pregnancy we did our best to prep him.We involved him in the process of preparing the nursery. Then when the babies arrived from hospital, they each brought him a gift he would especially love. We introduced them to him officially and presented him with their gifts to him. This way he was much more willing to let them stay for a little while. 🙂
I make sure when he comes into the room I immediately put the babies down or give them to the Nanny so I can hug or hold my son. We also involve him in the process of bathtime and he gets to help take care of them in little ways. He is very responsible and protective as a big brother and kisses them goodbye every morning before going to school.
Photo credit © Cathy Mudhune