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The first year of being pregnant and of having a sweet newborn is a joyful time filled with so many rewarding moments. However, as any new parent will tell you, it’s also a time filled with lots of unsolicited advice and seemingly helpful comments and observations that can actually be quite hurtful.


This is especially true when you’re pregnant with twins.

Many adults (most of whom have little or no experience with multiples) will tell you how hard things are going to be, how you’ll never be your old self again, how they’re glad that they never had twins. As someone who has been through this myself and has worked with countless parents of multiples, you need to know that most of these comments are simply untrue.

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Here are the six biggest misconceptions about having twins that we’d like to clear up:

Myth 1: You won’t have any alone time with your partner

Obviously as parents of twins (especially in the newborn phase), you’re not going to have as much couple time as you did when you first started dating. You probably won’t spend Sundays leisurely snuggling on the couch and reading the newspaper.

However, that doesn’t mean you can’t make time to focus on each other. When the babies are tiny, this could mean taking a long stroller walk together a few times each week. As they get a bit older, it might mean having dinner alone (no cell phones or TV allowed!) while the kids are asleep. As long as you have your twins (and siblings) on a schedule, there will be predictable time slots for the two of you.

Try planning a standing date night every week where you put the kids to sleep, eat take-out and share cocktails or a bottle of wine. To take things up a notch, plan a monthly date night out or overnight trip with just the two of you.

If you have helpful family who is willing to babysit, TAKE ADVANTAGE! If you don’t and can afford it, hire a responsible high school or college student to watch the kids for a few hours each month. Never feel guilty about leaving your kids for a date or a trip. By taking care of your relationship, you’re giving yourself and your partner the strength to be better, more patient parents and also setting a good example of what a healthy relationship looks like.

Myth 2: You’ll never get back to your pre-pregnancy weight after carrying multiple babies

Being a pretty active person for most of my adult life, this is something that I definitely worried about when I was pregnant with my twins. I don’t feel like myself if I’m not exercising. To make things worse, I was put on bed rest at 18 weeks pregnant.

The good news is that 21 months after giving birth, I am actually 10 pounds below my pre-pregnancy weight. I don’t have a nanny, a personal trainer, or a nutritionist. I didn’t do any popular diet, take pills, or do a complicated workout regime.

I lost the weight by doing only two things: Counting calories and tracking what I ate (using MyFitnessPal) and tracking my steps (with a pedometer, then a Fitbit). Obviously those two things wouldn’t work for everyone but I do think that everyone can find a way to be healthy that fits their lifestyle.

My advice is to find a way to be active that you like and that you can realistically stick to. If you’re a morning person (or can adjust to being one), wake up for a walk or workout DVD early in the morning before the kids get up. If you do better at night, work out in the evening after the kids go to bed or when your partner can watch them. If you’re home during the day, join a gym that has childcare.

Even many inexpensive gyms have childcare facilities where you can leave your little ones for an hour or so. Note: It might take your twins a few weeks to get used to the childcare facility, especially if they’re toddlers. Bring them as many days as possible, even if it’s just for a short time, for two to three weeks and I promise they’ll become comfortable there. (This advice goes for babysitters and preschool too!)

One last point is that, yes, your body may look a little different after giving birth (tummy not as tight, smaller or larger bra size), but it’s still possible to be healthy and to get your body into a shape that you feel proud of.

Myth 3. You will break the bank buying two of everything

There are tons of baby items that you either don’t need two of or that you don’t need at all!

Some examples of things that you’ll only need one of:

  • Travel crib (since you won’t be using it very often, borrow the 2nd from a friend. Better yet, pair up with another twin mom and borrow from each other)
  • Baby monitor (you can buy one monitor with two cameras or buy a second camera used. Just make sure it’s compatible.)
  • Nursing pillow (buy a double nursing pillow, like Twin Z, that can be used for nursing both babies at once or for a resting place for both babies)

For items like swings and rockers, either buy used or let your babies try it at a friend’s house first. Different babies respond well to different soothers so you could spend a ton of money on something that one or both babies hate.

In terms of items that you do need more than one of, there are so many ways to save money:

  • Buy generic brand diapers, wipes and formula
  • Borrow as much as you can from friends, search Craigslist and local Buy/Sell/Trade pages for free and cheap items,
  • Buy items that can be used for more than one purpose
  • Buy from stores that offer a twin discount (see TLC’s list from our Expecting Twins class).

Remember to pay it forward by selling or giving away your baby items when you’re finished with them!

Myth 4: You will never have a full night of sleep again

There are ways to get a respectable amount of sleep even from the beginning. Besides following Harvey Karp’s tips from his book Happiest Baby on the Block (rent the DVD from the library!), if you are breastfeeding I highly recommend pumping as much as you have time for so that you can delegate at least one feeding per day to someone else.

My husband and I created “shifts” where he was in charge of feeding and soothing both babies every night from 7pm to midnight, and I was in charge from midnight until 6am the next morning.

Once your babies are four or five months or so, you can sleep train them, if that’s what you want to do. If you choose to do this, double check with your pediatrician first, or hire a sleep consultant to help you figure out the best plan.

Myth 5: You can say goodbye to your social life

This might be the biggest of the misconceptions. I’m not saying that you’re going to have the SAME social life that you had pre-twins (you probably won’t be staying out all night dancing, then stopping for greasy diner food on the way home). What I will say, though, is that having multiples opens the door for conversations with all kinds of people as well as an instant connection with other parents of multiples.

When you’re out in public with your littles, you will have people stopping you left and right to tell you that you’re a “superhero” or that it “looks like you have your hands full.” Ninety-nine percent of the time, these people are just being friendly and have good intentions. I’ve ended up having conversations with twin-moms and dads who are now in their 80’s as well as teenagers who just want to tell me how cute my babies are. I’ve even made a few friends (without twins) who originally started chatting with me after seeing my twins.

Besides all of this, I highly recommend joining your local Parents of Multiples group. I became close with many of the moms in my group during our weekly stroller walks with our newborn twin babies. It’s so nice to have someone to talk to who’s going through the same thing as you.

Myth 6: You’ll never get out of the house

Getting out of the house with twins can be challenging, but it’s absolutely doable and so important. Being home alone with little ones all day, every day and be isolating. It’s so important to get out even if it’s just for a change of scenery!

For the first few weeks, your pediatrician may tell you that your babies shouldn’t be in public places or around other children because of the risk of getting sick before their vaccinations. During this time, ask if you can still take them for walks outdoors or meet up with friends at a park. You can also run out between feedings (if you’re breastfeeding) or have a partner or relative bottle feed the babies.

Getting out of the house alone, even if it’s just for a trip to the grocery store, will make you feel so much more like your old self. Once the babies are a little older, you can take them to run errands with you (bonus if they’re good stroller/car sleepers!). I used to leave my house with my twins every day from 9 a.m. to noon when they were tiny because it was the easiest way for me to get them to nap. I walked with other twin moms, went shopping, sometimes I even drove aimlessly while eating a treat in the car.

Once the babies become active toddlers, try to keep using the stroller for as long as possible and as frequently as possible so that they’re used to it. The stroller will be the best way to keep them safely contained.

The last, and possibly most important, piece of advice is to always plan to be ready to leave the house about 20 minutes before you actually need to leave. Worst case scenario, you’ll only be a few minutes late and best case scenario, you’re ready early and can relax for a bit before having to leave.

Originally published by Allison Merriman on Twin Love Concierge.

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Jessica Simpson's life seems perfect. She has three beautiful kids, a wildly successful career, a seemingly solid marriage...she has it all, at least as far as we can see. But recent revelations prove that no one really knows what anyone else is secretly dealing with—and Jessica, by her own admission, has been struggling with alcohol issues.

The singer-turned-business-woman recently sat down with TODAY's Hoda Kotb, and it will air on NBC's TODAY Wednesday morning.

"I had started a spiral and I couldn't catch up with myself…and that was with alcohol," Jessica explained. "I would say it openly to everyone. 'I know. I know, I'll stop soon. I'll cut back'," Jessica continued when asked if she realized things were getting out of control. "For me to cut back, like I'm an all or nothing girl, and so I didn't know it was a problem until it was...I completely didn't recognize myself…I always had a glitter cup. It was always filled to the rim with alcohol."

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She's hardly alone. The rise of #winemom phenomenon is well documented and many parents struggle with substance abuse problems. But Simpson's story proves there is a way to get your life back.

Simpson quit drinking in 2017 after she found herself unable to get her kids ready for a Halloween party. She says she'd started drinking before 7:30 in the morning, before accompanying her husband, Eric Johnson, to a school assembly for their oldest daughter. Later that night she was unable to get her kids dressed in their Halloween costumes. The next morning she was so ashamed. Feeling like she had failed her kids she slept until they left the house, then got up and drank some more.

That episode was her tipping point. She quit drinking (as did her husband, Eric Johnson, who supports her in her sobriety.)



As parents, we know how overwhelming the demands can be...and how easy it is to sink into habits that don't ultimately serve us well. For Jessica, the way to heal was to sever her relationship with alcohol.

"I had to give [drinking] up," Jessica said. "I'm not going to miss another day. I'm not going to miss another Halloween. I'm not going to miss another Christmas. I'm going to be present."

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Babies come with a lot of stuff. And when you're out and about, a roomy, comfy diaper bag is the place for everything you need to be prepared for whatever the day throws your way. But is a cute, trendy diaper bag that doesn't scream, well... DIAPER BAG, too much to ask? It's not, mamas.

We've rounded up our favorite diaper bags that don't actually look like diaper bags, but instead like the cute, super stylish bags you might have carried before the days of finding crushed up puffs at the bottom of your purse.

These bags prove you can get the job done, mama—and look darn good while doing it.

Freshly Picked City Pack

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This simple, modern backpack can easily take you from a day at work to dinner with the kiddos. We love the hardware details, the lightweight design, and the hidden back pocket.

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Vogshow Waterproof Bag

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Skip Hop Travel Bag

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Companion Quilted Backpack

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Are you off to sit on the beach for a few hours, or taking your toddlers to the zoo? No one will be the wiser, mamas. We love the quilted look, padded straps, and roomy interior.

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Mommore Diaper Backpack

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With a water resistant exterior, wet clothes pocket and a main compartment that completely opens up, you'll love having this to tote around.

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JJ Cole Brookmont

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As stunning as it is functional. It has 15 pockets and a removable liner on the inside so you can easily clean up messes in no time.

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Little Unicorn Boardwalk Tote

If you're looking to keep things simple + stylish, mamas, this is the bag for you. It's versatile, functional, and will get tons of use well past the diaper days.

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Presidio Vegan Leather Diaper Tote

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This stunning tote would make the perfect on-the-go bag. It comes with a changing page and a couple pockets on the inside to keep everything organized. Don't forget to personalize it!

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Ticent Tote

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With nearly 500 reviews, this one has incredible ratings. It offers multiple pockets, including an insulated one for snacks or bottles. The waterproof cotton material is ideal for those inevitable spills.

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Fawn Design Original

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Skip Hop Greenwich Backpack

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Rosie Pope Highbury Hill

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If you're looking to up your style, this chic backpack will help you get there. Lots of inner pockets and zippered compartments make it simple to organize your stuff, and the top flap and wide opening make for quick + easy accessibility.

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Babymel Robyn

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We love everything about this effortlessly stylish faux leather backpack. It's easy to wipe down, converts to a cross body bag, and even comes with a changing pad and drawstring bottle holder.

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Petunia Pickle Bottom Pathway

Petunia Pickle Bottom Diaper Tote

This two-tone canvas bag could not be prettier. We love that it easily stands upright when set down, and that it's super functional as a diaper bag yet super stylish as an everyday purse.

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Skip Hop Duo

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We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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Frustrations and emotions were at an all time high for both us. I was worried that my lack of patience would get the best of me, leaving her feeling let down and frustrated with me on her new journey of becoming a “big girl." And selfishly, I was tired of washing wet underwear. For her part, my daughter was tired of being asked for the hundredth time if she needed to use the potty.

We both were feeling a little defeated in this new adventure.

I have found too often as a mother that I expect my child to respond new things, like to potty training, as fast and as close to the last blog post, book or opinion I heard or read. What I have learned is that no two children are alike and the moment I release my expectations for where mine should or should not be, we are both brought back to peace and patience.

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So maybe a break was all we needed to start fresh the next day. We headed to our favorite spot by the lake and had a picnic. My daughter munched on popcorn and chatted away about the weather and pinecones, and listened for the sounds of helicopters—which you hear quite often living on an aviation military base.

Sometimes in the daily struggles of motherhood I have noticed that I can forget who I am and the strength we possess as mothers. It may not come easily at first, but I grow with each new day. Even potty training—this mundane human activity that is emotional and (quite literally) messy, teaches me much about the meaning and purpose of motherhood.

Potty training has taught me a huge lesson on patience. Patience to be present, to pay attention to what is right in front of me. To be encouraging, to not rush the process, to not place expectations on timing or play the comparison game we often play as mothers.

Patience is needed in every area of parenting and potty training is just one way where we can see as parents where our patience is wearing thin.

I have found that it's when I come from a place of patience and presence that I can then glean wisdom from those messy, mundane, time-consuming tasks of potty training, and find that the waiting, sitting and hours of time spent in the bathroom gives me an opportunity to be present in my child's world.

Whether it be the grocery line, a traffic jam, or cleaning up wet bedding, I learn the art and joy in the small and big moments in motherhood. Giving our children space to fail and try it again as many times as it takes encourages them that they too can cultivate the gift of patience in there own tiny lives.

My daughter speaks to me everyday, inviting growth that sometimes feels really hard and frustrating, she provokes patience to be felt and sensed through every minute of the day. And for this I am grateful. Because to truly live and be present in my child's world means “I learn from her, and she learns from me." Even in potty training.

Our children have so much to offer to who we are as individuals and they have so much to teach us. In fact, I have come to live for these exhausting, beautiful, and downright messy moments in time. When I push myself to embrace them, rather than just find them frustrating, I stretch and grow and evolve. I become the mother I hope to be.

And to you mama, whether in the midst of sleepless newborn nights or toddler tornados or the midst of potty training, may you find strength as a mother, as a wife, and as a person to let go of any expectations or judgements you place upon yourself.

May love and gratitude fill our hearts and peace be with all of us on the journey that motherhood is.

Life
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