Whether you are a new twin mom on maternity leave, a full-time working mom or have decided to leave your job and stay home to be with your children, being a mom and learning how to organize your day is H-A-R-D. Along with a laundry list of daily duties, being a mom requires that we are constantly “on”, ready to tackle anything at any time.
As stay-at-home moms ourselves, we have heard our fair share of questions about what we do all day and how we organize our day. We thought you might enjoy a good laugh, thus we are sharing a few of our favorites with you (as well as our sarcastic responses that we politely keep to ourselves):
- What do you DO all day while you are at home? (Well, I eat bonbons and watch Ellen all day, clearly.)
- Don’t you love getting down time whenever you want it? (Yeah between the latest diaper blowout and the 18th feeding…sure let’s call that down time.)
- When the babies sleep, do you get caught up on all of your DVR’d shows? (Sure, if I can find the remote under the laundry.)
It doesn’t matter if you are the most organized person in the world, being a mom forces you to restructure your daily life and fine tune your household systems; it’s just what becomes necessary as your family grows!
As adults in the traditional work environment, it was easy to structure our day and organize our day and to-do’s to be productive.
However, all of the sudden, when we became busy keeping two tiny humans alive, we found it nearly impossible to maintain a structure in the day without a little thought and planning. We wanted to feel productive caring for our children and be able to accomplish all that needed to be done for our families.
Our twins were on a basic schedule (feedings, diaper changes etc.) from the day we brought them home from the hospital. Don’t worry mama, if you are still struggling to get your twins’ schedule synced, we have tips for you too.
A baby’s schedule changes so much within the first year. We knew that finding a way to structure our days was going to be necessary so we could participate in more mom groups and enrichment activities with our children, while also maintaining a functioning household (We can’t be the only ones with a week’s worth of laundry waiting for us).
Planning for a FLEXIBLE schedule that resembled a “work day” helped us to build a structured day for ourselves and our littles. Having that predictable routine every day made EVERYONE happier and saner.
There really isn’t a right or wrong way to structure your day as a mom, it simply requires you find what works best for your family.
With that being said, we compiled a list of general guidelines to help you begin organizing your days as a mom!
1. Plan, Mama, Plan.
Don’t fly by the seat of your pants, really, make a plan!
At the beginning of each week, make a general weekly plan and then a day-by-day plan. Look at the week as a whole and fill in any recurring obligations (swimming lessons, therapy appointments, classes, etc.) each week.
Now, look back and add in any additional appointments or meetings that may be happening that week. When you see what time you have left in each day, you can easily see what time is free and fill that in with errands, household chores or extra activities for your kiddos. Don’t forget happy hour!
Be careful not to over-commit yourself, especially as a new mom of twins. By the time you load up two car seats, a double stroller, a diaper bag and maybe your reheated coffee, it can easily be time for another feeding!
Find a planning system that works for you, be it your phone calendar or a good ol’ pencil and paper weekly planner like this one by Day Designer. We like this because we can outline the week as well as pencil in each day’s activities. This helps us to easily prioritize the most important things we need to accomplish.
By planning out each week and each day ahead of time, you will see that you are accomplishing a lot, making time for yourself, but most importantly spending quality time with your kids.
2. Use Your Babies as A Guide.
Use your babies’ feeding and sleeping schedule to help you create a basic structure for your day. Knowing when they should eat and at what times they should nap will give you time frames for when you can be out of the house to schedule activities and run errands. Also having a general outline of your day will help you be able to schedule time (most likely when your babies are sleeping) to be able to check off things on your to-do list.
The chart below gives you sample schedules to follow or adapt for your individual babies depending on their age. While these are the schedules we have used with our twins, these are intended to be a guideline and can always be adapted to what works best for your family.
3. Sign ‘EM Up!
Now that you have embraced a good system to organize your day, find weekly activities or classes for your twins.
The beauty of having multiples is that they always have a buddy to play with! It’s still wonderful to take them to classes and other play groups so that they are able to interact and socialize with other kiddos.
Many places offer a free trial class, which we highly recommend! You might love some and find that others just aren’t your jam! That’s ok!
- Mommy and Me Workout/Yoga classes
- Great Play
- Swim lessons
- Free read aloud or music classes at the local library
- Dance or music classes
- Sign Language classes
Check out what your city has to offer for the wee ones!
4. Perfect your Multitasking Skill.
There will come a point when you will have your babies napping at the same time (it will happen around six months, trust us, hang in there). You will have a moment to eat, shower or…wait for it…RELAX!
We could write for days about all the intricate systems we have established in our homes to organize our day, but honestly, there is no guarantee that they will work for you. The key is, find a routine for how you will wash bottles, do laundry, load the dishwasher or clean your house. All you need is to have A SYSTEM, it doesn’t matter what it looks like!
Maybe you wash bottles right after the babies eat and are playing together. Or have you thought about running a load of laundry before you go to bed, that way you only have to toss the clothes in the dryer in the morning? That way you can quickly fold the load(s) during nap time and be done!
5. Eat, Mama, EAT!
Don’t forget to feed yourself. We know your life is chaotic caring for TWO babies simultaneously.
So, how in the heck do you find time to feed yourself?
Well mama, simply make time for it…period! Set a timer or write it down in your planner!
If you have newborns, eat when you pump or when the babies sleep. If the babies are not quite mobile, eat when they are playing on a play mat. Remember, independence is important and they don’t need to have you hovering around all of the time. If your babies are mobile, eat when they eat. They get their lunch, and you eat yours.
A hangry mama isn’t a happy mama. We cannot stress it enough, take care of yourself and make sure you EAT!
6. Make Time for YOU.
Never underestimate the power of five minutes of peace and quiet.
Having time for you and knowing how to organize your day is the key to making it through! If you know that no matter how hectic and crazy your day has been that you will have five minutes for yourself of peace and quiet, it will feel like such a treat.
The afternoon is a great time when you are tired and have listened to crying, squealing, and giggly kiddos all day.
It’s hard to put down the phone and turn off the TV, but you can do it…take time yourself.
Five minutes of crying feels like forever….so now, imagine what five minutes of peace and quiet would feel like? Heaven right?
Put on some headphones, blast your favorite jam….and DANCE! It all be there when you’re done.
You can thank us later.
8. Remember You are Not Alone, You Have A Village.
Rely on your partner, nearby family and friends, and other mom friends! Remember to ask for help and to communicate your needs.
It’s okay that your partner may have had a bad day, but it’s also important to communicate that you have also have had poop on your hands and been puked on eight times.
Both jobs are incredibly important for your family. Don’t downplay the importance of your role. It’s the hardest, yet most rewarding job out there.
7. Grant Yourself A Little Grace and Forgiveness.
It is easy to get down on yourself when you don’t get to everything on your “list”. Some days, you will kick butt at checking to-do items off of your list and sticking to your schedule.
Some days you won’t even know where the list is.
That’s the life of a mom!
More often than not, if you can’t find the list, you’ll probably have a good story to explain its’ whereabouts and why you haven’t brushed your teeth since last Tuesday.
Embrace it, be proud of the mama that you are. You are a superhero in the eyes of your children. YOU ARE ENOUGH!
Remember, the days seem long, but the years are short. Some days you will simply be surviving between each nap and feeding. But trust us, before you know it, your babies will be a year old and you will wonder how you got there! Slow down and enjoy the ride, find a structure that works for you. It’s true, they grow up way too fast!
This is a guest post by a fellow mom of multiples and has been syndicated with permission to Multiples Illuminated. If you wish to contribute and share your multiples story/ tips, please head to our Submissions page for more details.
Meghan and Jenn are two moms from Denver, Colorado who quickly became friends through common interests. Their connection grew stronger after they both struggled to start their families and coincidentally both became mothers to twin boys! They created a blog, Two Came True which strives to help twin moms relish in the joy of mothering twins (or multiples) by giving them a place to find all of the resources, support, and love they need to feel like a confident mom. Follow Two Came True on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.