Today part 9 will look at how soon before you can get out and about after the kids come home.
See that thing over there? Yes the thing at the end of the hallway…. Forgotten what it is called? You know it, you look at it but the world is a different place now. You have twins, triplets or more to look after, their health to think of and you’d have to be out in….. *GASP*….. PUBLIC!
Relax, it’s not as bad as all that. Well almost….
Looking back over this series, I have indirectly mentioned or alluded to something that helps overcome situations like these. Something so small, yet it is probably the biggest key to implementing almost everything I have spoken about……it’s called confidence, even if you have to fake it till you make it, it will be the most powerful thing you can carry with you at all times.
Once you have you confidence eroded, you become susceptible to far darker things. Your confidence is like the force from the Star Wars movies, it can be used for good or bad and it you start to fear using your confidence…..remember Yoda’s words?
“Fear is the path to the dark side…fear leads to anger…anger leads to hate…hate leads to suffering.”
Ok, so you’re not a Star Wars fan, that’s ok, but the message remains the same. Once you step out that door with multiples, you are vulnerable…….and so are the kids. You are suddenly thrust into a world of the public eye, germs, colds, flu, disease, rude or unfunny people and a lot of other undesirables. Your confidence is your shield and it WILL take a battering for the next 8-10 years. It won’t subside until your multiples are no longer seen as multiples, and that means when they are older and doing their own individual things.
There is going to be no avoiding it, so arm yourself with this little bit of advice.
A] How soon before we can get out and about?
This depends on a few things, common sense being the most obvious. You’re not going to take your newborn out into a 40 degree day in the Australian sun anymore than you would into a snowstorm in Detroit. So let’s list out a few reasons to begin this new journey:
1] The season that your children are born will be the biggest factor. Exposure to everything outside is inviting it back inside your house. No need to bore you with more info here, I’m sure you’ll get it.
2] Your routine. Once you have it, things are a LOT more predictable and therefore you can actually plan an outing. As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, routine is what will help you organise yourself and the kids, and I don’t just mean around the house. On average, the first 14-16 months are the easiest times to be getting out and about for a few simple reasons. A] They are immobile B] They sleep a lot C] You can grow your confidence with baby steps (no pun intended!).
I will give you my personal experience and show you how I built my confidence, my wife’s confidence and scored some major brownie points in the process.
Our boys were born in July (Winter) and as soon as they were 6 weeks old and Spring was showing hints of arriving, I was learning how to ‘kit up’ for a morning out of the house with just our twin boys and myself.
5:45am Saturday morning rolls around and they were awake. The night before I had their two kids backpacks all ready to go. Two formula feeds, bottles, water, muslin wraps in one bag and portable change mat, nappies, 2 x change of clothes and wipes in the other. All I needed to do was fill the two small thermos’ with hot water and I was ready.
By 6:10am I was dressed, ready and had the boys dressed warm and off we went.
6:15am: We snuck out of the house and left a note for my wife to call me she woke up. So, into the car we go and drive 15 mins into the middle of town to Southbank Recreational area.
At 6:30am I had prime choice of parking spots, put the boys in their twin pram and wandered down to the waterfront. Pulled out the boy’s formula, mixed it up and fed them while watching the sunrise over the city. The number of people out jogging at that time of the morning is quite busy, so by the time it hit 7:15 I had about 20 ladies standing around adoring the boys as they had breakfast.
7:45am: The boys have finished breakfast, been burped and now fast asleep again.
Packed up and by 8am I was enjoying a nice brekky at a local cafe. The ladies gave me a second coffee just for being brave enough taking the twins out on my own! Haha!
8:30am: The market stalls were opening so time for a wander until about 10:30am when I started looking out for a ‘Parents Room’ to change the boys and get ready for the next feed.
10:45am: The boys stirred, so they were changed and fed once again and asleep by 11:30am. Time to grab a bite on the go for me and off to the museum.
At this point I have totally glossed over the crowds around us every time we stopped, the photos taken, asking people NOT to remove the wraps covering the pram,etc. I will cover this in the next chapter….
Ahhhh,…..yes, the museum from 11:30-1:30 then I left to head home.
Arrived at 2pm to a very happy wife who missed her boys while they were gone….BUT not until after she had awakened at 9am, read the note, gave me a quick text message to see we were all ok, a bubble bath, went to our local cafe for brekky, read a magazine and came home all refreshed.
Me? I had a nap. Hahaha. My wife was only too happy to do the next feed in return for our morning out on the town. This became a ritual for us every second weekend so Mum got a break and I got some great Dad time in with our boys. Dad scored some great points for giving Mum a break and it really does help everyone and everything. All I can say is give it a shot, you just might be surprised.
What could be better? By knowing our boys routine, I could accommodate my needs around what they needed to do while the wife had a break. My confidence grew and before too long there wasn’t anywhere we couldn’t go, either individually or as a family.
Sharing the load with a win-win-win situation has other good benefits I can cover another time.
3] Preparation. After a few trips and your confidence grows even more, you will streamline and start taking only what is essential. This allows you more freedom because you don’t have to carry EVERYTHING with you, all of the time. If you’re heading out, don’t just wing it. Google where you are going, see if they have Parents Rooms, where parking is in relation to the venue, see what is around the area. Shops? Cafe? Public places of interest?
If you have a smart phone, you can even double check once you arrive to get your bearings. From here, it is only a matter of keeping an eye on the time for the next feed. Set an alarm or reminder if you have too. 15-20 mins before they are due to wake up is usually enough to get yourself ready to find a place and get organised. In most cases, when we were out, the boys slept longer in the pram, probably due to the constant rocking motion.
4] Location. If you’re in the city, this will differ greatly compared to being out in the country. The tyranny of distance can turn a simple outing into a nightmare…unless you plan to stop around the necessary times. It’s not all that complicated really.
Simply put, we go where we want, when we want. Our routine is based on feeding and sleeping at the same time. The location is irrelevant!
5] Where you go as a destination.
Think ahead a little and allow a little extra time is the key. Most of your choices for a destination will have a parent’s room to change the kids. Shopping Centres, Cinemas, Taverns, etc.
Parking can be a pain as well, but have a little patience and it will pay off. If you’re running late, get used to it or leave earlier. Even with the twins, we still arrived 15 mins early or just on time, we simply adjusted our prep time to compensate.
Restaurants are a different kettle of fish and most don’t cater for kids beyond a high chair and two choices of meals off the menu.
Routine and practice!
Good Luck and enjoy getting out and about. You will love it!