After becoming famous for the birth of their four sons and two daughters, the McGhees went viral for a newborn photo of the six babies asleep on their dad. And after that, life got a bit more hectic, as you might expect.
The family was on television, living their practical version of how to raise multiples. Today, the McGhee sextuplets are 9-and-a-half-year-olds and are excitedly planning their tenth birthday party; which will take place in June. Many moms of multiples are not as lucky or famous as the McGhees. So how easy is it to raise multiples?
Mia McGhee, a realtor, says she and her husband who owns a carpet cleaning company; struggle with the same things as every parent, times six. Especially getting the kids to help with household chores and do their homework in the evenings.
“Many people ask me if it’s easier now that they’re older, but I beg to differ,” their mom, Mia McGhee, told TODAY Parents. “The older age and their awareness makes it difficult and, oh my goodness, my kids are everywhere at the same time. They have their own opinions, personalities, and identities … our household as it stands today is in a bit of an uproar. It truly is Ro and I against them.”
This makes us wonder about how to raise multiples. How different is it from parenting multiple children born at different times. After researching the stories of moms of multiples, we present you 7 tips on how to raise multiples.
Tips For New Moms Of Multiples
Be prepared for parenting twins
Try to get your head around the possibility that your babies will arrive earlier than you expect; they may spend some time in special care too. Looking after premature babies comes with its own challenges. Get some help lined up if you have older children or other responsibilities so that you can focus on your babies whenever they arrive.
Routines for multiples
Routines will help, even though it’s not easy, to begin with. Try keeping a daily diary for each baby. There are apps that can help with this. However tired you are, you’ll know when they last slept, were fed, and were changed. Once you have a routine for meals, naptimes, and bedtimes, try to stick to it as best you can, even at weekends. You may have to be flexible when your babies are ill, or going through a growth spurt. You can get back into the routine once your babies have settled down again.
It’s entirely possible to breastfeed multiples, though you may need support from your midwives and close family. But the more the children, the less your likelihood of exclusively breastfeeding. Feeding multiple babies at once does save time, but it can be tricky to begin with. You’ll soon figure out how breastfeeding works best for you and your babies. Drink plenty of water, as breastfeeding makes you thirsty. Always have a drink in hand while feeding and try to have another between feeds. And remember to feed yourself! Keep meals simple and quick to prepare.
More Tips On Raising Multiples
Another pair of hands
Accept you’re not a superhero and let go a bit. Ask a friend or family member to do specific practical tasks for you; whether it’s cooking dinner, sorting out the laundry, or buying food supplies. Your friends and family may worry that they’re interfering and don’t offer help. That doesn’t mean they won’t be willing to step in as soon as you ask for a hand. Learn to delegate some of the tasks to helpers.
Don’t get dressed!
Once you have multiples, you won’t be able to do everything – or even anything in the early weeks! Before your babies arrive, buy yourself some decent pyjamas that you can slouch in. For at least the first couple of weeks, don’t worry if you wear these all day. None of your visitors will notice, as they’ll be too busy cooing over your babies! If you have to leave the house with your babies, and discover you’re still wearing your pyjamas, never mind. Priorities!
Moms of multiples get even less sleep than other new moms. If you’re lucky enough to get your babies to sleep at the same time, then take the opportunity to put your feet up. The housework can wait. The babies won’t notice the washing up. But they will notice an exhausted, stressed and irritable mom.
Give it time
The first few months are the toughest. Everything, from feeding to simply leaving the house, can seem to take forever. You may be more tired than you ever imagined possible. But be reassured that it does get easier with time.
This article was first published on AfricaParent.com