Finding out that you are pregnant with multiples can often start a cascade of worries about how life is changing and what will change for you and your partner. It is so easy to quickly get overwhelmed at the idea of raising multiples and fear losing yourself in the process. I offer some steps you can take after becoming a parent of multiples that will help you be happy, healthy, and hopefully not too insane.
As a first step, for both during the pregnancy and in that haze that is the first six months or so postpartum, a support system that includes other parents of multiples is crucial. This support can be either in person or online. Support from others is going to be the needed foundation for this parenting journey and also the foundation to help you, the parent, remember what you need.
The next logical step after receiving advice is to set expectations for yourself. These expectations can start during pregnancy, but continue through every stage of parenting. In order to take care of yourself, these expectations have to be flexible and you need to be able to change. If you stay rigid in your thinking, this inflexibility is a set up for failures that can be damaging to your self-esteem. Don’t set strict timelines for events such as your kids giving up pacifiers, sleeping through the night, or toilet training. Putting that pressure on yourself or insisting on deadlines for these major parenting challenges can cause anxiety and a sense of failure if the goal is not met. Be ready and willing to change those expectations based on the results your kids are giving you. Don’t get frustrated if progress is slower than expected. Even if a particular milestone or task is taking longer than you have expected, if your child is still within the pediatrician’s parameters, try to let go of anxiety.
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