First published on November 28, 2014 on Twiniversity.com
It’s Wednesday. The girls are looking at me, looking for something to do. On Saturday, they turn sweet 16 months. I’m looking back at them. “Now what?” They have torn my house apart. My days have turned into weeks. My exercise has turned into me bending down to pick up a toy, a sock, a piece of food all through the day. I’ve got to find us something to do or I will be cleaning for the rest of my life.
My twin girls no longer nap at 10am and at 3pm. Instead it is noon to 2. They no longer stay in one place. They run free as soon as the front door opens. All that keeps going through my head is that I used to be a Student Activities Director. I can surely come up with an activity for these gals. It can’t be that hard. Right?
The problem is that I’m not a big craft person. So I’ve got to shift my planning there. I’ve not “always wanted to be a stay at home mom”, so I had to shift my mindset there, as well. I like talking and listening, so I’ve got to shift my communication skills to toddler level if I’m going to survive the next 7 months. That’s when their slot at my son’s preschool opens up.
So, what do I do when I start to feel overwhelmed or lost? I make a plan or a schedule. The only way I’m going to remember that schedule is to make it creative and fun. That’s where “8 Days A Week” came from.
We all know the famous Beatles song 8 days A Week, right? If you are a stay at home parent, picture your week ahead and see if my activities schedule might help. I broke it down into Parent’s Activities and Twins’ Activities. If you are a working parent, I encourage you to imagine your own schedule and see what you come up with.
Soul Sunday (Day 1)
Parent’s Activity: Feed your soul! No more doing laundry or major cleaning. There will be plenty of that during the week. Instead, read the Sunday paper while the twins run through the fall leaves in the backyard.
Twin Activity: Working parent time. Encourage your partner to take the twins to the park or do story-time. Time with dad is super important as they need him too.
Moving Monday (Day 2)
Parent’s activity: Move the laundry, move the toys, move your mind. Whatever it takes to keep you moving, it’s a great way to kick off the week. Sometimes I have a moody Monday because I’m not heading off to work. So I try to keep myself busy.
Twin activity: Schedule a play date with a fellow twin parent. I meet my twin mom friend at a local park or each other’s house. Sometimes, we host our twin club’s Twin Parent Meet Up at a local parent educational center. We’ve recently moved our Twin Parent Meet Up to Fridays, however, I still try to schedule a playdate on Mondays to kick off the week.
Twin Tuesday (Day 3)
Parent’s Activity: Make this day all about your twins. I try to have Tuesdays as my social media free day. I also give myself a break on “work” stuff or “career concerns” and just enjoy my twins. Tuesday could be when you work on your twin Shutterfly photo album or clean out clothes they have grown out of. Whatever you do, make the day all about your twins. I know it helps me to remember why I chose to stay home with them.
Twin’s Activity: Follow their lead, be it playing outside, reading stories or trying new food, see where the day takes you. If you need to find scheduled play activities, try the library or local play area. Watch and enjoy how they come alive.
Warrior Wednesday (Day 4)
Parent’s activity: I’ve designated my Wednesdays as clean up day and/or shopping day. My twins are old enough to have someone else come in and watch them for a bit. It’s also my day to be a warrior and develop my professional skills so that, when I transition back into the work force, it’s not difficult. Write. Volunteer. Take a class. Do something you enjoy that may be “professional” and fills the other passions you have in your life.
Twin activity: Have your daily schedule typed up (Food, circle time, naps, etc.) and put it up on the fridge or on your activity board so that when you have someone come watch your twins, they know what to do. If you are unable to have extra help come in, make shopping with your twins an adventure. Teach them about the fruit you are picking up. Or schedule their hair appointment. Let that woman warrior come out!
Time Out Thursday (Day 5)
Parent’s activity: In my house, Thursday nights are Dad’s night. This usually means that I’m out in the evening and my husband performs the bath and bedtime routine for our older son. Once the twins are bathed and in bed, I’m out the door on my way to dinner with a girlfriend or to get some alone time at a local sushi place or cafe.
Twin activity: I’ve discovered morning story time at the local library in my time. You might wonder how I do it with twins? Thursdays are the day my 4yr old is home and not in preschool. So I bring him along to run after one twin, while I run after the other. During the actual story time the twins do great! They love the interaction, the bells, and seeing all the other kids. Plus, there are tons of other people there to help. People love seeing twins. Twins are a magical sight.
Fun Food Fridays (Day 6):
Parent’s activity: No plans, no to-do lists. Go with the flow. Maybe order takeout for lunch. Let yourself enjoy the fruits of your labor and calm down as the weekend rolls in.
Twin activity: Food exploring. Let the twins taste and feel all different kinds of food. Friday is pizza night in our house. I’ve found some fun pizza making recipes and have all the kids make their own pizza.
Super Saturday! (Day 7)
Parent’s activity: You most likely have a birthday party to attend, a local festival, a family gathering or a trip to IKEA. There is something about doing it all on Saturday. Lace up those cute tennis shoes and have a great time! Wherever you go with your twins, remember that it’s the weekend. Enjoy the moments. Take lots of pictures!
Twin activity: Don’t forget nap time! It’s easy to overlook or try to push it. If the party is scheduled in between their nap, tell the family that you will get there when you can. They will understand; you have twins. Sometimes, we manage to combine the drive to our activity with the twins’ nap time. But we always let their nap time guide our weekend plans. It always pays dividends later.
Day 8: Priceless
Now that you have a fun activity guide that covers both your and your twins’ needs, let’s talk about that 8th day. Don’t we all wish we had another day in the week? We don’t, but we can create substitutions. Right now, my 8th day of the week is a planned 2-day mini vacation with my husband; celebrating 7 years of marriage and a decade of knowing each other.
Another 8th day of the week used to come when my twins started sleeping through the night. It also comes during the moments in the day when I drink my green tea, look outside and feel a huge sense of gratitude for these two amazing girls. Twin mom. Who would have guessed?
We all have an 8th day of the week, and during the months and years that our twins are here, the memories of more and more will stay. That fuels us. May yours be arriving soon.