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Becoming Parents, Times Two

November 23, 2010 Volume 1

Supermom times two? A look into the transition into parenthood and the expansion of work at home. Written by: Lindsay Troher Expecting parents can expect many changes, especially the first time around. However, becoming first time parents to twins or more, can be overwhelming. Two cribs, two car seats, double stroller, double the joy... but double the work! In recent years, many celebrities have joined the ranks of twin parents- Celine Dion, Sarah Jessica Parker, Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Lopez, Julia Roberts- and they make it look oh-so-glamorous. They make raising twins, working and maintaining a relationship seem like a piece of cake, all while looking flawless. (What baby weight?) From one mother of twins to another, here’s the real deal of balancing parenthood with twins, without costing your marriage. For years, scholars have debated on the trials and triumphs of entering mother and fatherhood. In fact, a famous 1957 article by Lemaster’s declared that “new mothers and fathers were unprepared and overwhelmed by the ‘crisis’ accompanying the arrival of a child. Over many years scholars have recognized that parenthood may enhance some marriages, undermine others and have little effect on still others (Belsky & Kelly, 1994; Cowan & Cowan, 2000; Fecney et al., 2001). Recent writings by Ted L. Huston and Erin Kramer Holmes of the Univerrity of Texas at Austin took a deeper look into how parenthood affects married life, specifically on the expansion of work at home. To make it simple, the amount of work at home increases enormously. Add in twins, and it is almost unimaginable. While their research is very valuable, one finding stuck out: the more husbands thought their wives viewed them as competent,

the more husbands contributed to both housework and child care.

What does this mean?

Moms, and moms-to-be, despite how easy Angelina Jolie or Julia Roberts may make it seem, raising twins is not always easy. While the gifts and love children gives us are beyond what words can explain, the amount of work they create for us at times can seem unbearable. While the media shows us these picture perfect mothers and post-pregnancy bods better than our pre-pregnancy bods, it’s just not reality. Transitioning into twin parenthood begins long before those bundles of joy arrive. Preparing for twins takes lots of research, planning and shopping. While registering for two of everything might be fun, it can be costly for those who may be preparing on their own. The added financial stress is hard not only on you, but on your marriage. When baby A and baby B finally arrive, the lack of sleep and constant attention to two newborns requires helping hands. As far as that post-pregnancy body photo shoot, that might have to wait a few months, or years, until you have a spare moment, or ounce of energy to lift something other than a bottle.

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Supermom is overrated. Allow your husband to help out. They are just as capable as changing a diaper as you are. The research says it: the more you acknowledge them and allow them to do things, the more they will. And the more they help, the easier your life will become. Remember, you were given two babies and only two arms...


Becoming parents