If there’s one situation that can drive any sane parent to madness, it’s the doctor’s office. Going to the doctor with twins? Now that’s just cruel. Between the long waits, grimy sick kids, shots, poking and prodding…a visit to the doctor’s office with twins is the stuff nightmares are made of. Thankfully, there are a few tips and tricks I live by to make a difficult experience just a tiny, but important, bit better. The visit will still be a challenge. I’d hate to say we skip in with smiles and giggles and it’s a piece of cake. That would be unfair (and a total lie). These tips and tricks will not make your visits a breeze. But they will make it a little more bearable. You can do it!
1. Take the very first appointment of the day. I know. Getting up at the crack of dawn and out the door especially early to go to the doctor with twins sounds extra horrendous. Trust me, you’ll thank me later. Arriving to the doctor’s office at the start of the day gives you more patient nurses, well-rested doctors and exponentially less delays. Often, you’ll have the waiting room to yourself and the start of a new day means everything is clean and less germy, especially your exam room. Avoid the crowds, avoid the germs, avoid frustrated doctors running hours behind. Get in, get out.
2. Take TWO appointment blocks. A good administrative staff knows that a visit to the doctor with twins takes just as long, if not more so, than two singleton visits. Even though they arrive at the same time and are seen by the doctor at the same time, make sure to claim two appointment blocks so that your doctor is not pressed for time and can patiently and thoroughly engage with you and your children. A rushed visit means important details can be overlooked and questions left unanswered.
3. Come prepared. Spend a few moments the night before making it easier on yourself by planning ahead. Pick out easy on/easy off clothes and shoes. Write down questions/concerns beforehand. Pack a favorite toy or book, along with a simple snack to pull out in a pinch. Don’t be afraid to pull out the cell phone games, YouTube, Leap Pads, etc. to keep them occupied and happy. This is all hands on deck, no rules here. I ALWAYS have a very favorite treat at the ready for when we’re done. Tough visits deserve a reward and a return to the land of happiness.
4. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. One of the first lessons I learned as a twin mom was that the days of doing it myself were long gone. I very quickly embraced the idea that I would ask and accept any help, anytime, anywhere. Whether this comes as a request for an extra set of hands and a best friend or Auntie Becky to help manage the crazy, or enlisting a second nurse to help as you carry kids back and forth to get weighed and measured, ask for help. When the boys were babies, if I had to go alone, I had a second nurse on hand for the entire appointment. It was the safest way to properly care for them and a good doctor’s office won’t complain.
5. Sticker me. A visit to the doctor with twins leaves most multi-moms exhausted and barely coherent, much less well informed. When the nurse told me what the boys weighed and their lengths, it literally went in one ear and out the other as I stared at her with wide eyes and a screaming child (or two). Grandparents and other inquiring minds would ask later, and I’d have no idea. I started asking the nurse to “sticker me.” At each appointment, she writes down the date, name, height and weight on growth stickers for each boy. I pop them in my purse and then pop them in the boys’ baby books when we get home.
Do you have any inside tips and tricks that help make your visits to the doctor with the kiddos in tow more bearable? Be sure to comment and share! We’re all in this together and we need all the help we can get!
How to Avoid the Epic Meltdown: Understanding Your Child’s Cues
Duh, duh, duh….the dreaded meltdown. With one kid, this can bring the strongest mommy to her knees. With multiples, well…the word “epic” takes on a completely new meaning. In the worst possible way.
Moral of the story? A little organization and forethought can go a long way. Considering WHY my kids were throwing tantrums and then exploring what I could do to prevent them before they started has saved me a million tears. Like I said, it’s not a perfect system. But every little bit helps.
How to Speak the Right Language: Understanding Your Child’s Cues
Every day I pick up my children from day care to hear “They are such great kids! They had a blast today and are some of the best listeners we’ve ever had. They’re so well-behaved!” Yay, Mama win! And then we go home and they act like total demon-infested, hell-raising psychos and won’t listen to a word I say. Weekends can be brutal and I sometimes find myself praising Jesus that I decided to keep working and not stay-at-home.
sweet kids from day care?
Best Thing I Ever Did: I went to pick the kids up one day and they were enjoying themselves, so I decided to just sit and watch for a bit and let them play. Funny thing happened. I started listening to how the day care teachers communicated with my children and how they responded. And the light bulb went off. I don’t know how to speak the language my kids understand.
I started listening harder. And then I came back the next day and did it again. Now, every time I drop off or pick up, I listen. How are they talking to my kids? What are they saying? How are the kids responding? And then I mimick it at home.
Major win!!! My kids are starting to see an extension of their daily routine back into the home and it’s making sense. I say certain words they’re used to hearing and like magic, they listen. Not every time (which I suspect also happens at day care), but the majority of time. Major improvement. We are starting to speak the same language.
Sometimes I forget (or refuse to admit) that I am not my children’s primary care provider. For those of us that work outside the home, most often our kids spend the majority of their time somewhere other than with us. Sometimes, being reminded of that hurts. A lot. But truth is, they develop routines, cues and references that we’re not familiar with. We need to learn the language they are used to hearing every day so that we can communicate our needs in a way they understand. I need to speak my children’s language.
Phrase Adjustments that Worked for Me:
- “Walk away please” instead of “No!” or “Don’t Touch!”
- “Are you using your listening ears?” instead of “Listen to me!”
- “I’m going to go to work for awhile, but Mommies always come back!” instead of “Say bye to Mommy. I have to go to work.”
11 Alternatives to Self Harm: Emily Speaks
If you’re just connecting with the Emily Speaks series, be sure to check out her first post, Cyber Bullying and Self-Harm, to catch up. Today, Emily will be sharing 11 alternatives to self harm to help those hurting to make healthier choices to cope with emotional struggles.
I know it can be hard not to self-harm if you’re being bullied, but you need to try to think of other ways to deal with the pain. Cutting leaves angry scars on your body. You should try to deal with your hurt in other ways. Here are 11 good examples that will hopefully help you out a little bit.
1. Try talking to somebody about what’s going on so that you can get it out of your system.
2. Go outside where nobody is around and just scream as loud as you can for as long as you want.
3. Take a rubber band and keep it on your wrist so whenever you feel like cutting you can just take that rubber band and snap it on your wrist (softly – not to where it harms you).
4. Get an old teddy bear or stuffed animal that you don’t want and take your anger out on that.
5. Go on a jog or go out and ride your bike or long board or whatever you have and just ride around to calm yourself down.
6. Go hang out with your friend(s) and get your mind off things that would make you want to cut or do anything else to harm yourself.
7. Sleep it out and take a long nap and see how you’re feeling when you wake up.
8. Go hang out with your family and just relax.
9. Listen to some music.
10. Read a book.
11. Get an art journal and draw out your feelings. You can paint, draw pictures, even just scribble hard.
These are some of the ways that I stop myself from cutting, because I do still think about it when things get rough. When that happens, I try to do these instead and it helps. It does! You need to do anything that would take your mind off of any bad thoughts you are having and make you want to hurt yourself. This might not be the best list of ideas, but if you take a chance and try them out, they might end up working for you. You’re not only helping yourself, but you’re helping everyone else around you by making a better choice to not self-harm.