Moms Get In The Picture! (Take More Pictures With Your Kids)

(Photo by Monstera: https://www.pexels.com/photo/delighted-multiethnic-family-taking-selfie-sitting-on-couch-5996835/)

It is a well know, widely complained about phenomenon: when it comes to pictures, moms are often nowhere to be seen.

There are several reasons this seems to be the case.. A lot of women don’t really like to be photographed and feel uncomfortable or dissatisfied with their looks or bodies. They think they don’t want to remember the way they look now.

But here’s a little secret, the pictures aren’t just for you. One day all that will be left are pictures, and you want to be in them. Your kids want you in them. Your grandkids want you in them. Etc.

Men often are notoriously bad at taking pictures of the women in their life. Whether it’s because they’re less sentimental than we are, or because they’ve been told one too many times not to, I think most women will agree that they often sneak cute candids of their husbands with the kids but their husbands rarely do the same. There are always exceptions, but that seems to be the norm.

Now, I can’t tell you how to train the men in your life to take more pictures. Other than just sitting them down and telling them you’d like them to do it more often and then hoping they follow through of course.

That also doesn’t really help mothers that don’t have anyone else in the picture to…take the picture.

Sometimes you have to take matters into your own hands.

I’m a selfie fan. Always have been, always will be. Some people hate them, but I think they’re great. I’ve definitely taken more than a couple selfies with my kids (and by myself) and I’ll take thousands more. In a pinch, it works.

But sometimes it’s nice to have other options. Cramming numerous faces into a selfie can be tricky, and often the pictures all end up kinda looking the same.

Here are my tips for getting some great pictures of you with the kids

Get a tripod and a remote. There are tons of options and I’ll link some of my favourites below. You can absolutely get a nice fancy camera or a full package of photography equipment with all the bells and whistles, in fact, I highly recommend it if you’re interested in taking pictures at all because it’s a lot of fun to have. But it’s not necessary.

Some of my favourite pictures with my kids were taken with just my phone mounted on a tripod. It works great.

Don’t look at the camera the entire time. The pictures I like best are the ones where everyone is looking at each other. It seems more candid and shows more personality a lot of the time. That said, my next tip:

Make everyone laugh. Pictures that show genuine emotion will always be better than forced smiles and awkward posing. So crack a joke, make a silly noise, get everyone to smile or laugh and you might just end up with some beautiful shots you’ll cherish forever.

Record a video instead, and then screenshot! This is one of my favourite tricks and the one I’ve been using a lot since I had twins. It makes it so much easier to capture those lightning-quick moments you might miss otherwise.

My Recommended Products

These are some of the things I use and like. You can purchase, or just find more information by clicking the picture.

(Disclosure statement: links contained in this blog post may be affiliate links. This means that if you use these links to make a purchase, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. You are in no way obligated to use these links, and your support is very much appreciated either way.)

Get More REST! Essential Products to Improve Your Babies Sleep (And Maybe Yours Too!)

Baby sleep is an interesting, complex thing. Some babies sleep amazingly straight away.

Others…don’t.

Ours don’t. And that’s really tough, especially because there are 2 of them. It’s really difficult to soothe both at once, which is inevitably the case when they keep waking up too early from their naps or multiple times throughout the night.

We have learned some tricks over time, and bought a few things that helped a lot. I’m going to share with you the things that have been the most helpful when it comes to helping our babies sleep.

These things could be useful in other situations as well, not just for baby sleep. If you work nightshift for example and need to sleep during the day, adopting some strategies to improve your sleep environment can’t hurt.

(Disclosure statement: links contained in this blog post may be affiliate links. This means that if you use these links to make a purchase, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. You are in no way obligated to use these links, and your support is very much appreciated either way.)

Black-out curtains are amazing but if you really want to take your room darkening to the next level, replace the curtain rod with one of these bad boys.

Regular curtain rods are straight, allowing teeny little bits of light to sneak in through the gaps on the sides where the curtain doesn’t quite meet the wall. These curved rods eliminate that problem and help make the room as dark as possible.

Or if you really want to get extra-dark, you can go with this double curtain rod option and have TWO layers of room darkening goodness.

I honestly didn’t even know these curved rods existed – or why! – until my other half bought one and let me tell you: they’re amazing.

The darker the room, the better the babies sleep, and that’s a huge win in my book.

Our babies can sleep through fireworks and lightning storms. But if someone sneezes in the basement for example, Uh-oh, Game Over.

This can be especially problematic when room sharing, if you have pets or when outside noise is otherwise unavoidable. These summer months, in particular, have been pretty rough: we need to keep the windows open to cool the house down but that means we’re stuck listening to barking dogs, lawn mowers, and street construction all day. Not so great for baby naps.

So a white noise machine is a life saver, it masks some of that excess noise just enough that it’s not waking the babies quite as often. Now the 30-minute naps are slowly getting longer, and I am so grateful for that.

By far the most expensive item on this list (and cheaper options definitely exist) but well worth it.

Sometimes it sounds like a baby is waking up when they’re just fussing in their sleep, repositioning, etc. Even if they are waking up, it’s really good whenever possible to give them a little time to try to settle themselves back down before interrupting, something I really struggle with.

I have a tendency to rush into the room too fast. First of all, because there are two babies and they usually sleep in the same room, I don’t want one to wake the other up because then I have two cranky babies at once. You just never know what they’ll sleep through and what they won’t and I get too stressed out about the idea of them both waking up too early to want to risk it. So the slightest little sound may have me going in to check and inadvertently waking them both up anyway.

Having a baby monitor helps a lot because I can check in and see if it’s something I can ignore (for now) or if I need to head in there. I also don’t want to interrupt if they’re playing independently and happily in their cribs, at least not right away. If they’re both awake and playing quietly, I try to leave them for a few minutes.

Other Resources You May Want To Try

Sleep Courses

I haven’t invested in a sleep course so I can’t recommend any in particular or say if they are or aren’t worth it but there are so many options and if you can find one that fits your budget and lifestyle it might be worth giving it a shot. I would advise you to check their reviews and testimonials, ask around your social circle to see if there is anyone that comes highly recommended among those you trust most. Shop around. You don’t want to sign up for an expensive course only to discover whoever is offering it recommends sleep training methods you aren’t comfortable with.

Social Media Groups

Online groups dedicated to baby sleep can be a huge help but it’s best to find one most suited to your particular circumstances otherwise you’re just going to be sifting through a bunch of advice that doesn’t really help. I don’t find much of the content in singleton groups particularly helpful because I have twins and so the factors and obstacles I’m facing aren’t necessarily comparable to parents dealing with one or even multiple kids of different ages.

Similarly, if you’re a single parent or a parent who handles bedtime and overnights solo, you’re not getting as much benefit from groups full of parents who tackle bedtime as a team. It’s just going to drive you crazy when all the other moms keep suggesting that you just have someone else take the baby in the morning so you can get some sleep, or tell you that you should take shifts throughout the night so you can get some rest to be able to handle the day ahead. Not helpful. Especially when you’re already overtired and over-emotional due to that lack of sleep.

Books

There are hundreds of books on the subject of baby sleep. It’s extremely overwhelming and hard to know which ones are worth the read. I’ll update this section later with specific book recommendations, as lately reading anything substantial isn’t really on the table in my life.

But on the subject of books, here are some of my favourite bedtime stories. Because a good story before bed is a great addition to your bedtime routine:

Further Reading

Helping Baby Sleep Through The Night

Things I Miss Most About Being Pregnant

If I’m being honest, I never thought I’d miss being pregnant.

I hated it, a lot of the time. Or at least I thought I did at the time. It was so much harder than I expected the second time around, I assume partly due to my age and the fact that I was pregnant with twins.

Whatever the reason though, I disliked it a lot. Then a few months passed and I thought I wanted to experience it again…or more accurately I wanted to experience it better than what I’d just been through. That was a hard feeling to process. 

Click to read my article on Medium.com

Now that it’s been a while, I think I miss it.

Am I crazy?

Ok, don’t answer that.

I have no plans to get pregnant again. Ever. The other half and I have agreed that we’re done. Three kids is a lot of kids and we don’t need more. Not at our age, and not after having twins.

But every once in a while I get almost sad about that.

It doesn’t quite make sense to me. I was miserable while I was pregnant, and I do not enjoy having babies in the house so what is going on in this brain of mine?

My best guess is that because my pregnancy was cut short (since I was induced at 34 weeks) a small part of me feels robbed of those last few weeks. I also suspect part of it is because my pregnancy was so filled with worry, concern, and constant monitoring of the babies’ growth, I didn’t really get the chance to relax and enjoy it. I was constantly scared. Then they arrived and I was so busy and tired (and still scared,) that I had no time to even think about everything that has transpired over the last couple of years.

I’m still very tired. And busy. And scared. But now at least I think I’m at the point where I can look back fondly on the incredible experience I had growing two entirely new humans in my body at once.

Things I Miss About Being Pregnant:

Baby kicks/fetal movement in general. It hurt sometimes…actually no, scratch that, it hurt a lot of the time. But it was also amazing. It was especially cool getting a sense of the baby’s personalities and how they moved differently. My favourite part was putting my hand on a part of my belly and feeling them push back against it.

Getting huge. I am one of those (formerly)pregnant women who thinks getting bigger is awesome. I loved having a big belly (most of the time) and even though I was so uncomfortable I still thought it was amazing. I absolutely would not stop touching it and taking pictures of it. There were a few minor “I’m HUGE!” meltdowns (hormones are fun) but for the most part, I thought the size of my belly was pretty cool.

The excitement of knowing they were on the way. When I wasn’t terrified about any number of things that I don’t really want to mention right now, just the knowledge that I was expecting twins was pretty exciting especially since I had all but given up on the idea that I might ever have any more kids. It’s pretty funny that the universe made me wait so long and then gave me two at once.

Surprising people by telling them I was carrying twins. One of my favourite pregnancy stories is when we ran into a very young girl in a bathroom and she cried “Mommy! She has a baby in her belly!” and I told her, “Actually I have TWO babies in my belly.” and her eyes got huge and she started repeating, almost like a chant, “TWO babies! Two babies in her belly! Two babies!”


I had so many negative experiences during my pregnancy, it’s nice sometimes to look back on the positive ones. I wish I’d been able to see these more clearly in the moment, but I’m happy to find joy in them now.


Leave me a comment and let me know if you have any favourite parts of pregnancy.

I (Sort Of) Chickened Out On Baby-led Weaning

I first learned about Baby-led Weaning (BLW) while I was pregnant and watching one of my favourite Youtube moms, Brittany Balyn. She’s done multiple videos where she talks about her BLW journey with her daughter and that made me really interested in the subject. For a good chunk of my pregnancy I was set on the idea that once it came time to feed the twins solids, we’d do BLW and that was it.

But then that time came, and I chickened out.

((Disclosure statement: links contained in this blog post may be affiliate links. This means that if you use these links to make a purchase, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. You are in no way obligated to use these links, and your support is very much appreciated either way.)

What is BLW?

Baby-led weaning (also sometimes called BLISS: Baby-Led Introduction To Solids) is essentially skipping the purees and going straight to finger foods that the baby can feed themselves. There are a lot of supposed benefits, some you can read HERE and HERE, and the main thing I found appealing was the convenience factor. The thought of spoon feeding purees to 2 babies at once sounded like a hassle and I thought jumping right to self-feeding sounded like an amazing alternative. They’d be more independent at meal times and that would take a lot off my plate…and theirs. Ugh, that was a bad joke.

A lot of parents who practice BLW specifically feed their babies semi-modified versions of whatever the rest of the family is eating, which can make the whole process even more convenient because there are no special meals being made and the baby can learn how to feed themselves while sitting down to eat with the family.

Why Did I Chicken Out?

Quite simply, I got paranoid. Even though I had read and learned a great deal about the subject, I was worried mostly about choking. Even though most of the current research on the subject shows that babies that self feed are not at any more risk of choking than babies that are spoon fed, I was scared to take the chance. Especially when I was alone with both babies. What would I do if one did choke? How would I help her while keeping the other safe? What if both choked? What do I do then?

What We Did Instead

So we started with the purees. Honestly, it wasn’t the worst thing in the world. Some of the puree options out there now are actually pretty cool, and we were big fans of the Baby Gourmet brand. Juicy Pear & Garden Greens, Hearty Veggie & Turkey and Banana Apple Kale were some of our favourites. I really liked that they were a semi-local Canadian company (based in Calgary!) and the large variety they offered. Even now, after we’ve grown out of the puree phase, I still buy their snacks and I’m excited for my girls to be ready for some of their products that they just aren’t quite old enough for yet.

It became sort of an obsession of mine to go to the store and check the baby food section to see what combinations we hadn’t tried yet. That’s the thing that I do really love and appreciate about purees like this, it gives you a great opportunity to explore a variety of flavors pretty quickly, and in combinations you may not have considered previously. They’re also pretty handy. On more than one occasion, I fed a baby a puree pouch in the shopping cart while getting groceries just to keep them from getting too cranky.

Gradually, I started replacing store bought purees with homemade ones. Then, after a short time doing that we moved on to finger foods.

I will admit, I felt concerned that I had maybe hindered my babies progress with regards to learning to chew by “wasting time” with purees (it isn’t a waste of time, this is just the Mom Guilt) I definitely second guessed my choices a handful of times. But the twins have taken to self-feeding so quickly and absolutely love the process. Now meal times are so much fun and my new obsession is trying to perfect recipes for them.

The perfect baby pancake eludes me, but I’ll get there…

How To Know If BLW Might Be Right For Your Baby?

There are a few key signs of readiness that your baby needs to meet before starting baby-led weaning, just as there are with beginning purees. Some of the things to look for include:

  • They should be able to sit with support (such as in a highchair) and have good neck support.
  • They should be showing interest in food. Watching family members when they eat, mimicking their chewing motions perhaps (these were two BIG ones for the twins!)
  • They should be bringing their hands or other objects like toys to their mouth to chew on them.

There are other signs and it’s important to do your own reading to determine if you think your baby is ready, and discuss with their doctor if you’re unsure or have concerns.

One key way to know if BLW might be a good choice for your baby is to watch how they behave during meal times. Do they sit passively allowing you to spoon bites into their mouth, or do they try to get their hands in there and do it themselves? My babies kept grabbing the spoon from my hand and helping to guide it to their mouths and I knew it was time to let them take the lead.

Further Reading

Baby-led weaning doesn’t increase choking risk, study finds by Susan Scutti (Published on CNN September 20, 2016)

Baby Led Weaning (BLW)– A Beginners Guide For Starting Solids Without Spoon-Feeding by Abbey Sharp, RD, BASc (Published on Abbey’s Kitchen November 21, 2019 updated October 4, 2021)

Ultimate Guide to Baby Led Weaning (and Best First Foods) by Amy Palanjian (Published on Yummy Toddler Food, updated June 7, 2021)

Or if you prefer a book or e-book, these are some good options (click the picture to learn more or purchase):

My BLW Supply Wishlist and Recommendations

Part of the fun of feeding babies—other than the fact that it’s adorable to watch them learn and immensely rewarding to see them master new skills—are all the different products you might convince yourself you need to buy.

Obviously you don’t, but if you—like me—want to add a few fun things to the experience, these are some of the ones I either use or am currently eyeing up:


Now I want to hear from you! Did you feed your baby purees or did you go with BLW? Is BLW something you’re considering or curious about? Or let me know what your baby’s favourite food is or was, or your favourite baby or toddler recipe. Leave me a comment and let me know!

It’s Really Hard To Not Hate Other Mothers With Large Families Sometimes

(This post was written in February 2021 just before I discovered I was pregnant with twins. I’m posting it now, all this time later because I think it might still resonate with others going through the same thing or something similar.)

This is one of the most embarrassing things I’ve ever admitted, but sometimes I feel like I hate mothers with large families.

I know it’s not really hate. It’s jealousy, of course. But knowing that doesn’t exactly help and it doesn’t make me feel like less of a terrible person when I get annoyed by things I have no business being annoyed by.

Their family has nothing to do with mine, so why am I expending energy being offended because they have something I wanted and wasn’t able to have? Is it the other woman’s fault? Did she sabotage my chances to have another baby by expanding her family? No, of course not. So why am I so annoyed with her?

Is it simply because her family is a painful reminder of what I most long for? Is it because every time I see her pictures of her smiling kids, arms wrapped around each other and dirty faces, I hear that little voice in the back of my head saying “You’ll never have that.”?

Even if I were to magically fall pregnant now, the age difference between my children would be too much. They wouldn’t play together or have many of the typical sibling experiences.

I think that’s part of what bugs me the most: feeling like I failed to give my daughter that. I wanted so badly to give her a brother or sister and for them to grow up close and have adventures and experiences and memories together and now it’s clear that just simply won’t happen.

So I convince myself moms with lots of kids are ungrateful and undeserving of what they’ve been blessed with. Somehow that makes me feel better and worse, but I run with it anyway because I’m already having a self-pity party so why not just keep going?

The things they complain about, I’d give anything to experience. Siblings bickering? Yes, please. Schedule juggling? I’ll take it! Astronomical food bills trying to feed a large family? I’ll sell my kidney if I have to!

Ok, ok. I’m being ridiculous, I know.


Is it so bad having just one kid?

No.

There are a lot of really incredible things about being able to focus all your energy on one child. I have a bond with my daughter that I might not have if she’d had to spend her time battling for attention with a little brother or sister. I’m thankful for that.

She certainly hasn’t been lonely growing up, which is something other people often worry about when it comes to only children, and which they should stop saying because as a parent it’s like a knife to the heart when someone implies you’re intentionally depriving your child of the companionship that siblings bring.

She’s also been able to have experiences in life that might not have been as attainable had our family been larger. We’ve been able to take trips, take up hobbies and build memories we might not have been able to afford if there’d been additional family members.

Or maybe we would have. It’s really impossible to know what could have been.

At the end of the day, this is the family that we have. It’s a family I’m eternally grateful for.

I know I’m extremely lucky.

But sometimes, when I’m being a spoiled brat, I lose sight of that. It’s embarrassing to admit. But I’m admitting it anyway.

23 Ridiculous Questions To Ask Your Teenager

When my daughter started school, I became a master of coaxing conversation out of her. I wouldn’t settle for the typical one-word answers:

“How was your day?” (Good?) “Anything exciting happen?” (No.)

Uhhh, No thank you.

So instead I would rapid fire specific questions at her, things that required thought and actual, real answers:

“What was the coolest thing you saw today? Who was the first person you talked to at school? What was your favourite thing in your lunch?”

-an annoying mom, aka ME

and on and on until I ran out of ideas.

And most of the time, she was fairly receptive to it. Even now, at almost 15, she still indulges my questions and tries her best to give me thoughtful, genuine answers. With minimal eye-rolling.

Over time this has evolved into somewhat of a game where I go out of my way to think of absolutely ridiculous questions to ask her. Partially because it’s fun. Sometimes her responses catch me off-guard. Sometimes I expect an equally ridiculous answer and instead get something deeply insightful that stops me in my tracks. Sometimes it’s just so interesting to see how she views the world and interprets things.

I also think it’s a valuable tool to encourage positive communication. Sometimes teens can be a little difficult to talk to and the more personal or embarrassing the topic, the more likely they are to clam up. Asking them questions that are just meant to be fun and not so serious can be a great way to open up those lines of communication without crossing their mysterious teenage boundaries.

So I put together a short list of slightly ridiculous questions you can try asking your teenagers, to see what kind of responses you might get. All of these questions have been tested on my own teenage daughter, many of them leading to more in-depth conversations, and some of them making us both laugh so hard we had tears in our eyes. I have to admit one of my favourite parts of the whole experience was watching her put her phone aside, and recline on the couch as she requested the next questions, followed closely by the look of contemplation as she actually thought and considered her response to each query.

I highly recommend you give it a try.

(Disclosure statement: links contained in this blog post may be affiliate links. This means that if you use these links to make a purchase, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. You are in no way obligated to use these links, and your support is very much appreciated either way.)


23 Ridiculous Questions To Ask Your Teenager

  1. What language would you learn if you could choose any language – even fictional languages count! (this is probably the least ridiculous one on the list, but we’re getting there.)
  2. If you could travel to any planet and be able to survive there no matter what, which one would you choose?
  3. What fruit or vegetable do you find most relatable and why? (disregard the fact that this may be technically 2 questions.)
  4. If you were a pet, what type of pet would you be?
  5. If you were a dragon and could hoard any one item, what would you pick?
  6. What planet do you find the most relatable? (a word of warning: I asked my daughter this and it spiraled into a half-hour long conversation about planets and their perceived personalities and culminated in us taking Buzzfeed quizzes about what planet we were, so if you are low on time or patience, proceed with caution but if you welcome going off on a weird tangent with your teenage child then this might be a great choice!)
  7. What do you think clouds would taste like?
  8. If a donut and a cookie had a baby, what type of baked good would their offspring be?
  9. If you could re-colour any one thing in nature, what would it be?
  10. If we were burying a time capsule (set to be opened at any random length of time you choose) what would you put in it?
  11. What is the weirdest dinner combination you can think of?
  12. If you had to fill your house with only one type of furniture, what would you pick?
  13. If you had to create a new animal, what would that animal be? (as many details as desired.)
  14. If I had let you rename yourself when you were (any age) what do you think you would have picked?
  15. One mythological creature is coming to stay at your house for the weekend, which one is it?
  16. Which 3-5 people are on your zombie apocalypse survival team, and why? (word of caution, try to not feel offended if you aren’t on their list. It’s just supposed to be fun.)
  17. Would you rather explore the ocean or space?
  18. A new planet has been discovered and you have the privilege of naming it, what do you call it?
  19. You’ve been recruited to join the circus, what is your act? (Could be either a skill they actually have or one they’d like to learn or one they wish they had!)
  20. What slightly useless superpower would you pick if you were given the chance to choose one?
  21. You can only watch one movie for the rest of your life. What is it?
  22. You have an abandoned building to turn into a house, what was the building used for before this? (ie, old church, store, school, etc.)
  23. You find a buried treasure filled only with items that start with the same letter as your first name. What’s inside?


Parenting teens is tough, these are a couple books I’ve been reading lately that I’ve found very interesting (click to purchase)


Now I want to hear from you! What are your best tips for effective, positive communication with your teenage children? Do you find your kids easy to talk to or do you struggle to coax full sentences out of them? I’d love to know!

My Current Favourite Things as a Mom of Twins

Below is a list of the various products I’m currently loving as a mom with twin babies. A lot of it is fairly generic things (helloooo diapers!) but it’s the stuff I find I just can’t do without lately.

If you’re interested in purchasing any of the items I recommend below, you can click the picture to do so. Please note if you do, that these are affiliate links and I may get a small percentage of the cost of your purchase.


Diapers

Diapers are obviously one of the most essential things when you have a baby, and when you have 2 babies you go through a lot of diapers. I find Pampers Baby Dry gives us the most bang for our buck, and I prefer the style and fit much more than other brands that I’ve tried.

Bottles

We combo feed, and when the girls get bottles, these are the ones we’re loving. I like the shape of them much more than a lot of other bottles and they’re very easy to clean.

Earplugs

I mentioned wearing earplugs around my babies in a mom group on Facebook and got roasted for “ignoring my babies!” but here’s the thing: kids are noisy. And earplugs don’t make you deaf, they simply take the edge off sharp or loud noises so you can preserve your sanity (and protect your hearing of course) which makes it easier to be a good mom when suffering from sensory overload.

Silicone Breast Pump

I have an electric pump that was a gift from an incredible family member and I love it so much. But I can’t always strap myself in for a good pumping session…especially lately as the babies have decided they are jealous of the damn thing! These silicone pumps are a great alternative when you need to pump breastmilk, can’t be bothered with a traditional manual pump and don’t have the time to use the electric version.

Aussie 3 Min Miracle

This isn’t really a baby thing but it’s a MOM thing, at least for this mom. I’m desperate to keep my long hair and not need to resort to a cropped Mom Cut, and without this stuff I wouldn’t even be able to get a comb through my hair most days. It’s so knotted almost all the time, tossed up in a messy bun and neglected or tangled up in grabby baby hands, but this stuff seriously is a miracle and makes my hair somewhat manageable when I’m finally able to try to tame it.

Prenatal Vitamins

I’m a huge brat and can’t handle vitamins unless they’re gummies. But it gets worse! I’m also an even bigger brat and am extremely picky about the specific texture of said gummies. These ones are perfect and the only ones I’ve found that I will consistently take because I like them. And yes, I am taking prenatals still, because of breastfeeding.

VTech Magic Star Learning Table

This toy is perfect for our girls right now because they’re learning to stand by pulling up on furniture, so it gives them something fun to do while they’re standing. I’m already sick of the songs, but it’s worth it.

Banana Teether

I swear our babies have been teething since day one, they’re constantly chewing and drooling all over everything and their cheeks are super red more often than not. Of all the things they grab to chew, these seem to be the favourite, so much so that they will fight over them and steal them from each other.


(Motherhood in Progress is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.ca)

Breastfeeding Woes

Breastfeeding is hard.

I wrote an article HERE on Medium about how much breastfeeding sucks. Because at the time…it sucked.

Since writing that, I also started working on a piece about how amazing breastfeeding is. Because it is, even when it sometimes sucks. There are also beautiful, incredibly precious moments. And sometimes those moments are never so clear as they are when you think they’re going to be taken away from you.

Let me explain:

From day one, my twins were mostly breastfed. I say “mostly” because they were born 6 weeks early and spent the first 2 weeks of their life in the NICU where they were fed a combination of donor milk, my pumped milk, formula, and of course I also breastfed when I was there with them. For the first bit, they were fed via tube when not nursing, then eventually went on to bottle feeds during the end of their NICU stay. 

We were really lucky, I have to admit, because the girls both breastfed amazingly straight away. Twin B latched within 30 minutes of being delivered and remained that way for nearly an hour, while her sister had to get whisked off to the NICU straight away and didn’t get a chance to try until a few hours later after I got some rest. But once she got her chance, we had almost no problems at all.

I did struggle a bit with learning how to position both babies on my own to tandem feed,  especially while they were so new and small and fragile, but we eventually figured it out. At home, before they were able to join us, I was pumping as much as possible and was actually getting a decent amount each session. I brought most of it to the NICU for immediate use and began building a freezer stash for when they got home. I was optimistic that I’d be able to exclusively breastfeed both babies once they came home.

And for a while, I did.

As time went on, I battled a couple rounds of mastitis and developed an aversion to tandem feeding. I grew to hate the sensation of having 2 people attached to my body at once. The fact that I was struggling with some PPD/PPA at the time didn’t exactly help, and I felt smothered and uncomfortable. I wanted to quit breastfeeding.

We burned through my pumped milk stash in the freezer in a matter of days. I was never adding to it because pumping when you’re constantly holding babies (in the early days they would only contact nap, but that’s another story) is basically impossible. 

I bought product after product, in hopes that it would help in some way. Some did. Others were a waste of money. Scratch that, most were a waste of money. 

I started giving the twins formula, which I had given my first daughter and which I have nothing against AT ALL, yet I felt like a failure anyways.

Then the boob strikes started.

The babies decided they hated being nursed at the same time. They would scream and cry any time I tried to position them in the traditional “football hold” position for tandem feeding.

If one baby was already in position and contentedly nursing, her sister’s crying would inevitably disturb her and make her stop eating and join in the crying as well. I switched to nursing one at a time while trying to keep the other content long enough so her sister could finish. It was draining in more ways than one.

Part of the problem was that I “stupidly” decided to forgo a twin nursing pillow and just purchased a regular one. For me, this was a huge mistake. Other twin moms I’ve spoken to said they didn’t use a nursing pillow at all and to them, I say: “HOW you magical, glorious woman?! Teach me your ways!”

Sometimes my milk would come out too forcefully, causing them to choke and gag (and then cry of course,) sometimes they’d be so fussy I’d be convinced they weren’t getting anything, so I’d hand express to check and multiple streams would shoot across the room. Poor babies.

Later, they became too easily distracted to breastfeed efficiently. Even when being fed one at a time, the twin I was trying to nurse would latch on, suck for 15 seconds, then unlatch and look around, then require help relatching, another 15-second snack, look around. Repeat. Or she’d latch, then try to turn her head the entire other direction to stare at something else. My poor, sad, abused nipples.

Sometimes they wouldn’t even breastfeed at all, and would instead immediately scream with horror at the mere sight of my boob. That does wonders for your self-esteem, as you might imagine.

The more breastfeeding frustrated me, the more I turned to bottles. I decided I’d exclusively pump and just bottle feed them. That way they were still getting my milk but without the hassle of breastfeeding when they clearly didn’t want to.

The problem with that is, as I mentioned, we depleted the freezer stash. So in order to feed both babies, I was stuck in a constant stressful loop of trying to stay on top of pumping enough for their needs. At any given time there was no more than 4 ounces of pumped milk in the fridge. Around this time the babies also decided they hated the formula I had. They would literally gag if I tried to give it to them. So it was expressed milk or nothing.

(I should add, that through all of this they would still breastfeed overnight so I don’t understand their daytime aversion to breastfeeding.) 

I felt like I was drowning. I’d be struggling to entertain and feed 2 babies during every wake window, then after getting them down for their naps I’d rush to set up to pump so I’d have something to feed them when they woke up. I never had a single moment to just catch my breath. My mental health was suffering, big time.

For most pumping sessions I’d get anywhere from 3-5 ounces. Not terrible but also not ideal for feeding two hungry babies.

Then one day I sat down to pump and could only get an ounce. I panicked. My supply seemed to be dropping and I knew my days of being able to feed my babies breastmilk were numbered.

I tried power pumping (more information on that can be found here) to try to boost my supply and it helped a little bit. But I still knew I had to do something to save our breastfeeding experience.

How I changed everything

Something had to change or I was going to lose my mind. 

First of all, I had to make some decisions.

I decided the girls would be exclusively formula-fed, that I would continue to pump to build a freezer stash, and that I’d continue to offer to breastfeed if they showed signs they wanted to. I was hoping that the frequent pumping plus infrequent breastfeeding would maintain my supply at least somewhat and that if I knew they had the formula to eat it might take some of the pressure off me to pump more than I was able to.

I bought new formula. The girls clearly hated the formula we had, so I tossed it and bought something new. Well, actually I rebought a formula they had tried previously and had consumed with no problems. They accepted it again with no issues, and so that’s what I fed them.

Gradually my supply did increase. I was able to start building my freezer stash and added a couple dozen ounces in a few days. That was a huge weight off my mind. And a funny thing happened, both twins started wanting to breastfeed more. Often they’d shove their bottle away and reach for me instead, even if the bottle contained breastmilk, which made me feel pretty amazing.

The biggest change I made however was my own attitude. I had to make myself let go of the idea that I was failing if I stopped breastfeeding, in order to continue breastfeeding. I know that might not make sense to anyone but me but when I shifted my mindset and stopped letting myself feel defeated by my struggles I was able to see the process in a new light and that helped me discover new ways to make it more successful for us.

It’s not perfect and it will change

The twins will be 6 months old soon, so we’re currently half a year into our breastfeeding journey. When I was feeling extremely frustrated with the whole thing I told myself to try to just make it to 6 months and then I would/could quit. But now that it’s approaching I don’t want to stop.

We’re still figuring it out. Some days one baby will refuse to breastfeed while her sister refuses a specific bottle.

It’s frustrating sometimes, it’s beautiful sometimes.

Why I Don’t Dress My Twins In Matching Outfits

People ask me a lot why I don’t dress my babies in matching outfits and the simple answer is: Because I don’t want to.

Ok, Ok, perhaps the simple version is a bit too snarky so allow me to explain.

It seems pretty common to dress twins, or even just siblings, in matching outfits. My Instagram feed is full of them and I’ll admit it’s super cute. But, it’s not my absolute favourite sibling clothing aesthetic. I’m actually a huge fan of the look that’s more like, “this kind of could go together, but not quite.” One twin in stripes and the other in florals, with a similar colour palette? Yes, please. 😍

Personally I use my twins clothing as one of the ways I tell them apart. Since they were born, I’ve discovered a lot of little ways to tell who is who, but it doesn’t always work so well when looking back at photos. Different outfits helps jog my memory, and helps me easily tell other people which twin is in each picture.

I’m trying to foster a sense of individuality in any tiny way I can right from the beginning. Right now they share everything, it’s simply not practical to do otherwise, and I know throughout life they’ll get mistaken for each other and lumped together constantly because their faces and birthdays match. So in any small way that I’m able to say, “These are 2 separate, individual people.” I’m going to express that.

And the final, perhaps the biggest reason is that it gets expensive buying two matching copies of everything and honestly, for me that’s kind of a waste of money. I’d rather buy coordinated sets that come in bundles, look cute together but don’t exactly match, and end up with more unique pieces than a closet full of duplicate outfits.

I’m not against matching outfits by any stretch of the imagination. The girls have some duplicate outfits I’ve bought that I’m excited to dress them in (though my instincts are already thinking of ways to make each unique instead of exactly the same.) And we’ve had some gifted to us that I’m just dying to see them wear. I Ooh and Aah over twins dressed alike as much as the next person.

I’m just not going out of my way to buy my twins an entirely matching wardrobe.

The First Month With Twins

One month down.

I don’t believe I ever officially announced that the babies were born here on this blog. New mom-brain. And epic fail to not even announce your babies on a mom blog.

A little over a month ago, my twin baby girls were born. They came early, at 34 weeks+2 days, and spent 2 weeks in the NICU after the fact. I’m working on writing their birth story at the moment…kind of.

Now they’re home, and I’m learning to adjust to having 2 tiny, demanding, helpless humans. To say my hands are full would be an understatement. Working on much of anything has taken a backward but hopefully that will improve over time.

Over the last month I’ve really struggled with how much harder having 2 at a time is compared to just 1. Everything has been a struggle as I learn to feed, carry, and change 2 at once. It’s definitely been a juggling act, and much harder than I expected.

Oh but they are so cute though and the calm moments when we cuddle happily are the moments I live for.

It’s so amazing learning their personalities and getting to know them. I was so worried about getting them mixed up – I even left their hospital bracelets on for weeks as a way to tell them apart – but I’ve discovered enough subtle differences to tell them apart now which helps a lot.

Find More Of My Content:

I also write on Medium, I recently posted about how much I am hating breastfeeding lately. I also posted about how much I struggled while my babies were in the NICU, as well as a story about how much more difficult I found it being pregnant in my late 30s vs my early 20s.

I’m going to just end this post here, as I’m pretty sure I have diapers to change and babies to feed. Drop me a comment with your best piece of advice for raising twins!