If you’re anything like me, you couldn’t wait to recover from childbirth and get back to the gym. Or not! As a matter of fact, when my doctor told me right after delivering my twins: “And remember, no strenuous exercise for the next 6 weeks” I immediately responded with, “Oh darn, I’ll have to cancel that half marathon next week.” Working out isn’t exactly my forte. I am a firm believer that if I can eat (relatively) healthy, that will help keep me in shape. Does this always work? No, of course not. However, up until having my twins I was pretty content with the way my body looked. After the boys, however, was a very different story.
As I looked at my new stretch-mark filled tummy in the mirror, I couldn’t help but think it clearly resembled a sad face. I had been given the green light to start exercising, yet scoffed at the idea of joining a gym. I had to do something, but what? As I became more comfortable with taking my boys out on my own, it dawned on me! Taking care of infant twins can easily replace any trendy workout class I would ever attend. Allow me to explain.
Let’s start with the basics: feeding. Initially I began with the strategic dance of nursing while supplementing with formula. Those first few weeks were full of rushing to prepare the bottles before I heard the blood curdling screams of hunger. Often, I moved so fast, I would quickly break out in a sweat as if I were completing a cardio routine. Don’t even get me started on nursing! Anyone who has attempted to tandem breastfeed knows that it takes some finesse to get both babies latched on at the same time. While contorting your body to ensure that both children are properly latched may not be easy, it clearly leads to some deep muscle stretches.
Now that we’re warmed up, let’s move along with our day. Time for some weight training! If you’re like me, efficiency is key. Often this means carrying two squirmy babies downstairs at the same time. Next, we get in our car seats and move outside. Ten to twelve pounds per baby may not seem like a lot, but add in the extra 10+ pounds per car seat and we’re already hauling around at least 40 pounds. Plus, maneuvering the double stroller (~25-35 pounds) means we’re lifting/carrying/pushing 70(ish) pounds just to get out of the house! Oh, and don’t forget your (at least) 5-10 pound diaper bag!
Ah! Finally we’re out of the house and ready to enjoy our morning. As we complete our errands I continue my work out. Each stop I make involves taking out the double stroller, two car seats and diaper bag. I follow this up with a quick lesson on resistance training as I push my stroller up the slight incline to get into the store. I run in to grab a few items and find myself bending, twisting, and squatting to maneuver items in and out of our stroller’s storage basket. By this point in the day, I like to think I’ve burned off that donut I inhaled this morning. Wishful thinking?
Now that we’re home, we continue our routine and I put my kiddos down for their nap. Uh oh! Major spit up/blow out just occurred in the crib so it’s time to change those crib sheets. As I work to get the crib mattress out to remove my little one’s messy sheets, I start laughing hysterically. This is harder than some of the moves I attempted one of the few times I joined my mom at a local yoga studio.
Finally my boys are down for their nap and I can go exercise. Or not! Instead, I grab a cup of coffee and scarf down what I can before they inevitably start whining because their pacifier fell out. Don’t be hard on yourself twin moms! Your kiddos are putting you through the workout ringer every single day. Anyone up for a run?
Abby Ludwig is a mom to 3-month-old twin boys and lives in the Chicagoland area with her husband. She is quickly figuring out how much time it takes to do three loads of laundry a day while running the dishwasher twice. In her spare time she likes to… ha! There isn’t any spare time with 3-month-old twin boys! Most of her days are filled with cuddles, diapers, and tummy time. She is so excited to be writing for Twiniversity as she ventures through her crazy and exciting new life as a mom!
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