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It seems simple and obvious. But this advice from Milwaukee-area parents of multiples is worth repeating: Accept help, enjoy your children one-on-one, keep a schedule and most importantly: Take care of yourself.

Accept help

When the babies are new, you'll have lots of people offering to help. Accept those offers, and don't feel guilty about it.

When you have twin toddlers, don't hesitate to keep the word out there in your friend/family circle that you need and appreciate any offerings of support, including household tasks, such as cleaning, laundry, meals and errands.

Schedules

Baby-led parenting isn't always possible with multiples, and once they are toddlers, a daily schedule can help keep you sane. The predictability of keeping schedules for children's meals, sleep and activities is key to running a household that is manageable. It also makes it easier for helpers to step in and carry on.

Individual time

Spending time with each child individually will help you know their differences. Each one is on their own developmental timeline, reaching milestones at different times. Even as toddlers, it's important to celebrate their budding personalities and individual likes and dislikes.

Self-care

It sounds so simple yet is so challenging. Making sure you are in tip top shape physically, emotionally, socially and spiritually fuels your parenting machine. Try scheduling 15 minutes each day for yourself. Have your spouse, a neighbor or a friend help you with this. Take a walk. Read a magazine. Sit in quiet.

Parenting multiples will challenge your inner resources beyond understanding. Take a moment to savor this time.■

Jeanne Labana of Milwaukee has been an educator for more than 25 years.


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