Twins: 17 tips for staying sane under twin stress

Environmental Pressures

Although the environmental stress of parenting multiples may be less obvious than the physical drain, it too takes its toll. The arrival of any new baby often results in more cramped living space, increased noise and constant interruptions. Even rural serenity can close in on new parents when their nearest neighbor is 20 miles away. But magnify these common parenting stresses by the arrival of twins or more, especially if there are other young siblings close in age, and you can see how parents can quickly feel trapped.

Fortunately, many of these stressors are controllable. You can cut down interruptions by unplugging the phone or using an answering machine during mealtimes and naps. Limit TV time or move the tube to another room if you find it irritating-don't overexpose yourself to the world's crises when you're in the middle of your own. But do choose your own time to keep up on outside events so you won't feel entirely isolated.

Some simple checks of your home can avert disasters-waiting-to happen. When toddlers are around, that dangling phone cord, an iron left on, sharp objects and spillables are invitations to accidents and their resulting stress. One way to minimize such hazards is to make a habit of finishing one task before starting another. In short, by controlling some of the potential stressors, you'll increase your sense of well-being and your confidence for other challenges.

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