I never imagined myself as a stay at home mom (SAHM). I also never imagined myself having twins. Well, here I am... Doing both of those things. Some days are beautiful, just like you imagine being at home with two extremely active toddlers would go. Other days feel like I am in the Las Vegas hotel room the night after Doug's bachelor party on The Hangover. You feel me?
Every day is an adventure with two toddlers and I attempt to embrace the craziness that they bring into our lives. But, to keep everyone's sanity I make sure that we get out of the house for a few hours each day - especially since we live in the frozen tundra and haven't been able to head outside that often the past few weeks. So where do we go? Who do we see? How did I find these places? I'm about to let you in on ALL my secrets.... Because you can't be the best Mom if you aren't your best self first.
Let's start with AMMA Parenting Center. This is where my journey into motherhood began. Sean and I took an Expecting Multiples class before the twins were born. Here we met other couples who were expecting twins. We totally don't see this group enough, but we occasionally touch base and brainstorm ways to get through toddlerhood with twins. Because it is NOT like having two toddlers of separate ages. After H&L arrived, I took a New Mamas class at AMMA and it was basically life changing. All of the women in class hit it off and we continued to have play dates for quite a while. Now, we don't see each other as often and when we get together it's usually sans kids because we need a break from them... And hope to drink a beer before it's warm and gross.
Next up, ECFE. For those of you who are not in Minnesota, this stands for Early Childhood and Family Education. It's amazing! We currently go to a district that offers a class specifically for multiples. The group of women who bring their kids each week are such great Moms and women, I've been fortunate to meet all of them. The kids play while we have coffee and discuss how to be our best so that we can help the kids be their best. We discuss twin specific issues and brainstorm ways to do things with them that MoMs of singletons might take for granted.
Then, Lifetime Fitness. This outlet took a little bit of time to really work in my favor though. When I started to bring the boys when they were around 8/9 months, they would scream cry for 20 minutes and then the staff would come to get me. I would literally sit in the cafe for the short time and wait for them to come tell me that the boys were inconsolable. After a few months of doing this they finally stopped and were okay with going into the gym. Now, they practically run in to play! It's amazing. The childcare center will keep them for up to 2.5 hours, and at the Chanhassen location I can take a workout class, enjoy a hot latte at the coffee bar or I can go into the locker room for a steam, sauna and shower! (They also have a chiropractor and a full service spa/salon!)
Indoor play areas have also been a good option for us - either in the summer when it's raining or during the winter months. This year the boys are super into Pinwheel Play in Chanhassen but we have also been to the Williston Treehouse, Brookview Backyard, Maple Maze and a few other spaces that I can't think of right now. ;) The best ones have a separate area with lots of seating (and high chairs!) for us to eat a lunch that we packed!!! Another perk is when the location is small enough that I can see both boys at the same time and they can't run away, but large enough to keep them engaged for a couple hours! OH, many require socks for your kids - just as an FYI.
My neighborhood is seriously amazing, there are tons of little kids, a couple other Moms who stay home with their kids and a handful that work from home. I know that my tribe is here to help if I am in a pinch or vice versa. Last year, before the boys were MANIACS, one of the Moms and I would take turns taking the others kid(s)... So once a week I would have a couple hours to myself and a couple hours a week she would have a couple hours to herself. This is really a great, cost effective option to get some time to yourself.
Take time for yourself. This is literally how you be the best (stay at home) mom you can be!!!