Look at those muscles! Let me guess, you’re a mom of multiples? (No offense, but I could also tell by the size of the dark circles under your eyes. I’ve got them, too.) Giant arm muscles (in addition to giant diaper bills) are just one benefits of twins. I’ve even stopped using weights when I workout at Pure Barre. I’m carrying 30+ lbs. of toddler in each arm, and the last thing I need is another bicep workout.
When my twins were brand new, they were (thankfully) just over 6 lbs. apiece. They still looked tiny in the giant infant carriers (and especially tiny to me, whose older children were 8 and 9 pounds apiece). My arms ached. They were always full of baby. Eventually, I had shooting pains in my neck and shoulders from always holding a twin or two 24 hours a day. It took a shiatsu massager off Amazon for $40, a regular babysitter to help hold one of two squalling newborns, and the help of my mother to keep me sane during those wild first 14 weeks (note, the sleep situation hasn’t gotten much better, at least not in my house).
It was not easy getting two infant carriers into daycare each morning with all their bottles and blankies and diapers, and sometimes I had to make three trips from the parking lot. Mostly, I lugged both carriers to the door and waited until someone opened it on their way out. The hardest part was when the twins were too big for the infant carriers, and still too small to walk from their classroom to the car on their own. Then I had bags full of baby food and dirty bibs slung over my shoulder, and a twin on each arm. I’d carefully balance them on a hip, holding forms and daily behavior/feeding sheets in my teeth, while I got them all in the car.
Then they began to walk. Still, there was the hauling them upstairs for a bath when they did.not.want.to.go. Lifting them in and out of their highchairs. Lifting them in and out of the car. Lifting them up to the monkey bars over and over was almost like bench pressing… and they weren’t just heavy, they squirmed! And nothing’s heavier than a toddler who’s having a meltdown in the aisle at Publix. Times two.
Lately, my just-turned-3-year-olds have gone back to wanting me to hold them and carry them everywhere, especially into daycare each morning. We all need that last snuggle before we say goodbye. It’s much harder now that they’re both almost 40 pounds, but I tuck one on my hip, bend low and scoop the other one up in my arm. Then they both cling to me like koalas while I heave my way down the hall. They both rest their heads on my shoulder and I kiss their little heads one last time before I drop them down on the rug to play.
Strong-armed moms are also the ones with their arms most full. An armful of twin/triplet is unlike anything in the world. Sweet times two (or three!).