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Twice is twice as nice: Two sets of twins, plus one

Monica Beyer is a mom of four and has been writing professionally since 2000, when her first book, Baby Talk, was published. Her main area of interest is attachment parenting and all that goes with it, including breastfeeding, co-sleepin...

Twins are no problem for Traci

Traci and her husband John certainly have their hands full — they have five children that are ages 6 and under, and four of those are two sets of twins. How do they manage it all? With grace and charm, and with the ability to make it look easy.

Family of seven

SK: Was it totally overwhelming to have five kids under age 6, or was it just more of the same?

TH: I'd have to say it was a little of each. John refers to it as "controlled chaos." There were days where I would just feel totally stressed and out-numbered. Some days were and still are a lot easier than others.

SK: How much help did you accept from friends and family?

TH: Our mothers helped us with different things as far as helping with the kids and doing stuff around the house. Our one good friend helped us out by cooking us dinner a few times right after I came home from the hospital. That was a huge help! Other than that it was pretty much just me and John doing the best we could to make it work.

SK: What adjustments have you had to make since your family grew, and grew?

TH: I eventually had to stop working. I worked full time after having Aiden. After I had Raelene and Violet, I went to part time for a while, but it was just easier for me to just become a stay-at-home mom. Once Scarlett and Veronica got here, I looked into getting some type of job to help out financially, even if it was working overnight shifts, but haven't found anything yet.

SK: How do you make your life with five small kids look so effortless and beautiful?

TH: I always joke around with John and say I reek of pure awesomeness! Honestly, I don't know how I do it. I just take it one day at a time and do the best I can. I always wonder if it is enough. Our house seems like it is in a constant state of chaos and craziness. I act ridiculously silly a lot of the time. I dance around the house singing with the kids. I usually do this to keep myself awake. I'm exhausted because my mornings start early, usually between 6 and 7 a.m. I'm always up late because it seems like that is when I can get things done because everyone else is sleeping so I don't get interrupted. At the end of the day, when my head finally hits the pillow, I am thankful that I made it through another day.

SK: How do you keep the romance alive with your husband?

TH: At this point I don't know how "romantic" our lives are but John is honestly and truly my best friend. We don't go out much at all, and when we do, the kids are usually in tow. We can talk about anything and everything to each other. There are no secrets and we communicate constantly. We make each other laugh every day and we always kiss each other goodnight. It's the little things that count.

SK: How do you stay sane?

TH: I'm not sure if I would consider myself sane. Sometimes I feel like I'm completely off my rocker. Really, I just try to roll with the punches and take everything in stride.

SK: What advice can you give moms who are stressed out and overwhelmed?

TH: You just do the best that you can do every day and love the little ones up. You do the most important things first and everything else will get done when it gets done. It's all you can do. You will get the swing of it all. You figure out what works for you and your family and then you make it your routine.

If friends or family offer to help, take them up on it. Make them commit to it. Finally, when you are feeling completely overwhelmed and stressed out, take a step back and just breathe. Look into your child's eyes or look at their smile and nothing else will matter. I don't want to say it gets easier... it just gets different.

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