If you find yourself changing 800 diapers a month, preparing 12 bottles daily, spending eight hours a day feeding babies, and keeping 20 fingers clean and out of trouble - you're a candidate for the Northern Virginia Mothers of Twins Club.
The club was founded in 1961 to lend moral support and psychological and medical guidance to mothers of twins and triplets. It is part of national organizations.
"We try to help mothers who have had no experience with multiple births and don't know where to turn," explained Sue Herndon, mother of 4-year-old triplets.
"A lot of our members just need someone to identify with - someone who is going through the same problems and joys they are experiencing."
The club has 112 members and is open to all "mothers, grandmothers and guardians of multiples." Meetings are held the first Tuesday of every month, 8 p.m. at St. Paul's Episcopal Church on Church and Payne Streets, Bailey's Crossroads.
Brenda Parrish, 22, of Arlington, has 5-month-old twin boys. A twin herself, Parrish first heard about the club through her mother.
"I was just a nervous wreck when the babies were born", said Parrish. "Neither my husband nor I had been exposed to kids, and we just didn't know how to handle it.
"For a while, we were only getting four hours of sleep a night but so many of the mothers in the club offered me good constructive advice on how to handle all the problems we were having that it became easier."
At each monthly meeting, the members can buy and sell used clothes and furniture. Twenty per cent of the money collected goes into a welfare fund to help needy familes with twins.
"The club's system of buying and selling used clothes is invaluable," says Mabel Bohanan, mother of identical 16-month-old girls. "It's almost impossible to find two identical dresses in the same size and if you do, they're usually so expensive."
In addition to its monthly meetings, the club has set up an internal hotline. It is operated by members of the club who feel they have an expertise in a particular area. This might include problems such as sibling rivalry, discipline, how to divide attention and differences in physical appearances of the children.
"Mothers who have been through it before can really help you cope with problems like jealousy or constant crying," says Kim Kevern, mother of 2 year-old twins, a boy and a girl. "It's quite difficult trying to handle two at a time, especially if you've never done it before."
The club publishes "A Practical Handbook for Parents of Twins" and a cockbook, "Twice as Nice with Sugar and Spice."
The newsletter "Doubletask" is sent to each mother before the monthly meeting. It contains news of the last meeting, helpful hints on child care,birthday greetings for twins and notices of items for sale.
The club also has many social functions including a Christmas party, a summer picnic and a father's night.
Anyone wishing to join the club should contact membership chairperson Sue Steinberg at 548-7511.