Lots of people assume that raising twins is just hard.
You have been there…”oooh double trouble”… “gosh that looks like hard work”.
(although in the mists of stupid questions … “are they twins?”…. “are they both boys?” … err they are identical, identically dressed (minus the never matching socks, because that is verging on impossible) and both clearly have the same human mother who due to the average 9 months gestation period it not actually able to produce two children of such similar size so close together!!!)
Anyway I digress… assuming twins are hard work…
ITS NOT THAT BAD! If you have big fat scared pregnant friends send them this!
4 good things, 3 bad things and 3 things that give some perspective…
The 3 good things:
No 1. One is just not enough.
Now I know that this may sound dismissive to those people who have one, its not meant to be, but our twins were our first and put simply, having one each meant my husband and I “could both have a go”.
We both changed nappies, we both got to cuddle, we both got smiles, both had firsts, we got to sit one the sofa completely equal in our requirement to provide. No spare parenting wheels here! It made for many beautiful moments, many examples of selfless teamwork and a new level of respect for each other.
(I would like to caveat this by saying that the above should not be expected in the swimming pool environment. Particularly the changing rooms. Here you will want to punch your husband in the face, seriously question his ability to keep your children alive and desire to run screaming from your life to the nearest cocktail bar. Particularly bad during the “getting from the showers to being warm and dry stage”)
No 2. They play together.
Now this is not an immediate benefit but when they do… woah…they do. Quite literally they are where the party in our house is at…best, your name doest always need to be on the list! Hallelujah, time to…erm do the shit loads of laundry!
No 3. Move aside your own overwhelming love…look at the bond between them!
When your Twin 1 comes to kiss your Twin 2 after the latter has just smashed his head for the 50 millionth time, it will literally restore your faith in humanity. Children are our future. Lets not try and mess this up.
Seeing that they have fallen asleep holding hands will stop you in your tracks and make you want to cry with happiness. Watching them laugh their heads off as they throw used nappy bundles at each other – you have to laugh with them! Who cares actual human excrement is inside. Their bond is amazing. Fact.
No 4. The generosity of EVERYONE!
Honestly we needed for nothing. The Twins Mum community is unparalleled in its generosity – both kit wise and emotionally. I moved house 3 times across 800miles all before the boys were 2 and it was the same every where I went. Haha…nothing like shared adversity! Really though; Its like the rules – A twin Mummy will never not help another Twin Mummy…Big, fat, pregnant and scared? Your in safe hands, just ask!
The 3 bad bits:
No 4. Shopping.
Taking a side by side double buggy in a shopping mall on Saturday will make you want to kill someone… all that restored faith in humanity from point 3… Yeah cancel that. Nothing more said.
No 5. Justifying your new life.
Its like however much you say “oh we need to stick to the routine… because its important they both sleep at the same time …or nothing would ever get done” you cant get sufficient gravitas in your words to get some people to understand.
Not forgetting that you have literally shed blood sweat and tears to get that routine in place and are simply not willing to sacrifice the fact that they sleep, eat and now poo at exactly the same time everyday…for you know…something that looks like a life!
Being told to lighten up and chill out, sometimes by some of those closest to you hurts. You will loose a few friends. But… you have sleep, peace, happy children, a relationship with your partner… what they should be saying is “well done for being out” not “why are you leaving early”
So if you have a routine, don’t allow others to make you feel bad about implementing it… and its called a R.O.U.T.I.N.E… so yes, its the same every day!
No 6. When its good its amazing – when it is bad… yep its shit.
Having a husband who is often absent, I dread his frequent often long departures, not because I miss him but because a 2:1 ratio is unfair. Why? Il give you an example…
Twin 1 sneezes, head butts sippy cup, gets nose bleed, meanwhile Twin 2 learns how to climb out of high chair and is perilously teeting on the finest engineering Ikea has ever produced.
Two parents – its funny! Poor Twin 1! Hugs with Mummy and lots of giggles with Daddy as he imitates sneezing and bang…3 mins later both are joyously screaming “achooooo” and eating their lunch again. …
Oh…just one of you? Screaming baby, covered in blood, no humour here, you are actually worrying if his nose bone has penetrated his brain and you need to take him to A+E… no value added hugging here either! Instead of gently shushing ‘bleeding twin’ you are yelling SIT DOWN at ‘teetering twin’ whilst trying to dance round toy ridden kitchen floor to catch him…
It doesn’t happen very often…but when it does… well its hard to remember points 1-3!
SO… all in all, don’t panic,it is ok, better than ok, its actually good ! If your still feeling a bit like your staring down the barrel of unending nappies, sleep deprivation, super market lunchs and greasy hair, here are some of the things I usually think about to help me keep some perspective:
The 3 perspective givers:
1. The refugee crisis. Imagine trying to parent whilst trekking thousands of miles to flee your desecrated life. No child car parking spaces at Tescos…err and no double trolleys… its pretty inconvenient and you are justified in wanting the key the car of the twat who has parked there believing his dog/bike/fridge in the boot somehow constitutes a child….but we could have it worse!
2. Parents of triplets… I think about this a lot – imagine them laughing in the face of my twin-whinge… “at least you have 2 arms” I hear them saying!
3. Not having them. Remember all those scans, all the TTTS fear, the incubators, the “i don’t know if I have felt them both move” moments. So yes they are here, and they have changed…some would say ruined your life… but imagine how much more changed…ruined it would be if they were not here!
So … its the good outweighs the bad. Its not all hard. That said when my mother (a woman not given to platitudes) after a week of looking after… that right, 2 babies, sat me down to say “darling I take my hat off to you, your doing so well, its hard work” I did actually cry with relief that someone had got it…