Twins, hard? 4 good things, 3 bad things and 3 things that give some perspective…

IMG_1159Lots 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… 

Morning:

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…

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26 thoughts on “Twins, hard? 4 good things, 3 bad things and 3 things that give some perspective…

  1. I’m 15 weeks pregnant and about to have twins on my own. The father is not involved. Your article depressed me more than anything else I’ve read. Your worst case scenario of a hurt twin and another about to fall out a high chair will be my life. Supportive Husband- loved wife happy families is not always the case. Even when twins are involved. But I will love them as much as two parents!

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    1. Yasmin, I am so sorry if my post depressed you, certainly not my intention. If it helps to know a bit of context, my husband and I don’t live together and he is away for 8 months uncontactable with work, I live in a different country to my friends and family albeit all are very supportive- just ‘in absentia’! So I am not in a position to fully understand your situation but please know I do know what it is to be alone with two littlies and you have my upmost respect because I know it’s not easy! That said if you don’t laugh you cry-you might not have my list of ‘good things’ but I hand on heart know you will have a good long list of your own in time! Promise! Hurt twin and about to be hurt twin… You have completely got this!x

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    2. I was alone ALOT with mine. You can do it. It sucks when you have one screaming in pain and the other fucking off but you will get through it. You will find out you are amazing at multitasking. 🙂
      Contact your local moms of multiples group and make a schedule of feeding times. Ask them to help you find volunteers to come help during those times.

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    3. Look up Jordan Hatch on facebook she’s a single 19 yr old with 18month old ID twin girls and 8 months pregnant with baby girl #3. I am amazed by her. She is a certified nursing assistant at night and gets off work in time to wake up her twins at the sitter’s take them home for breakfast together then celebrates her twins all day, I’m still trying to figure out when she sleeps. Just take a look at her facebook page at her posts and videos it will make you smile and give you confidence. Even the pictures at the shopping mall food court with vomit covering the floor in front of her double stroller…wont scare you. I was just telling her this yesterday. She makes singleton parents wish they had twins. Never will they say to her “better you than me”. You can do it! Look me up too Laura Crowe my profile pic is my 7 yr old as princess leia. I really enjoyed this article but I understand your fear.

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  2. Racheld, that was very kind of you to reply back to Yasmin’s I feel a little mean spirited post. Yes she must be going through it right now but you responded just as strong and kind as you seem to be as a mother. Strong women rock. You remind me of my wife’s attitude. Good stuff.

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  3. Doing things in halves is nowhere near as cool as doing it in doubles. Go hard or go home I say.
    I have 7 week old twin boys & still going strong.
    Nothing better than the love they give me. At 2am life seems a little bit harder but I breathe in & out and keep on keeping on.
    Your blog couldn’t be more right! The good (more often than not) out weighs the bad 🙂
    Good luck Yasmin, you will be phenomenal!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. We had TTTS and that was sooooo true for us, especially already having had a singleton beforehand 🙂 (and everything else you said 😀 ).

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  5. My son and his wife have twin boys that are now 15. They live 3500 miles away so we get to see them much too infrequently. But they are the joy and pride of our life. My sister has twin granddaughters also 15 that live nearby so I can watch the different growing stages. Remember they’re little such a short time. In a couple years they’ll be toddlers, then pre-teens then adults. My daughter-in-law insisted these boys not fight, but work things out as they are each other’s only sibling. That has been a joy to watch as they grow up to be best pals, argue sometimes but work it out. Your points are on point. Remember to always take time to have fun in life with the twins. As they get older you’ll wish you had.

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    1. I can’t imagine my children having their own children but with the wisdom it no doubt brings il take it as a huge compliment- and good advice! You sound like a family of twin pros!xxx

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  6. Love this! So true, especially the perspective points and the team work. We are coming up on our twins first birthday and we also have a 3 1/2 year old. We’ve survived the first year, happy healthy twins!!!

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  7. Love this and especially the perspective points and team work. We’re coming up on the twins’ first birthday and we have a 3 1/2 year old. We’ve survived the first year with happy healthy twins! I am so grateful for that!

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  8. Its all so true!! Ups and downs, dumb questions from people who obviously did not pass high school biology who ask if your boy/girl twins are identical, the mommy meltdowns when you just don’t have enough hands, medication or wine. But the love…oh the love!! 😘😘😘😘😘 my favorite saying…”if you think my hands are full you should see my heart!”

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  9. My twins are nearly 4 and I’m a twin myself. This article is spot on and made me laugh so much. I think things get easier as they get older. I found 0-1yr really hard. Wine helped a lot!

    When times are tough I always think about the triplet thing 😂 It’s so true.

    I feel honoured to have been blessed with twins myself, it’s amazing to see their special bond. I have two other children also, who are of course, equally as special.

    I think it can be hard for the other siblings at times because the twins are so close and play together, they can feel shut out. X

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  10. Love this! I have 2.5 year olds twins and a 5 year old and I can totally relate to it all. Being alone with them definitely gets less stressful the older they get. Love the last part. There’s absolutely so many thingd much harder than having twins. I have a friend so lost her toddler to a simple virus and another with severe disabilities so two (or 3) healthy children is an absolute blessing.

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  11. So true! My scariest twin moment was in our old house (which I ended up hating for this reason)

    It had windows and doors everywhere. Like in the lower story alone, there was 4 doors, and 5 windows (all grond level with no safety catches or mozzie wire)

    Upper level had 2 doors and six windows. Of course the windows up here had mozzie nets but the doors were a worry!

    Anyway, one particular day, i was in our front office while the twins, 9 months, and their big sister,3 played.

    All of a sudden, I realised therwins where quiet.

    Too bloody quiet.

    I called them, and found no sign of them. My 3 year old pointed to a window and said twins, go e? And my heart sank!

    I went screaming outside, terrified a white van had whisked my babies away, then all my neighboors came out and started searching the yard. I went up the driveway on the off chance they had got up there so quick, (had been like under 5 minutes since I uad last seen them till now)

    Then I spotted them. One halfway down our street, craLing like the devil was after her. One ACROSS the road and up our neighboors huge, hilly driveway.

    Which one to grab first? None of the neighboors were up there so it was all on me. So i figured the one up the driveway was in less harms way then the other, so i pelted off after her. Yelled at neighboors to tell them i found them. Long story short, i ran down the driveway with two squirming babies mad at me for ruining their adventures!

    Heart stopping times there!

    There are many many good memories too, this was just one of those extreme twin moments

    The house went on the market soon after that, like i had wanted to do for a long time. Took two long years to sell, but now we are on a quiet street with no busses and little traffic and a small, one level house with a farm!

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  12. I’m a single foster mom and my first child and first placement a week after getting licensed was a set of twins. Born drug effected but perfect. Less than 5 pounds each. I had them until they were 16 months old through many sleepless nights and a million diaper changes. I own 2 businesses and have one employee so it’s pretty much all on me. My parents moved 17000 miles away when the twins were 8 months old which left me with no family in the US at all. Luckily I have an amazing village of friends who never let me down when I needed a break. Always always let people help you! Always take a couple minutes at the end of the day when the babies are down to breath! Laundry will be there tomorrow, and the next day… Who cares if socks match (gave up on that after a couple months). Be with your babies coz one day they won’t be babies (or in my case they won’t be there anymore). Remember that last part, it would be way worse if you didn’t have them. Yes, the part where I don’t get to wake up to them or wipe the snot off my shirt or sing while we drive down the road with them… That is MUCH worse than anything I went through when I had them. Be thankful! I miss my babies soooo much!!

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