I have written a lot of words about what hard work it is having 2 year old twins and I could write many more. But every day I count myself extremely lucky to be part of the amazing world of multiples. So if, like me, you cried and said ‘but how on earth are we going to manage?’ when you were shown Baby #1 followed by Baby #2 at your 12 week scan, here are 10 very good things about having twins:
1) You can cut yourself some slack. When you have one baby, there are certain things you aim for – it might be a natural birth, it might be breastfeeding, it might be something else. With twins, most of these things go out of the window along with the baby books. It’s all about survival, and it’s strangely liberating.
2) Everyone else also cuts you some slack. Most people, I have found, are full of admiration for you having achieved fairly minimal tasks. Wow you’ve all got shoes on. You have arrived somewhere on time. Yes, maybe your children are acting up in a shop but you have your hands full don’t you. Well done for being at a shop at all.
Soak up the praise – it is definitely deserved following the trauma that is getting multiples out of the house.
3) People are nice to you. You’re more likely to get a smile or maybe even people talking to you while you’re out and about. Some comments are unwelcome but some stay with you; like the lovely lady who once stopped us and told us about her grown up twin sons:
“These are such happy times” she said. “Although it is hard work, especially when you have one flushing things down the toilet while the other destroys the television.”
I wanted to hug her but decided she might be a bit alarmed. Her words still make me feel better on a bad day.
4) Kinship with other twin mums. I loved this recent post from Tamba which says it all for me:
— TAMBA (@tamba_twins_mb) June 4, 2015
There’s always a smile and sometimes some chat, because it is genuinely a joy to see someone who goes through exactly the same as you to get all of her offspring out of the house.
5) Yes, there is scrapping, but there are also spontaneous moments like this. It’s a privilege to be a part of this world and I find it fascinating. I can’t imagine what it must be like to go through the milestones of childhood with a little friend right there with you. It’s added a whole extra dimension to parenthood the second time around – not only do you see your babies develop, but you also see their relationship with each other develop.
6) They are each other’s playmate. Not that they will always play nicely together of course, but from the age of around 12 months they will often be happy to amuse each other which does take a bit of pressure off mum (but also means you spend a lot of time acting as referee).
7) They feed off each other – observing, copying and always determined to keep up with whatever their twin might be up to. Not that this is always a good thing, (‘maybe I could try and climb up on the kitchen worktops too’, for example) but it does make for a lot of fun.
8) Children’s conversations are hilarious. 2 year olds’ conversations with each other – these are absolutely priceless, and also a reminder of the social skills your twins are developing. I hear comments like ‘you’re very kind’, ‘say sorry’, ‘thank you for sharing’ and realise that just by being together they are constantly practising the skills I had to work so hard to teach my eldest boy.
The fact that they have a role play buddy can also be particularly useful at 5.30am when you may not be feeling quite up to pretending to be Suzy Sheep.
9) Seeing this at the end of a day:
10) And if it’s been a particularly taxing one, knowing that tucking into a dinner that looks something like this is perfectly justified:
Not forgetting this, obviously……