There’s a lot to be said for having twins and one thing nobody can deny is that it’s pretty bloody special.
I mean, let’s face it. When you grow TWO babies at once, how can it not be? It makes you feel like flipppin’ Wonder Woman (as well as a whole lot of other BAD, BAD things you can read about here…) but at the end of the day you’re in the minority and you should be feeling pretty sodding proud of yourself.
If you’re a triplet mum (or dare I say quads or more!), then I’ll repeat what I’ve said on more than one occasion – I take my hat off to you!
But once they’re here, how does the whole twin thing pan out? It can’t all be ‘special’ can it?
No. No it cannot. And if anyone tells you it is, then I’d seriously question their judgement. Check for rose-tinted spectacles immediately.
You know by now you can rely on me to be honest. My twins are currently 22 months old, so although I can’t comment on a lot of things to do with older kids, I feel suitably qualified to say what’s good and what’s, er, not in the early stages.
THE FIVE BEST THINGS ABOUT HAVING TWINS:
The buy one get one free deal
Let’s face it, if you’re planning on only having two children, this is a pretty cool and efficient way to do it. One pregnancy and one birth. Excellent. It’s also only one lot of piles, one lot of morning sickness, one lot of sciatica, SPD, carpal tunnel syndrome, constipation… you get my drift. And unfortunately most of these things will be twice as bad as a single pregnancy. So maybe not that great. But hey, once you’re done you’re done!
This always sounds like such a cliche to me, but it really is true. My boys fight like cat and dog – full on hitting, biting, scratching, kicking, hair pulling, and eye poking. But at the same time if one of them is upset, the other goes over and checks on them. Twin Two will even offer a hug (he’s my current favourite). When they wake up in the morning before I go in, you can hear them ‘chatting’ to each other. They have about 10 words between them at the moment, but they still manage to get their points across and are having a right old babble to each other including playing peekaboo in their cots. It is PROPER cute!
They entertain each other
Having my twins two days before my toddler’s second birthday meant, yes I did (and still do) have my hands pretty full. So from the word go the twins were left to their own devices on occasion whilst I saw to my eldest. This has done them absolutely no harm whatsoever, and I actually think it’s made them more independent. When people ask me about having twins I often say it’s nice because they can entertain each other. If I had just had one, I’d be having to play with them 90% of the time. When there’s two of them, they are quite happy pottering around our playroom together and playing with different toys, whilst I sort out their brother or get a few jobs done. Obviously not spending every single second of the day with your child also means they can get up to no good…
They have a friend for life
I’d like to think that all my boys will be good friends (although to be fair, sometimes I don’t even like my threenager, so I can’t expect his little brothers to when he’s being a dick to them) but surely this is even more likely with twins? I guess time will tell!
So when you have twins, you get a lot of attention. If you’re a twin parent, you’ll know what I’m talking about. If you’re pregnant with twins, you’re no doubt already getting loads of comments (Read this blogpost to tick them off the list) and it’ll just get worse once they’re born. I can’t go anywhere without someone commenting. Most of the time it’s nice. Even though the comments are the same over and over and OVER again.
THE FIVE WORST THINGS ABOUT HAVING TWINS
Buy one get one free
See what I did there? So if you’ve already got children and you only wanted ONE more, this BOGOF offer isn’t quite as attractive. Or not attractive in the slightest if you’re me. You can read about my reaction to discovering it was twins here. But that’s what we got and I’m almost over that now. Honest.
Your attention has to be divided
I’m not a massive one for mum guilt, things are as they are, but if I make myself think about it too much, it is pretty tough not being able to give the twins as much individual attention as they deserve. They are never alone with me. They do everything together and their nap times are synced (or I’d just go crazy), so there’s not a lot of one to one time going on. When you think of how much attention a singleton baby would get (however many different aged children you have) there’s a big difference. This goes hand in hand with sharing. They have to share me. And my lap. I’ll tell you now, they don’t like it that much.
Double the time it takes to do ANYTHING
This is stating the bloody obvious I know, but has to be one of the worst parts of having twins. Everything takes FOREVER! Double the time spent dressing them, then redressing them, changing nappies, bathing them, putting coats on, putting coats on again when they take them off. There is literally no “nipping anywhere ever again” and you can kiss goodbye to being on time for anything. I’d like to think this might improve with time, you know, once they can actually PUT THEIR F**KING SHOES ON but I’m not holding out much hope.
They say double the babies, double the love, and I do get that. Really I do. The number of cuddles I get is pretty cool. But let’s just think about it from the flipside for a minute. Think of all the bad bits of having babies and young children. The sleepless nights, the illness, the teething, taking them to have jabs, the tantrums, the endless BLOODY CRYING. Are you with me? Yes? Okay, so let’s think of all those things multiplied by two. And if you’re really lucky, your other kids join in, just to make you want to lose your shit that little bit more. And don’t even get me started on the house-to-car shitshow. Or the fact you’ve had to get a different bloody car to even fit them all in!
I’ll see how this goes as they grow, but it is in the back of my mind how to ensure they grow up as individuals. Dressing them the same clearly isn’t helping, so I don’t do it all the time and didn’t do until they were about 18 months when I caved to the sheer cuteness. And I want them to be in separate classes at school. Luckily they aren’t identical so that’s bound to help anyway. They’re already very different in personality and character so I’m hoping this will just blossom. They are two separate people after all. Receiving joint presents and cards when their brother is given something to himself though isn’t helping! (hint, hint!)
But don’t take my word for it – I asked some fellow twin bloggers what they thought.
What other mums with twins say…
“The best thing is watching their relationship grow over the years, it is so different to normal sibling relationships. The worst is trying to make sure they both grow as individuals and don’t feel limited or have expectations put on them because they are twins. Also newborn feeding was a very tiring time, lol.” Kate at www.modernmum.net
“Best: The joy of a BOGOF offer 🙂 Worst: People thinking you get their names wrong because they’re twins. The reality is I can’t think long enough to ever get my children’s names right and that includes the one who isn’t a twin.” Debbie at www.anorganisedmess.com
“The best: you get the two/three year old tantrums over in one hit. The worst: you have two going through the tantrums stage at the same time!” Anna at www.popitha.com
“The best is by far the uniqueness of twin life. From carrying two babies, to seeing two people grow and the way they adore each other. It’s like nothing else. The worst? School dramas. From knowing whether to split or separate them, to trying not to compare them academically to never getting invited to people’s houses as other parents feel they can’t invite one without the other. School has been far tougher emotionally than I ever anticipated as I’m constantly second-guessing everything I do.” Beth at www.twinderelmo.co.uk
“The best thing is watching how they interact with each other. And as I have two sets it means that each one of the older twins has a younger one to play with. Seriously though, the best and worst thing is the amount of people who stop you. Sometimes when I have time I love people asking about them. But the worst thing has to be the same questions we get over and over. “Are they identical? Do they run in the family? etc.” Nina at www.spencersarc.com
“The best thing about having twins is knowing that they’ll always have one another. I’m speaking from experience as I’m also a twin and have twins! A twin is a friend for life. Yes, they’ll argue and fall out, but the twin bond is truly amazing. Forgiveness is never far away. The worst thing about having twins as a parent is trying to ensure you split your time fairly between them. That’s something I always struggle with.” Emily at www.twinmummyanddaddy.com
“Best thing is watching their little personalities and developments happening alongside each other and watching them learn from each other. Plus their little ‘conversations’ are so cute to watch, even we don’t understand what they’re saying! And worst would have to be illness – when one gets ill, so does the other one and you can end up with weeks of illnesses passing backwards and forwards between them.” Claire at www.bigfamilybigfunblog.wordpress.com
“The best and worst is the same thing for me. Doing it all once. As our twins are going to be our only children, each stage is bitter sweet. We know we’ll only get to experience it once and to be honest, I feel a bit cheated by this. However, it does mean the difficult stages and messy stages do all get done in one go. Silver lining and all that.” Amanda at www.mummy2twindividuals.com
“The best thing about having twins is everything. Everything about twins is amazing, even the tough parts, once you’ve got through them and look back. It’s an amazing dynamic to be close up and personal with. The hardest part is being able to juggle the demands of two children going through the same stages at the same time. Sometimes I really do need a twin me to help out!” Anthea at www.bluebearwood.co.uk
“The best thing about having twins is watching their relationship grow and change as they age. The worst thing is hormones. I’m having tween girl puberty in stereo right now. Double the fun they always said!” Michelle at www.mummyfromtheheart.com
“The best thing about having twins – watching my two grow and interact with each other. No one can prepare you for what it’s like to have twins, but it really is special!’ The worst thing – the daft questions from complete strangers. I had anything from ‘which is the evil twin’ to ‘are they identical? (I have boy/girl twins that also look nothing alike!)” Rachel at www.outandaboutmummy.com
Do you agree? What are your best and worst bits about having twins?
How did I do?
Did you enjoy this post? You might like some of my others, so how about you read my reviews of Tredethick Farm Stay in Cornwall, a Just For Tots Break at Butlins or the fabulous Bluestone in Wales. Or if you’re heading off on your hols, use my Packing List for Babies and Toddlers to make things less hectic.
Or if you fancy a bit of social media madness, pop over to my Facebook page where you’ll be able to have a laugh at what ridiculousness goes on in my house with three very small boys on a daily basis. Warning – there is often sarcasm, and usually swearing. There are also great travel reviews and some AWESOME giveaways. Feel free to join my Twins, Tantrums and Cold Coffee – Shits and Giggles Parenting Group too, where everyone shares their hilarious stories.
And if you want to work with me, feel free to give me a shout here, and I’ll get back to you during naptime/screentime (!)