Now that my twinadoes are 3 1/2 years old I kind of feel like an old pro at this raising multiples thing. Quite honestly, in the beginning I didn’t know if I would make it this far. Multiples are tough, and I should consider myself lucky, I only had two. The thought of having to care for more makes me shudder.
From the minute they are born you are treated differently than moms of single babies. They aren’t asked ten thousand times “were they conceived naturally?”or “are they identical?”. And of course my favorite comment “I can’t wait to get pregnant, I really hope I get twins. It seems like so much fun!!”. After that one I have to refrain from asking them if they have had a head trauma that has left them with a mental deficiency.
When my twins were a couple weeks old my husband and I took them to a Target to grab some baby stuff. While maneuvering our way through the people and their staring eyes a woman stopped me and asked how old my twins were. I told her and started to walk away when she said she too was a mom of twins. She said her girls were now two but she vividly remembers the first few weeks and how horrible they were. Then she grabbed my arm and said “you will get through it, you will make it”. Quite honestly, I needed to hear that from another twin mom. Not from the endless singleton moms that had their, albeit thoughtful, tips on surviving the first year, most of which I hd to control my eye rolling. Sorry to tell you moms of singletons, you will never get what it is to survive the first year with twins, just as I will never get how it is to survive with more than two.
A former co-worker and father of twins told me while I was still pregnant that I would hate the first six months and to just be prepared. He went on to detail about how I will be more tired, more frustrated and more emotional than I have ever been in my entire life. But he also said that once I hit the six month mark it starts to get fun. He was correct for the most part, but I think for more accuracy I should have asked his wife, the one that, like me, stayed home with them.
When I found out I was pregnant with twins my first reaction was not how fun this was going to be, it was more like “oh crap”. My doctor even told me to go have a nice strong cocktail. Eventually the shock wore off and I then transitioned to “ok, I’ve got about 8 months to get my shit together and be ready for this”. Of course I waited until the last minute to get everything ready… when we brought the twins home we didn’t have their twin sleeper ready or pretty much anything else to put them in. I remember walking in with one thinking “where the heck do I put this kid?”. I fluffed up my lucky purple blanket and placed my little baby in the makeshift bed, the second baby going right next to the first. Then my husband and I scrambled to get some stuff put together and set up for their life at home.
Thank goodness for the endorphins running, it felt like I had so much energy. Not sure if I even slept that first week. Whoever said that all newborns do is sleep did not meet mine. They were on this 20 minute cycle, and they were not on the same one.
Life was tough, but we survived, all four of us.
I have tips and things I’ve learned about being a mom of twins over the past 3 1/2 years.
- Singleton moms, you don’t know how tough we have it so stop saying you do. Quite honestly, at this point I could deal with one baby with one arm tied behind my back.
- Don’t ask a mom of multiples a question you wouldn’t ask a mom of one. Example: “were they conceived naturally?”. And if you do, don’t act all offended when the answer is “you mean did a sperm and an egg meet and create life?”.
- When you see me in line at the grocery store with two screaming kids and I look like I’m about to explode and you offer to let me go ahead of you, when I say “thank you” even if it’s in a rushed tone, I truly mean it, truly.
- It’s ok to order food out. And a meal left at the front door with a simple text saying “dinner is done and waiting at the door” is really appreciated.
- Yoga pants and ponytails rock! Judge all you want fashionistas, I honestly don’t care.
- Don’t put the vacuum away, it will be used many, many times a day. Heck, just keep the thing running, save the three seconds it takes to turn it on. (used the noise of the vacuum to calm a very fussy Thing 1 many times)
- Nap whenever you can, even if it’s in the middle of the floor because the thought of walking up a flight of stairs to your bed is just too much and you don’t want to waste those extra precious seconds of sleep.
- Accept the fact that on many, many occasions one baby will be looking at you screaming while you are taking care of the other one. It’s ok, as long as they are safe, take care of one and then get to the next one. Don’t beat yourself up that one had to cry for 30 seconds while you changed the other one’s diaper, I promise, they won’t be scarred for life.
- Be ready to be more frustrated than you’ve ever been in your life, ever! You will feel emotions that are not always so positive, learn to accept that and be able to find ways to deal with it, even if it means securing your kids and walking into another room for 5 minutes while you calm down. Trust me, it happens.
- And a biggie, it’s ok to leave them at home with someone while you go out and try to get a little sanity break. I learned this the hard way that me time makes for better moms. And don’t feel guilty when you leave them for an hour to get a massage or a lunch that didn’t come from the floor or consist of the leftover non eaten rejects from the two worst food critics on the planet.
Parenting is a continuous learning experience and I know I still have much to learn. But so far I’ve made it through some tough times in the world of multiples. I still wonder what it would be like to parent a single infant, but that is something I will never know. I do have envy when I see moms and their one child doing stuff, all the attention devoted to that one child. But I’m ok with my situation. I’m a lucky woman to have two wonderful little human beings that call me mom.