As a mum of twins I am daily confronted with different reactions of people, especially women. On the street, in a shop, in different groups, on the walk… However, in my case not everyone recognise they are twins.
Although their faces are similar, the big difference especially with their hair and size. My answer to people’s question of how old they are is usually followed by the next question: “And the other one?” When I tell them ‘they’re twins!’ they usually open their mouths and stare as if I’d told them they’re mutants. It even happened twice that a lady on the street asked me: “But they are not both yours, are they?”
It is definitely more pleasant when someone asks: “Are they twins?” Even with such a formulated question you can still feel the uncertainty, but compared to previous examples, there is at least a glimpse of hope someone sees them as twins. And both as mine!
Either way, a lot of women willy-nilly express their opinion about twins in general. Sometimes a look, smile or gesture is enough and I know whether that women envies me (in the good way) or is sorry for me. I’ll never forget a young mum with a little baby in her harms who when noticed my double load, just shook her head and with the tone of drained mother said: “I admire you a lot.”
People often ask me what it’s like to have twins. The truth is, I’ll never know what it’s like to have “only” one child. From my point of view having twins is hard and beautiful. It’s not double the work, it’s a completely different type of work that requires completely different system and attitude. However, I don’t dare to say whether it’s harder than having “only” one baby. Mums with one baby find it hard in some areas that I personally would not know as I may have not experienced it. Apart from that, you can have one baby who is an absolute nightmare or twins who are absolutely fine. How can you gauge what is harder?
A lot of women think they wouldn’t be able to handle twins and I have to disagree with them. When you are a mother and you have to deal with it, generally you have to get on with it. I am not trying to say it is easy, definitely not. Wether it is one, two or more children you deal with it as best you can. It always seems impossible at first. Whoever has a single child, can’t imagine having twins. Who has two twins, can’t imagine having triplets. And who has no baby, can’t imagine having even one. I couldn’t imagine it myself when I’d found out I was pregnant. And today, when I’m on the verge of a complete exhaustion, I say to myself “Thank God it’s only two of them” and everything is instantly (at least for a while) easier.
How do I do it? I think that the extremely important thing is the mindset. Although the beginning was very hard, I gradually started to focus mainly on the positives of having twins. I believe that I’ll discover more about them with time, now let’s have a look at the ones I had discovered during the first year with my cuties.
You are less anxious as a mum
This is literally positive number one. Lot of mums while having their first baby (very understandably) jump for each sob, each sound or movement, x times a day sterilize a dummy, have a feeling they need to pay 100% attention to their baby 24 hours a day… This usually goes with the second child, but with the first one it’s totally normal. As a mum of twins you physically cannot handle these things to the same extend. Especially during the first few months.
Let’s take a typical example – babies crying. When both babies cry at the same time – yes, in the beginning you have a tendency to calm them both at once. However, with time you’ll find that it’s simply impossible and you deal with them one by one. Although it is extremely uncomfortable at first, you’ll get used to it with time. In terms of surviving you kind of have to, after all.
Sterilizing? If you wanted to sterilize everything before each use, you’d need to divide yourself into a minimum of four people. You try to do your best, but after a while you end up using the dummy that has just fallen on the floor. It is a totally common thing.
Regarding the attention, you never ignore the other child but sometimes you may have to pay more attention to one than the other depending on the situation. You learn to divide up your time, overall you make sure they have enough of you but ultimately you balance that attention between both.
You have more fun
This is one of my favourite pros. Although it wasn’t much fun in the beginning. However, as they have grown, starting to play and cooperate together, I realised that having twins in a single word is ‘Amazing’. As a duo they are able to entertain us in a way, that one really doesn’t see every day. And yet they don’t need to do anything special, it’s enough for them to laugh together and that makes it special on its own.
Your children are social and they naturally learn to compromise
Twins learn from the very beginning to do almost everything together – play, eat, sleep, listen to each other, see each other… Besides that, they often need to share a toy or just wait for it, which is a huge advantage especially for their future life – with no more toys.
You don’t have to deal with sibling rivalry
Except for a few exceptions, most twin siblings have a very strong bond with each other that lasts for a lifetime. This fact is very important not only for themselves, but also for their parents. Knowing that your children will always have each other, in case anything happens to you, works like the most calming balm to the soul.
You don’t have to go through everything twice
Of course, there are people who only want one child, however, a lot of couples want two. People often ask me if I want one more baby in the future and I say I am back and forth. When I watch them asleep for example, I can feel the mum in me that longs for a touch of one more baby, however, when they have “their day”, I think – never! That is why I am very happy it’s already two of them and I won’t have to go through it again. I don’t deny the thought of another child, but it’s fine as we already have two.
If one of them doesn’t want anything, the other one will
It was a very good friend of mine who advised me to mention this point when I’d told her I was writing about the benefits of twins. Originally, I didn’t think of putting it on my list, but when I thought about it, I had realised it’s true. Let me explain it on an example. When you give them a gift one may not fancy it or enjoy whereas it’s the greatest thing in the world to the other. This is a way greater advantage than it might look at the first sight :).
After the first year with our boys I thought to myself, that after this I’d be able to deal with anything. Of course, each mum has a different experience. One mother goes through it relatively fine, while another one experiences something similar to torture. Either way, she is extremely busy and goes through a huge mental test and when she passes it, she feels way much stronger than ever before.
Apart from that, it is amazing to see the job you’ve done. When they eat properly and then sleep together for a long time, you feel like a superwoman who’s just received their super power. And such a feeling is not bad at all, is it Mums? 🙂
You’re surrounded by more love
This point is somewhat related to the third point, that you are experiencing more fun. Don’t believe that you have “double the trouble” at home, because at the same time they are two love-filled angels who surround you with light from each direction. With twins, you can simply absorb more positive waves.
To sum it up, the pros of having twins definitely beat the cons. Many times before I’d thought the opposite, many times I’d cried that I wouldn’t make it … However, if I could travel back in time, I wouldn’t have changed anything. Each day ensures me that having twins is a huge gift and I’m looking forward to whatever is next to discover about them. Our Boys! :).