What no one tells you about having twins
“Keep calm, I have twins” – became my motto over the years. They say twins mean double the trouble, but every mum of twins knows that it is more complicated than that… That having twins is challenging on a completely different, unmeasurable level.
If I was to mention all the things no one told me about having twins, I would probably never stop writing…
But let’s talk about the most surprising ones. Or perhaps – the most important ones.
1. The pregnancy is really tough
I assume that the first months of pregnancy are not much different from the ‘regular’ ones. However, the last trimester is hell. For me, anyway.
I couldn’t walk more than a few meters without being out of breath. I could not even walk up the stairs without someone pulling me up…
Not to mention the constant pressure on my ribs, bladder or other organs. And the best thing – there is nothing that could ease the pain.
I stopped sleeping about 4 weeks before the boys arrived. The last 2 weeks of pregnancy I spent praying for them to finally come out. They probably felt my pain as they decided to arrive 6 weeks early…
Although this was no fun at all, I truly cannot imagine how I would have survived it had they have come on time.
2. Mums of 1 worship you
I admit that t is nice to get compliments and words of worship from singleton mums. “I don’t know how you do it”, “You are a superwoman” “I couldn’t do it.” etc.
However, while it is great to be appreciated, I believe that the same admiration should be given to every mum – regardless of the number of children she has. For how can you say what is harder – being a mother of one extremely difficult child or a mother of “book’ twins? (which definitely isn’t the case for me btw. ;).
3. It is not just double the work
Everything has to be carefully considered. After all, it is two of them and it is only for me. Over the years, I have come across a lot of advice that is meant well but simply cannot be applied to twins.
For example, when I started to fly with the boys, it was extremely hard and often resulted in tears. (note it was me who cried). My friends suggested that I make sure to have something to entertain them with like books, a cell phone, video, drawing… Fantastic advice – but what do I do if reading books makes one asleep on my lap while to other one runs off to a guy 4 rows behind me and tries to pull his tablet? Especially when I cannot even move, let alone shout, as it would mean waking the other one up. (And trust me, that is the last thing you want.)
4. Twins have different personalities
People often ask me: Are they different personalities? And I answer: Totally different.
Just because twins look similar or even alike, does not mean they are the same people. They are as different as any other siblings, or people for that matter.
5. In some ways, it’s easier
I know this might sound ridiculous, but the older the boys are, the more benefits and pros I explore.
When we go to the soft play, for instance, they have fun even if the soft play is empty. They have each other and they can have great fun together (most of the time, anyway ;). The fact they always have a buddy gives me more breaks and put my mind at ease.
Also, mothers of twins are somewhat naturally forced to lead their children to independence earlier than singleton mums (if they don’t want to go insane, that is). This means most twins start to get dressed, put their shoes on, or help in a household from a relatively early age, which makes our lives a whole lot easier.
Every time I pass by a mummy pushing a single buggy, I sigh in jealousy… I still cannot believe how small one buggy can be!
As a mum of twins, whenever you want to go out you have to – first of all – think about whether you will fit in the doors with the buggy. You also have to consider a distance of every journey. Once your twins grow out of the baby stage, the buggy becomes really heavy to push… At this stage, you likely stop paying for your gym membership as you learn that with your buggy you are getting the same – if not better – results.
7. You learn that you’re stronger than you think
There were moments, especially at the beginning, when the boys were really small when I thought I wouldn’t make it. I cried a lot, I suffered depression, I felt desperate and stuck, and eventually hit rock bottom… And yet, I still somehow found a strength within me that kept me going.
And it didn’t stop there. We still have tough days but I know that the worst I have already survived. And the fact I did, means that whatever happens in the future, there is nothing I couldn’t survive.
8. Sometimes you feel jealous towards mums of 1
Ok, I admit it feels really sad sometimes when I see other mothers taking their little one to a swimming pool, restaurant, or pottery painting.
As a mother of twins, there are so many places you cannot take your little ones on your own. Some of them require one child per adult, some are just practically impossible to manage on your own (like a swimming pool for instance).
You also don’t have the luxury to enjoy your children fully as individuals. My attention always has to be divided amongst them which is not always easy…
For instance, when I have beautiful cuddles with one and want love to stay in that moment for a while, but the other one starts to demand my attention…
Not easy at all indeed.
9. It is the best thing that has ever happened to you
I write about the pros of having twins here. But honestly, although having twins is no fun at all. (Even now, as I am typing these words, I can hear in the background the madness that makes me want to put earplugs in and hide under the duvet..)
And yet, it is the best fun ever. Honestly.
I would not trade them for the world. Not only the boys themselves but also the fact they are twins.
For hundreds of “bad” things, we get thousands of amazing things back… (Ok, maybe only nine-hundred, but still ;). To watch them grow, work together, laugh together, have each other’s backs… to see the powerful twin bond… and much much more words cannot describe…. is beyond everything I have wished for.
And the fact I am saying this after an extremely challenging day (that hasn’t even finished yet), is more proof of this than anything else. 😉