My life forever changed the day that I learned my husband and I were expecting twins. It was not part of our plan and turned our worlds upside down for a brief moment while it all sank in. Our oldest daughter was just 19 months old when I went into premature labor. I never would have guessed that twins would become part of our family’s ‘story’ – I never dreamed that something so seemingly terrifying could make my heart so full. It’s exhausting, demanding, overwhelming, amazing and wonderful all at once.
After my oldest daughter was born, I wrote a post entitled ’15 Things You Learn After You Give Birth’, today I’m going a step further and sharing ’15 Things You Learn After You Give Birth to Twins’.
- You instantly become envious of moms who are lucky enough to sport a mini-van! Yup, that’s right – you will WANT a mini-van.
- There’s really no point in trying to leave the house without spit up or other bodily fluids covering your clothing. Don’t get me wrong, I still shower and get dressed every day… but for what? Spit up no longer fazes me!
- They will often not be referred to as individuals but as ‘the twins’. This is not great for individualization and will start to drive you crazy. Don’t let it – almost everyone will say it. So unless you specifically request them to stop, it will continue. And if they have a sibling, be sure to be extra intentional about including the sibling. A lot of times strangers will gravitate to make over the ‘twins’ but try to keep the singleton included (same for when making plans and play dates… don’t leave the singleton sibling out!)
- I hear that some day I will get to sleep again. And by sleep, I mean all night. Ah, all night long – sounds like a dream! But don’t worry, you will somehow be able to survive (and thrive!) with very little sleep!
- Don’t expect to go anywhere without someone stopping you to ask if they are twins. People will come out of nowhere to ask you this.
- You will then be asked, ‘Are they identical?’ (For me I just stare blankly because – NO – boy/girl twins CAN’T be identical). Followed by ‘Were they a surprise?’ (Obviously…) Followed by ‘Are they natural?’ (What does this even mean?) Followed by ‘Do twins run in your family?’ (Which when coming from a stranger this seems like a transparent attempt to find out if we struggled with infertility!)
- Getting everyone changed, fed, bathed and clothed is a major accomplishment and deserves a reward. You will literally celebrate the things that used to seem so simple!
- You will quickly learn not to compare milestones – one might roll over first, while the other is the first to sit up. One may walk while the other crawls around talking. It doesn’t matter – don’t compare!
- When diapers go on sale, stock up! Whenever Cartwheel has our brand of diapers, we buy in bulk! Don’t worry – you can never have too many. You will use them ALL!
- If one baby gets sick, immediately expose the other. It is inevitable and the only thing worse than having two sick babies is having the sick baby get better right as the other baby gets sick.
- As long as you are using bottles (whether breast milk or formula), the dishwasher will likely be running for at least a year straight.
- Same is true for the washing machine.
- Everyone knows a twin and you will hear about it. “My cousin’s neighbor is a twin.” (Very interesting.)
- It’s not a competition – everyone will agree that whether you have one child or 5 children, raising kids is hard work. Don’t look down on parents of singletons. But when someone tells you that you have your hands full, remind them that your heart is also full.
- Twins mean twice the smiles, twice the laughs, twice the love.
Shortly after my babies came home from the hospital, I was still running on empty. I was feeling exhausted and spread thin. I was at an ice cream shop on State Street with all three kids and a perfect stranger looked at my newborns and said ‘you are SO lucky.’ At the time, my toddler was having a major meltdown and ice cream was the only way to get her to calm down (yes, I was rewarding terrible behavior). I thought the woman must be joking – but I looked at her and she repeated – ‘you are so lucky.’ She meant it. Six months later I know she genuinely felt that I was lucky and I now agree with her. I AM lucky. Blessed beyond measure and we have such a bright future to look forward to. So if you see a twin mama out and about, looking frazzled, remind her how lucky she is… she will thank you later!
You may also enjoy my post: One Year With Twins!