It maybe the sleep deprivation, onset of Autumn or the fact I walked all the way home in the rain to realise I had left keys with the hubby. But I felt in todays ramblings I would address the issues with having twins.
Before I start don’t get me wrong, twins are flipping brilliant and it really is a special job being a parent of twins. Watching the blossoming of their relationship and yet seeing how two people so incredibly alike on the outside can be so polar opposite within is a magical thing to behold.
It’s just there are a number of challenges one faces in the jolly world of multiples.
Here are my top 10.
- STUFF, STUFF, STUFF; of course they can share but all the same the amount of stuff you need when you have two the same age is ridiculous. When I was pregnant I read lots of articles and comments where people said ” buy just one and they can share”. Well for any of you pregnant with twins, yes that works maybe with the odd toy or book but lets face it they both need carseats, beds, coats, clothes, favourite teddies, cups, bottles, shoes. You get the picture and then there is storing all that stuff, transporting it ( I look like a pack horse whenever out and about) and getting rid of it after! Charity shops love it when they see me coming. That leads me nicely onto….
- Expense- Now I appreciate this isn’t necessarily a twin issue but it didn’t really dawn on me the expense of two until I really began paying for things. In the early days they are tiny, you are surviving on the baby shower and birthing gifts and more importantly they are tiny enough not to have to pay for them anywhere. Then the stockpile of nappies which you think will last you at least 6 months, vanishes. They’ve had a growth spurt and need a whole new wardrobe or all of a sudden they are paying customers. BANG thats when it hits your bank balance, a pack of nappies well that lasts us half the time, a pack of 5 toddler treats don’t stretch out that far. Those pack of 3 multi buy tops which are great value for anyone buying for one, doesn’t quite work with two. A trip to a soft play becomes the equivalent to your monthly gym membership when you were single and had time to do things like go to the gym.Of course there are ways to keep costs down and I’m becoming a pretty thrifty mummy but I hate to think what will happen when the real expenses come my way. The stuff all teenagers cannot live without, phones,laptops, cars!
- Nappies- Mentioned above. All I can do is apologise in advance to the planet and its future generations of people. The landfill we have created in the two short years in which the girls have graced this earth has surely made a contribution to the global destruction and for that I am forever sorry.
- The beast ( buggy)- We have sampled a variety of buggies. We started with a one in front of the other, moved to a side by side. Owned 2 individual strollers and have a double stroller. The individual strollers aside however nifty and whizzy the others are they have gained the Beast status. Their sheer size, and job of accommodating two means width, height, length and weight is beastly. Even when the girls were tiny I remember pushing a friends buggy for her, I cant remember why and realising what additional weight I was pushing around. Now at two its like I’m in an episode of Worlds Strongest Man flipping tyres through the high street. Style, hey the double buggy can be stylish but how I crave a zippy little number. One of those ones which collapse to nothing, have hand-stitched beautifully patterned chic fabric and can be pushed using just your little finger. I get serious buggy envy. Options are definitely more chic for single buggies. But I would not be without my beast, it is my saviour, my hero!
- The general public- ” oh you’ve got double the trouble there”, ” you’ve got your hands full”, ” are they twins?”, ” poor you”, ” lucky you getting one of each all in one go”. As I’ve got older I’ve realised I’m actually a little bit shy. I’m really chatty if you get talking to me but I’m not one to start up or make small talk with a stranger. However becoming a twin mum as dragged me kicking and screaming out of that pretty quickly. Everyone talks to you, which is really nice but the comments, jokes and sometimes debates and cliches about twins is non stop. Its great hearing stories about how twins skipped a generation in your case ( BTW ID twins do not run in families, thats Fraternal) and I can assure you a boy and girl twin are not identical. For the record to all those who have got it wrong Amelie and Fleur are Identical and they are most definitely girls, I’ve checked.
- The squabbling- I know having two is easier in the fact they entertain each other but when the coin flips and out pops the toddler equivalents of Doctor Jekyll they can be each others very worst enemy. The shoving, pushing, biting ( at least its each other and not someone else’s child), arguments, screaming and shouting and want to play with the same thing at the exact same time is the reality of two. No sooner have you split them up like a boxing referee but tranquility returns and they are laughing, hugging and sharing like a joy. Normality is restored until….
- Shoes- I did mention these in expense and of course they come under stuff too but I need to just address how blinking expensive they are oh and for the record they wear out or grow out of them at the same bloody time!
- The echo- The girls are very independent to one another but when wanting something or calling my name their synchronisation is first class. Mummy chanted repetitively in unison, double demands for biscuits or milk and crying in the car is enough to make a mum drink….where’s the gin?
- The club- actually a positive of twins is that there is a great gang of multiple parents and like coach drivers passing on the motorway, the acknowledging nod or smile as you pass on the street gives a great sense of belonging but it does also bring its challenges. Bring together more than two sets of twins and you’ve got far more than a crowd so although I love meeting up with twin mummies it always feels so busy, with numbers of kids dwarfing those of adults. It can also be a lonely club in that if like me you have a fantastic bunch of single child mums being the only twin mum is sometimes a little daunting and your problems are some they don’t always have to deal with. Please note however I have amazing mummy friends ( in case they’re reading).
- Tiredness- It was worse when they were babies, but I’ve grown numb to those days but night feeds were hell on earth, they didn’t always sync on feeds, certainly didn’t and still don’t on nappy changes and the only saving grace when they were tiny was that they could sleep through each others screaming. But as they’ve got older if one is awake everyone is awake and yes, they could have separate rooms, but we don’t have the space and actually I don’t want them to. Plus the lifting, chasing, changing, feeding and everything else I’m doing with two is draining. So although I do not vouch to be any more tired than any other parent it does sometimes suck how tired you are at the end of the day.
BUT for every issue and challenge with twins there is something amazing too and as the sun peeps from behind the clouds and I remind myself that its Friday I count my lucky stars that I have two amazing, crazy kids who for all the stuff, expense and trouble they cause me, are magical and quite literally the best things in the world.