Raising twins is not what you think. Period. It’s closer to paddle boarding in a typhoon or hang gliding in a hurricane. Or maybe neither of those are as thrilling or dangerous as raising twins.
Maybe you’re one of those who always dreamed of having twins. You imagined dressing them in matching outfits, proudly parading them around town, imagining the comments from jealous onlookers. Because two matching or coordinating babies are seriously cute.
I wasn’t one of those girls. So for our fifth pregnancy, I put off scheduling an appointment with my OB/GYN because I knew how to grow a baby. You can imagine my shock months later when I finally lay on the table with the ultrasound technician waving the wand over my belly saying, “Oh, look! There’s two!”
Three years later, I’m still in shock but I have loved almost every minute of raising these boys. There are many things I learned about them and myself as a parent. Some people think raising twins is no big deal, especially people who have Irish twins, but it’s not the same. A few other twin moms joined me in sharing with you these 10 things you need to know about raising twins:
- You will NEVER parent the same again. You won’t even look the same because you’ll probably resemble a chicken covered in tar then sucked in a tornado. You’ll master the zombie walk with only tufts of feathers and bits of tar left on your feather-free behind.
- What worked for child #1 won’t work for his twin siblings. There’s no one-size fits all parenting strategy and this is especially true with twins. I mean, there are two of them at the same time. You won’t even know what parenting really is because this is more of a “survival of the fittest” and you want to win.
- They know teamwork like nobody’s business. Seriously, two-year-old twins could lead a self-improvement conference on team building skills.
- Twins can be dangerous. I don’t have statistics to back this up but I’m saying you have a 1-in-2 chance of landing in the ER with twins. Or 2-in-2 if you have twin boys. Us twin moms are constantly tripping over one or the other to get to them before they do something to hurt themselves! And since there are two of them, if they are in a potentially dangerous situation, it’s hard to grab both of them at the same time.
- Problem solving is child’s play. There is no place to hide a package of cookies that your twins won’t find, use their secret language to communicate the best way to rescue said cookies, and then scale the refrigerator to score the cookies while the other claims look-out duty, protecting them both from the adults.
- Twins share…sometimes. It’s in your best interest to just man up and buy two of everything, especially if it’s food-related. This means two cups of water, two boxes of raisins, two popsicles, two Tonka trucks, etc. You see what I’m saying? There’s a time and place for teaching to share but when it comes to food, just buy two.
- They have their own language. And sometimes they don’t even use this language because they excel in mental telepathy and they just know what the other one is thinking. It’s uncanny and occasionally terrifying for us parents because we have no idea what’s coming next.
- They share an incredible bond with one another, preferring to sleep with each other rather than alone. I remember even in the hospital, just hours after they were born, the nurses had to put them in the same crib because they cried apart from each other. Three years later, they refuse to sleep without physical contact from the other.
- Everyone has a twin story to share. Whether you’re paying for groceries or pumping gas, people won’t think twice about stopping to tell you they noticed your twins. They’ll tell you about their uncle’s mom’s stepson (twice removed) whose wife had twins 19 years ago. This is true. But now that you know what to expect, just adjust your errand time to include a few extra minutes for stranger’s stories.
- They’re inseparable. Where you find one, you will find the other. Usually, you’ll find them getting into trouble together. But it’s also the sweetest thing about twins—how they’re always together, looking out for one another, preferring to play with their twin rather than anyone else. They hold hands, laugh together, love often, and live well.
If you’re considering twins (in case that’s an option), these are a few things to consider about raising them. If you already have twins and you’re in the thick of things, don’t worry –there’s hope! Twin moms across the world have successfully brought up healthy, thriving, loving twins. So don’t doubt this stage you’re in will last forever, because it’s only fleeting, so try to kick back, loosen up, and enjoy every moment with your twins. Record those precious memories on paper or video camera and save them for years for now.
Remember that even in the craziest times, there are two to love, two sets of arms to wrap themselves around your neck, two sweet bottoms to squish in your lap for stories and snuggles, and two hearts ready to be loved. God bless parents of twins everywhere!
A special thanks to fellow twin moms Mary Stanley and Kaitlin Schwartz for contributing to this post. You can follow Mary’s family on Facebook or purchase adorable handmade clothing from Kaitlin’s online shop. Thank you for reading!