I am the person that walks into a room full of people and can walk out knowing every single person’s life story. It’s a gift. I have never been overly shy and am always ready to meet new people. My mother tells me I have been this way since birth and I have to agree with her. I do not meet strangers. Having children did not change that one little bit (though I did tend to be much more wary of who I had my children around) and I have made many wonderful friends throughout my life.
When my husband and I discovered we were having twins we weren’t handed a “what to expect socially” handbook. We just kind of took it for granted that things would go on as usual in our social circle. I now laugh at the ridiculousness of that idea as I decline another “let’s all go to so-and-so’s house for whatever is going on that weekend” invite. I can hear my friends sighing at me as I type this.
We had no clue what we were in for. I had never even heard of a baby schedule before the twins. We literally would drag our two older children (2 ½ yrs apart) all over the place and there never was a hitch. The older ones napped whenever and bedtime was whenever they just fell asleep. Four months in with twins we were in for a very rude awakening. Something had to give and thankfully we figured it out…twins need order and a schedule (at least ours did.)
After a few months of gradually finding sanity thanks to this marvelous schedule and sleep training, we noticed that our social life had drifted off the map. We didn’t go to barbeques any longer because it either interfered with naptime or bedtime. After about six miserable months of very little sleep we weren’t about to mess with that. For a while it bothered me and eventually I realized things have changed and I couldn’t expect my friends to suffer because of our strict schedule. So we kept to ourselves and stayed close to home.
But now that we’re out of the infant stage we are beginning to be more comfortable leaving the house with the twins once in a while — only to look around and realize our old social network has drifted on and we were now the ones with “small children”. You know, the ones that have the screeching toddlers that other parents look at and think “I’m so glad that’s not me”. Yeah…that’s us. We are used to the chaos and loud noise but even people with children that are close to the age of the twins aren’t prepared for a “throw yourself on the floor” fit in surround sound.
Making friends isn’t supposed to be hard. Having children constantly forces you into interaction with other parents with children the same age due to school and sports, and like herds of cattle we all tend to drift together and gossip as our children play. But until you reach that point where you can seek out like minded company at a soccer or softball game you are stuck hoping that you can arrange a play date that won’t fall through last minute.
I’ve discovered that online networking can be a great way to reach out to other parents and gain words of advice from parents that have been there. I love love love Twiniversity.com (have I mentioned I love Twiniversity.com?) and I am a huge fan of a few Facebook groups that allow us twin mommies and daddies to vent or ask ridiculous questions (you can’t possibly imagine the ridiculous questions I have asked). In larger cities there is quite possibly a twin parent club that is eagerly anticipating your arrival…all you have to do is show up. And if there isn’t one…start one! Seriously…I know it sounds like a huge weight to take on (yes I remember you have twins) but honestly, how hard is it to gather up a few other twin parents at the local park and watch your kiddies play? And think of all the fabulous stories and hilarious tales you will hear that will reassure you that YOU are not the only crazy twin parent out there…there are others!
Deanna Burkett is multi-tasking mama of two year old boy/girl twins and teens and a wife of 19 years to a very patient husband. On any given day you can find her pinning her heart away at Twiniversity’s Pinterest page, saying howdy to a new member of Twiniversity’s Message Board, working on school work while she earns her double degree of History and English at Ashford University, catering to her teenagers every beck and call or chasing one or two naked babies around the house! Look for her on Facebook, Twitter or on Pinterest!
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