From the second we announced we were having twins, we got reactions from both ends of the spectrum. The reaction was either, “Oh my goodness, I always wanted twins!” Or, “Better you than me.” Half the time they acted like I was entering into a death sentence I wasn’t aware of, and the other half thought their poop was going to smell like roses!
So here are a few things that I didn’t understand about twins before mine were born. You just simply can’t fully understand it until you witness it yourself…
5 Things No One Ever Told Me About Having Twins
1. They teach each other
They teach each other so many things! I’ve listened by their door as one has asked the other, “What color is this, bubba?” “Blue.” “Yes! You got it!” And my heart fills with pride at the thought that they will have each other their whole lives. They will teach each other and learn from each other and grow together. They will be each other’s rock and, yes, I’m sure at times they will fight, but I know their bond will bring them back together. The first year or so I didn’t see it…. and then one magical day I noticed it. They connected! Sure they were always aware of each other, and always with each other bonded in my belly, but soon enough you will realize they are, as my boys say, “best frands”.
2. When one twin hurts, they both hurt
Sure, when one catches a cold they usually both end up with it. But the times that they worry for each other and care about each other far outweigh a few sicknesses. They help me take care of each other, they worry for each other, and most of all they constantly want to be with each other. They find each other to make sure their brother is OK. On the playground the other day, I was “helicoptering”, like usual, and watching as one of them was saying, “Brother! Brother! Where’s my brother?” Almost frantically. I pointed him in the direction of his brother and he excitedly said, “Bubba!” (Which again made my heart swell.)
And whenever one of them falls and scrapes a knee, they both stop to make sure I am fully aware of the situation and that everyone involved has Band-aids. Of course the injured party gets the Band-aid first with a little kiss on the knee, and then the uninjured party gets one for good measure, and then mommy probably needs one as well…
3. It’s impossible to keep their stuff separate
I don’t know about you, but I don’t even try anymore. They shared the same amniotic fluid for 9 months, I think it’s OK if their sippy cups get swapped now and then. The cool thing about my boys is that they eat the food that the other twin doesn’t want. I make chicken, green beans, and cantaloupe, and one day one kid feels like eating all the green beans. So he will eat both portions from the plates. And the other kid is more interested in the cantaloupe and eats his and his brothers. The next meal, they usually switch. Food never goes to waste! Sometimes one kid just flat out isn’t hungry, but the other kid is, so it evens out.
4. You don’t often get alone time
But that’s OK with me, because we are a suddenly a team! It’s cool to go from a couple to a family of three, but how awesome is it to instantly go to a family of FOUR? We suddenly roll four deep with our little herd, our cool little pack. Alone time is nice, but only for a short while, and if I’m going to travel through life with an entourage this is the cutest one I could possibly have. I’m extremely proud of them!
5. You get asked silly questions and are the “circus act” of the town
But it’s really not that bad. Sure, we get silly questions that sometimes feel intrusive, or a little unintelligent. But on a good day (with some sleep and a little lip gloss) I feel happy and proud to answer questions about how our twins came to be. In the back of my mind, I’m thinking that maybe this person has been struggling with infertility and doesn’t quite know the ins and outs of the infertility world. Maybe something I say will click with her and give her a little hope with her situation. Or maybe it’s an older citizen in our community and I just broadened their horizons a little by explaining the pain infertility can cause and how there are treatments out there that can help. Or maybe by explaining what I went through, ever so briefly, it stopped that person from being inconsiderate to their co-worker by constantly asking the age old question, “When are y’all going to have babies?” And if nothing else was taught in that 2 minute exchange with the random stranger, I hope maybe they learned the difference between identical and fraternal and won’t ask the next twin mom who ran into the store to grab diapers and simply doesn’t have time to explain. Of course I haven’t always taken the time to speak to others when they ask questions, but when they do I try to remind myself how hard I worked to get these two little miracles here and how proud we are of them every day. We’ve learned to feel that infertility is something we conquered and we are honored to tell our story.
Raising twins has taught me a lot about the twin world and even more about our sons and myself. My advice is definitely don’t believe everything you hear or read; Trust your mommy instincts on everything. Starting out, I was a nervous wreck. I thought for sure I would somehow break one of my babies. Looking back, I now know how resilient they are and how masterfully created they are. I sure wasn’t expecting their brains to develop so quickly and I am stunned by the knowledge that comes from their mouths. I have gotten to witness their hearts grow and see the love and compassion for others pour out of them at such a young age. I didn’t know that I was going to be such a good mom. I didn’t know they would be so amazing. And I sure didn’t know I could possibly love them this much.
Mikenzie Oldham is a full-time twin mommy, a full-time wife, a full-time employee, a full-time maid, a full-time chef, and a full-time writer. Juggling life as twin mommy in a kid-centric world, she survives all this with a steady intake of caffeine and wine. She has perfected the phrase “don’t hit your brother” and her main expertise is cleaning mud out of someone’s ear, kissing “owies” and finding four shoes. Check out all her boys’ shenanigans at meandallmyboys.com and follow her on Facebook. To read more of Mikenzie’s articles on Twiniversity, click here.
Are you a new twin parent? Check out Natalie Diaz’s new book “What To Do When You’re Having Two: The Twin Survival Guide From Pregnancy Through the First Year”, available in stores now!
The rate of twin births has risen 79 percent over the last three decades, and continues to increase. A mom of fraternal twins and a national guru on having two, Natalie Diaz launched Twiniversity, a supportive website with advice from the twin-trenches.
What to Do When You’re Having Two is the definitive how-to guide to parenting twins, covering how to make a Birth Plan checklist, sticking to one sleep schedule, managing double-duty breastfeeding, stocking up on all the necessary gear, building one-on-one relationships with each child, and more.
Accessible and informative, What to Do When You’re Having Two is the must-have manual for all parents of twins.