Read about the benefits to having twins over singletons when you’re parenting under the Coronavirus pandemic and sheltering in place.
So, it’s official. We are home for the remainder of the school year. If you are anything like me, you have already thought about all of the losses your kids will experience during this period of social distancing. But dance recitals, graduations, and birthday parties are just the tip of the iceberg. Mostly, I worry about our kids’ mental and emotional development.
There is only so much us parents alone can do to ensure a well-rounded childhood experience while managing our kids’ remote learning, working full-time jobs from home, navigating a global pandemic, and remembering to not touch our faces. And while the situation is not ideal for any parents, I have noticed that there are some benefits to having twins while being under a pandemic.
They have the same remote learning assignments.
Having multiples has always been the ultimate in parental efficiency, hasn’t it? One pregnancy and birth experience results in two (or more!) babies. So when we started receiving our remote learning tasks at the start of the pandemic school closure, I could not have been more relieved when I saw that their separate classrooms had the same assignments. Not only is that one less set of assignments to manage, but they are doing it together.
Trust me. I know this is a benefit because my older child fights me daily when it comes to her assignments. Watching other kids do something they are supposed to do is a huge motivator for kids. Armed with only begging and bribery to entice my oldest to do her homework, every day is a struggle. Whereas, my twins team up and get right to work.
(Side note: if your twins are NOT being assigned the same work, my heart sincerely goes out to you! That is just plain wrong.)
They have a peer to interact with daily.
Twins are close already, so not much has changed regarding who they interact with the most. My twins are in separate classes at school, so they have other friends. But the truth remains: they are each other’s closest friend. They could play for hours together without skipping a beat. My other child is only two years older and still plays with the twins, but I know she misses her friends from school. She has to play below her age level most of the time and gets bored easily. We schedule FaceTime playdates often, but it’s not the same. You can tell she struggles with not having a peer of the same age to interact with. The twins will randomly mention their other friends but don’t seem to have the same separation issues as my oldest child during the pandemic.
They sleep together in the same room.
Whether they realize it or not, our kids are being negatively affected by this crisis. It doesn’t matter how “normal” you make their new life. Kids are intuitive. They don’t have much life experience or understanding, so they have to rely on their instincts and your nonverbal cues. I will be the first to admit that I have not been dealing with our new life very well. I keep it under wraps as best I can, but I know they feel it. When their little minds become quiet as they settle down to go to bed, those feelings come to the surface. “I had a nightmare” or “I can’t sleep” statements become more common.
Since the beginning of the pandemic lockdown, my twins have had each other to turn to during these moments, and now is no different. I am so grateful for this, because I need bedtime for my own self-care during this crisis so that I can have the energy to be their everything during the day. They have even started to bunk up with their big sister, and I love that they can lean on their siblings for comfort.
The first year with multiples prepared us for this challenge.
The past few weeks of sheltering in place during this pandemic has definitely brought me back to our first year with twins. Navigating remote learning with working from home and trying to keep up with loads of new information is starting to seem eerily familiar. I spent most of that first year with twins feeling like I had no idea what I was doing, and here I am once again with no freaking clue.
Another similarity is that it is no longer worth it to leave the house and for the same reasons; I don’t know how to do it without freaking out, and there are too many extra steps and paraphernalia needed to make it work. Throw in ridiculously expensive grocery bills and the guilt of mourning your old life when you know you should be grateful for what you have, and you are officially reliving your first year with twins. You did it then, and you can do it now.
I could write an entire book on how much I love having multiples, so it’s no surprise that being twin parents is helping us through this uncertain and scary time in our lives. And if you look closely, I’m sure you’ll see that you’re having the same experience. So, enjoy these benefits and take comfort in the fact that you have a few less things to worry about. Their special bond combined with the superhuman abilities you developed while raising them will catapult you through this challenge and beyond.
Mandy Roussel is mom to three girls, two of which are twins. When she’s not writing about mom life, she can be found watching too much reality tv, dance partying with her girls, and laughing at/with her husband. You can find more of Mandy’s musings on her blog and on Facebook.