So often when you’re a parent of multiples people ask you about the challenges, but it’s easy to forget about the positives this brings, so here are 5!
- You’re forced to have pretty achievable expectations, and this is good!
You’re surrounded by parents doing this class, or that class, or the other, when in your world you’re pretty much only able to focus on one thing: getting through the day in one piece! Frustrating initially, when you can feel like you’re missing out, but what it actually does is make you thrilled when you achieve anything extra; it’s a bonus rather than a necessity.
Time is limited for a lot of things – which is not always great and does mean things are always a hectic juggle – but it also means it’s limited for the negative stuff too, like the dreaded ‘Mum Guilt’. There just isn’t time! When you have two newborns, then two toddlers, you become a master of efficiency and prioritising the important stuff. Honestly, put a twin mum in the PM spot, and we’d be laughing!
- The beginning bit is so hectic that come the toddler stage you’re actually pretty used to a bit of crazy as just being the norm!
Going from a stationary baby to a willful toddler can be overwhelming, but I found that the fact the early days with two were so busy and sleep deprived that come the toddler stage – even though it is pretty wild when you have two of the same age! – as it’s easier to leave the house, you can plop food in front of them, they interact with each other etc etc, it feels like a whole other world.
- You’re instantly in an elite club
There is serious comradery in the world of multiple parenting – a whole club of parents who just get it! They get what it’s like to have two babies to tend to, all the time, and never feeling like you’re ever on top of it, because – being honest – you’re not but that’s absolutely fine. Hearing that that’s how it is for them too is really reassuring.
The challenges of multiple parents are very unique, and as much as your friend with one baby, or two or three a few years apart, will empathise (and how important it is to have a range of people to chat with), they’re coming from too different a place, with their own unique challenges, to always get the nuances of your specific world. That’s why twin groups can be so brilliant for twin parents: instant access to a bunch of people who 100% see you.
- Watching their different identities flourish…
It’s just amazing seeing two babies, who are exactly the same age (well, two minutes apart in my case), who are sooooo different! And it’s fascinating to watch them grow and develop, and also reassuring as you can see you’re shaping and nurturing identities that are already there. If one is a sleeper and one isn’t, or if one is pretty placid and the other a challenger of every possible boundary in existence, you have tangible proof that it’s not something you’re doing, which is what so many parents fear – it’s just how it is! That knowledge can be quite freeing.
- Seeing their friendship and bond blossom makes you realise you’re witness to one of the most magical things.
There is a reason you’ll be stopped constantly in the early days: twins are just magical, and so too is their bond, their twin an extension of themselves. I was with my boy twin recently at a hospital appointment, and afterwards bought him a Kinder Egg as a treat. He asked if we could get one for his twin sister too, and waited until they were reunited, an hour later, before he ate his, as he wanted to open it at the same time as she opened hers. Seeing a 4-year-old doing that – placing so much importance on sharing a positive moment with their twin – is just gold.