The practicality of parenting twins is a very different in reality from what you think it could be. 2 kids growing up together, sharing everything, never alone…it sounds so poetic! And I am reassured by other twin parents that there comes a point in time where it gets easier! However, it is certainly different in the beginning from what the romantic picture paints.
As my babes hurtle towards their 18 months milestone, I’m ducking my head above the fogginess of parenting to look back at a few things I’ve learnt about having twins!
They don’t love each other straight away!
Despite popular belief! Twins rarely love and play with each other from when they are born! We’ve all seem those gorgeous pics of twins hugging and kissing each other as soon as they are born, unfortunately that’s more of an accidental thing than any affection for each other. They are just 2 babies living next to the other one with no idea or care for the others welfare. It’s really only in the last few months (after 12 months) that they kinda wake up one day and be like “oh hey…this guys here!” but just like any siblings they don’t wake up and suddenly adore their twin. They are growing to love and want to play with each other now, but they are also growing to fight too! It’s just like any siblings they take time to get to know each other, up til then it’s just running 2 little people!
They are NOT the same person
Fraternal twins are exactly that…fraternal! Meaning they are 2 totally different eggs and 2 completely different people! And just like parenting any child it’s a double guessing act as to how they are going to be any what they want each day. Yes, sometimes they have little behaviours that are the same but in general they are 2 completely different humans. Hunter is quiet at times then completely wild, addicted to anything on TV and quite happy to chill at home. Take the kid out and he is Mr Social, the kind of “see you later Mum, I’ll text you when I’m done”, confident. The kid who’s happy to chill at home gets right in there following the big kids and getting amongst it! Harry AKA “King pin Harry” is the boss at home. Mr can’t sit still, up to no good rule breaker completely changes when we are out to a quiet and reserved child who holds back and watches…who’d have thought hey! With that you are constantly trying to please 2 totally different people, from activities to food they don’t always want the same!
Jealousy aint’ easy
Yes just like other siblings, twins get Jealous! And it’s hell!!! Jealousy with twins pretty much starts immediately. It’s non intentional at first but then develops in to conscious anger at each other. At first they just cry from not getting attention when the other is, and before long they are strategically playing you off each other for attention and trying to get attention over the other! It’s a constant battle for attention in our house! And it’s exhausting!
Going ANYWHERE is a titanic sized mission!
I’ve run out of milk…need some urgently. I have one of 2 options here. I, A. walk to the shops, this includes getting 2 babies (cleaned, dressed appropriately and shoed) into a pram, with snacks and water risking that one will hate it and scream the whole way or the other may fall asleep at a non designated time or B. do I attempt to get 2 non direction following toddlers in and out of the car 4 times, negotiate the trolley, risk a melt down in aisle 3 all just for some milk? The answer is usually C….phone a friend! I often look at parents of singletons or kids of varying ages and think…WOW look at that person who just got out of the car, kid on hip and walked into the shops! Amazing
Sleep is IMPOSSIBLE!
When you have one unsettled baby….it sux! When you have 2, well let’s just say some prisoners have gone through less torture. 2 Babies rarely sleep at the same time! Yes, they wake each other up. Yes they wake up at different times and Yes while one may have a good night and sleep ok, that doesn’t mean the other one will so chances are you never have a nights sleep (well not in the last 18 months!) A person who P.K (pre-kid) loved spontaneity and hated “routine”, lives by the blessing of routine just to savour those quiet moments!
I am a marshal of happiness
Parenting twins is kinda like being the ring side referee at a never ending boxing match You are constantly trying to advert a crisis, one or more melt downs and are marshalling everyone in the direction of happiness not tears!
What have you learnt about parenting fellow marshals?