Whenever I tell anyone that I have twins, the answer is always the same (no matter who it is): “how do you cope?”. What else are we going to do?!
Of course having twins is both physically and emotionally tricky. ‘Tales of a Twin Mum’ sums it up in her most popular post from last year by looking at the differences between raising her twins compared to her singleton. I felt very guilty a lot of the time during Biscuit and Cracker’s first year (and sometimes even now)- as a mum you are programmed to give 100% of yourself to your baby and cater for all their needs. As a mum of multiples, this is impossible. There are two of them and one of me so they did have to share me, learn to wait for things and spend more time in bouncy chairs and on the play mat so that I could be with both of them at the same time. We haven’t gone to as many baby and toddler sessions as perhaps I would have done with a singleton, from the moment my twinks were mobile they have been off in opposite directions!
I also tell people who comment on how hard it is how fabulous having twins honestly is. They are so funny together, they have now learnt to manoeuvre their little arm chairs so they can play peek-a-boo over the top to each other. Every new place we’ve gone (including visiting family and going on holiday) they have always had the other there as a constant friend and companion. Having the two of them also means you learn when to let things go and what not to worry about.
Multiple parents are also lucky in the amount of websites, support groups and charities out there:
TAMBA (The Twin and Multiple Birth Association) is a charity that provides support and education both for parents of multiples and those professionals involved in their care. They offer money-off schemes included in your membership to help with those added expenses of having more than one baby (for example, Clarks shoes offers 10% off year round with two 20% off weekends a year). There are parent seminars and groups designed for different stages of your multiple’s journeys. As well as their website and the ‘Multiple Matters’ magazine sent out to members, they are on Facebook and Twitter keeping you up to date with research and media opportunities. You will also be able to find information on your local twins club through TAMBA: something definitely worth looking in to.
Designed for Twins is a website that directs you to all those products that have been designed with twins in mind (double buggies, cots etc) and provides parent reviews so you can get honest feedback on what might be useful and what could be improved upon.
Twins UK also shows you those specialist products for feeding, changing, taking out and dressing up your twins. They also sell gifts, mementoes and things for special occasions. It is always worth having a look at what is out there and what will make your life easier.
The Twins Gift Company is a good site if someone you know if having or has had twins as it had lovely jewellery, toys and gifts for multiples and their parents.
Not forgetting social media channels- Facebook is full of twin groups (Parenting Multiples, UK Twin Mummies Page, Twins Online to name a few) and they will post questions and concerns to their followers so you have a wealth of experience and knowledge at your finger tips. On Twitter there are lots and lots of twin mums and dads tweeting away and networking, again it is nice to find people going through the same challenges as you, as well as looking at those who have been through it and come out the other side with older multiples and helping to support those with younger multiples who could look to your knowledge and experience to get them through tricky times.
The rates of multiples in the world may be increasing, but I still see having my two gorgeous twinnies as such a blessing. Yes, it can be hard, but the rewards far away the difficulties and I wouldn’t change it for the world. Know that they are only little for such a short amount of time and that those things which are stressing you out today (be that sleeping, feeding, or anything else) will only be a distant memory in a month or so. And until then, the multiple community feels for you and will be here!
How do we cope? Because they’re amazing!