Tuesday, October 7, 2014

What I Wish You Knew About Me (A Twin Mom)

A few months ago I received an email from Ashley, a mom who follows my personal blog.  She was about to meet a twin mom for a play date and asked how she could make the day easier for her.  Ashley also asked what I wished singleton moms knew about twin moms.  I was so touched by her email.  I responded and shared a few ideas but the conversation stuck with me long after I replied.

What else do I wish people knew about life with twins?

1.  When you look at my twins and say, "I couldn't do it," I smile politely and disagree.  Yes you could.  And you would love it.

2.  I despise being the difficult mom.  The mom who turns down park play dates (or any area that's not contained), the mom who requests to go somewhere with lots of high chairs, the mom who desperately wants to hold your baby but can't because both arms are being used to hold her own.  Please know I so badly want to be laid-back, it's just not an option.

3.  Boy/Girl twins cannot be identical.  Two words: private parts.


4.  I want to hear your stories.   Many times I've had a friend start to share, stop, and say, "I know you have twins so I shouldn't complain."  We all have hard days.  Talk to me.  Confide in me.  Tell me about your problems so I can tell you you're not alone. 

5.  ...But when you talk about looking like a whale at 32 weeks pregnant and I looked like you at 18 weeks, do not be offended when I offer (very) little sympathy.  ;)

6.  When you ask, "Are they natural?" you remind me of the heartache we went through to get them.  The months of negative pregnancy tests.  The two miscarriages. The first round of clomid that worked a little too well.  They are my babies.  I know you don't mean to be insensitive, but those words hurt.  And now that my kids are getting older and listening to everything you say, don't you dare ask that question in their presence.

7.  Having kids very close in age is not the same as having twins.  Honestly?  Your situation sounds much harder to me.  The infant stage was exhausting and the terrible twos have hit a little early, but they have instant playmates and best friends from the start.  There are days I simply sit on the couch and watch them play.  They teach each other how to love far better than I ever could.

8.  Even if you are my next door neighbor, it is impossible for me to be anywhere in less than 30 minutes. And that's on a good day.  However, I never expect you to plan around me.  Just know I'll be there as soon as I can.

9.  Any mom who tells you she dislikes the excessive attention her twins receive is lying.  Who doesn't love hearing sweet words about their kids?  However, when the compliments turn to inappropriate questions (#6) or awkward statements (#1), the attention is no longer fun.

10. I spend most of my days trying to keep my head above water.  Some days I go to bed feeling like a complete failure and other days I go to bed knowing I did something right.  Through it all, I adore my babies and want the absolute best for my family.  And guess what? So do all moms.  So maybe... maybe we're not that different after all.

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  1. #9- I tell my husband all the time (when we go out and no one comments on our completely adorable 5 mos old twins) "Do these people have no souls?" But PLEASE don't ask me any completely none-of-your-business personal questions or try to touch them. Guess I can't have it all, huh?

  2. Oh my gosh #7 had me in tears!!! "They teach each other how to love far better than I ever could." My b/g twins are only 7 weeks old but Jack already constantly reaches out for his sister when they are sleeping. I know it's just going to get better :)

    Thanks for kindly-put truths!! <3

  3. I miss you. That's kind of a funny thing to say, huh? #7. I imagine that having twins is HARD work but I do get envious about the instant playmates (at least when they're at the age when they can actually play WITH each other rather than beside each other). I love that my girls love each other but the connection will never be that same connection. What a blessing for Jude and Sloane...and you.

  4. Loved this article - my twin boys are due in January and I feel like I read so many negative articles about having twins, with moms complaining about the innocent questions people ask. It's nice to read that not everyone is so sensitive. Guess what, having twins is interesting and unique! Accept it, and the repeated questions, smile, and move forward. Thank you!

    1. I just have to say, I hear you, but I'm 10 weeks in to life with my ID girls and I'm telling you, you'll see how it gets exhausting and irritating when people don't think before they ask questions or share with you. Seriously, you wouldn't believe how many times I've been told about a woman's mother or herself losing one or a set of her twins. Yeah, they're connecting with me but it was not so nice while I was still pregnant and I think it's totally inappropriate to say in front of my kids even though they're still babies.

      Plus, just wait until you get asked five times in one shopping trip if twins run in yours or your husband's family (and if you're like me, you always want to explain that while they run in both, Identicals are not actually genetic and that Dad had nothing to do with what my body did!) A 2 second question turns into a 5 minute discussion and sometimes argument on genetics. This can happen as many as five times during every shopping trip/dr's appointment/family outing. I'd accept it and move forward more easily if I could avoid it when it's inconvenient without being the bitchy twin mom.

      And there is always, always that one person, often a complete stranger who says something like "Oh wow, twins?! I'd kill myself." or "God, did you just want to die when you found out?" or, my favorite, "I'm just so glad it happened to you and not me." Like my babies are some kind of infectious disease.

      Believe me, I felt the same way you do, thought I would love and relish the attention. And then I left the house with them and realized just what I'd gotten myself into.

      Wouldn't trade it for the world though of course :)

      Good luck with your little guys! I wish you a smooth and healthy last few months of pregnancy!

  5. I loved this! *Can you also share details on the #twinmom grey sweatshirt? I love it! :)

  6. #3 - AMEN. The nurse at our pediatrician's office asked me if ours were identical after she had just finished weighing and examining them (while they were in the nude, mind you). I mean… I just… I can't even.

    "Identical" does not mean "look alike," people! (Ok, rant over. Great list!:)

  7. Love love love this! Amen! Also...where can I get a shirt! Love it!

  8. Love this!! Every single one of these is so true!
    This was perfect :)

  9. I totally agree with all of this.

  10. Yes, yes, and yes! You are completely correct, and I loved every bit of this post! Love you, sweet friend!

  11. Love this post! It's amazing how you can feel so alone in those newborn days, but then meeting other twin moms makes you realize you are SO NOT alone! We all go through the same frustrations and trials and it's humbling, reassuring, and comforting to hear the stories shared by fellow twin mamas.

  12. Love this! It is spot on! Loved the part where you talked about "offering little sympathy when they are complaining about being a whale" My best friend and I were pregnant at the same time only she had one baby and I had two and she complained the whole time about being pregnant granted I know having one baby is hard too but it was hard to offer any sympathy knowing she wasn't even half the size I ever was, but I would always still listen to her and acknowledge she was uncomfortable because being pregnant with any number of babies is uncomfortable just a little more uncomfortable the more you carry at a time :)