There is nothing quite like the shock of finding out you are expecting twin babies. It is exciting and terrifying all at once. You feel a little bit giddy and have this sense of wonderment. But as the shock wears off and your logic kicks in, you start to wonder how you will manage. How will you cope with two babies? There it is. Motherhood just got real! All mothers have new, fun, strange, weird, and disgusting experiences. But, there are just some experiences that only twin mums can understand.
101 Things Only Twin Moms Understand
From getting the ultimate newborn baby essentials checklist to figuring out how you're going to do the rest of it right, your heart and hands will be full to the brim every day. Some days being a mom of twins will feel wonderful, and some days it will feel like an overload. Either way, you as a twin mum have definitely worked out that two is both better and harder than one:
1. You're an instant celebrity when you head out with your two babies.
Everyone will look and everyone will ask you A LOT of questions. Some questions will feel intrusive. I always try to remember that people do not mean to be rude, they are just interested. And of course, they are interested! You have the blessing of something that only a few mums get to experience. It is a rare thing for other people to see, and this is why you may feel like a circus sideshow at times.
2. People will ask millions of times if your babies are twins.
You will get this question over and over again. It will never stop! I have even cringed when I have asked the question to other multiple parents. I realised that the question is a conversation opener. If you are not in the mood to answer questions from strangers, I suggest simply going about your business and not making eye contact with anyone.
3. You will be bone-aching tired.
More tired than you have ever felt in your life. But there will be a happy and satisfied smile on your face as they become twin toddlers. You will get busy on how to start potty training for two, not one, and so much more while they're growing and you reap the joys of parenting.
4. You will fear conceiving twins at least until you reach menopause.
It is okay to feel this way.
5. You will wonder how parents with two sets of twins manage.
Sometimes you will have nightmarish thoughts about having another set of twins. Other times you will look at your babies and hope that it happens again.
6. What if it's twins again?
When you talk about having more babies, this is people's normal response. You will already have researched every possible article and medical journal to see the likelihood of you having twins again.
7. You will get jealous of single-baby moms.
You wonder. It happens as you watch them hold their one baby and give them their undivided attention. You start doubting. Then you will laugh as your two crawls all over you. Because it really is double the love.
8. It can get lonely.
All mothers feel lonely and housebound at times. You will feel especially lonely because your friends with one baby just cannot understand how you feel, and what your day is like.
9. It WILL get crazy.
You will make peace with a messy house or hire a cleaner. I hired a cleaner. I adore her, she is what makes our house and myself stay sane.
10. You'll learn how to run fast and invest in backpack leashes.
I never got them, but I wished that I had on more than one occasion.
11. It's gonna be twice those precious mum moments.
You will feel touched as both your babies struggle for prime mummy cuddle position.
12. You're going to have to break up lots of fights.
They will fight over everything and nothing and you will be there for both of them.
13. You get to be on the front row for the development of those first friendships.
My boys are in separate rooms at daycare and when I pick them up they run and hug each other with such joy. It melts my heart every time.
14. Your twins will gang up on you!
You are outnumbered. When the boys were 18 months they were ready to explore and to push the boundaries. They were jumping up on the table, pulling the cords from TV, they were pulling out everything they could find in the kitchen. My curious and intrepid travelers were driving me crazy. When I tried to use time out, they would just run out and hit me while I was pulling the other off the dining room table and into time out. Then the other would run and hit me while I was chasing the other one. Not one of my finer parenting moments. Just so you know they no longer jump onto the dining room table to dance and stamp their feet. We also mastered time outs.
15. You will lock yourself in your room crying in frustration.
Your children will be banging on the door for their mummy. Don’t worry we have all been there. Even single baby mums will understand this one.
16. You will hear in stereo sound.
Two newborn babies crying in sync together is just like being at the theatre, but not in a pleasant way.
17. When you are pregnant you will get really big, really quickly.
People will comment on how huge you are. You will go immediately from first trimester sick to huge, especially if you're thirty-six weeks pregnant with your tummy three times the size of a watermelon.
18. You maneuver through any doorway with a double pram or carrying two car seats.
You will practically qualify for the contortionist world title. You have arms of steel.
19. You can hold two crying and upset babies longer than you ever thought possible.
The next day every muscle in your arms will ache. You know it was worth it to cuddle those upset little monkeys. Who needs the gym when you have twins.
20. You'll constantly be scanning for two little people in the park.
They move fast and in opposite directions more often than I would like to tell you.
21. You'll master the art of decoding and deciding which twin is in the greater danger.
The one climbing up high on the outside of the play equipment or the one running towards the road? Which one needs to get moving to a child bed faster than the other? You'd be surprised. Or not. Then you will act instantaneously.
22. You will appreciate parks and play centers that are completely enclosed.
In fact, you will appreciate this more than anyone can know.
23. You will lose a twin at some stage.
It will happen in a split second. In your dark mum’s brain, you will envision life with just one baby. It will feel all kinds of wrong.
24. You will get two of everything all the time.
If there is only one, you will not buy it. Your children will still fight over the same toy, even though there are two of them.
25. You will stress about birthday parties.
Should you take two gifts or one gift? Should you even go at all? Someone, please tell me, how many gifts should I take? I think two…
26. Other mums' problems will be a wonder to you.
When a mum of one baby tells you how hard it is, you will struggle not to laugh at her. Then you will feel bad because even just one baby can be tough, but you can’t imagine how.
27. Your world will be loud.
You will have two babies jumping out of their cots, two jumping up on tables, two pulling everything out of the cupboard, two pooping on the floor, two throwing tantrums because you cut their toast.
28. You will struggle NOT comparing them.
It will start with people who ask if they are identical twins. You will desperately try to not compare them, but you will. You will hate to see them compare your babies, but they will.
You will desperately try to not compare them, but you will.
29. You will worry and it will hurt.
You worry constantly that one is dominating or bullying the other. Then you will notice that they swap and change. The bully becomes the victim and the victim becomes the bully many times over.
You will try to have individual time with them. They will spend the whole alone time with you asking for their brother/sister. Then you worry that they will be co-dependent. Will they make their own friends? Do they realise they are individual people?
30. It will be hard to trust anyone else to look after your kids.
It will be tough choosing the right child day care if you even consider it. You're just not sure other people could manage it. In fact, there is no way they could manage. At the same time, you tire of hearing people say, “I don’t know how you manage.”
31. You will learn how to hold two wriggling babies in any situation.
You will learn to carry two screaming babies under your arm football hold style as you leave the playground. You will not make eye contact with any other parents either.
32. There will always be a nagging feeling that you're not giving enough attention.
You will worry that you are giving cuddles evenly. That one is being distant and does not feel as loved by you.
33. It's twice the poo and it's double the teething.
There will be so much poo. Toilet training will be something else. It's going to be potty training take two every time until they BOTH get it right. You will clean up one poop just to find another one. You will chase dirty bottoms around the house.
You can guarantee it's double the learning to eat mess, double the washing, double the folding, double the bottom, and nose-wiping. It will all become so normal that you will not be able to imagine it any other way.
35. You'll be working hard at their independence.
You will work on your twin’s independence early so that they can do things for themselves quicker.
You will worry about prematurity and you will worry that they will not develop and hit their milestones.
36. Trying to do your own stuff will be exhausting.
You will struggle to go to parenting classes on your own and feel left out. You cannot take them to swim class on your own. You cannot take them to music class on your own. When I did try a baby class, it was a hopeless mess of me bouncing from one to the other helping them in their activities. STRESSFUL!! We never went again.
37. Help will be available.
Gorgeous wonderful people will want to help you all the time. It will save your life and your sanity. You will have a new appreciation for the kindness of others. At the same time, you will jump in and help that other Twin Mum before she even realises she needs help. Or, if you can see that she’s got this, you will give her a knowing nod and smile. You’ve been there too.
38. You'll appreciate the bond with other mothers.
Other mums will think you are amazing. Revel in that! Also, you will fall in love when you meet another twin mum. You finally get to have all the mum conversations with someone who understands.
39. Those double moments of joy will be rewarding.
Your twins will make you laugh out loud as they giggle, cuddle, and fall over each other. Two babies will kiss you all your face at the same time and your heart will explode.
40. You will be jealous, you will feel offended, you'll understand, and you'll be okay.
You'll feel envious of other mums for a looong time. Single baby mums who get to hold their baby as long as they want, who get to give them their undivided attention without an ounce of guilt. You will understand the stress of mums with lots of little ones.
Mums with babies close in age will tell you that it is just like having twins. Hhhhhmmm, how do I put this politely? It’s not the same at all. I have no doubt raising two babies 10 months apart is full-on, but it is not the same. Two newborns, babies with the same needs at the same time is something else. You cannot understand unless you’ve been there.
You will look at triplet mums in awe and you will not annoy them with lots of questions even though you are dying to ask how they do it.
41. Your kids will learn about sharing and turn-taking before any other kid their age.
They've probably been practicing without knowing it since the day they were aware there's two of them.
42. You will live by your parenting routine.
Your partner and you will always have a baby on your lap. There is no swapping and getting a chance to eat your dinner. And nothing will get in the way of your babies nap time, nothing!
43. The childbirth "process" will be more challenging.
I had an emergency cesarean 10 weeks early. I took a long time to deal with the birth. It was not what I expected. Aside from that, you may have NICU time. Again this will make you feel lonely. Not many parents understand the emotional rollercoaster that is NICU. Your start to motherhood may be nothing like you expected. If there is anything I have learned as a mother, this experience and transition are huge and unique for every woman.
You will make friends with other parents in NICU and they will be treasured forever.
44. You will try for years to have one on one time with each of your kid.
Sometimes you will have to leave one baby in the car for a few minutes and you will freak out that someone is going to report you. You cannot carry two sleeping babies into the house at once. One will have to stay in the car while you take the other inside. You will stress the whole time.
When you go out with just one baby you will feel a little weird and constantly check that you haven’t forgotten them somewhere.
45. Other mums will envy you.
Beautiful mums will tell you that they wanted to have twins and hope they do. You will tell them it is the best and also the worst.
46. You will struggle with productivity but when you nail it, oh you NAIL it.
You learn how to feed two babies at ones, change two babies nearly at once, and sleep two babies at the same time. It is no easy feat. On good days will you feel like nothing can stop you.
You'll learn organisation and productivity like a pro. You will be so organised and so prepared, more than you ever have been in your whole life. Even if you are not an A-Type person.
47. You will learn not to be afraid to ask strangers for help.
They will be delighted and do whatever you need. This was huge for me. At first, I used to say, “It’s ok, I can manage.” Now, I say, “Thank you, that will be great”, whether I really need help or not.
48. Watching your kids baby-bond will make your heart burst.
You will not be able to contain your delight as you watch your two babies giggle and coo at you and each other. I think I already said this one, but it must be important if I wrote it twice.
49. You will mix up your babies and call them the wrong name all the time.
You worry that they will learn their name and know which one they are. Well not all the time, but more than you would like to admit. Especially if you have identical twins. It’s not that you don’t know which is which, you just stumble over saying two names all the time. The first year will feel like a total blur and it will take you longer to get to know your babies individually.
50. Your friendships with those friends who adore you twins will deepen dramatically.
Some of them are twins themselves. People who are twins will talk to you and adore your children. You will ask them all the questions about what it was like growing up as a twin.
And then in general, people will not be able to tell your twins apart. They will ask you how you tell the difference. “I AM THEIR MOTHER!” They look totally different to me. I’m embarrassed to admit I have also commented to other twin mums how similar their babies look.
51. They will look freaking adorable when you dress them the same.
You will feel like you missed out on a lot in the beginning.
52. Your regular training trick will confuse you.
When one child does a poo in the potty and you reward them, the other child will want a reward too. Should you reward them too? I still don’t know.
53. Every time you leave the house it will be a challenge.
You will take a deep breath before you leave the house and repeat to yourself that it will be ok.
You have to work out everything before you go. I would never go to a new place for the first time on my own. I would take back up and assess if the trip could be done solo.
54. Twins will suddenly be everywhere.
You will see twins in the shops, people will tell you they are a twin. People will tell you their great grandad was a twin. You will wonder how you didn’t notice all the twins before.
55. You will be terrified when they start to walk.
You know life just got 100x harder.
Your toddlers will wee on each other. They will think it's funny, especially if you have boys.
56. At first, it will seem like all you do is feed.
You will work really hard to keep track of which baby you fed, and which still needs to be fed. If you are breastfeeding one breast will belong to each baby. Baby apps are great for this.
57. People will ask birthing questions.
They would ask whether your twins were IVF or naturally conceived. And they would ask how painful childbirth is in a natural delivery. I don’t think they mean to be rude, but asking a stranger about the conceptions of your twins is a pretty personal question.
58. Your partner will figure that this dad business much quicker than single baby dads.
That's right, pal. Daddy duties just got real.
59. Get used to paying for twice the price.
Everything feels more expensive as you have to pay childcare for two, sports classes for two, and clothes for two at the same time. Thank God for Kmart.
You will know that being a twin mum is incredibly special and you have been oh, so blessed.