The moment the ultrasound technician’s magic wand smoothed over my belly, revealing two fluttering heartbeats, I cursed – a lot. I was afraid. I didn’t know what to do with one baby much less two! Fast forward several years and I’m happy to say we’re all still alive and a little wiser. Hopefully, I can save you some time.
Lesson 1: Join a support group for parents of multiples.
These people are your kind of people. Someone there has fed two babies at once, found the right double stroller, and tackled the issue of classroom placement in elementary school. My club has monthly meetings, family-friendly events, and mom’s nights out. It’s been my salvation. You can find your local group by visiting Multiples of America.
Lesson 2: Don’t compare your multiples to each other.
When one of my sons spontaneously potty trained and the other happily peed his pants three times in an hour, I panicked. If they were born several years apart, I probably wouldn’t have thought twice about it. But with his counterpart showing off next to him, it elevated everyone’s anxiety level. A couple months later, it clicked because he was ready. Comparing one twin to the other can cause unnecessary stress.
Lesson 3: Get used to being a rock star.
When you have multiples, you get a lot of attention. You need to have a strategy to deal with it, even if it’s as simple as not laughing when someone asks if your boy/girl twins are identical. When mine were babies, strangers couldn’t resist their chubby cheeks. I started telling them, “They’re like a museum. Look but don’t touch.” They got the message.
Lesson 4: Spend one-on-one time with each one.
Like I have time for that? Sure you do. My husband and I call it, “Divide and conquer.” Even if it’s as simple as divvying up the errands and the children, make it a point to spend some quality time with each one. You will be surprised to learn how easy it is and how much fun it can be to have only one child!
Lesson 5: Let them be individuals.
Being one of the “twins” can potentially be a buzz kill to a child’s individuality. Our solution – we gave each one his own room. They selected their own bedding and design theme, and we had a decorating party!
The lessons continue to be learned, but I know this for a fact. Twins, triplets, or more, we are lucky to have the love in our lives multiplied by our multiples.