The other day I ran into an acquaintance who is about to have twins and just looking at her took me right back to the beginning.
When I found out I was having twins, I felt so blessed (when the shock wore off) and to this very day, I feel so lucky to be a mom of twins.
Here are just a few of the blessings involved in having twins:
- You get two babies out of one pregnancy. Granted, it’s not an easy pregnancy but it’s defiantly better than going through a whole second pregnancy, labor and birth.
- You get extra help when you get home from the hospital. My mom actually paid for a full time nanny to help me out for six months, but then again, I also had a 20 month old at the time. Friends were also extra helpful. They brought dinners for over two weeks and provided endless mental support.
- People always stopped to talk to us when they saw the babies. We met a lot of nice people just pushing the stroller and heard a number of great twin stories. One waiter at a restaurant told us his mom had four sets of twins.
- The babies learned pretty quickly how to sooth themselves. Sure, we spent a lot of dinners eating at the counter in the early days, each rocking a colicky infant in a sling, but by the time they were 3 months old, they were pretty laid back. There was no way I could give them both constant attention, so they learned to hang out and wait. I felt a little guilty, but they never seemed to mind.
- They entertained each other. When they started to play, they had built in playmates. It didn’t matter that they didn’t like the same things — there were often pirates in the dollhouse and Polly Pockets on the pirate ship.
- They kept me informed of each other’s wayward behavior. When Lilly climbed out of her crib one day during nap, Adam started yelling “Lilly OUT, Lilly OUT!” I’m hoping this sustains into their high school years.
- Party planning was simplified. Up until they were 10, I was able to convince them to have their birthday parties together. It was usually mayhem — but one crazy birthday party beats two parties any day. There was also just one Baptism party, one Confirmation party and hopefully there’ll just be one graduation party.
- When it came to studying for tests, I could quiz them together. When they got into middle school, they started quizzing each other. And if one forgot a book or homework, the other always had it. This perk, however, will come to an end next year when they go to separate high schools.
- Their special twin relationship warms my heart. While it doesn’t always seem like they like each other much at home, teachers are always telling us stories about how they look out for each other at school. It’s so sweet.
Lilly and Adam haven’t always felt so blessed to be twins. Sharing a birthday — or Confirmation — isn’t always so great. And sometimes it’s annoying always having to share your textbooks with a forgetful brother. But it’s pretty special to have started life sharing the womb with someone. There’s definitely something a little bit extra tying them together, and they know it even though they don’t always feel it. It’s also fun telling people they are twins — which isn’t as obvious now that they aren’t sharing a stroller.
For me, the only downside of having twins is that someday all too soon, they will both be grown and gone. Just like that.
FranklyStein is a blog by Chesapeake Family Magazine editor Betsy Stein who lives in Catonsville with her husband, Chris, and four children, Maggie, 14, Lilly, 13, Adam, 13, and Jonah, 9.