By Sarah (@disastersofathirtysomething)
If you find yourself unexpectedly having twins, you might feel a bit daunted. Two babies?! At once? You’ll also probably find yourself facing a lot of scoffing or ‘good luck!-s’ – and not in a helpful way – towards your impending multiples, only making the prospect all the more daunting. Want to know the best things about twins? Sarah, mum to non-identical twins Scout & Kipling (and chooser of amazing names!), is here to ease your worry and dish you all the good stuff about having twins. You can find Sarah on Instagram, documenting twin-toddler-mum life and style in Northumberland.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: What Can You Reuse For Your Second Baby and What Do You Need to Buy New?
Here are 10 Best Things About Having Twins
- Even more new-mum special
It’s not at all cool to admit you like a bit o’ good old-fashioned validation but lemme-just-confess: walking around with a giant twin bump makes you feel very special. Announcing to people you’re having twins feels unbelievable. And the pinnacle of smug specialness? Stopping every few feet for strangers to coo over your couple of cuties in their twin buggy. You feel like a local celebrity (if only to the grannies).
- Double the firsts
If your newborn squeezes your finger for the first time, or smiles for the first time, and you wish you could relive it…their twin brother or sister might be about to magic up another moment for you. If, as they grow, you didn’t have your phone out for first steps…you can be sure there’s another teeny leap of faith about to happen. One of the best things about twins is that you’re twice as likely to be able to capture The Big Moments.
- A security blanket that talks; they always have each other
When one of The Biggest Moments of All comes along, you have something extra in your armoury. Before my twins, Scout and Kipling, started pre-school we’d spent all day, every day together. No regular grandparent days, no nursery time. And then suddenly: half the week at a school nursery in full uniform. I was a BUNDLE-JUMBLE of emotions. But I knew they had their most treasured security blanket – each other – for that big, nerve-wracking day. Picturing them timidly walking in, hand-in-hand, will stay with me forever.
- You’re in the twin club
As a new parent, armed with a buggy or bundled with a sling, you enter into a world of quick-access playground acquaintances. One comment about the state of your vagina and you’re flying. But meeting another twin-raiser is a WHOLE ‘nother level of spark. You can immediately console and congratulate each other on all-things twin. The expected, and unexpected, doubles. The things that you only know if you have multiples, whether by adoption, surrogacy or birth.
- All in good time
In this day and age we are encouraged not to put too much pressure on ourselves in terms of milestones. Not to focus on archaic expectations of where your baby “should” be, but to enjoy where they actually are. One of the best things about twins is they help you see how different children can be, and in real time. My daughter is coming up to a year out of nappies. Her twin won’t even allow us to mention potties or pants. He’s been teaching me the vital lesson that every child has their own pace. It’s not a race.
- A jump-start family
It’s often not ‘til you start trying for a baby that you realise: pregnancy aaain’t as guaranteed as your Sex Ed teacher, armed with condoms, fresh bananas and stale horror stories, would’ve had you believe. After having twins, I feel both grateful for a ready-made family, and peaceful that I’ll not be pregnant again. Although I’ll caveat that by saying – of course, families come in all shapes and sizes. My husband and I were a complete (and happy) family when we were two. You might be in a family of two, three or thirteen. Four does not a family make. But it has been where we have happily, and unexpectedly, landed in one go.
- Polished parenting, first time around
One of the weirdest realisations, when my children were mere weeks old, was that I was almost both a first-time and second-time parent all at once. I remember feeling a cocktail of chaos and calm, nerves and know-how. I had all the sleepless, clueless [not to start listing romcoms] fears of a new mum, but somehow twinned with the ruthless pragmatism that parenting multiples can bring.
You worry about being the “perfect” mum… but you often have to let one cry while you deal with the other.
So you learn to not catastrophise.
You want all the baby things… but you can’t afford two of everything.
So you learn to prioritise.
You want your baby to go to every class… but you discover you can’t manage (messy play) or legally go (baby swimming) with two of them and one of you.
So you tell yourself that the classes are more for the mums than the children, and invite people round to yours instead.
It wasn’t always easy, but I was grateful to have all the wide-eyed wonder of a new mum, while picking up the practical “let’s find a different way” of a mum who’s been there before.
- In-jokes galore
I have always found it comforting, since their first night in their nursery, that my babies get to share a room. And it’s evolved from someone to innocently gurgle with, to someone to mischievously giggle with. Every night we hear them reciting the latest Disney lyrics or new vocabulary they’ve learnt that day back and forth to each other. And it’s usually when they’re alone-together in their room that the hilarious ‘twin speak’ – the jokes only they seem to understand – comes out.
- On schedule
SLEEP. The greatest goal, the ultimate ambition, for any parent. Whether it’s for you or them. There are, obviously, huge perks to having children of different ages but it’s unlikely one of those perks would be: they nap at the same time. Twins? They can nap at the same time. And you feel twice as chuffed when they do.
- Two’s company
It was in the strictest slices of lockdown that I most appreciated having two little people. I really felt for parents of one, unable to meet up with anyone, who confided in me that they felt their child was losing confidence, getting restless, or potentially forgetting how to play in a group. I am so incredibly grateful that twins have a playmate, there by their side, from the moment of birth. And when I watch mine, it looks like the most fun thing you could possibly be gifted in life.