Thursday, October 9, 2008

The best thing about being a mom of multiples is...

Normally, wherever, I go with the kids (especially when it's just me by myself with all 4 kids), I get stared at and I hear all sorts of comments from "are they all yours?" to "how do you do it?". I don't know if people are expecting me to bitch and complain about it or if they really want me to tell how I do it, day in and day out.

Today, I had the kids at the park but not the park that's just down the street from our house, which we visit quite frequently. This time, we went to a park in another neighborhood. Landon hadn't been feeling well due to a cold so I wasn't even sure if he would want to play but he did. They all had a blast....Garrett can now climb up the ladder rungs to get up the climbing structure. The kid has no fear. So he can't talk yet but he can certainly outclimb any other toddler I've seen (just to mention it so I don't forget, he had a hearing test today and passed with flying colors so now I'm gonna give it another month and if there's still no expressive language, we'll go for the speech therapy referral).

There were plenty of other mothers at the park with tons of kids running around. It was difficult to tell which kid belonged to which mom. But me...I'm sure I stood out like a sore thumb...with Garrett and Landon dressed alike and Cole and Bella dressed in similar colors. A couple moms smiled at me and said "twins?"..."yes, they're twins"...."oh and are the other kids twins too?"..."yes, 2 sets of twins"....now I'm met with the typical wide-eyed, open-jawed "OMG, are you serious?"

After a few minutes, while I was pushing Landon on the swing, a mom walked up to me and started pushing her daughter on the swing next to us. She said "I overheard you talking to those other moms....you have 2 sets of twins?" and I said "yes", totally expecting to have to explain my situation yet again. But she surprised me and said "so, tell me...what are the best things about having twins? I have a girlfriend who just had twins 8 weeks ago and she's really struggling. I'd love to be able to tell her some positive things for her to look forward to once she gets past this newborn stage". Then we chatted about how the newborn stage is difficult for anyone, whether you have 1, 2 or 3 babies, especially when you're a new mother. I totally remember being a new mom to 2 newborns and having absolutely no freakin clue what I was doing every minute of the day.

Finally, though, I was happy to be able to talk about the positive side of having multiples. So here was my list that I rattled off to her:

1) Twins always have a playmate. Once they get past the newborn stage and start developing their personalities, it is amazing to see them finally discover one another and to start interacting.

2) It's fun to watch them learn new things together. When one learns to walk, the other twin is usually right behind them, following in their footsteps. When one twin learns to build a stack of blocks, the other twin is right there to figure out how to knock down that stack of blocks.

3) When twins share a room, you could laugh for an eternity listening to them interact with one another from across the room. Each set of my twins have shared a room and still do. When Cole learned how to climb out of the crib before Bella, we moved him into a toddler bed and she was still in her crib. Bella would point at what she wanted and Cole would hop out of bed and go get it for her. Garrett and Landon stand up in their cribs and yell to each other and start laughing. They play peek-a-boo with one another too, hiding behind their blankets and then uncovering themselves while the other one howls in laughter.

4) One of the best things about twins is that your arms are never empty, literally. I loved being able to hold both my babies at the same time and snuggle with them. And neither Tim or I have ever had to argue over who was going to hold the "baby" because we each had a baby to hold....now we have 2 children each to hold.

5) Bathtime with twins is a fun experience. Two little bodies to clean, two little heads of hair to wash....and lots of splashing, giggling and bubbles. And when they reach the age that Cole and Bella are at, they'll wash each other so you can just sit back and relax and let them do all the work!

6) Being greeted in the morning by 2 smiley, happy babies...well, there's nothing I could imagine is better than that. Hearing "mama" from 2 different voices is enough to make your day.

7) Lastly, I know it sounds so cliche, but the absolute best thing about being a mom of multiples is everything is times 2 (well, in my case, times 4). 2x the hugs, 2x the kisses, 2x the snuggles, 2x the laughter. I could be having the worst possible day but then Garrett and Landon will both come up to me and both wrap their little arms around each of my legs and squeeze me with a big hug....it makes the stress just melt away.

So I encouraged this mom to tell her friend all of those things....the first 6 months with twins is very challenging. Oh hell, why lie....the first 12 months with twins is a blur. But I wanted her to tell her friend that someday she'll be able to see the positive things about having twins, just like I have.

Now, why hasn't Jack Canfield written a book called "Chicken Soup for the Multiples Mom's Soul"? If I'd had a book like that to refer to when my twins were all newborns, especially during those rough periods when they never slept or they cried endlessly for hours with colic (times 2), that would've meant the world to me. But until that happens, I guess new twin moms will have to rely on us other twin moms to get them through the rough times!

20 comments:

Luckygirl said...

Awwwwwww, this is sweet. Mine are 6months and I love watching them play!

Amy said...

that is a great list. I love to watch their concern for each other and the tight bond that has developed over such a short time. I completely get the parent comments too. I am often left exhausted from repeating the same things over and over after a trip out. Even with my mom's group, I get the pity looks and questions. I know they feel they can not relate at all, which I get in some ways, but we're all just dealing with what life is with kids.

mrsbear said...

I think you've sold me on twins. Where can I get a pair? Seriously, great list. Maybe you should consider putting that Chicken Soup book together yourself. ;-)You have a way with words.

twinmama said...

This post absolutely warmed my heart and once again made me feel so blessed to have my own set of twins. You are so right on and I wish that someone would have told me all this stuff when I was struggling as a new mother of twins. Now with my girls at 20 months old, things have really chilled out. I especially love them hugging each other and their concern for each other. I often tell them, "You are so lucky. God gave you a best friend right from the start!"

Tabbatha Rose said...

Awesome post!! I cant wait to see the comments when we go out with both sets of twins LOL I feel like doing on purpose just to see what ppl say because they make a fuss with just one set.
You are right the first year can be a blur but when they become a little more independent its more fun.

Jenni Jiggety said...

That is so sweet! I don't have twins, but my boys are only 18 months apart so I can relate to some of that!

Hajar said...

Congratulations you lucky girl! Your kids are gorgeous!
My boys are 7 months old now.

Brittany said...

Hi Helene! Thanks so much for responding on my blog. Jason and I are still in shock that there was only ONE in there. It was truly a dream come true. I just pray that it continues to be healthy ..... now I will have to read your blog!!

How fun, Brittany (IVFC)

Joy said...

Helene,
I'm glad the hearing test came out ok, the speech comment stood out to me because that is something near and dear to my heart. Early intervention was the first people we dealt with through the area education agency. I just wanted to let you know if you have any questions or concerns feel free to email me or whatever. Good luck with it.

The list is so sweet, it's great to stop and look at the good things.

Gemini Girl said...

First of all, I cannot even imagine the looks , stares and questions you get on a daily basis. Sometimes I want to rip the hair out of my head when I take the double stroller out-"are they twins"? "are the identical"? "Is it hard"....

My girls are 11 months old and I am only just now starting to enjoy them. No one ever tells you just how hard it's going to be- esp as a new mom.

The best thing that I see in mygirls recently, is them smiling at one another- recognizing each other.

mrsbear said...

I gave you an award today, come look.

michelle @ sweet mady's said...

what a great post and how nice that someone asked what's the best thing instead of what's the hardest!

Kim said...

Great post! Since I have 2 older girls with whom to compare, I can definitely see an earlier ability in the twins to play TOGETHER and to SHARE. It's quite amazing. Other kids (singletons) their age still parallel play and get really upset if someone takes away their toy.

Cathy said...

So sweet!

You're a great Mom.

Jennifer said...

It's been a rough week around here and your post reminded me how blessed it am to have been chosen to be a twin mommy. My boys are really interacting now and it's so much fun to watch.

By the way, don't jump the gun on speech therapy. My 5 year old didn't say a word til after his 2nd birthday. He signed like crazy, but was a child of few words, not even a single muttered 'mama.' Then one day he just started talking. Like a switch was turned on or something. And he spoke clear as day, and words that surprised us all. We figure he was just taking it all in until finally he had something to say.

jennbecc said...

What a great list! I found your blog on TMMB...my boys will be 21 months next week. I just ran into someone else who has 2 sets of twins. They are grown now but she was able to share almost the same list that you have. We truely are blessed and in your case, times 4!

Elizabeth Channel said...

You should write a book! Really, this is so encouraging!

Kellie - Twin Mama said...

Your blog has been so fun to read. You are an inspiration to all other twin parents, and especially those few that have two sets!

Jana (Varley) Green said...

I don't have twins, but I have nannied for 4 different families with twins, and I would say that the best thing about twins is that you appreciate finding things that make each child unique that you wouldn't have known made them unique, except that they are a twin, and you have something to compare it to. Not only is it unique to there age, but also to their genes.

Joe said...

Now that our twins are older, I love how they play endlessly with each other in their own little world of imagination. It is always fun to watch!

I figure that if the children are alive when my husband gets home at the end of the day, I've done my job.

----Roseanne Barr



 
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