Dear Mum of twin babies,
I see you.
I see you searching for the twin trolley at the supermarket, and I see the defeat in your eyes when you spy it being pushed by a woman cradling her precious loaves of bread where you need to put your babies.
I see you cringe when someone asks ‘are they twins?’ and I see your forced smile when someone says ‘double trouble’like they are the wittiest person on earth.
I see you strapping babies into their car seats, and I see you taking a breath and throwing groceries into the car as quick as you can while the babies cry.
I see your tired eyes and your deep sighs, and I see you simply putting one foot in front of the other and moving forward from sheer stubbornness alone.
I see you.
I see you and I know you are wondering how you will cope, but you will.
I want to lay a hand on your shoulder and tell you ‘It will get better’, but I don’t. I know you’ve had enough of other’s people’s ‘well meaning advice’ and really, what would some random stranger know anyway? But I do know, because that was me.
Twelve years ago it was me crying on the way home from the supermarket because even a simple shopping trip seemed so incredibly difficult.
It was me feeling stretched so thin that I felt invisible.
It was me wondering if there was enough of me to love both these babies?
It was me wondering why everyone else could manage this parenthood thing, but I couldn’t.
Having two babies at once is hard.
It’s hard in a way that no one can prepare you for.
It’s hard in a way that you won’t even realise until you are looking back.
It’s hard, but it does get better.
Eventually they will cry less and sleep more.
Eventually you will feel less torn between who’s needs you meet first.
Eventually you won’t feel so different to everyone else.
Eventually you will find positives in having twins.
It won’t be all smooth sailing, far from it, but eventually you will be passing by as they are both nose deep in a book or some other past time, and your breath will catch in your throat, and you will stop and think to yourself ‘how on earth did I get so lucky?’
All this probably doesn’t help much right now, when you are struggling to keep your head above water, but I wanted you to know… I see you, and I does get better.
From a Mum who survived that first year with twins just like you will.
Do you have twins? Or more?
Or maybe you just know what’s it’s like to struggle in that first year of parenthood?
What would you tell the mum I saw struggling at the supermarket?
Read the comments or scroll down to add your own:
I am reading this post while holding my sleeping/nursing 6mo girls. I’m trying to stay awake because I know if I close my eyes someone will wake up. I laughed while reading your post because you described the grocery run so well. I know I must look like a traveling circus when I go (I have a 3 year old as well-thankfully she is very helpful when we are out). Thank you for the reminder that it is hard. Sometimes I forget that it is hard and feel like I’m just dropping the ball, so thank you! I am very much in the “whose needs do I tend to first” stage and am glad to know someone remembers what that is like! Take care!
It really is hard, especially that first year or so.
I know I kept telling myself that I shouldn’t find it hard, but looking back, and after having just one baby at a time, it is hard, really hard, and I should have cut myself some slack now and then.
But it does get easier… I promise. There will always be hard things to manage, and older kids bring when them a different kind of tricky, but it is way less physically demanding as they get older, and you get better at managing it all, so there is light at the end of the tunnel, and you will make it!
Much love and strength to you, I remember those days so well.
My twins are 4 now, and one of them woke up at 2:15 this morning, did not go back to sleep and would not let me leave the room unless I wanted him to wake up everyone else in the house. I’m exhausted! I wonder how I did it when they were tiny.
Like you, I usually stay quiet when I see other twin moms. Maybe just a knowing smile. But lately I’ve been trying tell them they are doing a great job.
Hi Kate, you have hit the nail on the head with the supermarket experience. They seem to reorganise the baby trollies at mine and put the twin ones at the back so I have started ringing before I go. Also, not only do we get stopped all the time at the supermarket but I really do cringe when someone says ‘double trouble’ to me. You really see it how it is. Very funny article that is randomly making me emotional :)
Susan Carraretto says
I don’t have twins. But I am a twin. And I can say that being a twin is such a blessing… so while being the mom of twins is incredibly hard, try to take comfort that they are so very lucky to have this most amazing blessing.
Thank you so much for your kind words. I sometimes find it so hard to parent my twins because I have no idea what it’s like to be a twin! So it’s so great to hear from twins!
The first year was really hard, exhausting and overvelming to say the least!! I am a mother of twins they just turned 2y last month and its really comforting to know that other mothers of twins feel the same way. I love my babies so much but my love can only do so much sometimes. All those sleepless nights and car rides to put them to sleep.. I had the fortune of other mothers of twins smilling and giving me strength in the first months but i never seem to find the courage to say something to another mum with twins other than a big smile! No one really, as you said, prepares us for the enormous work that goes along with it, and can’t imagine all the love and joy. It does get better! Keep up the good work!
I really does get easier. My twins are 12 now, and while they still keep me on my toes in so many ways, the physical relentlessness of parenting two babies and two toddlers has certainly lessened!
I think we parents of twins need some secret handshake or symbol… I always worry that other Mums with twin babies will see me looking and brace themselves for yet another ‘double trouble’ comment, when really I just want to say ‘I’ve been there, twins are awesome, but tiring. You got this!’
Mine are now 7 months. One has cried for nearly all of that 7 months (I’m pretty sure I’ve lost some hearing… it is a HIGH PITCHED LOUD CRY). And now teething. And a 4-going-on-14yo… I had a still birth and miscarriage in between these children so I know the alternative is worse… but this is STILL SO HARD. I end nearly every day in tears still because I don’t know how we’re going to do another day the same way. (Though… when TWO adorable babies are smiling and laughing and crawling ALL OVER YOU… I don’t think it gets any cuter. Like… heart-exploding adorableness right there).
Much love and strength to you… the first year can be such a rolercoaster, but I promise you it won’t be like this forever!
Twins are 10yrs here and although it seemed like the shitty roller coaster would never stop…. it definitely eased. They are so much fun now, with the sprinkling of hormones just to keep me on my toes!! We had a screamer/headbanger never slept twin… the cruisier one I felt would get left out and missed out on his time. He’s doing just fine, they both are. Hang in there to all you new parents ?