Many people have mixed views when it comes to traveling. Some adults despise it - especially when their adventures take preparation and time. They get horrid road rage, can’t handle rest stops, and coffee alone just doesn’t help keep those eyelids from getting heavy. On the other hand, many adults absolutely adore traveling. It allows them time alone to reflect, listen to their favorite playlist, and mentally prepare for whatever the adventure ahead has in store.
And then there are parents – specifically parents of multiples.
Whether a person is a singleton parent or a twin parent, one thing is for sure: traveling changes. No longer can a mom quickly jump in the car and spontaneously drive to a friend’s cabin for a night of bonfires and drinks. A parent can, in fact, make this little adventure happen (maybe with a few less drinks than years before), but there are two keywords that play a huge part: quickly and spontaneously. If a twin mama wants to go anywhere, whether it’s out to the grocery store or to the family lake house, there is no way to make the trip a quick one. Spontaneity can still occur, but it won’t be the last-minute, no-planning kind of spontaneous trip single adults or couples can often do.
With twins, traveling takes extra planning, extra patience, extra coffee, and (more times than not) extra pit-stops along the way.
20 Carrying Two Car Seats Means One Muscular Mama
A car seat is heavy enough before a little one is added to it. So, when it comes to a twin mama lugging around two car seats with babies inside of them as well, it becomes quite the workout.
Once a newborn enters the “infant” realm after those few initial months, Moms typically start using a stroller rather than carrying the car seats. However, if Mom is home on maternity leave (or working-from-home or staying-at-home – whatever the dynamic may be), she is the one who ends up learning how tough carrying around two car seats can be.
She also may realize that public doorways need to be wider simply because of this.
19 Making Sure You Don’t Forget The Diaper Bag
On top of remembering to change both babies, get both babies in their car seats, pack the stroller (if needed), pack the babies in the car, and lock the door behind her – sometimes, even though the diaper bag was pre-packed, it can be forgotten. You wouldn’t think this since the diaper bag often contains such important necessities: bottles, formula, extra diapers, extra binkies, wipes – all those important necessities.
Well, for chaotic, multitasking mamas, if they have their babies safely in the car – sometimes things are forgotten. Even very important things. This may mean turning the car around, running inside, and grabbing the bag. Or it means hoping for dear life there isn’t an accident and the beloved binky gets dropped into a mud puddle.
18 Don’t Look Between The Backseat Cushions (Just Don’t)
It’s great when twins begin activating those fine motor skills and eating snacks on their own. During those toddler years, it’s terrific developmentally when babies begin having personal likes and dislikes when it comes to snacks (even though those opinions may end up driving parents crazy).
However, one thing may drive parents a tad crazier than an opinionated set of toddler twins: what is found between the backseat cushions.
From crumbs to spit-up – Moms find everything between the cushions in a car as well as between the baby and the car seat. It can often be terrifying, messy, and even stinky at times (you never know), but Moms just end up cleaning it up to only clean it up yet again. Oh, the cycle of parenthood.
17 Give Yourself Enough Time For Everything
Time is always of the essence for moms. When you have two little ones to take care of on top of caring for yourself, planning is key and time is critical. If you don’t give yourself more than enough time, you won’t get where you need to go on time (or close to it).
Many moms try to show their little ones the importance of structure and time is a big part of having a structured routine. When you have twins to get ready, you have to give yourself double the time – and then some. More often than not, you still won’t get where you need to be on time, but some moms are very organized and very good at time management.
For the rest of us twin mamas: Never stop planning ahead (or find mom friends who can give you their step-by-step regiment).
16 Rest Stops Make Twin Moms Feel Like Museum Exhibits
If Mom is traveling alone and her bladder is angrily yelling at her, she has two choices: hold it or let the adrenaline support the weight of two babies in two separate car seats as you quickly rush into a rest stop. She can always take out the double stroller, lock in the babies, grab the diaper bag, grab her purse, and race into the rest stop – but when you got to go, you make quick choices.
When a mama walks into a rest stop with her multiples, people often stare or comment in awe. Just the idea of having multiples can leave people in shock - even though multiples seem to be everywhere these days, the sight is still often one many can’t look away from. There will be smiles and looks of amazement and looks of envy. With every walk of life come every stare, comment, and “Awwww” sound possible.
15 Cliché Twin Statements Will Be Heard Everywhere You Go
When traveling with multiples, a twin mama is bound to see interesting reactions and hear just as interesting comments when it comes to her little ones. The thing is, what she hears others say never really phases her because, well, she’s heard it all before.
Many, many times.
“Double the trouble.” “You got your hands full!” “Two for one.” Even though most people make these statements out of the goodness of their hearts, twin moms really do hear the same sayings all the time. Moms of multiples will also often be the first ones to agree and laugh at the statements people throw at them.
14 Child-Lock Those Windows (And Child-Lock the Doors)
Once a toddler understands there is a button that rolls down the car window – they will never forget it. When twins discover this magic button - you better never forget to child-lock the windows. The one time you forget this, their favorite binky could end up a mile back on the highway or one twin will decide to take the snacks from the other and try to feed the birds mid-drive.
The safest bet is to always remember that child-lock. There are a bazillion different things a twin mama must remember before and during a trip. However, this one could be the difference between a huge meltdown occurring, losing an important (and sometimes very necessary) toy or teether and for safety purposes.
13 “Who Did It” Will Be Repeated Constantly
This saying is not just a question overused in movies and cartoons. It is a question twin mamas ask on a pretty daily basis – especially when traveling.
If twins are sharing the back seat and it either becomes too quiet or too noisy or something gets thrown into the front passenger seat, a parent has no choice but to ask this question. Why? Because there are two kids causing the chaos – not one. Parents tend to know their children enough to know who is doing what and why. However, sometimes the question is necessary just to see if anyone owns up to their actions or to see if there is some great backstory to be told (which always adds entertainment to an already entertaining trip).
12 Fitting Everything Into Your Vehicle Is A Game Of Tetris
Packing is never an easy task. Some women have the talent of packing light and packing only the necessities. Others pack way too much and the entire trunk and back seat are filled – and it’s only for an overnight stay.
Twins bring packing to a whole other level. Not only do you have to pack lighter than usual for yourself (which is not an easy task), you have to pack for two little ones as well. As cliché as it sounds, this means double the clothes, double the diapers, double the wipes, double the toys, double the teethers, double the bottles (if you choose to bottle feed), the double stroller, the diaper bag – the list goes on-and-on.
And getting all those items into a vehicle without blocking view of the babies, crowding the babies, crowding the driver or forgetting something? Tetris it is.
11 Get Comfy Being Squished Between Two Seats
If Mama isn’t driving her twins alone, she will more-than-likely be either hopping from front seat to back seat (an activity she knows is not safe nor easy) or keeping herself squished between two babies. This may be because the babies need to be fed, entertained or soothed and that can’t always be done from the passenger seat.
Some parents would prefer to sit between their little ones when they travel. However, it can become a very uncomfortable trip if a mom sits in that position for too long. Between leg cramps, arm cramps, neck cramps, and constantly shifting between babies to either entertain or double bottle-feed (breastfeeding twins from between two car seats is a whole different scenario), the position is often not the chosen one.
10 The Rearview Mirror Dance Party Is Spot-On
When a parent checks to make sure her babies are safe and content by taking a quick peek in the rearview mirror, they hope to see angels sitting nicely with smiles across their faces. The truth is usually a bit more chaotic: lots of babbling, sometimes tears or fussy noises, crumbs spread across faces and laps, and sometimes eyes closed, mouths wide open, and snores.
But best of all, sometimes parents see one heck of a duet dance party.
Twins work off each other’s energy. If one likes the music being played (or just is in a good mood), they may start moving and smiling and twisting their little bodies. This can make the other twin either get out of a funk or want to simply join in. This is always a sight to behold when looking through that rearview mirror and one preferred by twin parents. Pure joy always wins – especially when it’s multiplied times two.
9 The Trips To The Car Are Never-Ending
Moms are the ultimate multitaskers. However, this doesn’t mean she won’t forget important pieces that make up a trip – even if the trip is simply to the doctor’s office or grocery store (honestly, nothing is ‘simply’ done when traveling with twins). Though most people want to take the least number of trips to their car as possible when packing, if you are an only parent or taking a trip on your own, you can only do so much. It’s not easy to haul two car seats, pack a double stroller, a diaper bag, a purse, your own duffel bag, a baby bag with extra clothes and necessities (if going on a longer trip) all while grabbing the family dog in one trip. If you can, you truly are Superwoman (or an octopus).
8 Double The Laughter, Tears, And Screams (In A Confined Space)
Vehicles are small spaces. Even when traveling in an RV or minivan, space is limited. This means more noise, activity, and smells in a confined space for the entirety of a road trip. Even being stuck in a car for five minutes just to go down the street to the mall or store can mean a whole mix of emotions and sounds.
Listening to the sound of your twins laughing with one another from their car seats can make a trip a whole lot easier. That sound needs to be cherished because, with the snap of fingers, such beautiful music could turn into a hair-pulling, blanket hogging scream-fest. Embrace the confined laughter while you can!
7 Extra Flexibility With Routine May Be Needed
According to BabySense, “a routine can be an excellent way of achieving a sense of predictability – knowing what your baby is going to need next, and roundabout when they will need it.” Having a solid schedule is extremely helpful with twins, but when it comes to traveling – flexibility is often necessary to make the trip a successful one.
Routines can still be followed during long car trips, but to an extent. It’s tough for infants or toddlers to get all their usual activity and stimulation when they are stuck in a car seat for hours. Incorporating “stretch-breaks” into the traveling routine can provide some regularity to a not-so-regular routine, but also be time for feeding, reading, or a short activity if the usual schedule would have fit those kinds of activities into it at those times.
6 Hauling That Double Stroller Around Takes Work
If you are a single mama, stay-at-home mama or a mom who has a busy, working significant other, you know how tough it can be getting out of the house with two additional little ones all on your own. Having a stroller is helpful, but hauling that thing around can be one heck of an adventure.
Magic Beans Resource Guide explains how “a convertible double stroller may make the weight easier to handle since the seats come off and it’s worth investing in a stroller with really great heavy-duty tires.” Though double strollers of any kind are incredibly helpful (and necessary) when traveling with twins, they are tricky to maneuver in-and-out of a trunk on your own. Even with superhuman strength mamas are gifted with, this task is one that takes time getting used to.
5 Finding Safe Places To Pull Over May Happen Frequently
Before going on a longer road trip, it may be helpful to know places along the way that can be pull-over pit stops if needed. Whether the stop be to just check in on the little ones, feed them, change diapers or let them stretch their little legs, it’s good to know when the next stop will be. For toddlers or twins who are in the “are we there yet” or major talking stage, having a good answer ready can also provide a tiny bit of sanity to parents.
Major highways and Thruways are places of intense, fast-moving vehicles and don’t always have quick stops along the way. Pulling over on one of these major highways may not always be the safest spot to stop. If a stop is needed, preparing ahead of time can be critical.
4 Parents Must Get Sillier Than Usual
When you walk into the world of parenthood, you expect your personality to make some major adjustments. Your patience should improve drastically (because of obvious reasons) and your overall demeanor should gain a positive twist to it because little ones can feel those negative vibes.
One thing is for sure, Moms must get even sillier on car rides. Being goofy and making funny faces and sounds can turn a crying set of twins into a laughing set of twins as quickly as the crossed-eyes happen and tongue sticks out. For those moms who are usually more timid or quiet, this transition can be tough. However, if it is the difference between a happy road trip and a miserable one, the transition happens fast.
3 Stock Up On Plastic Bags (For Garbage)
Whether there is a singleton, twins, or a family of five – garbage is a must-have on any road trip. If there are toddler twins sitting in the back seat, having a go-to “bag o’ bags” or stock of garbage bags is definitely needed. If one sees the other throwing snacks around the car, the other is bound to follow in those steps. If one gets a reaction from a parent they like after dropping a treat between the cushions (even if it’s the wrong reaction), the other may feel that energy and do the same thing.
It’s always a dangerous cycle with twins, but the most dangerous cycle of all is that of (dun, dun, dun) dirty diapers. If twins are on the same cycle when it comes to this, if parents aren’t fully prepared, there can be one heck of a disaster. No parent wants this kind of a disaster to occur in two onesies and two car seats at once. Making sure garbage bags and pit stops are planned do help, but all twin moms know: Twins will do what they want to do when they want to do it.
2 You’ll Use More Automatic Door Buttons Than You Think
Some people despise technology and believe it is truly taking over the world. In a way, it kind of is, and parents will constantly have the “Screen Time” and cell phone discussion with others since those factors have become such giant ones in this day-and-age. However, automatic doors are often the exception to the “Technology Take-Over” debate many parents have.
While some parents see laziness when those automatic door buttons are pushed, a twin mama using her double stroller or carrying two car seats at once sees magic. Before twins, automatic doors are seen in a completely different light. Once two little ones are added to the big picture, those doors truly do come in handy.
1 They Have Each Other For Entertainment
Having twins definitely has tough moments. However, when they have each other to laugh with, sing with, and dance with during long trips – it makes all the difference. The cliché rings true that twins truly do have each other and the sound of one entertaining the other can make a stressful road trip a little less chaotic.
Just knowing twins can keep each other entertained (even for a few minutes at a time) is precious time parents can spend stressing a little less. It also can be helpful when trying to reduce the need for tablets or relying on cell phone games or videos to keep them busy (something many parents try to do without – but know isn’t easy). Having human interaction is healthier than interaction through any screen or piece of technology out there – especially if that human interaction is their sibling.
References: BabySense, Magic Beans Resource Guide