It’s no surprise that a mom’s mind is always on the go. It’s constantly shifting from a state of worry to a state of joy to a state of complete disarray. The “what ifs” are always at the tip of a new mama’s mind and right before she can bounce into action, the thought is being replaced by another one.
Moms know their own needs get pushed to the back of their mental “To-Do List” because their little one will always come first. But when it comes to thinking about the needs of two children at once – sometimes all a parent can do is laugh.
Sometimes, all moms can do is laugh that they spent those few extra minutes thinking about how to handle a double diaper explosion before both babies had to get unexpected baths (and an unexpected load of laundry had to be thrown in). Laugh that they thought too long about moving one twin away from the other before some hair got pulled and now mom must deal with two screaming toddlers instead of warming up her lukewarm, forgotten mug of coffee.
And when overthinking gets in the way of coffee – it’s all downhill from there.
Whether it’s the functional, daily needs of twins or just general thoughts played on repeat day-in and day-out, twin moms truly have minds that never stop. The thoughts racing through a twin mom’s mind are usually similar to the thoughts of any typical mom but on a different level. This is because having multiples really does make the family dynamic alter dramatically. Two children at once mean double everything – including thoughts of complete panic and thoughts that provide parents with necessary comic relief.
23 “Can I Keep Them Both On The Same Schedule (Forever)?”
A goal many new parents have is to gradually get their little ones on a good, solid schedule. This routine isn’t only good for the baby, but also good for the parents – especially for the parent staying home with baby (either during maternity leave or if they are a stay-at-home mama). When parents get their little one on a routine, they too are able to transition their life into the routine as well.
Jodi Mindell Ph. D. told Parents that “babies thrive on routines. Routines give them scaffolding, a structure, and their days don’t seem so random.” This is often even more crucial for twins. Getting two babies on the same schedule can either be incredibly easy or incredibly different depending on the situation. Every baby is different which means every parent is different as well. Sometimes, routines just don’t work for two at once and that’s okay. No matter the circumstance, if the babies are being cared for and are healthy and happy – that’s what counts.
22 “How The Heck Will I Push A Double Stroller And A Shopping Cart Simultaneously?”
The struggle is real when it comes to multitasking for a twin parent. Figuring out how to put together two cribs, feed two newborns at once, carry two car seats simultaneously (without straining muscles) all while maintaining the happiness of two babies can be exhausting.
But lifting and moving around a double stroller by itself and then using a shopping cart at the same time? That takes practice, time, and patience – some things that may be at their limit when food shopping time comes around.
Multitasking at this level really is a skill new parents have difficulty conquering. Luckily, there are many social media apps (one popular app being Instacart) and support systems out there that can provide additional help to families with multiples. These supports help when it comes to food shopping or getting out in public without additional stressors regarding strollers and car seats.
21 “Parents Of Triplets And Quads Truly Are Superheroes.”
Twins often leave people in awe when they see parents pushing them in a double stroller or walking through a public place. The idea of having two babies at once may make strangers incredibly intrigued and friends ask questions on top of questions in regard to the pregnancy or how the parents are handling certain tough situations.
When a twin mama sees triplets or quads, they immediately feel the exact same way all the strangers and friends feel when they see their twins – but with added appreciation and respect.
It’s true that having twins is a tough, yet ridiculously rewarding experience. However, when twin parents meet parents of twins or quads, the situation is flipped and now the twin parents start acting like singletons parents or strangers staring in awe. The questions and comments start coming: “How the heck do they do it?” “I thought two was tough.” “Triple or quadruple the feedings, diapers changes, and laundry?”
One thing is definitely clear: Twin moms know a Superhero when they see one – and parents of triplets and quads are the real deal.
20 “These Two Are Definitely Today’s Entertainment.”
When twins start to interact with one another, a true relationship begins to emerge. This is something many parents look forward to when it comes to having multiples - they will always have one another. A relationship begins building and being able to witness that friendship grow is a beautiful thing.
Not only is seeing the bond grow a memorable experience, seeing twins laugh, babble, and keep each other busy is helpful to a busy twin parent.
Two babies entertaining themselves, their parents, and their twin? Now, that brings entertainment to a totally different level. When one baby is making goofy faces, the other may start giggling at them. When one is making odd little growling noises, the other may be making odd little facial expressions. Twins play off of each other's energy and that can definitely make for some legitimate entertainment.
19 “What’s A Singleton Pregnancy Like?”
A twin pregnancy could truthfully be very much the same as a singleton one – morning sickness, swollen ankles, exhaustion (or, for those rare and lucky mamas, no symptoms at all). However, many twin pregnancies face a whole different list of unique challenges because having two babies instead of one really is a different experience.
Moms tend to wonder how the overall physical feeling of carrying one differs from carrying two. They may wonder if back pains are just as bad or if abdominal pressure is just as intense. They may wonder how it feels when one baby moves around over having two babies move at once. Moms may wonder what an ultrasound experience is like when the technician is looking at one over two. Whatever the questions are, twin moms may wonder them because a singleton pregnancy really can be much different.
18 “I Will Never Sleep (Or Nap) Again.”
Parents expect sleep to be something they will never experience ever again once they have a baby. They immediately jump to the conclusion there won’t be time to squeeze in a short nap or sleep for a few hours at a time.
But with twins? Twin parents often think sleep is simply a far-off dream.
Since all twins are different, it’s hard to really know whether or not both babies will be able to get on the same schedule right away or if they will feed well. Sometimes parents want to have their little ones in the same room with them at night and that can make it tough because they hear every little noise the babies make. If parents try putting their little ones in their cribs right off the bat, that can help with maintaining a sleep schedule for both parents and the babies (but that doesn’t work for every situation). Some babies sleep well through the night – plain and simple – while others need constant soothing.
Every set of twins is different which is why every set of twin parents always wonders if sleep will be a regular or rare occurrence.
17 “What Are They Saying To Each Other?”
Once babies hit six or so months, their little newborn noises may start to sound more like babbles. When there are two babies hitting this milestone at the same time (and not all twins hit every milestone at the same time), the babbles may start sounding like conversations are going on.
And once your twins recognize one another and this babbling starts taking place, they very well could be having a little conversation with one another. They may look at each other, make babbling noises and then laugh and continue to babble. From the point-of-view of a parent, this could definitely make them wonder: What the heck they are talking about?
16 “If I Hear A Singleton Mom Complain One More Time…”
All parents complain – it’s a natural occurrence for human beings. For parents who have a million thoughts racing inside their brains, talking out loud through a current scenario can sometimes be helpful. If a mama is stressed and using the self-talk method, it may be seen as complaining.
If a twin parent is also stressed and in a similar situation, they may hear a singleton parent complaining and immediately laugh (or cry or get angry). Why? Because a mom of multiples often has to handle the similar situation a little differently. She has double the babies, double the chaos, and double the physical items that go with the scenario – which often leads to needing double the coffee (or wine) and double the patience.
Twin mamas: When this thought does cross your mind – try to just laugh at it. Realize the strength you have to conquer whatever tough situation is weighing you, and obviously the singleton mama, down.
15 “I Got This.”
Being a mom is hard. Being a twin mom doesn’t make it any harder, it just makes it a little more unique of a situation. When a twin parent is faced with colicky babies or exploding diaper after exploding diaper, they may feel like nothing they do will make motherhood any easier.
Step back, take a deep breath, and remember the thought you probably thought the day before when yet another tough moment occurred: You got this.
“Stress happens. All families experience varying degrees of stress at different times for different reasons,” states U.S. News and World Report. This is something all parents struggle with and it's critical to realize that stress is something that can be
14 “Will Both Use The Same Brands Of Diapers And Bottles?”
Going into a twin pregnancy, new parents may wonder exactly what to put on their registry when it comes to brands of different products. Not all twins work well with the same brand of bottle or diaper or binky. This can also go for types of formulas and laundry detergents.
There are lots of questionable factors that come into play when it comes to having two babies at once – especially when the twins are fraternal (often making them completely different human beings in almost every way). This can make putting items on a registry tough and make those initial weeks even harder when parents are trying to figure out what works best for their little ones. But once parents do find a product or brand that works well for each little one, it is a big relief for twin parents.
13 “If We Want More, We Will Probably Get Another Set Of Twins.”
Pregnancies with multiples are not always the easiest pregnancies for women to endure (even though there are mamas out there who have flawless pregnancies… that leave many parents jealous beyond belief). The National Organization of Mothers of Twins Club states "once you have had fraternal twins, your chances of having another set are three to four times greater than that of the general population."
This statistic sometimes terrifies mothers who have experienced tough pregnancies.
Sometimes because of a tough twin pregnancy, a woman once wanting to have a large family may fear getting pregnant again simply because of this possibility. Even though it isn’t a huge possibility, the fact that it did happen once just means the possibility is out there for it to occur again.
12 “Should I Breastfeed, Pump, Or Formula-Feed?”
Some parents know right away they want to breastfeed their little ones or formula-feed their babies and they are very certain about this choice. However, some parents don’t have this decision quite figured out because it really is tougher when it comes to having multiples. They may be unsure about how well tandem breastfeeding will work out and they may not know if living on a breast pump is for them.
And the unfortunate truth is that many moms, medical professionals, and even strangers will have a powerful opinion when it comes to this topic.
The US National Library of Medicine says a major reason supplementation occurs is due to “concerns of mothers as to whether there is enough milk for one baby.” This doesn’t always mean moms of twins do not breastfeed or do not want to, it means they worry about not having enough for their little one. Many mothers successfully breastfeed their twins, but some physically cannot. Formula works just fine for babies and the saying holds true – as long as the babies are healthy and happy, that’s what counts.
11 “It’s Too Quiet.”
Especially for toddler parents, silence that can sometimes mean trouble. If it isn’t naptime or right before bed, it’s typical for a new parent to jump to the conclusion that something is wrong – even if the babies are contently playing alone.
When it comes to twins who play well with one another, moms of twins are always wary. Parents may leave the room and come back to find them both on top of the couch or trying to reach the top of the television. They may be helping each other get into a tight spot or they may have run off into another part of the home altogether. Silence can sometimes be a good thing though. It can mean they are independently playing or working together on an activity.
Whatever the case, silent always makes a parent wonder.
10 “I Forgot To Eat Breakfast (And Lunch).”
Every new mom is completely infatuated with their newborns right after birth. This infatuation also comes with a lot of work because parenting is, well, just that. A new twin mom must discover how to get both twins changed, fed, and happy before the rotation happens again.
Getting into a groove with your twins often means pushing aside your own needs without realizing it. These needs often include finding time to feed and fuel yourself. New moms focus so much on the needs of their newborns that their own meals, showers, and moments of relaxation are pushed to the side.
Of course, it’s important to make sure your little ones are fully being taken care of and loved, but making sure you are eating and maintaining your own well-being is important as well.
9 “It’s Weird When I Just Have One With Me.”
Sometimes a twin mom has an appointment for only one of her twins and, to make traveling a little easier, her significant other or a family member stays home with the other. No matter the circumstance, it’s very strange to a twin parent to just have one with them.
Twins often spend most of their childhood together. From pregnancy to time spent in the hospital to childhood activities – they are usually always together. This bond also goes for Mom since she carried both of them with her for all those months. So when she only has one of the two with her, something usually just feels off.
It’s a tough dynamic for people to understand if they’ve never experienced twins. Moms of multiples know this feeling and it is one that just goes to show how truly connected twins are (and moms of twins also are with their little ones).
8 “It Takes 30 Minutes To Get Ready For A 20 Minute Walk.”
It can take a singleton parent a long time to get ready for an outing. Between changing the baby, appropriately packing the diaper bag, making sure the timeframe doesn’t mess up the routine and making sure the parents have what they need, it can take a while before the outing actually occurs.
It usually takes that amount of time doubled to get twins ready and out the door.
Parents usually get in a good groove after a while when it comes to getting ready and out the door for activities. However, that doesn’t mean it gets much easier. Newborns grow into infants who grow into toddlers and with all of these stages come new needs for the babies. Right when a parent thinks they have it all figured out, they need to remember a new traveling technique or pack something else altogether.
7 “To Match Or Not To Match Today?”
Baby Showers are great when it comes to new parents pretty much-being good-to-go when it comes to the wardrobe for their little ones. Showers provide new twin parents with matching outfits, similarly colored or styled outfits, and outfits that are totally different from one another for parents to choose from. On top of that, new parents usually get a bit too excited and purchase even more clothes if they have gift cards because, well, they can’t help it.
So when it comes to dressing their little ones, the popular questions remains: To match or not to match?
Some parents like matching their twins while others would rather their babies be seen as completely separate individuals in every way possible. All parents are unique and all twins are unique (whether they are fraternal or identical). Therefore, one twin mama may be all about matching her twins while another twin mom may be all about them never matching at all.
6 “I Can Only Do So Much At Once.”
Being a parent means multitasking. Being a twin parent means bring multitasking to a whole new level. This can sometimes mean changing over the laundry with one cranky twin in your arms while running back and forth to replace a binky that keeps falling out of the other twin’s mouth. On top of this, you’re trying to remember to callback your own parents who probably think you’ve completely lost your mind all while trying to take a sip of that three-hour old coffee you desperately need.
Every parent is busy. Whether that parent has one child, two children or five children. It doesn’t matter if that parent stays home full-time or works full-time – being a parent is tough work. When the babies, the housework, the job, and extended family members all need your attention at the same time, the thought really is at the tip of a mom’s mind: There’s only so much that can be done at once.
5 “I Need To Start Packing For Our Weekend Trip (It’s Only Monday).”
Traveling and packing for yourself is hard enough, but throwing two little ones into the mix? That just brings planning to an entirely new level. A parent must pack clothes, car seats, baby food, bottles/ pumping supplies/cans of formula (whatever the dynamic is for that specific family), diapers, wipes, toys, blankets… the list goes on and on and on.
And for twins – most of those items typically need to be doubled.
Planning for a trip can be extremely stressful for parents when the trip really should be an enjoyable experience. In the end, terrific memories are usually made, but the hours leading up to making those memories often can be some of the toughest for new parents. Staying positive, making check-lists, and mentally prepping as much as possible can be helpful. Slowly getting things together over a longer span of time leading up to the day of departure can also make the day-of a little less hectic.
4 “Why Can't Their Teeth Just Come In Already?”
Drool. Crankiness. Fevers. Congestion. Those are just a few symptoms some babies face when it comes to the wonderful milestone known as teething.
Many parents of twins get to deal with double the symptoms because their little ones may start teething at the same time. However, this isn’t the case for all sets of twins. According to Very Well Family, “don’t be surprised if your multiples teeth at different times, receiving their teeth several days, weeks or even months apart. They are individuals after all, and won’t necessarily adhere to the same schedule.”
Even though this may be true for many sets of twins, this could also mean longer teething periods overall for parents to adhere too. Whether twins go through this milestone together or at separate times, one thing is for sure: It will be a memorable experience nonetheless.
3 “You Guys Really Are A Work-Out.”
Figuring out the twin dynamic can be quite a puzzle for new parents. Right when you figure out how to carry them both in their car seats without running into every corner, you are figuring out how to push them in a double stroller without crashing into walls. Right when you learn to safely carry both twins at the same time, you’re learning how to pick them both up at the same time.
A mom has to be not only mentally and emotionally strong, but physically strong as well. Between car seats, strollers, Pack and Plays, Bouncers, and all the other items that come with being a twin mom, twin parents must lift and carry the twins themselves. And babies grow into toddlers – so those “Mom Muscles” are always growing too.
2 “I Need More Twin Mom Friends."
Having a good support system is crucial for a new parent. Even for a parent who has experienced motherhood longer than others, having people who understand the dynamic is incredibly helpful. You are able to bounce stories and ideas off of one another all while getting those necessary venting sessions out.
Twin moms often bond well with other twin moms because the family dynamic truly is a unique one for them. Twin parents may have more helpful and relatable advice to give another twin mom that a singleton parent may not be able to fully comprehend. Social media can be a great way to seek out local twin groups in your area and even if a mama doesn’t have time to physically get out and meet others, those groups can provide the discussions and help they may need.
1 “I Really Am Blessed.”
Twins are special. Plain and simple – not everyone gets to experience what twin moms get to experience. Even though sometimes it may seem chaotic, stressful, and exhausting, the end result is truly a beautiful one: Two little miracles.
It’s important to step back in the midst of chaos and realize how blessed you really are. Not everyone is able to get pregnant or have even a one-child family. You ended up with two little blessings at once and when the home is messy or there isn’t enough time in a day to get all that needs to be done completed, just looking at their faces should give you the push you need to make it through another day.
Because it really is so, so worth it.
References: Parents/Jodi Mindell Ph. D., U.S. News and World Report, The National Organization of Mothers of Twins Club, US National Library of Medicine, Very Well Family