Tuesday, May 25, 2010
When people find out I have twin five year old boys (almost six) and a 15 month old daughter, there are two things they ALWAYS say.
"Wow! They must keep you busy!"
Yes, having three children keeps any mom busy whether she is raising twins or not. Boys and brothers in general, I believe, will keep anyone busy (and crazy)! It always bugs me when someone says I must be a busy mom...duh!! Please! All moms are busy. It's part of the job description. But why would you presume that just because I have twins that I am busier than moms with boys ages, let's say, 5 and 7? In fact, I would probably say having twins keeps me less busy than if I had two sons of different ages.
First of all, Yip and Yap play together wonderfully and better than the boy/girl twins we know of the same age or brothers we know of similar ages. They wrestle and climb trees together. They play so well together there are times I have to go looking for them because they are so quietly engrossed in their play. Oh they aren't perfect of course. They fight and bicker and want their private time like all brothers but for the most part they kind of take care of each other so I don't have to. Does that make sense?
When I was pregnant with the twins, and very nervous, my great grandmother told me how wonderful it would be to have twins because I'll always be doing the same thing with them at the same time. I found that very comforting and, almost six years later, very true. They go to preschool together and to play dates together. They wear and share the same size clothes. They are reading, writing and learning math at the same skill level. It saves a lot of time when I am teaching a new skill to two children versus teaching two separate skills to two different age children. I have found dealing with Yahoo, who is 15 months and one of the boys at the same time is more difficult than having to deal with the two boys together, whatever the situation. I know someday Yip and Yap won't be interested in doing the same things. Their personalities and interests will diverge and they will go their separate ways but I do think they'll be closer as adults because of growing up with a twin brother.
And I always hear...
"How did you do it? How did you take care of twin babies by yourself?"
And yes I was by myself. DR works in the agriculture business which means working long hours and weekends. I don't blame him at all for not being able to help more, it's just the way it was. We were living in Delaware for the first five months of the boys lives away from our family in Indiana. I was stuck in a house all day with two babies without the possibility of meeting people. When we moved back to Indiana, we were thirty minutes from my sister who had two small boys of her own and two hours from any other relatives. Yes, I was on my own. No family to babysit while I took a nap or to babysit so I could have time to myself. (It always pissed me off to read that in any twin book! Not everyone had the luxury of family close by to help.)
I will admit that when Yip and Yap were babies it was definitely NOT a time saver to have twins. The first year was tough. I cried and slept and ate. I'm pretty sure that's the only way I survived the first year of twins. (But after the first year things were much easier.)
I stayed home a lot. Sometimes it was just too hard to get two babies out the door and going somewhere just wasn't worth the effort. Caring for two babies is not twice as hard, it's four times as hard. Two hands are just never enough. I remember when the boys changed from their baby car seats, the ones you carry around with a handle, to the bigger car seat. They were just a year old and not quite walking well yet. I drove over half an hour, in late fall, to buy a pair of dress shoes only to get to the store and realize I couldn't go in! The shoe store didn't have shopping carts waiting in the parking lot and my boys weren't able to walk across the parking lot themselves and I didn't have those handy car seats anymore to carry them in. There was no possible way for me to get the boys inside easily and buy a pair of shoes while keeping them corralled. I turned around and went home without shoes. There was a lot of sacrifices when the boys were small. I just couldn't do everything.
How did I do it? I did what I had to do, when I had to do it. Because I had to. That's it. I didn't know any better! How was I to know having two babies was so difficult? They were my first and I had nothing to base my experiences on. There is a four year age difference between the twins and Yahoo. If I had known one baby was so much easier, I would have gotten pregnant again lots sooner.
I love having twins! Let me say it again...I LOVE BEING THE MOTHER OF TWINS!!! Twins are fun and easy and hard and frustrating and unique. I wouldn't trade it for the world. So far their first year was the hardest but the hard stuff doesn't stop there. I'm finding that every developmental age offers unique challenges with twins. Losing a tooth for example. Yip lost his first tooth and Yap was filled with jealousy. It was hard time for him and an issue I was never expecting to deal with. As they get older I'm coming to realize they rely on one another more so than siblings of the same gender do. As a parent of twins there is the constant balancing act of treating your twins "the same" while treating them as individuals too.
I'm learning a lot about twins and know there's more to challenges to come. But I love being their mom, no matter how difficult it gets or how often I'm on my own wrangling them all. Twins are awesome! I would recommend them to anyone!