People ask me all the time what it is like to have twins, or try to compare it to having children 12-13m apart in age, or say, “I can’t even imagine what it must be like!” etc.
I’ll try to sum it up as briefly as possible and in a way that is easy to imagine, for our current stage. Please just imagine this at any other age (like the infant stage, for example), because having twins is NOT the same as having children close in age.
I can guarantee you there are some things about having twins that are much easier than having kids close in age, but there are also things that are much more difficult. Every stage your child is in, is doubled. There is no kiddo who can hold his own cup/self feed some solids while you nurse the baby. There is nobody who can sit up in a exersaucer or what have you while you hold the baby. They’re both babies who need every need met at the same time. When they’re older – there is no child who understands “no” or that sprinting away in a parking lot isn’t safe, or who can walk beside you in the store while the baby rides in the cart/you wear him. There are TWO children who don’t understand these things.
Want to know the easiest way to see what it feels like to have twins? Do anything child related twice in a row/twice as many times:
Did you just hold your writhing, screaming toddler down long enough to change his diaper? Repeat.
Did you just pull somebody down off the kitchen table or very tippy top of the back of the couch? Repeat x4 at least, because while you were pulling the second one off, the first one started climbing again.
Did you just manage to restrain your bucking toddler in his carseat? Repeat.
Did you just clean up the food somebody threw on the floor/at your face/put in his hair? Repeat.
Did you just finish wiping down the highchair tray after a meal? Repeat.
Is somebody screaming at you for milk/water/food/to be held/because they want that? Double the screaming.
Did you just get done washing/conditioning/combing through your toddler’s hair while they cry? Repeat.
Did your naked baby just run away and try to pee somewhere? Go find and clean two puddles, because they went opposite directions.
Did you just make a purchase for your child? Perhaps a new pair of shoes? Or an expensive item, like a carseat? Buy another.
Did your smart little one just say a new word? Repeat. Smile with pride and excitement.
Did your sweet little one just give you a hug? Repeat. Allow heart to burst with joy.
Did your child just master a new skill/meet a new milestone (crawling/walking/running/throwing/etc.)? Repeat. Get excited. Then cry a bit at how quickly they’re growing up.
Are you cuddling one sleepy little guy? Move him over and add another. Your lap is full, but not as full as your heart.
Did your kiddo scream “Mommy!” and sprint to you when you walked in the room/into daycare/home etc? Repeat. Feel just as much joy at your reunion as your littles do, and smile.
Is your little one dancing and smiling and clapping? Double it. Join in the fun – smiles for everybody!
Did you just watch the excitement and amazement cross your child’s face when they saw something new? Keep watching, there are two little faces filled with joy right now!
Because, you see, the hardest thing and the best thing about having twins are the same thing: every experience is doubled.