The First Year with Twins.

This past Sunday my twins turned one. I can hardly believe it. The year absolutely flew by.

I had been planning to write a little post on surviving your first year with twins, but as I started thinking about what I would say, I started to realize something. This year wasn’t just about survival. Sure, in the beginning, it was a seemingly never-ending cycle of feed, burp, nap, diaper change, repeat. And we did it all in a sleep-deprived haze. There were also the sleep issues and many, many ear infections, and bouts of bronchitis, croup, etc. Maybe THOSE parts were about survival.

But this year was so much more. This year absolutely changed my life. As a mother, as a wife, as a daughter, as a person.  Here’s how:

  • I no longer procrastinate. In my pre-twin life, I was a master procrasinator. I find that since becoming a Mother of Multiples, I no longer have that luxury. If I have 5 minutes to do laundry, I better do it. If I don’t, it may sit there until next week. Act now or forever miss your opportunity. Things are actually getting accomplished around my house and often in advance of when they need to be done! I’m also more productive in the office because I never know when I’ll need to take an emergancy sick or vacation day to tend to a child.
  • I am learning to be flexible. (I’m still working on this, but getting much better!) In life, things happen. Even with the best of intentions, schedules and routines, there is bound to be a kink in the plans at some point. In the not-so-distant past the unexpected speedbumps in my routine would have thrown me so far off course I couldn’t recover. With twins, the bumps come frequently. I have no choice but to adjust and keep moving forward. We are all happier and more relaxed as a result of Mommy’s new abilities.
  • Immediate family now comes first. Growing up, I saw my immediate family (mother, father, brother and me) as one unit. Our unit was part of a bigger, extended family but I knew that the four of us were our own, standalone group. When I got married and even when I had my singleton, I still saw myself as part of that original core unit. It was only with the arrival of the twins that I’ve realized: we’ve now become our own unit. And I finally feel comfortable scheduling, planning, and standing up for what I think is best for this immediate family.
  • I appreciate the female body (even) more. Pregnancy and childbirth is an amazing experience. But carrying and delivering multiple babies goes beyond words. Then, watching my body provide nourishment for the two babies at the same time…there are no words.The female body is an amazing, amazing thing!
  • I am much more patient. I have developed a much higher tolerance for noise, hair pulling, eye poking and monotonous play. I am content to sit on the floor for 45 minutes and let the kids climb on me; I no longer worry about what’s NOT getting done when I sit there and I no longer worry about moving on to the next activity. This one is fun? Let’s stay with it. As a result, I’m more patient with my husband, my dog and my co-workers. I am not any more patient while driving, but I’m working on that.
  • I want to be there for other people. Having been through the high-risk pregnancy and the NICU experience (twice), and ending up with all of these beautiful, healthy children has made me so very greatful for all that I have. As a result, I have been finding joy in helping others – even others I don’t know. My charitable donations are up, I’m donating more time (yes, time!), I’m just generally more involved in the world around me. And I enjoy it.
  • I love my husband (even) more. I’ve made no secret about how involved my husband is. I didn’t think before the twins arrived it was possible to love him more. But watching him step right up and help with them and our daughter and with me…I guess it was entirely possible. Ditto that feeling for my mom and dad.
  • I consider my situation to be my own and don’t compare it to those around me. I no longer compare my life to the lives of those around me. I feel more free as a result. Is my life crazy because I have twins? Yup. Is your life crazy because you have one baby? Or six? Yes. And Yes. Our situations are not the same; we are all different. There is no point in comparing whose life is harder or who has it better. I just make the best of what I have and I don’t worry about what others are doing.
  • I find the humor in things. Two little boys alternately projectile vomiting at a 3-year old’s birthday party? That would have made me cry two years ago. Now, what choice do I have but to laugh?

So, Happy Birthday Aaron and Brady. You have made me a better person. I can’t imagine my life without you little monkeys!

11 thoughts on “The First Year with Twins.

  1. A perfect post..and perspective! Reading a blog of a “twins expert” recently I got SOOO discouraged thinking that expectant twin moms might read it and feel it was all merely “surviving.”

    In attempt offer a more “balanced” viewpoint, I submitted a comment, but sadly, she didn’t elect to approve it so it could appear on her site! :(

    THIS is reality…not sugar-coated, but looking at the positives! Happy Belated First Birthday, Boys…and kudos to you, Twin Mama!

  2. Great post! I especially like the “immediate family comes first” part. I totally agree. Its a strange transition with the new boundaries but there is total freedom once we allow ourselves to make the shift to becoming our own ‘unit’. I am experiencing some resistance from outside the ‘unit’ but it takes some adjusting for everyone!
    Happy Birthday Boys!!!

  3. I love love love love your blog! My twins are about to turn one as well and I can relate to every word in your blog. I read all these articels about depression and about how crazy we are but I love my boys and I would never trade them for anything in the world. I had 2 singleton babies first and having twins has been such a pleasure. I think they implanted a multi-tasking gene and a anti-procrastination gene while they were in there. Haha. Thank you for your uplifting words. It’s so nice to hear twin praise!

  4. So true. Though there’s certainly a “survival” aspect of the first year, it’s so much more than that. It really is a total readjustment of your own reality. And I don’t mean that in a bad way. Sure, there are super hard parts, but it really is just a totally different worldview.

  5. Happy birthday!!!

    It’s funny—I can agree with both sides. It is both about survival and the celebration of this new kind of life.

    For us, the survival of the first year is totally different from that of the first few months. For us, it was really a transition from being a childless couples to having two kids—a huge transition for anyone! Some days are fantastic, some are exhausting but I never regret it.

  6. Second to the thought that being a twin mom makes you want to help others! People came out of the walls to help in my first few months (and not the ones I would have expected). Amazing to think that there’s time in the first year to return the favor, but there can be! Thanks for voicing it.

    Congrats to you and your boys!

  7. Oh my goodness! I love this post, because it was so positive and uplifting. Having twins is truly a blessing, for all of the reasons you listed and more. Well done! And happy birthday Aaron and Brady! Loved your letters to them!

  8. If I had written this post, I wouldn’t have done it as well as you but I would have intended everything you said. We are reaching the end of the first year with our second set of twins and the way they have all either enhanced or changed my perspective on things has been such a positive for me personally. I never knew how rich my life would become or how much I would seek to share it with others.

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