How I Became a Joiner

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While I was still pregnant, Will and I went to our first Multiples’ Club social event.  Actually, endured is probably a better word.  Cocktail party-engorged cankles and nary a mojito in which to drown my sorrows – the horror!  Those issues aside however, it was a lovely affair.  I was the only knocked-up attendee, so I was duly fawned over and given lots of encouragement and advice.

One piece of advice that I always remembered went a little like this, “The twins club is great for gear and twin-specific info, but join a singleton moms’ group, too.”  Her first reason was pretty obvious to me – you don’t want your kids hanging out will just twins.  Weird!  But I don’t know if I would have thought of her second reason – hanging out with singleton moms means they can help you twin-wrangle!

Ever been anywhere with another twin mom or two*?  It’s a blast to watch the kids run around, and it’s always fun to watch the double takes from passers-by, but once the wanderlust hits, you are on your own, sister!  On the other hand, go on an outing with a couple singleton moms and the grown-up to toddler ratio starts to look a little more manageable.

Keeping this advice in mind, I joined a “straight up” moms’ group when the babies were just about 3 months old.  I paid my dues online and was assigned to a playgroup of 12 other new moms with kids born April – June of 2008.  For those first several months we sat in one anothers’ living rooms, lamenting the difficulties of breast feeding or sleep deprivation, while the other moms’ babies slept sweetly in their carseats/bjorns/ergos.  (Not mine, of course.  Mine always screeched like banshees during those first meetings.  I figure the other gals were heavy handed with the Tylenol or something.)

Recently, though, our meetings have become a bit more..ah…busy.  The living rooms are a thing of the past and now parks are the go-to destination.  Screw square footage, we need acres, man!  Kids are crawling, walking, running and climbing all over, and we moms are on high alert.  The great thing is, we’ve become so close that watching over each other’s children comes naturally.  I even find myself doing it for the other women, at the occasional peril of my own kids.

While, of course I know I can’t just dump my kids off at the park and head off for a nice mani/pedi (YET), it is so comforting to have more people patrolling the toddlers.  I even get to have real adult conversations sometimes! (Albeit, brief ones.)

What it boils down to, is that I highly recommend all new moms, twins or otherwise, join or start a local moms’ group.  Especially when you’re matched up with same aged kids, you’ll have a constant source of support, ideas, and playmates for your kid(s)!  And as a bonus for twin moms, the singleton (honestly, there has GOT to be a better word) moms will constantly be bowing down to your SuperMomness.

Not convinced?  Here’s an example of how the singleton mom to twin mom ratio really worked out for me a few playdates back.  It was at a park near my house and somehow on the 5 minute stroller ride between my house and the park, Sarah’s eye and face swelled up to twice its size.  I rushed her off to the doctor while the moms kept Matty until my mom could come pick him up.   As you all know, hauling two kids to the doc alone is no fun, so it was so great to be able to leave him with my friends.

*Or EIGHT?  I also belong to a multiples playgroup and recently we had eight moms and 16 kids in attendance!  Insanity!

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10 thoughts on “How I Became a Joiner”

  1. I am part of a local “family” group in my town and part of our many-town twin club. I will say that for many things, I prefer the company of twin moms because they “get” it. I don’t have to explain why adhering to my schedule really is a matter of life or death (ok, myabe not death but sanity!!) or why I can’t do this or that because its just too hard with two. I would not feel very good about myself if I had a mommy group full of adventurous singleton mommies (and their 1 baby) and I kept having to decline offers to do fun things.

    However, I agree with the ratio thing. I do have singleton mom friends and I like spending time with them. But as I meet new singleton moms, I have to be careful not to get down on myself about the stuff they can do that I can’t (or am too scared to…)

    I also have a track record of inserting my foot in my mouth when its comes to the 1 baby vs. 2 baby thing. But that’s a whole other can of worms :)
    .-= Nicole´s last blog ..9 Month Check up and other 9 month stuff… =-.

  2. I’ve joined a local multiples group but not just a “mom’s group.” I have various singleton friends with whom I arrange play dates, but, to be honest, a mom’s group intimidates me. I want to go and have fun and not answer a ton of questions about my kids, my fertility, etc. But your post has given me some food for thought and I’m going to see if there are any local mom’s groups that sounds appealing.
    .-= Quadmama´s last blog ..No Habla Espanol =-.

  3. I joined a local group as well and attended their designated play dates, but haven’t seen the benefit yet. The group playdates consist of me supervising my kids and their kids to share and take turns while the singleton moms talked amongst themselves. No fun for me at all. I don’t know why they think that their kids need no supervision. I have one singleton mom friend who we hang out with occasionally and go to the same parent and me classes with. Our last playdate, she wanted to talk to me, but I was busy keeping an eye out on the girls because there was a 3 year old who seemed to want to lug my girls around like girls and it looked precarious. So, I would say that I haven’t had any help from singleton moms or gotten a chance for the higher parent to ratio to kick in. I’ll keep trying though. I would love to get some local playmates for my kids.

  4. I joined both, but I’m far more active with my mommy group (vs the MOMs group–so confusing!). I wonder if Erin lives in the Seattle area, because we joined something very similar sounding. At first there were a few questions like the infamous “how do you do it?” but now, it’s really nice to have a goup of people who’s kids are the same age. And my friends are always willing and eager to lend a hand if I’m changing a diaper or chasing a boy who is about to crawl into a river.

    I think as the boys get older, we’ll be pretty active with the MOMs, but right now, I can only focus on one group!
    .-= Bekki´s last blog ..Photos — 10 Months! =-.

  5. Being a part of a mom’s group is so important, I couldn’t agree more. And I do think it’s nice to have singleton moms in your circle. It’s nice to see how the other half live, and more mom friends are always a good thing. Sometimes, though, I’m not sure of the ratio benefit. Some singleton parents seem so used to being focused on their ONE child, that it’s hard for them to keep an eye on another one, too. And I have found playground outings with other twin moms way better even than just going by myself. Yes, the ratio is still the same, but it’s nice to have fellow multitaskers. :-)

    But yes, I agree, it’s great to be in a “normal” mom group, too!

  6. I have often called myself a “twin snob” because I feel WAY more comfortable in my twin’s group than in singleton groups. Earlier this year, I made an effort to join several mom’s groups and vowed to stick with them for at least a few months. The good thing about singleton mom’s groups is that I’ve gotten great ideas for outings! I organize the children’s outings and playgroups for my twin’s club, so I’ve “stolen” ideas from the singleton groups who tend to be a little more creative on outings. The problem is that overall they’re a little TOO creative for me. I’m always expected to bring a potluck dish, or be prepared for a craft project, or take toddlers to a waterpark by myself (seriously?). Some of this is good, but not EVERY playdate. Plus, I’m not feeling the ratio benefit yet. I think my twin mom friends are so in tune with watching a “group” instead of just one child that we just naturally watch out for each other. As someone else said, they just “get it” and overall it’s just easier. So, after 6 months of crossing over into the singleton world, I’m ashamed to say that I’m dropping out of one of my singleton groups and will stay a “twin snob” a little longer. :-) I’m sure as the kids get older it will get easier to be a part of the one kid world. haha
    .-= Shelley´s last blog ..Look Who’s Talking =-.

  7. I joined both groups as well and I LOVE it! The twin mom group is fabulous to talk to people who just ‘get it’. The mommy group is great because, honestly, they do think I am a super mom. And I have to admit, it never gets old hearing that compliment! Also, my mommy group, like Erin’s, is full of kids who were all born within one month of eachother and all the ladies live close by. My twin group is more scattered (like 20-45 minutes away…ugh) and I am not able to meet up with them casually, only our scheduled playdates. With my mommy group, I can actually leave my two with the group and go get that mani/pedi (ok, I only did that once, but at least it is a possibility) and a couple of us even swap childcare/date nights (awesome!).
    I highly rec all multiple mamas join both groups, they both have their own perks. And the best part is, if one group turns out to be a dud…you can spend more time with the other one.
    Also, Bekki, I am in the Seattle area too! Bellevue actually. I’m a part of Emoms and my mommy group is from Overlake.

  8. Also, my mommy group is a great resource to schedule a playdate for one of my children and then have some one on one time with the other. I always switch kids and sometimes we go on errands, sometimes I make it special mommy-kid time and we go to gymnastics, the park, museum, etc. It is so nice to have some alone time with each child, especially during the week.

  9. Yeah, I’m a twin snob too. I haven’t found a benefit of singleton moms lending a hand—in fact, I’ve found their much less likely to do so. I think that moms of one are less comfortable just reaching out and grabbing/holding someone else’s kid. Often when the kids were little, we missed out on my singleton group’s outings—lunch out, a movie, a pool date–because I simply couldn’t manage it with two infants. The playdates got easier as my guys got older (they’re 2 1/2 now) but it’s still more comfortable to hang out with my twin mom friends. I envy you your great mom group. Sadly, my guys now think babies come in pairs.

  10. I have yet to find a group out here in BFE. It’d probably be nice to get out and about and converse with someone whose vocabulary goes beyond animal sounds and ‘baby’. I googled for my area and there’s squat here. Stuff east of BFE, but I don’t want to drive 30-45 minutes every time. Stinkin’ BFE.

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