Fostering the Twinness

Full disclosure: I am a die-hard Type-A. I research, I make lists, I have a five-year-plan. True to my nature, when I was pregnant with my twin girls, I did a lot of information-gathering. This included reading up on what it is like to be a twin, what growing up as a twin entails, and watching documentaries about twins. My methods were unscientific and perhaps a little narrow in focus. I watched one particularly memorable documentary about the annual Twins Days Festival in Twinsburg, Ohio, that featured the lives of a few adult twins. I was particularly horrified by a set of identical girl twins who were in their fifties, lived together, dressed alike, were incredibly co-dependent, and had no prospects for marrying, or living separate lives.

Basically, I was jolted into a paranoia that my unborn girls would become sideshow spinster sisters.

I made a silent vow that I wouldn’t ever treat my girls like twins, I’d never call them “the twins,”, never dress them alike, never give them the same bedding, nothing. They would just be two girls with the same birthday.

popsicles1We all know what happens when parents-to-be vow they will never do something, right? See, the thing is, the girls are two and a half now. I see them growing, both as individuals and as twin sisters. I have been pretty committed to fostering their independence and individuality, but I have also come to see that regardless of parenting choices, these girls have an innate, unique bond. And who, exactly, am I to tinker with that?

Sure, there’s the twin language, the monkey-see-monkey-do behaviour, the early development of interactive play between the two of them, but there’s something else. Something that can’t quite be measured, or even labelled. I see it when they spontaneously hold hands when we’re on a walk. When I check on them before I go to bed, and see them spooning in one bed. When they both draw very similar pictures on opposite ends of the table.

There is a very special connection between these two girls, more than the one they share with their other sisters, more than the one I know with my own sister. These girls have spent their days together since they were a single cell. When I think of the miracle of it all, I know I have to honour what makes them so special and celebrate it, rather than try to quash it.

I’ll just make sure they understand they will one day grow up and lead separate lives, or at the very least, in separate bedrooms.

 

SarahNSarah is the mother to four girls, two of whom are identical twins Hailey and Robin. They were born in the Yukon in a very small hospital at 35 weeks, and though they were small, they were mighty. She now lives in Ontario, where her high school sweetheart husband works very hard, and she stays home with the girls, freelance reporting on the side. In her past life, she was a journalist who covered everything from fast-paced federal politics to cats stuck in trees. Her writing has appeared in local newspapers and magazines, and in national publications like the Globe and Mail and ParentsCanada Magazine. She is a yogi, a mediocre cook, an awesome Beyonce dance move imitator, and an avid blogger at Cure for Boredom.

Toddler Thursday: We Are So 2

On June 18, my twins turned 2.

So they have been 2 for a few weeks now. Let me just assure you, in case you were at all worried, they are VERY good at being 2. Sidney is contemplating becoming 2 professionally, but Spencer has decided to maintain his amateur status, so he can be 2 in the Olympics.

We Are So 2

With my older daughter (now 5), 2 was SO MUCH FUN.  18 months was a bit hard, but looking back it was more like a few hard days. Overall, 2 was fun. I have my doubts that I will look back on the twins’ “reign of 2″ and say the same thing. Instead I am fairly sure I will win (or at least earn) an award at the end of 2. And yay (read that yay very sarcastically please), three is next. Three, when they get stubborn and opinionated.

So maybe my twins are not 2. Maybe they are very advanced (in addition to being the cutest and smartest babies of all time, naturally). Maybe they are somehow already 3.

Let me share with you some of the things that the now 2 year old twins excel at.

Let’s talk food. Breakfast generally consists of 2 -3 waffles, 2 hard boiled eggs, and a smoothie full of fruit, veggies and flax seed, for protein. So needless to say, they eat a HUGE breakfast.  And generally barely any lunch at school. But that is ok, food is a whole day experience, right?

But lately, dinner is a challenge. I put down 3 plates of food, and at least one twin, often both, pushes the plate away crying. Or hands it to me and says “all done”. Dinner used to consist of a variety of foods – they LOVED salmon. Now, it’s generally crock pot chicken and pasta. Their favorite. Occasionally. Because they might love something one day and hate it 3 days later.

My kids now hate mac and cheese. What kid hates mac and cheese? I have tried the box stuff, organic stuff, homemade. Nope. They have even refused pasta with butter. If I allowed it, they would live off hard boiled eggs (without the yolk), yogurt and fruit.

Meal time is frustrating lately.  And I wish I was writing this to offer all the other moms out there some genius tips. I do have one tip though.  I make up a 4th plate of food.  (my husband gets home around the kids bedtime, so he and I eat after the kids go to bed). And this 4th plate of food is “mine”. You all know what I mean.  The second you put food on the table and claim it as yours, the kids flock to it.

This morning I made the most incredible smoothie for me, and got one drink of it. So they eat off my plate. And it generally works. Tonight Sidney sat on my lap and inhaled my chicken (crock pot with barbeque sauce and some red wine vinegar). She would not touch the roasted potatoes, but OMG that was fine with me. I roasted a combo of sweet potato and red potato with steak seasoning and a dash of cinnamon and they were SO good!  She ate a ton of chicken, and once he saw her eating, Spencer dug in. And we all enjoyed a fabulous dinner.

It was a great success. Actually every meal today was a great success. But what about tomorrow? Tomorrow I wanted to make salmon. My favorite is teriyaki salmon with fresh orange juice. The kids used to inhale it. Now I am not so sure, it is hit or miss. Meal time is much more stressful for me.

What used to be called the “terrible twos” is now the “trying threes”. For my oldest, 3 was the age of resistance. Of defiance. Of having opinions and acting on them.  So why are the twins acting so 3 now? Has 2 become the new 3?  And if not, how will I handle 3?

But then again, maybe 2 is good for the economy.  At least the wine industry….

 

Beth is known as mommy by a 4 year old and boy-girl 17 month old twins.  She blogs about life, kids, and DIY, at Pickles in my Tea and in my Soup.

 

Twins vs Singletons

Having a set of b/g twins 2.5 years after their sister puts me in a position to be able to compare and contrast the experiences of having twins and having a singleton– really having twins vs having two singletons. Now that the twins are 19 months old and Big Sis is 4, I feel I’ve gotten enough under my belt to do a little analysis. (Of course, everyone’s situation will vary, and all experiences depend highly on the temperament of each child as well as the character of each household, but I do find that there are some definite differences).

The GOOD…

Developmentally, I’ve got two kids doing the same thing. They generally play the same way, eat the same things, like the same places. They are in the same age group in any classes for which I’d sign them up, and very soon they would be able to play with each other. It’s one drop off and one pick up for both kids to grandma’s, and to preschool/school later on. At least until they’re old enough to pick their own separate activities, they’d be doing most things together. Big Sis will always be 2.5 years older, which means they would rarely be doing or liking the same things.

Two kids at the same age also means they’re more or less on the same schedule. There may be days when their naps are off, or even weeks during transitions when one does something that the other doesn’t yet. But even accounting for those differences, I consider them a unit for eating and sleeping. Big Sis has a different naptime and bedtime from her siblings; and actually she doesn’t even get to nap anymore because of the scheduling difficulties, even though she really could.

It’s a given that children cost a lot, but I think twins come with some economies of scale (assuming the comparison is between twins and two singletons). I get to buy many things in bulk, and sometimes I can even get a twin discount on stuff. But having twins over singletons is more of a time saver than anything else. Making two bottles at once only takes slightly more time than making one bottle, when I change one child I usually just change the other– almost everything we do takes less time than doing them with two children of different ages.

They have each other. They get to grow up together, learn together, support each other, and never be lacking a sidekick because their twin will always be there. Older/younger siblings do a lot of things together too, but it’s just not the same, at least not until they’re adults.

And the BAD…

Double Trouble” is true! It was actually easier when they were infants, when as long as I figured out how to feed them simultaneously, they were happy. There was a rough patch getting them on the same sleep schedule, but after that it was pretty good going until they became toddlers. Now, sometimes there are just not enough hands (or eyes). Example: toddlers on the move in the park. One was making a beeline for some stairs, while the other was attempting to topple a large trash can. Big Sis required minimal supervision, as she had found some little friends to play with.

The twins are also much more aggressive than their sister ever was. They are much more vocal in what they want, and will fight, even bite each other! They egg each other on when they’re misbehaving. “Group mentality” perhaps. One climbs on top of the play kitchen, and the other will climb it too. One screams and throws food, other other ups that by tossing a sippy cup too. Alone, perhaps they would not dare. Singletons just don’t get away with as much.

Activities for twins are difficult when there is only one adult. At least at my twins’ age, everything is much easier when the ratio is 1:1, or even 2:3 when including Big Sis. One adult to a set of twin toddlers is sometimes impossible (as in the case of Parent and Me swim class), but even when possible, it can get very stressful and overwhelming (Mommy and Me classes). Even if different-aged children are in an activity together, they would not need the same kind of attention at exactly the same time.

lunchldyd is a high school teacher on summer break in the Los Angeles area. She wonders how this comparison will change as her kids get older.

VoiceBoks’ Best 2014 Multiple Parenting Blogs

One of the great things about parenting multiples is the wonderful community of supportive parents we’re automatically part of. These are the parents who get it, who realize that having babies 18 months apart is not “just like twins.” These are the parents who will put their own stroller aside to hold the door for ours. These are the parents who offer to come over in the middle of the night to help you feed your brood… and mean it.

For many of us, it’s easiest to find that community online. There are some great sites out there, like About.com Twins & Multiples and Twiniversity. Some very active Facebook groups are also a great destination for MoMs and DoMs.

Here at How Do You Do It? we’re partial to blogs, for obvious reasons. If you’re looking to connect with MoMs you may not have met before, VoiceBoks has come up with a shortlist of 50 multiple parenting blogs in the running for their Wall of Fame. We’re flattered to be on there, along with several HDYDI MoMs’ personal blogs.

Please check out some new blogs, revisit old friends, and maybe throw in a vote for How Do You Do It? We’re 21st on the alphabetical list!

How do you do it? Parenting Link Up #31

Skip to this week’s links | Skip to featured posts | Skip to linkup rules

Welcome to the How Do You Do It? parenting link up party. Here, you have an opportunity to share your posts with other parent bloggers and the followers of How Do You Do It? and What’s up Fagans?.

How do you do it? is a community of mothers of multiples that believes in supporting each other, in sharing our experiences and questions, in friendship, and in encouragement. The link up is open to all of our readers, whether you have multiples or not, where you can share your wisdom, your favorite posts, your insights, with our online community here at HDYDI and What’s up Fagans?.

Each week, we pick some of our favorite posts and feature them the following week on our site! Plus, we pin them on Pinterest, tweet them on Twitter, and share them on Google+ and Facebook! Get some more exposure for your great content, and don’t forget to check out the featured posts from last week’s link up!

Plus, ldskatelyn of What’s up Fagans? is co-hosting our link party on her blog as well. One party on two blogs means double the exposure and community.

Each HDYDI parenting link up party accepts new links from Monday morning through Friday at noon.

So tell us: How do you handle conception, pregnancy, prematurity, birth, and postpartum recovery? How do you handle tantrums, diapering bills, stress, and potty training? How do you handle education and special needs? How do you balance the needs of several children with a marriage? How do you manage being a stay-at-home mom, a working mom, or a single parent? And how do you find time for yourself?

How do you do it?!


This week’s featured posts:

Thanks to everyone who is linking up each week! This week’s most clicked post was from Sharla of The Chaos and the Clutter. And rightfully so! Sharla gives some helpful tips for overcoming Triggers for Mommy Anger. If you don’t know what that is, you are lucky, and probably only have one child, and likely a newborn one. So, if you are like many moms who do struggle with anger/rage/yelling then I strongly suggest giving it a read! It’s solid advice.

5 Triggers for my Mommy Anger (and some possible solutions)And another fun thing about being a mom is the things you never thought you’d do. Liz of Love and Marriage blog shares 10 Disgusting Things Only a Mom Would Do. What disgusting things have you found yourself doing as a parent?

10 Disgusting Things Only A Mom Would DoAnd as it is summertime I had to share Katy of Choas and Kiddos’ awesome Kiddy Noodle Carnival! It’s part of her (and other blogger’s) “Think Outside the Toybox: Summer series.” I just think these pool noodle games would make for an awesome summer kids party!

Think Outside the Toy Box Summer Series: Kiddy Noodle CarnivalAnd I wanted to mention that Kimber of Kimber’s Navy Family had her fourth boy! Congratulations to her and her family!

If you were featured above make sure to grab our featured button and display it proudly on your blog! How Do You Do It? Featured Post

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Parenting Link Up PartyRules for the How Do You Do It? Parenting Link Up Party:

  1. Follow and connect with HDYDI on the social media platforms that you use. Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Google+ | Blog Lovin
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  4. Link up to 3 great parenting posts below! Please, no recipes posts! Of course, link directly to a post, not your main page. Also, under “name” put the title of your post.
  5. Check out at least 3 other links! This is a party, so mingle!
  6. Leave an awesome comment for those you visit and tell them you found them at the HDYDI link party! And pin them/share the posts that you really like.
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  8. HDYDI Parenting Link Up PartyPut How Do You Do It?‘s Parenting Link Up badge on your site! Put it in your side bar, at the bottom of the post you shared, or on a party page!
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Toddler Thursday: Diapers Are Easier – A Confession

I see parents of toddlers grow misty-eyed, imagining the day that they’ll be done with diapers. They don’t look forward to potty training, of course, but they look forward to having children who are potty trained.

I have a confession to make.

Having my toddlers in diapers was far easier than having potty-goers.

This mom found diapers much easier to deal with than potty-trained toddlers. How about you?

Now my children are 8 years old and fully capable of going to the bathroom alone and cleaning up after themselves. I love their independence in this department. I know that going through potty-training (a story for another day) and toddler bathroom visits was necessary to get here.

We used disposable diapers exclusively, mostly because I went back to work when my daughters, J and M, were 11 weeks old and their daycare centre wasn’t about to deal with cloth diapers. We were able to increase our retirement contributions once we stopped having to budget for diapers. I liked not having to pay for them.

I just really disliked having bathroom-going toddlers. Diaper-related peace of mind was worth the money.

Picture this.

In the Days of Diapers, my daughters would wiggle into my lap, one on each knee. I’d hold a book in front of them while they took turns pointing out animals or colours or shapes. Every now and again, I’d feel a great warmth on my knee and know that someone was going to need a diaper change. M might even tell me what was up. “My go pee-pee!” I would let her know that I was aware of her situation. We’d finish the book, I’d reach to the nearest diaper station, place a blanket on the floor, wipe and change, head to the trash and wash my hands.

Then the potty switch happened. M and J would sit in my lap. We’d start looking at a book, when suddenly, “My go potty!” So we’d push the book aside and rush to the bathroom. I’d installed a toilet seat with a child insert, so we didn’t need to mess with the seat too much. J would pee, I would wipe, M would whine. I’d flush, and M would cry because it was loud. We’d all wash our hands because M had probably touched something she shouldn’t have while I focused on J. I’d pull J’s panties and pants back up and ask M if she needed to go potty. She would decline, so we’d head back to our book, at which time, the girls would bicker over whose turn it was. We’d have just settled back down when it started again. “My go potty,” M would tell me.

Rinse and repeat.

In the Days of Diapers, we could get through the grocery store in about 45 minutes to one hour, even with strangers stopping us to ask about The Great Mystery of Twins. I’d seat M and J side by side in the child area of the cart, confer with my list, and play a game of “Find the Shape” or “Where’s that Letter” as I worked my way through the aisles. If the girls were wet, they were wet. I could change them at home or, in a pinch, on the passenger seat of the car.

Once we were in the Period of Potty Trained, grocery store visits doubled in length. We’d always need to stop at least twice, abandoning our cart to visit the bathroom, sometimes exiting to discover that a hardworking store worker had put all our supplies back on the shelves. My daughters being so tiny, there was a very real chance of them falling into the store toilets, so each little girl would wrap her little arms around my neck to hold herself up while she emptied her bladder or bowel under my nose. More often than not, they had to go at the same time and it was The End of the World. When you’re 3, everything is The End of the World.

Then there was the time that J threw herself on a bowling alley bathroom floor in a fit of rage. I really missed diapers then.

Every drive, no matter how short, now took 30 minutes longer than it used to. I took to storing a spare potty, plastic bags, and a towel for privacy in the trunk. I still needed the diaper bag for the extra clothes needed for bathroom accidents. Yes, I needed clothes for me too. There’s nothing like showing up to work smelling like pee.

I got to know the variety of public bathrooms that exist in the USA. Porta Potties win the prize for least maneuverable with twins. M was convinced that she would fall in and drown, so add to the stench and small space a screaming 3-year-old trying to decide if she was more concerned about her own impending death or her sister’s.

In the Days of Diapers, I’d been the mother who showed up to everything with her kids, always prepared and always ready to participate in whatever was going on around town. With newly potty-trained J and M, our social sphere narrowed, every outing being planned around the least gross available bathrooms.

Like every other painful part of parenting, it was just a phase. One day, out for dinner, J waved me off when I rose to go with her to the restaurant bathroom. She knew where it was and what to do. She was far too old to need parental supervision to go to the bathroom.

I stopped missing diapers… and realized I missed having toddlers.

How do you feel about diapering?

Sadia (rhymes with Nadia) has been coordinating How Do You Do It? since late 2012. She is the single mother of 8-year-old monozygotic twins, M and J. She lives with them and their 3 cats in the Austin, TX suburbs and works full time as a business analyst. She retired her personal blog, Double the Fun, but now also blogs at Adoption.com and Multicultural Mothering.

Allow Myself to Introduce … Myself

Like many of you, I have developed an arsenal of responses to, “wow, you have your hands full!” and “do twins run in your family?”. I, too, was once guilty of saying such things, in my life pre-twins, (which seems so long ago). Now, I am guilty of noticing a twin mom across the supermarket, the parking lot or the playground and excitedly making my way over to her (as naturally as possible) and striking up a conversation. There’s a really special camaraderie amongst twin moms, isn’t there? We’ve been in trenches other mamas just don’t understand. (No, not even if your kids are 13 months apart and “pretty much twins.”)

So when I discovered this resource through another blogger twin mama friend (Hi Sarabeth!), I excitedly steeped a cup of tea, put the girls down for their nap, and settled in to sip chai and pour through these archives. I laughed, I nodded my head in agreement, and found some shared experiences summarized eloquently in words I hand’t thought to use myself.

A friend of mine from journalism school recently delivered twins, and we’ve been messaging back and forth. She said something that struck me: twin moms are really special people, a class unto our own. We are helpful, nurturing, laid-back, and understanding of exactly what to say or what gesture to offer another twin mom in a moment of need. We know. We get it.

In that spirit of celebration and of admiring what exactly sets us apart from other people’s parenting experiences, I was happy to join in the conversation. So, hi! I’m Sarah!

xmas2I have four young girls, two of whom are identical twins. They were born after some infertility and loss heartbreak, so they are know as our miracle babies. They were born early, but since our hospital didn’t have a NICU, we helped keep them warm, fed and happy as best we could, since they weren’t born with any difficulties other than being teensy (3 lb 12 oz and 4 lb 4 oz!). That’s pretty much what we’ve tried to keep up with: keeping them warm, fed and happy! Anything else is just icing on the cake, and way above my aspiration level, most days.

rain1We are currently working on toilet training, going to sleep at a reasonable hour in their shared bedroom, and staying at the side of the road when we go for walks in our neighbourhood. Baby steps!

 

Sarah is the mother to four girls, two of whom are identical twins Hailey and Robin. They were born in the Yukon in a very small hospital at 35 weeks, and though they were small, they were mighty. She now lives in Ontario, where her high school sweetheart husband works very hard, and she stays home with the girls, freelance reporting on the side. In her past life, she was a journalist who covered everything from fast-paced federal politics to cats stuck in trees. Her writing has appeared in local newspapers and magazines, and in national publications like the Globe and Mail and ParentsCanada Magazine. She is a yogi, a mediocre cook, an awesome Beyonce dance move imitator, and an avid blogger at Cure for Boredom.

Jump Right In!

Living in Texas water has always been a big part of our family life. Our summers have always centered around boat rides on the lake, splash parks, running through sprinklers and days at the pool. I usually long for summer, but this year I’ve been dreading it (and not just because I didn’t want to shove this postpartum body into a bathing suit). I have 3 boys plus the twins and the thought of taking all 5 to the pool by myself scared me. Two of my boys can swim, but O is only 3 and is too confident to be smart around water so I resigned myself to only going swimming when I had my husband’s help. I quickly changed my mind after spending one of his on call weekends at home trying to keep everyone entertained. I spent the next week thinking, planning, and browsing the summer section at Target. When I finally felt comfortable I braved the pool. Here’s what happened:

Supplies

My plan: I had intended to get O a life jacket, but he took one look at one and bluntly said “no”. The thought of wrestling him into a life jacket every time we went to the pool didn’t appeal to me so I went with a puddle jumper. I looked at two types of floats for the babies. One had a small inflatable center that was surrounded by a mesh ring. The second type needed to be completely inflated and was much bigger. I chose two mesh floats with detachable sun shades. The package said “easy to fold and carry” and they looked like they’d be a snap to untwist and use. I also purchased them a double stroller with a huge sun shade that was big enough to even keep their feet out of the sun. In an effort to make the older boys easy to spot I bought them neon green rash guards.

What worked: The puddle jumper is awesome! O wears it happily and it allows him to keep up with his big brothers in the deeper areas of the pool. The rash guards are great. They are so bright I can easily spot the boys from across the pool and can even see them while they are under water. The double stroller’s sunshade has been so helpful. It keeps the babies cool and has an added bonus of blocking what the babies can see. There have already been several times where I was able to put the babies in the stroller with the shade down and have them nap at the pool.

Will and Rhodes. Check out W's cheesy grin and super bright rash guard.

Will and Rhodes. Check out W’s cheesy grin and super bright rash guard.

What didn’t work: The mesh floats were a total fail. They are too bulky to carry unfolded and once they are inflated and wet they are impossible to fold small enough to put them back in their case. While both babies were heavy enough (according to the float’s specifications) Rhodes seemed too light. He kept slipping down and his mouth would inevitably end up in the water. I tried several positions but I just couldn’t make it work for him.

Managing the babies before getting into the water:

My plan: I wanted to do as much as possible at home / in the car so when we got into the pool I could focus completely on supervising the kids. My plan was to apply all sunscreen at home and bring spray with us for touch ups. I also wanted to change the babies into their swim diapers and swimsuits in the car and put O in his puddle jumper in the parking lot.

What worked: Changing the babies and putting the puddle jumper on O while we were still in the car. We were able to walk right into the pool and start playing and I didn’t have to worry about the kids getting into the pool without supervision.

What didn’t work: The sunscreen. Our first trip to the pool was 3 weeks ago and my car’s interior still has streaks of greasy sunscreen in some spots. I now do faces at home and put an older boy in charge of spraying arms and legs when we are at the pool.

Managing the babies while in the water:

My plan: To use the floats or pull the double stroller close to the edge of the pool (with the brake on) and only take out one baby at a time.

What worked: The stroller has been great.  I can play with one baby at a time while safely watching the other kids. I’ve learned that if I put diluted juice in a sippy cup (we usually just fill them with water) the novelty of having juice will keep the baby in the stroller entertained and happy.

The babies using their floats. See how low Rhodes is?  We haven't used them much since.

The babies using their floats. See how low Rhodes is? We haven’t used them much since.

What didn’t work: The floats. If both babies want to be in the pool at the same time I must have another set of hands. I’m simply not comfortable having both babies in the water by myself.


Since having the twins I’ve realized that we can still get out and do things, I just have to adjust, plan, and be willing to try. While I’m pretty proud that I’ve been able to manage the pool, I’ve had to concede that it’s just not something we can do every day like in past summers. While the kids love going it isn’t a relaxing time for me anymore. I’m constantly counting heads to make sure everyone is safe and the amount of effort it takes to get everyone ready and gather all the needed supplies is exhausting. Even though we won’t be visiting the pool as often this summer we have still found ways to play and stay cool. We’ve had really good times at the local splash pools, had too many snow cones to count, and the babies are always happy to splash in a tub of water.

The babies love this water table. I removed the legs to make it safer.

The babies love this water table. I removed the legs to make it safer.

 

Twinfant Tuesday: Being a Twin Ambassador

Let’s face it: we mothers of multiples are celebrities. We get bombarded just about every place we go with stares, questions, comments, and picture-taking. We weren’t asking for this stardom, but we got it, just by being the SuperMOMs that we are!

Some days, I just stay in my house, not wanting to deal with the outside world. We may go on a walk around our neighborhood, where thankfully everyone knows us and we have stopped getting… well… stopped every few steps. I may even run out while my husband or one of the grandmothers watches the babies. I can freely run about like I did pre-pregnancy: dashing into stores, parking in the skinny parking spots (no need to worry about squeezing the car seats out), and having some moments of freedom. Of course, those are the times that I miss my twin mom badge of honor. I’m a hypocrite. I know.

A thoughtful way of looking at the positive (and negative!) side of people's fascination with twins.

Other days, we venture into the world. We get the stares, questions, comments, and (yes) picture-taking. I have to hear the same phrases over and over (“Woah, twins!” “Are they twins?” “Look at that stroller!”). If I’m in a good mood and the babies are in a good mood, I will be a good Twin Ambassador, answering questions, talking about their sleep schedules, eating schedules, and personalities. I try to be helpful and informative, kind and patient. I try to be a teacher: guiding these strangers gently into understanding the world of multiples (and even nicely correcting them when they make a rude comment: “No, my hands aren’t full. My heart is full! I am so lucky.”)

Being a celebrity isn’t always wonderful, though. Sometimes I truly hate being a Twin Ambassador (yes, even though “hate” is a strong word). I long for the tiny strollers for singletons that easily fit through the doors. I wish that we wouldn’t get stared at or approached at every stop. I just wish that people wouldn’t be so forward with their stares and questions and comments. I just get tired of it. During those cases, I just quickly change the subject or leave the situation, usually without my smile that is typically shining on my face when I talk about my babies.

I crave normalcy.

We know that multiples are on the rise. So why are people constantly shocked to see them? Why do they think that they can ask “Are they natural?” or “Can I take a picture?” or even “Are they twins?”

In the 5 years I taught, I had at least one twin in my class each year. Twins are the new normal, people!

Yet we still put on our Twin Ambassador emblem with pride. We love our babies more than we ever thought possible. We are just given more of an opportunity to talk about them than if we had just one baby at a time. I guess that is a singleton mother’s dream, right?

How do you do it? Parenting Link Up #30

Skip to this week’s links | Skip to featured posts | Skip to linkup rules

Welcome to the How Do You Do It? parenting link up party. Here, you have an opportunity to share your posts with other parent bloggers and the followers of How Do You Do It? and What’s up Fagans?.

How do you do it? is a community of mothers of multiples that believes in supporting each other, in sharing our experiences and questions, in friendship, and in encouragement. The link up is open to all of our readers, whether you have multiples or not, where you can share your wisdom, your favorite posts, your insights, with our online community here at HDYDI and What’s up Fagans?.

Each week, we pick some of our favorite posts and feature them the following week on our site! Plus, we pin them on Pinterest, tweet them on Twitter, and share them on Google+ and Facebook! Get some more exposure for your great content, and don’t forget to check out the featured posts from last week’s link up!

Plus, ldskatelyn of What’s up Fagans? is co-hosting our link party on her blog as well. One party on two blogs means double the exposure and community.

Each HDYDI parenting link up party accepts new links from Monday morning through Friday at noon.

So tell us: How do you handle conception, pregnancy, prematurity, birth, and postpartum recovery? How do you handle tantrums, diapering bills, stress, and potty training? How do you handle education and special needs? How do you balance the needs of several children with a marriage? How do you manage being a stay-at-home mom, a working mom, or a single parent? And how do you find time for yourself?

How do you do it?!


This week’s featured posts:

Thanks to everyone who is linking up each week! I really enjoy going through all (or close to all) of these posts each week. Even if I don’t leave a comment, I’m still usually checking out your posts. Please make sure you are doing the same and visiting some other posts when you share yours. Thanks!

I love these time saving tips from a mom of three young kids, including twins! Such a #SmartMom and #SuperMom! @Huggies @DiapersDotCom #Offer #spThe most clicked post was from last week’s link up was from Katelyn of What’s up Fagans? and 5 Ways Smart Moms Save Time with some genius tips for preventing more work and hassle (and time) to your already busy life.

But, since Katelyn is a co-host we’re still sharing 3 4 other posts this week! I loved the two posts we had this week on sleep training and infant sleep! They are so helpful for any new mom (or experienced mom who’s forgotten what to do, or when things start to happen.)The first one is from Amber of the lovely Lou Lou Girls. She shares how implementing the No Crying Sleep Solution with her baby went! For those who are opposed to cry-it-out methods, definitely give this a try!

understanding infant sleep: 8 facts every parent should knowThe second one is from Lauren of The Military Wife and Mom. I love her posts because they are so thorough, researched, and, well, helpful! This one was no exception as she clearly outlines 8 Facts on Infant Sleep that Every Parent Should Know.

And I loved Kimber of Kimber’s Navy Familys post about what you shouldn’t say to pregnant women who have other children and what you should say instead.And I thought Camille from Colorado Springs Tour Reviews post about how she made her own ice cream truck for her kids was just so darn cute and a fun and perfect motivation for kids to do their chores (and save money from buying from the actual ice cream truck)!

If you were featured above make sure to grab our featured button and display it proudly on your blog! How Do You Do It? Featured Post

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Parenting Link Up PartyRules for the How Do You Do It? Parenting Link Up Party:

  1. Follow and connect with HDYDI on the social media platforms that you use. Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Google+ | Blog Lovin
  2. Follow and connect with What’s up Fagans? on the social media platforms you use: Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Google+ | Blog Lovin’
  3. Follow the How do you do it? Parenting Link Up Board on Pinterest where we pin every link shared!
  4. Link up to 3 great parenting posts below! Please, no recipes posts! Of course, link directly to a post, not your main page. Also, under “name” put the title of your post.
  5. Check out at least 3 other links! This is a party, so mingle!
  6. Leave an awesome comment for those you visit and tell them you found them at the HDYDI link party! And pin them/share the posts that you really like.
  7. Tweet: Add YOUR #parenting #advice to @hdydi's #linkup! Tell everyone #howdoyoudoit! http://ctt.ec/LRfWz+ #motherhood #momwisdomTweet about the link party, pin our link party badge, share it on Facebook, or otherwise promote this party! The more the party grows, the more exposure your posts will receive, the more fun you’ll have, and the more encouragement and ideas we’ll all receive!
  8. HDYDI Parenting Link Up PartyPut How Do You Do It?‘s Parenting Link Up badge on your site! Put it in your side bar, at the bottom of the post you shared, or on a party page!
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