You've gotta have friends…

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I want to share with you one of my biggest regrets about becoming a twin mom that I would totally change if I had a do-over. Not joining a twin club! I heard about them. I even had a nurse at my OB’s office hand me a flyer for the twin club her daughter, also a mom of twins, belonged to. But nooooo, I couldn’t see the benefit at the time. Some background: I have two sets of twins, yes, but I also have another child who is turning thirteen this year. I’d already BEEN a mommy for eight whole years by the time my older twins were born, so I said to myself, “This ain’t my first rodeo!”

But the truth is, having twins is totally different, and I really had no support system in place other than my husband. I had no other mommy friends with little babies, and didn’t know anyone else with twins. Looking back and knowing what I know now, that was a drag. I could have been making friends with other twin mommies, joining playgroups, going to a meeting every month with other mommies, AWAY from my kids…I just didn’t want to be bothered with it. And I was actually a little scared to show up at a meeting, because I wasn’t sure what to expect!

When my oldest was a toddler, we tried to integrate into a couple of different playgroups, and I ended up just withdrawing from the women and doing my own thing, because…they were all psycho. The groups were completely cliquish, and it felt like high school all over again. I was really gunshy about joining any sort of mother’s group after that.

So. I didn’t join a twin club. I just stayed home with my babies and watched Baby Einstein and took walks around the block with the big stroller. Alone. Fast forward a year, and I’m pregnant again, with twins again, and I think to myself, okay. Maybe I should look into this twin club thing. I got online and did a search to find a club in my area. Found out when the meetings were and I started attending. I remember the looks of horror when I introduced myself and told the group I had twins who just turned 1 and was expecting twins again in five months. I put myself out there, and hoped for the best.

Now I wish that I could say my experience was great, and that the club was supportive, and all of that. It just didn’t work out that way in the beginning, though. I had a hard time finding people to hang out with at the meetings and I felt like a real tool just sitting alone in my chair with my giant belly and no one to talk to. I think mother’s groups DO seem cliquish, and I think I’ve figured out the reason for it – as least, in my club. These women know each other really well and get together all the time for playdates and stuff. So on the one night of the month that everyone gets together and leaves the kiddies at home with dad, everyone wants to see their friends and spend time talking, and it’s sometimes hard to remember to look around and find the newbies to take under your wing.

I vividly remember being SO hurt because a couple of months had gone by, and no one from the club had called to check on me and find out how I was doing, if I’d had the babies yet, or if I was coming back to another meeting. At first, I figured they were just busy (Hello? They all have twins!) but I found out that there was another mom who joined the same time I did, due at the same time I was, and she had a “big sister” from the club calling her to check in and give her a little support. It really stung to hear that! I actually ended up sending this huge, “what the hell?” email to all the board members of the club, letting them know how I felt ignored and pushed away and that I wasn’t sure if I should keep coming to the meetings. The board felt a little blindsided by my letter, I think, because I really don’t think they realized how overwhelming and intimidating it all was for the new members. That single incident led to some big changes in how the membership process works.

I’m pleased to say that NOW, I’m a big part of my twin club. I’m on the board myself! I do the website for the club, and it’s one way I’ve gotten to know people in the club a lot better. I think you have to take a chance and just jump right in and make yourself a part of it all. It might be intimidating, but it’s so worth it. The women I’ve met through my twin club are kind, funny, generous people. They’d never intentionally make someone feel left out, and they always try to find new ways to reach out to the new moms.

My story is probably a little different from some others, but I wanted to say…I totally encourage all twin moms to join a twins club! Join, participate, and interact. You don’t have to wait until your babies are born to join a playgroup! Go NOW, while you’re still pregnant, and you can actually have a conversation and get to know some people. It’s so comforting to find yourself in a group of women where you know that every single mom there can relate to what you’re going through, because she’s going through it herself. Go NOW, so they can get to know you. Go NOW, so you can find out about the fantastic twin club sales! Don’t wait until your babies are here to get a support system in place. And, almost all clubs bring meals over to you after the babies are born!

If you’re not sure where to begin, check out NOMOTC, the National Organization of Mothers of Twins Clubs. They keep a list of clubs organized by state, or you can enter your zip code on the front page of the site (in the right sidebar) and find the club nearest to you. Do it!

Here’s a fun little news story where I got to talk about how awesome my twin club is!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VgJXAoa0qyE&hl=en&rel=0&color1=0xcc2550&color2=0xe87a9f&border=1]

(Awww, they were so little then!)

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