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Categories Infants, Other people

“You know, I think that having twins is, like, exponentially harder than having one. Not just twice as hard. Exponentially harder.”

That was a quote from my sister-in-law, beloved auntie to my twosome.  Though she does not yet have kids of her own, she has spent a lot of time with mine and has seen first-hand a lot of the first two years with twins.

Her comment was in regard to a dear friend of mine, who arrives at my house with her husband and her baby tomorrow afternoon.  This friend has been visiting family for the last few weeks, driving all over the Eastern seaboard with her now-one-month-old.

I can’t tell you how insane I thought that plan was. Bonkers. Ridiculous.  And yet, as things seem to do for these friends, it seems to have worked out alright.  And I realized, yet again, how very different my “newborn” experience was from most of the general population.

Because most of my mom-friends are people I’ve met through my local twin club, I am surrounded by people with similar experiences to my own. Preemies, perhaps? Some NICU time? Juggling the needs of two newborns, struggling with breastfeeding and bottle-feeding and sleep.  Though I just put my head down and barreled through at the time (and thanks to formula and a night-owl husband, was better rested than many), I hardly realize how incredibly difficult it was.

And so, while I made it a point to get out of the house with my new babies, the prospect of being away from home for more than an hour or so at a time was positively ludicrous.  The feeding schedule, the pumping, the weekly weight-checks at the pediatrician’s office.

Oh. Wait. That’s not exactly the norm.  And while first-time singleton moms might have preemies or struggle with breastfeeding and the like, it would seem that life is so much more flexible with one single baby.  So you go for a drive, they fall asleep in the car. Need to stop and nurse? No biggie. No need for a huge pillow so you can expose yourself while tandem-feeding.  No concerns about feeding one and waking up the other.  Just do what you need to do for that one child.

And while I still think my friends are a little crazy (in a very loving way) for this trip they’re on, I can only imagine how very different it must be.  How different to just have one. I suppose I’ll never know.

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14 thoughts on “Exponential”

  1. Not true. You could know if you decided to go for a third :)

    I go back and forth on whether I still have singleton envy. When friends have newborns and they are NOT getting their butts kicked, then I wish that could have been me. But getting a full night’s sleep and being able to sit on a plane and read a book while my kidS watch tv?

    It’s a grass is greener situation. I’ve tried out straight hair and it doesn’t suit me. I’ve taken care of one kid and it just feels boring :)
    .-= LauraC´s last blog ..A sweet twin moment to start your Monday morning =-.

  2. We have a 4 year old, a 2 year old, and 8 month old twins, and for us, the twins have been MUCH easier together than either of the older boys were by themselves as infants. It could be that the older boys were more difficult babies, that were more experienced parents and thus better able to handle the challenges of breastfeeding, no sleep, no life, etc., that the babies are entertained by each other and by the bigger boys, or something else altogether. All I know is that babies can be really difficult, no matter if they arrive by themselves or as a pair.

  3. My stance has always been that my four are sometimes easier to take care of than one. I look at my nephew who is less than a year older than my girls and completely out of control and I’m glad I have my four rather than him LOL. Sure, there are days I envy my one-child friends who take vacations and aren’t scrimping pennies but life is definitely much more interesting in my house.
    .-= Quadmama´s last blog ..Clean Up, Clean Up, Everybody Clean Up =-.

  4. There’s no question in my mind that caring for twinfants is inherently much harder than caring for one baby, even putting aside prematurity. I’m not quite sure how we survived, but clearly we did.

    However, I wonder if (some) older twins aren’t easier than singletons. I don’t have the issues some of my singleton mom friends have with their kids demanding to play with them all the time. Sure, Melly and Jessica love to play with me, but if I tell them that they need to wait while I finish a chore, they entertain each other. The adage that “they’ll always have each other to play with” is true in our case.
    .-= Sadia´s last blog ..Active watching =-.

  5. I think it can vary a lot, depending on your baby’s temperament, and if there are other children, their temperaments, age spacing and gender. So many variables. That said, I will admit that when I had my daughter (now 4) I honestly didn’t know what the big deal was. She was totally portable, easygoing, slept easily, was good natured. Her and I went everywhere together, often. We went to lunch with friends, shopping, to my office. It was so easy.

    The twins were quite another story. Now 2 years old, the first 4 months of their lives were quite frenzied. Leaving the house with 3 under 2 was just not even worth the effort. I did eventually start going out with the boys alone, but it was always by necessity, certainly not for fun.

    I still rarely go out with both boys and wonder if it will ever get easier. I know it will eventually, but I’m just not there yet! I would definitely have to agree that twins are exponentially harder than one and three is exponentially harder than 2 and 4…and so on.
    .-= Melissa´s last blog ..Mommies aren’t Allowed to Have Tantrums, Are They? =-.

  6. I don’t know…my theory (as yet untested…ask me again next week when baby 3 arrives!) has always been that twins are 1 and a half times more work than a singleton. I mean, there’s a lot of stuff you’re doing anyway, so might as well do it times two! And once they’re 2, 3, 4 years old, I suspect a lot of the time, twins are easier than a singleton. Though I don’t go bragging that around to my singleton-mom friends :)

    I think some of it is a measure of both your children’s temperaments, and your own. We took a number of long road trips when our guys were infants (to NJ, Long Island, Buffalo, Indiana…where ever the wind blew us :). But that’s just something I’d do, and something we’ve continued doing as the kids get older. Where as the thought of getting on a plane with my kids, like you do, fills me with dread!
    .-= WhatACard´s last blog ..37w6d =-.

  7. I agree that two babies are harder than 1 baby–my boy was 2 when the girls were born. But, I think that, and many of my friends/family with older kids seem to agree– a kid with no one to play with is a bored kid and a bored kid = destruction in the house. Maybe once my twins are older, and they have some one to play with, they’ll be easier than my 3 year old, since he really, really likes to destroy the house when there’s no one to play with. ??? Maybe??? I can hope. 😉

  8. Our singleton came first, then 15 months later came our twins. When I look back, I am envious of my friends that only have twins and how much easier I think they had it … It’s all about perspective (and thinking the grass is greener for someone else).

    But with all the baby stuff (almost 100%) behind me, life has dramtically changed for us between 2 years old and 3. The twins will be 3 in October and it’s still fun to realize that we can, on a whim, get in the car and go somewhere. We had been told my other Multiples Parents that there is a big change between 2 to 2-1/2 and again from 2-1/2 to 3 and this has definitely been our exprience, too.

  9. On Saturday Husband and I took just Ned to a friend’s pool. After we got out (trading ONE BABY back and forth in the water – time to talk to our friends and even hold their daughter) my husband helped me put on Ned’s shorts. We looked at each other and thought – oh, my God, this is how two parents with one baby do it – always fussing about one kid. I’m glad not to be that way.
    .-= Mommy, Esq.´s last blog ..Update: Struggle with the Juggle =-.

  10. Mommy, Esq and I could tell you some very funny stories of our friend who comes from Europe every summer with her baby, and how everything always works out perfectly for her….but never us:)

  11. Sometiems I agree with What A Card – its 1.5 times as hard. Other times, I agree with Goddess – its baby ^2. The times when you have to change how you would a approach a somewhat mundane task because you are one and they are two – then its feels like its seems exponentially harder. Especially when I’m alone. I think, if I add one adult to this equation, we get a 1:1 ratio. But a singleton mom already has that. When she adds anotehr adult, its 2:1! For me to get a 2:1 ratio, I would need 3 more grown ups!! Exponential…
    .-= Nicole´s last blog ..100th Post: Decisions, Decisions =-.

  12. I think “exponential” is exactly the right word, because it’s not a fixed difference of twice as much work or difficulty. Sometimes my challenges seem about the same as those of a mom of a singleton, and sometimes they seem twice as great. On a day-to-day basis, I’d say it’s about 1.5 times as hard to have twins as one baby. On a night-to-night basis, now that we’re into the teething stage, it’s about five times as hard!
    .-= Ellen K.´s last blog ..Blog announcement =-.

  13. When I read this post, it summed up everything that I have felt for months. We’re military, stationed overseas, I’ve had only the help of my husband for the most part. I try to make other “mom friends” but it is so hard. They don’t understand things that I struggle with and try to compare their situation to mine, even though their kids are 2, 3, 4 years apart in age. I don’t complain about my life and wonder how they have the nerve to complain to me about how difficult their lives are. I need more MoM friends. I can’t count the times that I have said that lady is bonkers!

  14. Yep, yep, yep!

    I never notice this more than when one of us has one kid out. The quiet, the peace, the easiness of just having one kid at home. Oh, it’s lovely. Then the second returns and the chaos begins again.

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