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Turbulent Times With Twins - The First Year

28/01/2016 17:25 GMT | Updated 26/01/2017 10:12 GMT

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People are fascinated by twins. Perhaps that's why you get asked so many dumb questions when you first have them. Such as, ' Are your girl/boy twins identical?', Umm.... are your mum and dad, brother and sister? 'You got 2 for 1' - No I didn't. I got 2 for 2. I carried 2, gave birth to two, I feed 2, bathe 2, pay for 2. My first year of having twins was an emotional, physical, and mental whirlwind. For any mothers out there clinging on for dear life in a similar storm, hold tight. You will be o.k, and so will they.

I'm not sure I can recommend reading the twin how-to type literature whilst pregnant either. Every chapter starts with 'this is hard, that is f**king awful, and this part is even worse', and carries on in that manner. Who knows, you may just decide you are not woman enough to handle your business. Take them with a pinch of salt, or some Valium maybe?

Definitely don't look at the page with the picture of the mum tandem breast-feeding her twins, holding them up like two footballs. That page is responsible for me losing the breast pump I'd bought, over the balcony of our apartment building.

Life in those early days became for me a mildly obsessive-compulsive mission to treat each baby equally; cuddle one, cuddle the other, play with one, play with the other, attention to you, attention to her, love to you, love to him. I was determined to over compensate for the fact that they were twins, and I was just one mother.

Please, don't be so hard on yourself. Instead of feeling sorry that your babies don't have all your attention all of the time, (a sentiment you will get often from Mums with one baby) remember that your twins also have each other, and that is a pretty solid partner in crime to have, don't under-estimate it.

You might fall prey to a common twin mum ailment 'one baby envy'. I would get bad attacks of this in Century 21 department store, as I shoved my double buggy through mountains of clothes racks, hooking items by accident, knocking things over. And then I would spot her. The mum of one, serene, baby cosily strapped in sling, flicking through the clothes with ease. Just her and one baby. It looked like bliss, so easy. I must admit, I was tempted to casually drop one baby in the pile of clothes I'd knocked down, but couldn't decide which one to leave.

I felt that I needed quality time with each baby, and you might too. At this time I was living in Park Slope, Brooklyn, an affluent neighbourhood in New York of bugaboos and very educated, successful parents aka pushy. I think all the babies in the baby group I joined were fluent in basic Mandarin by 4 months, and by 5 months swimming lessons were the in thing, which was not a possibility for us unless I'd had some kind of raft.

Undeterred, I found a 'baby boogie' class at the local gym. I was so pleased with myself. I would leave one baby in the gym's creche, and take one to the class - one baby time! I tried it once. When I went to collect my son from the creche, he was red in the face screaming. He screamed the whole way home. He was so distressed I had to carry him all the way back, whilst pushing my daughter in the double buggy with my spare arm.

As I dodged the looks of concern/pity from passers by, I said to myself 'sod the one baby time. We are three. We will do everything as a group, a team. They're twins and that is what that is. That's the way it was for the next give or take 4 years.

The first year with your new friends may be challenging. It may be overwhelming and a shock to your once peaceful life. But, as they grow up you will reap the rewards. They will entertain each other, laugh together, hold each others hand on the first day of school, partner up in gym when they know one finds it difficult, reprimand each other when one is out of line, stand up for each other.

Mine are 6 now. As I listen to them, sitting on the bedroom floor, discussing their class mates, and who loves who, like a couple of teenagers, I feel happy about the journey we've been on, highs and lows included, and really very lucky to be a Mum of twins.

People are fascinated by twins. Perhaps that's why you get asked so many dumb questions when you first have them. Such as, ' Are your girl/boy twins identical?', Umm .. are your mum and dad, brother and sister? 'You got 2 for 1' - No I didn't. I got 2 for 2. I carried 2, gave birth to two, I feed 2, bathe 2, pay for 2. My first year of having twins was an emotional, physical, and mental whirlwind. For any mothers out there clinging on for dear life in a similar storm, hold tight. You will be o.k, and so will they.

I'm not sure I can recommend reading the twin how-to type literature whilst pregnant either. Every chapter starts with 'this is hard, that is fucking awful, and this part is even worse', and carries on in that manner. Who knows, you may just decide you are not woman enough to handle your business. Take them with a pinch of salt, or some Valium maybe?

Definitely don't look at the page with the picture of the mum tandem breast-feeding her twins, holding them up like two footballs. That page is responsible for me losing the breast pump I'd bought, over the balcony of our apartment building.

Life in those early days became for me a mildly obsessive-compulsive mission to treat each baby equally; cuddle one, cuddle the other, play with one, play with the other, attention to you, attention to her, love to you, love to him. I was determined to over compensate for the fact that they were twins, and I was just one mother.

Please, don't be so hard on yourself. Instead of feeling sorry that your babies don't have all your attention all of the time, (a sentiment you will get often from Mums with one baby) remember that your twins also have each other, and that is a pretty solid partner in crime to have, don't under-estimate it.

You might fall prey to a common twin mum ailment 'one baby envy'. I would get bad attacks of this in Century 21 department store, as I shoved my double buggy through mountains of clothes racks, hooking items by accident, knocking things over. And then I would spot her. The mum of one, serene, baby cosily strapped in sling, flicking through the clothes with ease. Just her and one baby. It looked like bliss, so easy. I must admit, I was tempted to casually drop one baby in the pile of clothes I'd knocked down, but couldn't decide which one to leave.

I felt that I needed quality time with each baby, and you might too. At this time I was living in Park Slope, Brooklyn, an affluent neighbourhood in New York of bugaboos and very educated, successful parents aka pushy. I think all the babies in the baby group I joined were fluent in basic Mandarin by 4 months, and by 5 months swimming lessons were the in thing, which was not a possibility for us unless I'd had some kind of raft.

Undeterred, I found a 'baby boogie' class at the local gym. I was so pleased with myself. I would leave one baby in the gym's creche, and take one to the class - one baby time! I tried it once. When I went to collect my son from the creche, he was red in the face screaming. He screamed the whole way home. He was so distressed I had to carry him all the way back, whilst pushing my daughter in the double buggy with my spare arm.

As I dodged the looks of concern/pity from passers by, I said to myself 'sod the one baby time. We are three. We will do everything as a group, a team. They're twins and that is what that is. That's the way it was for the next give or take 4 years.

The first year with your new friends may be challenging. It may be overwhelming and a shock to your once peaceful life. But, as they grow up you will reap the rewards. They will entertain each other, laugh together, hold each others hand on the first day of school, partner up in gym when they know one finds it difficult, reprimand each other when one is out of line, stand up for each other.

Mine are 6 now. As I listen to them, sitting on the bedroom floor, discussing their class mates, and who loves who, like a couple of teenagers, I feel happy about the journey we've been on, highs and lows included, and really very lucky to be a Mum of twins. 2016-01-27-1453889235-854235-RandC6smaller.jpg

For Twin Tips 0-12mths please visit me at http://mumming-up.com/