I’ve written many posts about twins, including the excitement of finding out I was expecting twins and life hacks for parents of twins. But one of the main things people seem to ask me over and over again is this: “How did you cope with twins?” This question usually comes from someone expecting twins, or someone who has a singleton and wonders what it must be like to have two squishy babies needing your attention.
The honest answer is this: you just cope and get on with it. There is no real secret. You take each day as it comes. My twins were my first children, so I had no idea what I was doing and I also didn’t have any expectations. People around me that didn’t have twins had plenty of expectations. I’ve written about the stupid things people say to parents of multiples – there was so much negativity around me but I just ignored it and got on with looking after my babies.
Advice for new parents of twins
There was a lot of trial and error, and I really didn’t have a clue half the time. I’m a serial researcher, so I spent months reading everything I could get my hands on about having twins – books, blogs, magazines, you name it and I probably read it. Reading parenting books only made me anxious and reminded me of all the things I wasn’t doing, or was supposedly doing wrong. Plus most of the books were written by people that didn’t have any kids, let alone twins!
So all the reading didn’t really prepare me for what was to come. If I had to give one piece of advice to somebody that was expecting twins it would be to search out your local multiples club. Being part of a fantastic twin club saved my sanity as it taught me everything I needed to know about raising twins.
When you have twins, the only people who can understand what you’re going through are other parents of multiples. People with kids close together in age may think it’s similar but they’re going through something totally different. It’s not necessarily harder with multiples, it’s just very, very different. A baby and toddler are at different stages of development and have different needs to two babies at exactly the same stage.
With other parents of multiples you instantly share in unique bond and you know the advice you’re getting is rock-solid, based on facts not guess work.
The local twin club quickly became my lifeline with the weekly coffee mornings being the highlight (although I do have fuzzy memories of getting up at 5.30am just to make it there for the 9.30am start with my boys!!!) Any questions I had were quickly answered as there were plenty of parents who had been through it all before me to help me with every new stage. Everyone there ‘got it’. At regular toddler groups, other mums saw me coping with my two babies and were too polite to offer any help for fear of offending me. At twin club, the second we arrived somebody would grab both babies off me and hand me a hot cup of coffee and a biscuit. At regular childcare centres they had stupid rules about not allowing prams into the centre, even if you had twins to carry in. At the twin club they had double doors that welcomed our juggernauts, and everyone understood that life was more complicated with more than one baby.
I feel so lucky to have found the club. The friends I made there are very special to me as they were my support system during the early days.
Find your local twin club
If you’re expecting multiples and you’re based in the UK, you can find a list of multiples clubs on the TAMBA website . In Australia, you can find a list on the AMBA website.
Are you expecting multiples or do you have newborns?
If so, you need to sign up to my newsletter so that you’re the first to hear about the launch of my new book – Don’t Panic! A Practical Guide to Twins, Triplets & More.
Do you know somebody who is expecting multiples?
If you do, please share this post with them. They need to get themselves along to their local multiples club asap for support, advice and hot cuppas!
Do you have twins or triplets?
Tell me how you coped in the comments below! Did you join a multiples club? Or did you have other ways of coping through the craziness of life with newborn multiples? I’d love to hear about it.
UPDATE: If you’re expecting twins or triplets, you need to get your hands on my new book: Don’t Panic! A Practical Guide to Twins, Triplets and More. It’s a book written for parents of multiples, by parents of multiples. Visit my book launch page for full details and purchase links for your country.