Guest post by Trouble Doubled – Twins: twice the work?

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Wednesday 29th February 2012

Happy Leap Year’s Day! I’m not sure whether such a celebration actually exists but considering that February 29 only comes round once every four years I reckon we should be shouting it from the rooftops.

An enterprising fellow blogger – and author of the Trouble Doubled blog – agrees. She hit on the idea of running a blog swap carnival to mark the occasion and asked a host of bloggers to write guest posts for other bloggers. So I’ve written one for Here Come the Girls and I’m delighted to say that Trouble Doubled has written one for House With No Name. Here it is:

“When I announced I was expecting twins, lots of different people started offering advice. Mainly family, and mainly older generations. Now, I’m not very good at listening to advice, especially from people who are no less clueless than myself on a particular topic, so of course, I inevitably ignored them.

The one piece of advice I heard most often from people (who I hasten to add had not had twins themselves) was that having two together was not much harder work than having only one baby.  This, of course, is complete and utter drivel.

The reality is that two babies are very hard work, and there are some things which really are twice as difficult with two, and some things that are nigh on impossible. On the plus side, I have found that there are some things which are easier.

For example, getting out and about anywhere isn’t just twice the work it’s actually more difficult than that. Single buggies are usually alright to fit through pretty much any shop door, or onto a bus. But with twins it isn’t about pushing two single buggies around, it’s usually a double width one. And you can’t fold up a buggy and carry it and the baby if necessary, twice over.  Once you have a baby in each arm, it’s impossible to do almost anything. The twins are yet to have their first bus trip.

Toddler incidents increase much more than two-fold. Having an active toddler is hard work for any parent, but it’s relatively easy to keep an eye on a singleton and prevent too many accidents and injuries. With two, it’s really tough because you can guarantee while you are being distracted by one, the other will be up to something which will end in a bump or a bruise. The twins seem to have had more accidents each than either of my older children had.

But then you get things that are not quite twice as bad, like sleep. If you can get your twins to co-ordinate their sleeping, waking and feeding, you will need to get up in the night as many times as a parent of a singleton, though you will likely be up for longer each time. Of course, you’ve twice the odds of getting a bad sleeper with twins, but I have also found that my twins settle better and sleep for longer than my older children did. I think this is because the twins keep each other company in the night.

On the positive side, some things are far easier, like play time. My twins are now a year old. They play together lovely. They chase each other round the room, laughing, completely oblivious to anyone else in there. They sit and babble to each other, passing each other toys. They don’t even notice when I leave the room for a minute or two if I need to. At this age, my older children would try and follow me out, banging on the door and screaming for me to come back. I don’t feel as clung to as I did previously. Result.

So if you are expecting multiples, please don’t listen to anyone who’s never had twins or more, themselves. They don’t know the half of it. Parenting multiples is a wonderful experience, which can be hard work but rewarding in so many ways.”

Thank you very much, Trouble Doubled!


18 comments so far

  • It’s really odd seeing my words on someone else’s blog, but I love it! Thank you for taking part. I look forward to reading what your regular readers think of your latest squatter. 🙂

  • A friend of my older daughter had twins about 18 months ago and discovered another snag. Apparently shopping or any ‘going out’ activity takes twice as long because twins in a double buggy get a lot more attention from everyone they pass. Neighbours, friends of grandma, strangers in the bus queue – they all wanted to talk to the babies. Mum and Dad soon decided the easiest thing to do was swap to 2 separate buggies, or a single buggy and a sling. This way passers by just assume there’s a baby and an older toddler sibling, no one notices the extra cuteness factor of twins – and shopping gets done quickly!

  • My nephews are twins (they run in the family 16 pairs at the last count and none of them mine!) I looked after them and their sister when they were little. It was ruddy hard work, but I enjoyed it! They’re 23 now and still as much hard work as they were then!!!

  • Do I agree? I could write a book on the extra attention you get. I may have been known to rant about it in the past on the blog. I’m quite a private person so it took a long time to get used to people wanting to know everything. Head over to Here Come the Girls blog too, and you’ll see it’s pretty universal for twin parents. 🙂

  • Ha! Yes I’m always moaning about it too. It’s my fault at the mo because I have them in the same coats, I don’t think anyone would realise otherwise. They argue if I try to put them in different coats though. Sigh.

  • Yes it’s totally the biggest obstacle to going out! That and one of them guaranteed to deliver a parcel just as you are strapping them in! But there is definitely something amazing about the way they interact. I say that now with babies; give it 12 years my adjective range may have changed somewhat!!

    (Please delete this if inappropriate but I collated some of the ‘oh you have twins’ type gems recently! http://inadifferentvoice.wordpress.com/2012/01/18/things-not-to-say-to-a-twin-mum/ )

  • I can’t imagine how much more work it must be having twins, my big worry would be what do you do if you’re out and they both run off in different directions! I did ask a twin mum this at baby group (probably one of those annoying questions that twin mums are always being asked!) and she just said that you hope they come back!

    It must be nice that they can keep each other company, I notice that my second child is entertained by my first, whereas my first was just always bored all the time.

  • I don’t know how you coped – I struggle with just one little wriggler. You must need eyes in the back, front, sides and on top of your head. Great exercise, I imagine 😉

  • You do just kind of hope that while you are dealing with one the other isn’t getting themselves into too much of a scrape. There’s not much else you can do. Mine have only been walking for a couple of months, and it’s already wearing me out.

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