12 Days of Blogmas Day 4 : 10 Things No-one Told You About Having Twins

Welcome to day 4 of Blogmas 2022! Today we’re re-visiting one of my favorite tongue-in-cheek posts from back in May 2021 – 10 things no-one told you about having twins 🙂

As a first time mum of twins it became clear very quickly that I was woefully unprepared for what lay ahead. It was the epitome of a baptism of fire and learning as you go. You go to the antenatal classes {only to be told 80% of it doesn’t apply to you be used you’re having twins}, read all the books and find some twin mummy peers {shout out to the Cheltenham twins club and Kingfisher Twins Club!} but alas, nothing can really prepare you for what lies ahead.

You’ve finally got the feeding sussed, you’ve managed 2 hours of sleep and can successfully change a poonarmi nappy one handed. But here are 10 things no-one warned you about having twins. {Disclaimer – this is meant as a {mostly} “tongue in cheek” post which is based upon my personal experience of having twins – photos of which I’ve included at the end of this post, because quite frankly I think they’re super cute!}

1. It’s impossible to go to the shop with out be asked “are they twins?”

You will quickly come to learn that people are fascinated by multiples and {especially} baby twins act like superhuman magnets subconsciously inviting everyone and their dog to come and take a peek. You may want to consider handing out flyers – “Yes they are twins. No they’re not a boy and a girl. No they’re not identical but yes they do look very similar. No I don’t know how I do it and yes I do have my hands full”. And not forgetting the good old “double trouble!”, “my sisters, dogs, cousins had twins” or “oh I always wanted twins!”

In all honesty I’ve never minded people coming to coo over or ask about my twins but there are times you just want to buy a fu*king pint of milk without being stopped 20 times and sometimes you just have to smile and wave boys, smile and wave. I once saw a colleague in Sainsbury’s who started happily chatting to me only to be greeted with hysterical shrieks of “we’ve lost tigger!” – not my finest moment I’ll admit.

2. People will ask completely inappropriate questions

After the whole “are they twins?” conversation starter you will be shocked at the amount of times I’ve been asked by a total stranger {and usually, funnily enough, in Sainsburys – this is not an ad I promise!} how they were conceived or born. Now this may be something you chat about with your gal pals but is it really a normal topic of conversation to be having down the biscuit isle? Would they like a diagram? The simple answer would be “does it matter?” Like I’m going to happily disclose ah yes I had sex with my husband, actually we went through years of IVF treatment or they’re adopted thank you so much for asking. I have actually been known to say I don’t know as they’re not mine just to escape…..

3. The first year {at least} is about surviving

Being a new mum is HARD. Having a newborn is HARD. Being a new mum of multiples is, well, seemingly impossible at times. The logistics of having two {or more} babies to care for on top of the general exhaustion of being “on it” constantly mean you barely remember your name most days let alone what time that next health visitor appointment is supposed to be. You may have heard people talking about the 4th trimester or pulling up the drawbridge after you have a baby. Which is essentially shutting out the world for a bit and letting yourself and your family adjust to your new addition{s}. The pressure of feeling like you need to prepare for visitors or keep up with the Jones’ is totally ridiculous and {in my humble opinion} new parents should be actively encouraged and supported to take some time out.

Even after some kind of “normality” resumes I would say that first year with twins is going to be your biggest adjustment and more likely to be about surviving {rather than thriving}. Not only will your babies change and develop faster than a hare on heat within that first year, your whole world will change with it. Having a baby or babies is a huge adjustment and caring for multiple babies at the same time 24/7 is on a whole different level. In all honesty I can hardly remember that first 12 months to the point I think I’ve actually blanked it out of my memory. I look back at photos and I just look like I’m on a totally different planet!

4. You will {probably} feel like there are things you are missing out on

Ok so granted not everyone’s experience is going to be the same and some people are very lucky to have help with their babies which enables them to do lots of lovely things. My hubby is a chef and my family and friends all worked full time which meant I was {literally} left holding the babies. My way of dealing with this was to not let it stop me taking the boys out and about but even I had to admit there were certain places or activities we simply couldn’t take part in.

Take swimming for example. A very popular activity for mums/dads and babies. And whilst all my new singleton mummy friends were joining aqua tots and alike I, to put it simply, couldn’t. This was probably the one thing I really felt we missed out on to be fair. Then there were baby groups. It took a while for me to find a baby group where I felt comfortable. Groups can be very cliquey and having twins singled {ha!} me out. Thankfully I started going to twins club which was A LIFE SAVER. Not only did people just “get it” but the support and friendships I made there will last a lifetime.

5. You will go through every length to ensure your twins are treated equally

….from the same sized carrots to the amount of cuddles from Grandma. But then equally you will also want them to be treated as individuals rather than “the twins”. My boys are very similar in a lot of ways and have very similar interests which pretty much means we buy two of everything {more on this in a moment!} As they are getting older their interests will inevitably start to change but at the moment they are still very drawn to the same thing, partly due to simply liking it and probably partly due to the fact they’ve always done everything together. Over lockdown we got more opportunity to spend one on one time with the boys which was really lovely. Different parts of their personality come out more when they’re apart. Noah is hilarious and Ollie is so kind and helpful. It’s a completely different dynamic for all involved.

6. You assume you need two of everything

Moving on from my last point, when you are preparing for the arrival of your babies you may assume you need two of everything when in actual fact that’s not always the case. Of course you will need two sets of the basics – car seats, clothes, {ultimately} cribs/cots {although a lot of twins share when they are very little}, high chairs and the like, but when it comes to “extras” my advice would be to start with one. One baby bath, one swing, one set of bottles {until you know which bottles your babies will take!} and one baby wipe warmer {yes this is a thing}. Basically, don’t fork out for everything and especially not two of them unless you feel you particularly want or need to.

Then come birthdays and celebrations. Parties in particular can become a bit of a logistical nightmare. Do you have one or two parties? How many cakes? Different themes? Then come the questions of do people buy 1 gift for each child or a shared one? Do we really need two giant car garages but is it unfair to expect them to share?! Do you buy them the same gifts or different and risk the inevitable outburst of “he got more than me!” Fun times.

7. Your finances will inevitably take a hit

I’ve heard lots of people comment on the fact the cost of twins is basically the same as the cost of having two single children. Whilst this is probably very accurate what they fail to acknowledge is that when you have multiples you have to pay out all at once. And not only are you buying double the amount of nappies, formula or forking out for nursery fees and school uniform, trips and dinners but you are also thinking ahead to how on earth you will finance their first cars, university tuition fees and such AT THE SAME TIME. It’s a popular saying that you can’t ever really “afford” children. Well think of multiples as maxing out all your credit cards at once. You’re welcome.

8. A lot of doorways are not wide enough for double buggies

Ok this may sound like a strange one but you will not believe how much small doorways became the bane of my life with a {fairly compact} double buggy and how much time I spent trying to get through said doorways with sleeping or crying babies or rampaging toddlers. I’m definitely guilty of executing the “half collapse of the buggy” {with the children on board} technique to save having to carry two babies AND get the fu*king buggy through the door just to pick up a parcel which was delivered when I WAS AT HOME {of course I’m not bitter or anything}.

Joking {not joking} aside these obstacles will either become your nemesis or you will up your game for the challenge. Steps to get into the village hall, you got it. Heavy self closing door, no problem. I am a twin mummy, hear me roar! {or at least swear profusely under my breath}.

9. The cuteness overload opportunities are pretty much endless

What’s more adorable than a baby in a cute outfit? TWO babies in cute outfits! And let’s be honest, your kids’ Halloween costume, Christmas card or Easter pics are gonna be way cuter {not that I’m biased or anything!}

10. You are stronger than you ever knew

Singleton parents will think you’re the dogs bollo**s and wonder how on earth you do it. But the truth is you ARE amazing and you do it because not only do you love your tiny tornados more than life itself but also because you have no choice but to get on with it. There will be times when you think you can’t do it {trust me, I’ve been there} but you are stronger and more resilient than you ever thought and there are people/groups out there who will understand and support you.

One thing I really struggled with is the fact I wanted to be able to do it all myself, and do it well, and it took me a long time to realise that’s it’s ok to ask for help or even to admit that actually sometimes it’s all a bit sh*t. People will understand more than you think and for those who don’t, we’ll {again} smile and wave boys, smile and wave {then flip them the bird, metaphorically of course}.

Plus a bonus point:

{In case you haven’t already noticed} – you will find yourself referring to your friends’ kids as singletons 😅 {and of course the fact that your twins will be the best thing you ever accomplished, and you wouldn’t have it any other way}.




Published by Ellie Hully

Business Health & Home

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