I was feeling a bit sorry for myself yesterday morning, after another night of hardly any sleep. Another morning where Chris asks me, ‘What happened last night?’ and I respond, ‘I’ve no idea’.
Chris, ‘Well I know Ruben kept waking up’, and I reply, ‘Well you had Finn…’
Chris, ‘Oh did I?’
Says it all really.
I get stopped a lot by people when I’m out with the twins. ‘Oh is it twins?!’ people ask me. ‘No just two babies exactly the same age/size who look very similar – yes it’s twins!’ The next thing a lot of people say is, ‘Oh I always wanted twins’. If only you knew how much this sentence kills me! First I feel guilty because they are telling me I have something they really wanted – I was blessed with two babies. Then I feel a different kind of guilt because the thing I want to say is, ‘Well you wouldn’t if you knew how hard it is’. And then it makes me realise how lucky I am to have these two beautiful boys in my life.
The other thing a lot of people say is, ‘twice the work, twice the joy’. It is definitely twice the joy, but it is ten times the work. Yes there are two babies to dress and change, two bottles to make instead of one, two times the washing, two car seats to carry around, two babies to bath etc etc… But where as with one baby, when they are asleep during the day, you have a break. You can have a cup of tea, you can have some lunch (even if it is 3 o’clock in the afternoon), you can sit rocking in a corner. With twins, when one goes to sleep there is still another one to entertain! And if you have boys like mine, when the second one goes to sleep, the first one wakes up… no time off for mummy! And the nights are a killer – most new mums are sleep deprived, that’s just a given, but most dads just get to sleep on unaware (usually snoring just to help us). Not with twins – if they wake at the same time, you need two people to feed them and if they take turns waking up every other hour, then mum and dad take turns so you can get at least two hours sleep in a row!
A lot of friends have had babies recently and it’s lovely knowing I’m not alone in my new born land of feeding all the time and no sleep. But it is hard seeing what everyone else is up to because I can’t do most of it! I can’t take two babies to swimming lessons, or to bounce and rhyme classes when they can’t sit on their own yet. If I go out and about, I have to make sure I’m back home for feeding time because I can’t hold two babies at the same time to feed them – I need the 100 bits of equipments I have at home! And although I know my friends don’t mind, if you meet anyone for coffee there is an obligation for them to hold a baby – you don’t like having to ask others when they just want an hour off work! And difficult if they have their own already.
I sound like I’m moaning a bit, but that isn’t my intention – only to share what life is like for parents of twins. We are only 6 months in so I know things will soon change and then I will be running around after two crawlers!
I guess part of this post is me feeling slightly guilty about planning my return to work – I’m going back much earlier than I did with Max and I’m feeling guilty for that. The other half of me knows it’s the right thing to do, because I can’t give them the amount of attention that I would like to and I know my lovely childminders will give them loads of care and attention and will be able to teach them lots of things that I can’t.
If any of your friends have twins, look after them! My friends and family have been great and have been there from day one. They have cooked for me, looked after my kids whilst I’ve slept, cooked for Max and entertained him, have baby sat so I can get out of the house and the thing that has meant the most, they have constantly encouraged me. For someone to say, ‘You’re doing a great job’ means a lot and keeps me going on the hard days.
I know soon Chris and I will be able to look back and laugh at the craziness that is our world at the moment – and what a great day that will be.