Dear New Twin Mama,
Finding out you are expecting twins is simultaneously joyful, terrifying, and exciting. Maybe you spent years undergoing fertility treatments to get to this point, or maybe it was the biggest, most unexpected surprise of your life. You might be enormously, uncomfortably pregnant, or maybe you recently welcomed your twins and still can’t believe the hospital sent you home with two babies. You might be going solo all day for the first time and aren’t sure which crying baby to tend to first. Or you might be finding your groove and feeling like you can take on the world because you just had two babies and now you can do anything. No matter how you got here or where you are on this wild ride, I want to welcome you to the twin mama club!
If you’re lucky, you found out about the club when you were pregnant. I got of a taste of twin parent camaraderie when one of my teaching colleagues (turned my twin mom BFF) was expecting twins just a few weeks after me. In addition to Tums and snacks, we shared our what ifs and anxiety about twin pregnancy, our worries and excitement about taking care of two babies, and we gave each other pep talks to get through busy days of teaching when all we wanted was a nap. Moms of twins who attended my school stopped me in the halls or dropped by my room to welcome me to the twin mama club. They brought me books on parenting twins, their best advice for survival (accept help, be flexible, and love those babies), and the truth that it won’t be easy but it will be amazing.
If you haven’t experienced this type of induction into the club, take those precious babies out and about and you’re sure to run into a veteran twin mama. A twin mom can spot you a mile away. If hers are grown, she might lean in and whisper, “Mine are 36!” and keep walking. She might stop you in the airport to say, “I’m going to pick up one of mine from college!” When you’re out attempting to run errands with babies in tow, she can read the situation well enough to know whether to call out, “It gets easier!” as she walks by, give a knowing smile and nod of understanding, or stop and chat about all things twins. She’ll never tell you, “You have your hands full,” ask personal questions about your fertility, or judge how you parent (girl, you have two babies — do what you gotta do).
Twin parents will pop up unexpectedly, especially when you could use a parenting pick-me-up. It might be a mom with two sets of twins sitting next to you while you wait nervously to board your first flight with your 3-month-olds. It might be the two twin mamas next to you in line at IKEA when one of your 6-month-olds is starting to melt down and the front of the line is nowhere in sight. Or it might be the police officer who comes to your rescue when you lock your 8-month-olds in the car with your keys and your cell phone. They have all been there, and they get it better than anyone else.
I have only one year of twin-momming under my belt, but I can say joining the twin parent community has been one of the best parts of becoming a parent. I’ve met many amazing mothers and fathers, I’ve bonded with other new mamas in the same unique situation, I’ve found that twin mom friend I can text anytime about anything and know she gets it, and I feel like I have a support network unlike any other. So, new twin mama, welcome, welcome, welcome to this crazy new life. We’re so excited to have you in the club!
Jess, mama to R & F