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The best thing about being a mom of multiples is...

Posted Jan 14 2009 8:54pm
Normally, wherever, I go with the kids (especially when it's just me by myself with all 4 kids), I get stared at and I hear all sorts of comments from "are they all yours?" to "how do you do it?". I don't know if people are expecting me to bitch and complain about it or if they really want me to tell how I do it, day in and day out.

Today, I had the kids at the park but not the park that's just down the street from our house, which we visit quite frequently. This time, we went to a park in another neighborhood. Landon hadn't been feeling well due to a cold so I wasn't even sure if he would want to play but he did. They all had a blast....Garrett can now climb up the ladder rungs to get up the climbing structure. The kid has no fear. So he can't talk yet but he can certainly outclimb any other toddler I've seen (just to mention it so I don't forget, he had a hearing test today and passed with flying colors so now I'm gonna give it another month and if there's still no expressive language, we'll go for the speech therapy referral).

There were plenty of other mothers at the park with tons of kids running around. It was difficult to tell which kid belonged to which mom. But me...I'm sure I stood out like a sore thumb...with Garrett and Landon dressed alike and Cole and Bella dressed in similar colors. A couple moms smiled at me and said "twins?"..."yes, they're twins"...."oh and are the other kids twins too?"..."yes, 2 sets of twins"....now I'm met with the typical wide-eyed, open-jawed "OMG, are you serious?"

After a few minutes, while I was pushing Landon on the swing, a mom walked up to me and started pushing her daughter on the swing next to us. She said "I overheard you talking to those other moms....you have 2 sets of twins?" and I said "yes", totally expecting to have to explain my situation yet again. But she surprised me and said "so, tell me...what are the best things about having twins? I have a girlfriend who just had twins 8 weeks ago and she's really struggling. I'd love to be able to tell her some positive things for her to look forward to once she gets past this newborn stage". Then we chatted about how the newborn stage is difficult for anyone, whether you have 1, 2 or 3 babies, especially when you're a new mother. I totally remember being a new mom to 2 newborns and having absolutely no freakin clue what I was doing every minute of the day.

Finally, though, I was happy to be able to talk about the positive side of having multiples. So here was my list that I rattled off to her:

1) Twins always have a playmate. Once they get past the newborn stage and start developing their personalities, it is amazing to see them finally discover one another and to start interacting.

2) It's fun to watch them learn new things together. When one learns to walk, the other twin is usually right behind them, following in their footsteps. When one twin learns to build a stack of blocks, the other twin is right there to figure out how to knock down that stack of blocks.

3) When twins share a room, you could laugh for an eternity listening to them interact with one another from across the room. Each set of my twins have shared a room and still do. When Cole learned how to climb out of the crib before Bella, we moved him into a toddler bed and she was still in her crib. Bella would point at what she wanted and Cole would hop out of bed and go get it for her. Garrett and Landon stand up in their cribs and yell to each other and start laughing. They play peek-a-boo with one another too, hiding behind their blankets and then uncovering themselves while the other one howls in laughter.

4) One of the best things about twins is that your arms are never empty, literally. I loved being able to hold both my babies at the same time and snuggle with them. And neither Tim or I have ever had to argue over who was going to hold the "baby" because we each had a baby to hold....now we have 2 children each to hold.

5) Bathtime with twins is a fun experience. Two little bodies to clean, two little heads of hair to wash....and lots of splashing, giggling and bubbles. And when they reach the age that Cole and Bella are at, they'll wash each other so you can just sit back and relax and let them do all the work!

6) Being greeted in the morning by 2 smiley, happy babies...well, there's nothing I could imagine is better than that. Hearing "mama" from 2 different voices is enough to make your day.

7) Lastly, I know it sounds so cliche, but the absolute best thing about being a mom of multiples is everything is times 2 (well, in my case, times 4). 2x the hugs, 2x the kisses, 2x the snuggles, 2x the laughter. I could be having the worst possible day but then Garrett and Landon will both come up to me and both wrap their little arms around each of my legs and squeeze me with a big hug....it makes the stress just melt away.

So I encouraged this mom to tell her friend all of those things....the first 6 months with twins is very challenging. Oh hell, why lie....the first 12 months with twins is a blur. But I wanted her to tell her friend that someday she'll be able to see the positive things about having twins, just like I have.

Now, why hasn't Jack Canfield written a book called "Chicken Soup for the Multiples Mom's Soul"? If I'd had a book like that to refer to when my twins were all newborns, especially during those rough periods when they never slept or they cried endlessly for hours with colic (times 2), that would've meant the world to me. But until that happens, I guess new twin moms will have to rely on us other twin moms to get them through the rough times!
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