Two and a half years ago, when I found out we were having twins, I was excited, overwhelmed, and FREAKED THE HECK OUT. We were about to go from being parents of one to parents of three in the blink of an eye. As my daughters approach their second birthday, I’m still overwhelmed, but for totally different reasons. In the time since they were born, I’ve gone past my breaking point more times than I’d like to admit, but I’ve changed in some unexpected ways. So for anyone out there who has had babies “in bulk” like me, here’s my take on how it might change you – the good, bad, and ugly:
You may fantasize about running away. A lot.
On particularly trying days, when everyone has spent the hour or two before bedtime YELLING AT THE TOP OF THEIR LUNGS, I sometimes think about what it would be like to get in my car and drive in one direction until it runs out of gas. I’ve daydreamed about assuming a new identity and moving to Bermuda, or Canada, or basically anywhere but here. Some days, the only thing keeping me together is thinking about the coffee I’ll get to have the next morning. I have yet to act on my fantasy, and the older my children get, the more I fear instead the day on which they will all “run away” from me.
Your memory will likely take a beating.
The other day, I was at the eye doctor and decided to make an appointment for my son. The receptionist asked me for his birth date and I just blanked. For a good 10 seconds I stood there, unable to speak. Finally, I remembered the date, but not before I got a few chuckles from the people nearby. It’s not just birthdays either. More than once, I’ve forgotten how old I am, and I am constantly losing my cell phone. When you spend your days trying to remember 573 things at once, something’s bound to be lost in the shuffle.
You will become more understanding of anyone who seems to be having a bad day/week/month/year.
Unless you are part of my family, you have no idea what it’s like to live through a weekday morning at my house. (Here’s a hint: mass chaos.) Some days are so stressful that by the time I get to work, all I want to do is drink my coffee in silence and stare at the wall. Once the kids are in bed, I often find it physically exhausting to even think about answering the phone, or responding to a text message. Because of this I’m much more understanding of others. You never know what the person in the next cube over at work had to go through to get out the door this morning.
You will become a master multitasker.
Nothing builds your multitasking skills quite like wrangling two infants and a toddler into the car in the middle of a thunderstorm. And now that all three kids are talking, I never have just one conversation at a time – it’s more like a rapid-fire word jumble. I’ve fed yogurt to the girls while petting the dog with my foot, discussing birthday party plans with my husband, and answering my son’s detailed questions about Boba Fett all at once, and that’s just an easy Sunday morning at home. The downside? I now have the attention span of a goldfish.
You will never cease to be amazed by the bond between your twins.
My girls have been together since the start, and have only spent a few days apart. They sometimes push and fight to the point of tears, but they usually end up hugging and comforting one another. When they were tiny, we would lay them down to sleep at night and hear them chirping and cooing at each other from their cribs as they fell asleep. Now, they call out to each other from adjacent rooms when walking around the house, and they frequently hold hands from their high chairs during dinner. And they both idolize their “bro-bro,” racing to the door to see him when he comes home from preschool.
Having twins can sometimes feel like running a marathon without any prior training, but it will also grow your heart in ways you’ve never imagined. For all the change and stress I have experienced over the past two years, nothing compares to the way my heart swells when I see the love my children have for each other.
Are you a mom of multiples too? How has it changed you?