As a parent of twins I am still constantly shocked at how many people tell me that they have kids that are 18 months so it is the same thing.
It isn’t even close and I will tell you why.
1) When your kids are 18 months apart people don’t think it is okay to ask you about your reproductive history. People probably don’t say “Are they natural?” to you at least once a month.
2) Your uterus had nine months of rest between babies.
3) Shall we compare stretch marks? Or NICU stays? Or how long you were on bed rest before the kids were born?
I know that some people with one baby at a time have difficult pregnancies. I know that they get stretch marks. I know that singletons can end up in the NICU. I also know that I threw up at least four times a day for 22 weeks then spent six weeks living in the hospital on bed rest before my children were born. I also needed a blood transfusion after delivery. And people like to tell me that I did it the easy way.
4) Let’s talk about May 12, 2020 – the day BOTH of my children can get their drivers licenses. Or August 2022 when they will both go away to college.
5) People ask which one is the good twin. In front of them.
6) So when neither of your babies could hold their heads up on their own and were both eating every two hours, not on the same schedule how did you handle that? Hey remember when you hated all of your friends that only had had one baby? Remember when you were pregnant and people kept telling you about their sister-in-law’s friend who was pregnant with twins and how one embryo absorbed the other one? Remember when you fed one and put her down and then you laid down but before you even turned off the light the other baby started crying because he needed to eat too and you just cried because your nipples hurt so bad that you thought you might die?
Oh right. That never happened to you.
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Listen, I’m not saying it is easier to have your kids born 18, 14, 11 or even 21 months apart – I only had to give birth one time – but I AM saying it is different. I have no idea what it would be like to be pregnant with a toddler. I would imagine it is pretty hard. But I don’t know, because it never happened to me.
And you KNOW I am not about to say that I know what it would be like to have triplets or quads because I don’t even like thinking about how hard that must have been as newborns. I don’t even know how people handle having more that two kids period. As one of my clients once said after his third was born, you have to switch from man-to-man to zone defense. I am not prepared for that level of parenting. I barely know what to do with the two I have.
The truth is that no two babies are the same. No two families are the same. No two people are the same and I can guarantee that your “Irish twins” are not the same as my fraternal twins. I mean that for better or for worse.
So please, stop saying it.