I consider myself a “twin mom,” even though I technically don’t have twins. I have two adopted sons who are four months apart in age, but for all intents and purposes, are being raised as twins. They’re the same size, in the same grade, and the words “double trouble” definitely apply.
As a mom to virtual twins, I’m here to tell you phrases like “two for the price of one” are complete hooey. Puhleeze. Let’s make that “two for the price it costs, but twice as much.”
I’ve had people make comments to me here and there about what it must be like to be a mom to twins, but often, perception isn’t quite reality.
This is how it really goes down in the twinosphere:
1. Sharing is optional.
Everyone says sharing is caring, and maybe that’s true, but maintaining a peaceful household and minimizing bloodshed are also kind of important to me.
I’ve come to realize that asking kids to always share isn’t practical (or safe.) Sure, I witness peace and harmony at the communal crayon bucket sometimes (about as often as a lunar eclipse), but kids have a built-in aversion to sharing their stuff. I get it … I’m not crazy about sharing my stuff either. Kids need to learn to share, but a sprinkling of toys that are “just theirs” is a good thing too. Even if just for your sanity.
2. There’s no such thing as “loving them the same.”
I call BS. Because if you’re mom to more than one small human, you have a favorite, whether or not you admit it. The holder of the top kid title fluctuates daily hourly and it’s okay to be fickle. You’re not gonna like them the same, let alone love them the same. But your love for them will always be fierce and equal, even if son #1 just threw a Lego at your head.
3. Matching isn’t mandatory.
Some twin moms have strong feelings about maintaining a sense of individuality, but eventually we all succumb to the lure of matching outfits. If not willingly, then by virtue of the insane amounts of matching Baby Gap stuff we get as presents.
I like matching outfits but most days I grab what appears cleanish. Right now, one kid is wearing red plaid shorts and an inside-out orange tee-shirt that might have come from the dirty clothes hamper. The other kid is wearing underpants and rain boots. I am okay with this.
4. BFFs? Yeah, right!
This is true roughly half the time. The other half? Blood enemies. Whether we have peace or feuding, my boys are lost without each other. They’re not often separated, but they miss each other like crazy when they are — mostly due to concern that the other kid is getting something good.
Twin melees are WWE-style epic. Thinking about their teen years makes me twitchy. I’ll probably just duct tape the knickknacks down and replace our living room area rug with a wrestling mat. Who needs Zen space when you can have a ringside seat to the rumble?
5. Competition is a reality.
I spend my days mediating squabbles over important stuff like who gets the yellow vitamin or who sees better scenery out of their side of the minivan. I can’t control which side of the road the cows are on. Sorry, kid. And yeah, the yellow vitamin is a thing. Who knew?
6. Mix-ups are inevitable.
My boys look a lot alike. I know who’s who but my kids correct me daily for calling them the wrong name. I can often be heard pointing and spluttering “you, kid right there, I’m looking at you so you know I’m talking to you.”
7. There might be two of them, but there’s still only one of you.
Trust me, you’ll never be twice as efficient at snack making, laundry, diaper changing, kid crafts and all the things.
I’m a slave to snacks and poop. I am efficient at exactly … nothing. If I find a Pintresty kid activity not beyond my limited scope of craftiness, only one kid will like it. The other will be interested in something like filling the toilet bowl with rocks he’s stashed in his pockets.
A few well-meaning people have suggested I need a “system.” Does an overflowing laundry hamper and the occasional lunchtime cocktail count as a system? If so, I have one.
So, there you have it. Parenting twins is a wild ride and I’ve learned to rock the low expectations and go with the flow. I try to savor every crazy second because I know that they’ll be all grown up faster than someone can say “day-um, you have your hands full.”