Twin Things I LOVE, That Everyone* Said Would Suck

*the proverbial "everyone".

I am now the mother who cries whenever she learns that anyone is welcoming twins. It's mostly because I now have some firsthand experience in this realm, and just love jumping in with solicited advice. However, it's also because I've already heard it all from others, and remember how discouraging some of those comments were during a very delicate and sensitive season in my life. 

I don't view parenting in general as a challenge that I'm just existing through, and feel very much the same way about parenting twins. I knew I was navigating uncharted territory with twins. I made a lot of plans, asked a lot of questions, and so far, I've noticed my plans that caught side eye from others are some of the things I enjoy the most. 

So in no particular order - part one of:

Not adhering to a strict schedule:
{Everyone suggested having them on the same, rigid daily schedule - claiming it a "lifesaver". I fucking hate schedules.} 

Creating and following a schedule for the twins, would have meant making everyone else in the house adhere to it too. We were told to stick to our schedule no matter what, because children thrive on predictability and structure, and they sleep longer at night or some shit. That kind of rigidity and inflexibility just doesn't work for our life, despite that, our days are still fairly predictable, everyone has thrived anyway, and I breed good sleepers. *brushes shoulder off* 

In addition to choreographing a dance around their rhythm, I don't have them on the same schedule together: they don't always nap at the same time, they don't always eat at the same time. It was advised so that way I could get a "break", but I prefer this - it caters to their own individual needs, and while Baby A naps, Baby B and I get to spend some quality time together and vice versa. This is especially important in our large family where one on one time is scarce, or consistently interrupted. I don't need them to nap at the same time so I can get a break, I refuse to neglect self care, I don't play the "Mom Guilt Game", I am not short on me time.

Dual mobility:
{"Just wait until they're both crawling. It's all downhill from there..."}

I get it, two mobile babies means that one goes one way and the other goes another, and gathering your babies becomes difficult. Mobile babies means they do their best wriggly worm impressions to shake you off, and are able to dart away, and you have to fight twice to snap diapers on. 

Mobile babies also means quiet exploration. Have you ever just watched the things your baby is into? Elena loves putting things in her mouth, that's just her thing - is the carpet vacuumed well enough? Give Elena ten seconds on the floor, she'll advise. Santino loves the kitchen. He pulls up on all the cabinets, testing each one's strength as he bounces. Together though, they work as a team to curate new experiences: like spilling the cat's water bowl and splashing around on the floor. Like throwing all of the toys into the empty bathtub. Like cornering Daddy's coffee cup and tackling it before it runs away. I love watching them get to know their world now that they can access so much more of it.

Solid foods:
{"I hate feeding my twins..." I remember reading "The mess is so much bigger because there's two of them."} 

That is entirely accurate. Twins make a giant mess, and they waste no time in doing so, but the mess is a sensory goldmine, and allowing them to feed themselves gives them the chance to develop skills and independence. Plus - it's adorable. Maybe it's because we practice baby led solids, instead of messier purees, but the mess just doesn't bother me. Even when we do puree it's just not *that* bad. Easy clean Ikea high chairs make the task even more bearable.

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Cloth diapering:
{Twins means quadruple the diapers, might as well make them disposables because it's too much work otherwise.}

To be fair I got a few side eyes just cloth diapering a singleton, but I really caught some flack for wanting to cloth diaper twins. I no longer have near the collection of cloth that I did for Thaddeus, we have just enough to maintain full time usage and I'm still doing one "extra" day of laundry, which isn't very "too much work" as far as I'm concerned. The babies have been in disposable diapers since right before we left for Washington and we are finally just getting to the last of them, I can't wait because I really feel like cloth is easier and more convenient for me. 

Traveling: 
{From short trips and beyond, traveling with twins is a serious hassle - its just easier to stay home.}

While I don't debate that it is indeed easier to stay home, that's not a feasible, or realistic, option. Sure, you could choose not to take big vacations until your twins are older, but that's too big a sacrifice for us. In their first ten months of life, these babies have traveled for many hours at a time in the car, and taken a 5+ hour flight across the country. They require so much extra stuff - as is the rule, I always pack more than what I *think* we'll need and what I *think* we'll need is usually quite a bit on its own - and it's the stuff that's the biggest hassle for me, but the babies have been nothing but champion travelers. 

Daily, I get these two ready for small outings - we take Severus to school, and when it's nice out we head to Starbucks, or to go run errands and they are amazing about it. I usually have to give myself a few extra minutes to get to, and leave from, places because twins are like people magnets. If I don't stop to answer "I sure do!" to 20 "You've got your hands full.", did I really take the twins out of the house? We're planning to go camping this summer with whichever parts of the crew we have with us and I really can't wait. They're far more "badly behaved" at home!

Having TWO babies:
{Because it's not one baby.}

I did not expect to expect twins when we transferred two embryos into my womb. The chances seemed so small that I'd even stay pregnant the first time around, the idea of twins sticking were minuscule in my eyes. We knew there was a chance though, and here our twins are! From early on, we were bombarded by people who threw around the words "irresponsible" and "nightmare" and "better you than me", because apparently twins strike fear in the hearts of many. But you know what? I was elated finding out there were two - I was surprised, I'm STILL shocked - but I was in no way upset or worried about having to raise twins. My only fear was in being pregnant with them. I've survived a miscarriage, I've had preterm labor, I've looked the third trimester in the eyes enough times to know it's a horrid time with just a single baby, I couldn't imagine how horrible it would be with twins. And we had some things pop up that were very worrisome: the subchorionic hemorrhage, Elena's hepatic hemangioma, and Santino's water breaking at 34 weeks and 2 days along, resulting in a preterm birth and nearly three weeks in the NICU. 

Now that they're here I enjoy damn near every minute with them. Double babies, quintuple the work and stress, a thousand times the fun, excitement, joy and silliness that one baby brings. I could not imagine our family without them, I can't believe there was ever a time we didn't have them in our lives.

Coincidentally I do hate tandem wrapping, which is something everyone said I'd love. Go figure...

Coincidentally I do hate tandem wrapping, which is something everyone said I'd love. Go figure...