I always get a nod of respect when I share that I am a mom of twins. Sometimes, I feel like I need to start signing autographs when people ask me about my twins, Cassidy and Cassius.
It’s like being a part of an exclusive parenting club. I almost get excited when I see people react when I tell them I had two babies at the same time. I am the twin mom that actually enjoys the twin conversation starters like: “Do twins run in your family” or “Wow, I always wanted twins.”
I feel lucky in that moment, but what I don’t tell people is the downside of raising twins. Parents of multiples are always singled out.
When I found out that I was carrying twins, I was given the some of the best twin parent advice from sleep training twins to breastfeeding two babies at the same time, but what people forgot to mention is how lonely it could be when they get to the toddler age.
One of the (many) things that makes their twin toddlerhood so difficult for me is that modern motherhood is set up for singletons. Every program for parents is geared to one adult and one baby: mommy-and-baby yoga, parent-and-tot swim, circle time at the library — you name it.
It is hard to even plan play dates when it is my twins and one other child. It can be exhausting keeping up two toddlers running opposite directions as I glance at the other mom rolling a ball to her one baby during a park play date.
That’s the moment, I get a bit jealous of moms of singletons.
Imagine trying to sit through a story time at the library with two energized and silly toddlers? By the time you get one to sit still during story time, the other is on the move again. Its not like you can hold that one child in your lap and keep them entertained, you have to make sure the other one is not climbing up the library bookshelf.
Then comes the stares of parents when your twins are on the move or when the twin temper tantrum hits. Being a mom of twins, I feel like I am invited to the cool toddler events, but not really invited. It seems as if people are saying, “Here’s an invitation, but please do not show up!”
Like clockwork, every morning I am up around 5:30 a.m. preparing my 2.5-year-old toddlers’ favorite breakfast (pancakes and some sort of fruit), setting out their little outfits for the day and thinking of my plan on how to survive another day with my twinsies.
By 10 a.m., we are pulling up to a park in our neighborhood. We go to the park every single day. It seems to be the only place twin toddlers are welcome.
As soon as we get in the parking space at the park, Cassius is shouting, “take me out!” While Cassidy is pulling at her seat belt buckles saying, “Mommy, playground!” I can tell they are full of excitement for yet another day at the playground.
As for me, I am in the front seat trying not to have an anxiety attack. I just hope this day they stay in the play area instead of one running up a hill or the other heading towards a busy parking lot. I tend to look for parks that are fenced in, so I can keep up with them. (It’s not many of them.)
When I finally get them out of the car, they run ahead of me and make a dash to the sandbox that is already filled with sand toys and about four little kids playing inside as their parents talk amongst each other and sip their morning coffee. I cannot help, but to overhear one of the moms talking about the local Mommy and Me Classes in the area.
One mom said, “My daughter loves mommy and me yoga. The class is so cute. We wear matching yoga outfits and she sits on her little mat next to me.” The other mom invited her to attend a mom and me swim class with her child at the local recreation center.
This is the point when my eyes get watery, and I have to turn around at the playground and grab a cold baby wipe to dab the corners of my eyes before a tear falls.
You see, parenting twins is amazing. Double the blessings, double the love, so these days that we feel that we are not apart of the cool club, I get creative. The first bonus of having twins is that they have each other to play with, so they are not alone when I plan activities at home for them. Yeah, we don’t fit the crowd for parent-and-tot swim classes this summer, but we do have an awesome sand and water table that the twins enjoy on hot days on our balcony.
Although Cassidy and Cassius can’t attend mom and me yoga with their mommy, they do experience tumble time on their alphabet rug in their room. And when circle time at the library is too much to handle for this twin mom, I create a comfy reading corner in our home and grab their favorite stories. The cool thing about this story time is that it can start and stop when we want it to.
I’m learning that three’s a crowd, but until my toddlers are older, we will have our own cool club.
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This is a great read! I am also a twin mom, I have di/di twin boys. I often think about many things you’ve mentioned and or experienced because my boys are only 3 months old. I wonder how the twin life outside the house will be once my boys are toddlers….
I’m a mom of 1 year old twin boys (and 4&5 year old boys) so I feel this to my core. I can’t go anywhere unless I have multiple adults with me to wrangle them all. I’m glad they have each other but they’ll definitely not experience and mommy and me activities
Girl, I feel every single word you wrote. Every. One.
I have mono/di 20 month old twins. It’s so, so hard to do anything out in public with them by myself. All I want to do is bring them to the park, the pool, the library, everywhere. But people with singletons just don’t get how hard it is with twins. So, I’m with you. I feel you. You are an amazing twin Mama. 🙂
Yes! Yes!! Yes!!!! As a single parent of 3yr old twins, every word of your article rings a bell. Good for you that you make it out to the park daily! I couldn’t. On the morning we were walking to the car and one decided to go chase a giant leaf flying up the block while the other decided it was perfect timing to run down the middle of the street in the oposite direction. That was when I ended up putting them in daycare 3 mornings a week (also so that I could catch up on mopping and laundry)
Being a parent of twins is absolutely amazing. Watching their love and bond grow each day is something I haven’t the words for. Being 24/7 referee has my sprinting game on point. But I too have (on more than one occasion) teared up looking at singleton parents being able to enjoy circle time at the library, art in the park, even just going out for lunch. With no luck I’ve been seeking for someone to commit with us for over a year so that my little humans could learn to be little guppies. So in turn we’ve turned our home into what my brother likes to call baby six flags!
This! I had no idea what I was feeling…this spoke to me about my twins. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!!!
So good. I’m a mom of twin 2 year olds and this is our life. Now instead of envying other mamas, im going to lean in and enjoy “our cool club”.
Great read Darlene! Being an identical twin such as myself going on 56 lol, we had our days when we were little, they couldn’t tell us apart, they was asking us dumb questions like, when you get spank, do the other one feel it? Did you ever switch classrooms ? Did you ever trick your boyfriends? I can write a list, my mom is a twin to a boy, I thought for sure it was going to skip generations but it didn’t. My mom had us and she didn’t even know she was going to have 2 , I have identical twin nephews, twin cousins, it runs in the family., I wanted twins , that didn’t happen, hopefully my kids will have twins one day lol
Very insightful read! As a mom of 3 single boys (ages 7, 3 & 1 mo), I honestly had no idea how moms of multiples must feel. If daycare or having a sitter was ever an option, do you feel that planning individual “mommy & me” times would be a possibility you’d consider? For example, taking twin A to ‘mommy & me yoga’ on Wednesdays while twin B is at daycare, & taking twin B to ‘mommy & me art class’ on Fridays while twin A is with a sitter, etc.?
I signed toddler twins up for toddler soccer – what a silly idea. While many of tots had two parents with them, I (a single parent) was trying to make things fun for my girls. It was an extreme failure. While structured activities failed, so many times, so much about their tiny, heavily enmeshed lives, has been a gift. Hang in there, I see you!