17 Reasons Why Raising Twins Is Easier Than You Think
Raising twins may mean double the work, but they also offer twice the joy.
The prospect of raising twins can seem like a daunting task, two mouths to feed, two bottoms to diaper, twice the crying, and, down the road, two sets of college tuition at the same time. While having two babies does mean a few difficult moments, it can also be the most fulfilling challenge you'll ever experience.
"I had no idea I'd have two at once, and it's been the most wonderful surprise of my life," explains Dr. Shelly Flais, a pediatrician, mom of four (including twin 11-year-old boys) and the author of "Raising Twins: Parenting Multiples from Pregnancy Through the School Years."
Don't be afraid you'll mix up your babies if they're identical (you can always color code their clothes to prevent this from happening). Instead, embrace your dynamic duo for the tiny miracles they are and keep in mind that it gets easier. "In fact, if your twins come first, as mine did, it makes the next child seem like a walk in the park," notes Dr. Lori Woodring, a psychologist, author and mom of four, including twin 10-year-old girls. Here are 17 reasons why raising twins isn't as much extra work as you might think.
- Having two at once means your kids will always have each other, they'll be automatic playmates and friends their entire lives, says Dr. Flais. That means they'll always have a buddy for car trips, errand runs and restaurant waits.
- Bringing up twins guarantees resiliency. "Two kids together will learn to share, take turns and figure things out for themselves quicker than a singleton," says Dr. Woodring.
- Your natural inclination to do everything for your kids goes by the wayside. You can't be a helicopter mom with twins because you're outnumbered!
- You won't sweat the small stuff. "Just feed them and keep them safe and do the best you can," points out Dr. Flais. Translation: go ahead and order takeout, and definitely let the laundry wait.
- Raising twins means they'll go through the same stages at the same time. They'll play with similar toys, eat the same kinds of foods (first purees, then chunky textures) and read similar books.
- Get ready for the same milestones, too! "Twins can wean at the same time and then you'll put all those bottles behind you," says Dr. Woodring. Ditto for potty training (sayonara, diapers).
- More sleep! With a toddler and a baby, there are two different nap schedules and bedtimes. Twins tend to nap and tuck in for bed at the same times, so you'll enjoy a few extra minutes to yourself.
- Enjoy having less clutter. "Families with twins need to budget and shouldn't break the bank when purchasing toys," notes Dr. Flais. Twins can share most of their toys and will be just as entertained with fewer playthings.
- Twins have each other's backs. "They'll always look out for one another, which can really ease your mind when they start school," says Dr. Woodring.
- You'll gather more intel, too. Having two kids in the same grade means you'll get more information about who their friends are and what the teachers are saying.
- You can just say no. No to the PTA, no to that dinner party and definitely no to your sister-in-law who wants to visit for a week. Having twins gives you the perfect excuse when you need it, and you won't end up over-committing.
- They get loads of attention just for being twins!" says Dr. Woodring. One baby in a matching bonnet and booties is adorable, but two tots like this are even better.
- You've got a built-in tutor. When one learns to tie her shoe, she can help her brother with his laces. The same goes for learning to color, riding a bike and memorizing multiplication tables.
- If you're having twins, you'll experience morning sickness, backaches, swollen feet and strange cravings just once and you get two kids out of it.
- Social skills are learned early with twins. They're used to being with another person, so their ability to socialize is enhanced greatly.|
- You get to pick two names. With twins, there won't be any loud discussions about whether to name the baby after your partner's dad or yours.
- You'll be an expert on babies almost overnight. From colic and crying to diarrhea and diaper rash, raising twins means you'll see it all sooner and worry less.
For more about twins, read What to Expect With Fraternal Twins. And if you could use an extra hand, look for a mother's helper or a nanny on Care.com.
Jennifer Kelly Geddes is a New York-based writer and editor who specializes in parenting, health and child development. She's a frequent contributor to Care.com and the mom of two teen girls
* This article is for general informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be providing medical advice and is not a substitute for such advice. The reader should always consult a health care provider concerning any medical condition or treatment plan. Neither Care.com nor the author assumes any responsibility or liability with respect to use of any information contained herein.