It’s a phrase I dread.
“I have two children who are so close in age it’s like having twins.”
Really? You know what? I reckon having twins is the only thing that is like having twins.
Lately I’ve had a lot of mothers say that although they don’t have twins, they understand what it is like. Bless you all but what the?
I am not taking anything away from the hard yakka of having kids whether they are 15 months apart or five years. It’s just that having two children of different ages is not like having twins. Having twins is the only thing like having twins.
Like all mums of twins, I had two kids instantly – and I was a first time mum. I had no choice but to dive in at the deep, deep end. I had to get used to it quickly and woman up. Yes I said woman up.
I carried two bubs for nearly nine months then kapow, out they came. Two babies to breast-feed, two babies to cart everywhere, pack for, strap in the car, unstrap, nappy change, bathe, dress, calm, entertain, fret about. And all when you are one person.
I fed the twins at the same time every three hours or so. I woke up both babies to feed them burped them, change their nappies and then put them back down for naps. I felt like a robot with so little sleep. Most new mums are sleep deprived but make mine a double!
Breastfeeding just one bub at a time? How amazing would that be? I can only dream!
You would not imagine all the things I had to take with me to go to the park, the shops or even just a park visit. It was like I was leaving home every time I packed up the bags. Nappies, wipes, burp clothes, multiple changes of clothes, pram, bottles with breast milk in them, cool bag to keep breast milk okay and more. I felt like a packhorse!
I made sure to only leave the house after a feed and had some milk just in-case one was hungry or I got stuck. Hey, all mums do this but I just needed double of everything!
And even now when they are six and at the same level wrangling two people who want to do everything “now” or worse, yesterday because they do everything on high speed running everywhere, never walking, I wish I had an older child to help me wrangle them to a safe stop. Oh, and my kingdom for some hand-me-downs instead of having to buy two of everything – and often two of the same item but in two different patterns, colours, styles.
Mums with kids who are 15 months or say 11 months apart have children very close in age – agreed – but they are not twins!
When you have bubs one at a time you have kids at different stages of development and can leverage that to get things done but also spend special one-on-one time with each of your kids. While one is playing with blocks or napping you can feed bubby and truly be with your baby.
Achieving one-on-one time with the girls has been a challenge. I have listened enviously when other mums talk about having that precious time alone with each of their children when they first came home. Or later when baby number two is asleep so they can play with their toddler or taking toddler to the park when their oldest first goes to school.
I have found ways to get that one-on-one time with each of my girls but it has not been easy. When just one would wake in the night I often thought it was her deliberate way to get special cuddles with mummy. I still do. Hubby and I take a daughter each to different things on the weekend to get that quality alone time but we have to wait until Saturday each week when his work week is at an end.
Okay, okay so twins is not all pushing a bolder up a hill – or a double stroller through a busy supermarket aisle. There is no playing the noise police to ensure an older child doesn’t wake the baby. Or packing for different ages and stages when you leave the house. Or complaints about those hand-me-downs.
And I do get that siblings who are close in age can share a special bond and even be super close. Great, but they are not twins so quit saying that.
Or am I the only one that feels like this?
Do you have twins? Have you had other parents tell you they have kids that are like twins even though they are not? Do these parents think they understand how hard it was for you early on and when they are older?
This post has also been published on Kidspot. Discuss this issue with other parents.