By: Heather Somaini
There are tons of challenges with twins that suck up vast amounts of brain power as a new mom. You’re already working on a reduced amount of engine capacity from lack of sleep and being thrown into the deep end of the parenting pool. There’s nothing right about being required to learn a completely new task that constantly changes from minute to minute while under the duress of limited sleep. It’s just not right. Thank God newborn babies are really cute and helpless, otherwise our species would have died off long ago.
Twins are unique and they come with their own set of weird and odd issues. The first is –do you keep them together? Yes, of course you should actually keep both of your twins and not give one away, but what I meant was, should you keep them together in the same crib or in separate cribs? I’m sure there are lots of opinions on this but we were determined to keep our twins together in the same crib. We kept our daughter in a bassinet in our bedroom but as soon as our son came home from the hospital, we put them together in the same crib. I remember that first night when my unflappable mother came running giddily into me and said “You must come see them. It’s the cutest thing I think I’ve ever seen.” It was awfully cute, two small 6-ish-pound babies in that gigantic crib sleeping soundly. Fast-forward six months, and they were rolling over onto each other and kicking each other in the head. It was time they each had their own crib and although we were worried about their separation anxiety, they had none.
Another decision a new twin parent has to make is their attire. Do you dress your twins alike? Lucky for us we had a boy and a girl so it made life easier for us. We had lots of matching clothes in the beginning but soon they outgrow those cute onesies and you move on to toddler and kid clothes that are really cute. But no matter how tempting it is to buy your twins identical outfits, try very hard to not do it. Now, matching outfits are totally fine for holidays like Christmas, the 4th of July, and even family pictures, but be careful; it’s a very dangerous road to go down.
A few years down the road, any mom with more than one kid will know that Conflict Resolution is a mainstay in her house. With twins it’s even worse. Even with a boy and a girl, there is constant conflict over a toy, a game, or even how to make up a story. They each scream and stomp off and generally someone has gotten hit or kicked. Susie Walton teaches a great parenting class called Redirecting Children’s Behavior and with four grown boys, she knew about fighting firsthand. But she told us once that if there’s no blood and no one is in real danger, it’s probably best to let them work it out on their own. That actually works most of the time but resolving conflict is almost second nature to us now. We have found lots of ways for both of them to get what they want and hopefully respect each other in the process.
I’m sure soon we’re going to find out a number of other things that are unique to twins but those are my three for now. Twins are a logistical nightmare but if you’re diligent and plan ahead, you can get it all done. Anyway, my mom tells me the return policy on kids is just terrible so I guess we’ll keep ‘em.