25 Practical Tips About the Horrors of Raising Twins That You Will Never Learn from Movies and TV

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25 Practical Tips About the Horrors of Raising Twins That You Will Never Learn from Movies and TV

By Dustin Rowles | Seriously Random Lists | September 10, 2013 | Comments ()


A few years ago, I wrote a piece entitled, "30 Practical Tips About the Horrors of Raising a Baby That You Will Never Learn from Movies and TV." It was a simple advice piece for new and expecting parents based on our own experiences with our son. Since then, however, my wife and I experienced a harrowing, miraculous monoamniotic twin pregnancy, and managed to live through nearly the first two years of our twin daugther's lives. With that experience now under our belts, I thought I would offer another parenting advice piece to those with new twins, or expecting them. The same advice from the previous piece still applies, of course, in addition to the following 25 listed items.

1. The pregnancy will be harrowing, regardless of what kind of twins you have. Count on something unusual/scary/confusing/gross coming up at some point, and try not to take it too much to heart. The human body is stretched to its limits in any pregnancy; multiple pregnancies start to seem like science fiction the longer you think about them (wait. How many are in there right now?? what!??). So find great care providers and trust them, and remember it will all be a blur from here on in.

2. There's a good chance that, if you have twins, they will spend some time in the hospital after they are born. Twins, even lower-risk twins, are often born prematurely. However, hospitals are amazing these days. While your twins are in the Intensive Care Unit, it will feel like the longest weeks of your life, but chances are, they will be totally fine at the end of it. As long as the days felt while they were in the hospital, however, they will feel twice as long when they come home. In your mind, you will be begging for a nurse to come and feed your children just once more so you can get an extra hour of sleep.

3. If you have identical twins, get used to them drawing lots of attention when you go out in public. The attention is not so much directed at them, but in your general vicinity, like whispers on the sidelines but everywhere you go. In fact, it's kind of fun if one parent takes both twins, and the other parent walks 20 feet behind them to observe all of the faces of people reacting "Did you see those twins? OMG. TWINS!"

4. No matter what kind of twins you have, the first thing everyone you encounter will say is "Are those twins?" People will cross the street to say this to you. They will come out from behind store displays, roll car windows down, leave their vehicles at the gas pump. No matter how many advanced degrees they posses, how many children they have of their own, or how intuitive and erudite they may be normally, they will still ask, "Are those twins?"

Just say "Yes," and try not to sound like you're Cher from Clueless. "Um....yeah!"

5. If you're a Mom of twins, the second question total strangers will ask is, "Are they natural?" Evidently this does not refer to whether they are cyborg or human, but how they were conceived. And yes, it's a very personal question. Which maybe involves everyone in the conversation imagining you having sex. And also, if you have struggled with infertility, this question may bring up really painful experiences that you would prefer not to recall with someone you have never met and will never see again. But don't worry, even if you say they were conceived "naturally," many strangers will assume you're lying.

6. "I knew a twin!" Everyone has a twin story. None of them are interesting. Your cousins are twins?! Wow! Okay! Your mailman's brother had twins and one died. Jeez! Wow! Okay! Your grade-school had seven sets of twins and your mom always said there was something in the water! My goodness. Listen: the only people who have interesting twin stories are parents of twins, and they know you're far too exhausted to hear and/or remember any of them. Older twin parents will smile shyly at you and say "I have twins, too. It gets better. You're doing great." They are like unicorns. Take photos with these people and keep them in your wallet.

7. Some people are really interested in exploring the paranormal powers of twin children. If you are someone who believes in extra-sensory perception, mystical powers, the occult, and paranormal activity, then sure, I get that you might also believe in the possibility of secret twin capabilities. But if you don't believe in these things in any other context, what the hell are you on about? If, when the time comes, our twins independently want to share with the world the unusual qualities of their relationship or abilities, that's cool. Until then, nobody needs to anticipate a "secret language" any more or less than a "terrible pitch" or "great hand-eye coordination." We had twins, not M. Night Shyamalan characters.

8. Twins' behavior is often interpreted as being in concert or in harmony, despite significant evidence to the contrary. For instance, if your twins are both perched atop a slide, their little fists wailing away at each other while they contort their bodies and scream, some may think, "Oh, that's adorable! They're twins! They are frustrated because they want to slide down together, at the same time" when in reality, they are fighting to get away from one another, because each wants to go down the slide first. Sometimes familiarity breeds contempt. Let them be super close, super distant, and anything in between; as with any siblings, their relationship should be allowed to change according to their moods and situations.

9. Along that same vein, it's a good idea to buy two of everything, because at some point, if one twin has a toy, the other twin will also want that same toy, even if there are 99 better toys in the same vicinity. Note that even the two-of-everything approach can backfire, however, if one twin is grabby and insists on having both identical toys at the same time. Give a new, wrapped roll of toilet paper to the twin whose toys have been stolen. Your living room will look like a bomb went off, but who can put a price on 10 glee-filled minutes?

10. You may think that changing diapers for two babies requires the same amount of effort as changing the diaper of one baby, times two. This is inaccurate. It's actually more than twice the effort, because while you are changing one baby's diaper, you will simultaneously have to keep the other baby occupied so that she will not steal the clean diaper you are about to put on or the poopy diaper you have just removed, or crawl over the head of the baby you are attempting to change, or run screaming through the house pulling wipes out of the wipes box and throwing them on the floor while using your phone to update your facebook status to "e29,28889xmn". (All of these things will happen. Regularly.)

11. Despite the fact that your twins were born at the same time, and may even look similar, they will not necessarily develop at the same rate. Try to resist comparison. Do not assume that the twin who has not yet learned how to say "ball" is the dumb one, or that the twin who falls down the least amount of times is the "sporty" one. And just tell your Uncle you want a gift receipt for the "I'm with stupid" onesie.

12. You will have no money. Ever again.

13. It's not a competition: Whether you're raising one or four, raising children is hard. Don't be one of those douchey twin parents that discounts the tireless efforts of other parents just because they're raising singletons. All good parents work hard to raise good children (but yes, twin parents, your job is much harder).

14. Invest in a wholesale club membership. Not only will you save money by buying in bulk, but wholesale clubs have grocery carts designed for two small children, damn near a necessity if you need to buy groceries and the other parent is out of town or otherwise unavailable. It's either that, or front-pack one child, stick the other in the grocery cart, and walk around the grocery store (note to twin Dads: this expert/martyr Dad move will draw the ladies like ducks to bread).

15. If you already have a young child, and now you are having twins, you have to buy a minivan. This seems like a joke. I wish so fervently that it were a joke. But you literally have to go. Right now. The guy who shows them to you is going to talk up the cup holders, as though you care at all about cup holders. Just tell him to quit it with the snow job and find you the cheapest, safest minivan on the lot. Then come home and cry. You just bought a minivan!

16. You will be so tired, you literally won't remember most of the first three to six months. If given the chance, we would have slept anywhere: on the floor, in a dining-room chair, standing up, leaning over. I would have crawled into that space for big items under the shopping cart if I thought I would have been left in peace to sleep. The level of exhaustion is so intense it is like looking into the sun. If you have the money, hire someone to come to your house and when they get there, leave and go to sleep. If you don't have the money, try to take turns so that you can take breaks. If you have an older child who will need your attention when you aren't with the babies, invest in a serious coffee maker.

17. Feeding multiples is really difficult. If you are nursing, pumping, or formula feeding. Some mothers can nurse twins at the same time, and that's amazing. It also means that you'll need to be at home for the first year. Many mothers do not have that option, but insist on breast milk, which means that the mother will basically have a breast pump attached to her for the first year. My wife, who is an attorney, is incredible. She pumped every three hours for 12 months, even if that meant she had to do so in her car in a parking lot outside of a courtroom.

There are an incredible amount of of bottles and pump parts, however, to maintain. Overnight, every three hours (or two hours, during the first few weeks), my wife would pump, while I would wake the twins to feed them. By the time that the feeding process was over, and the bottles made, and the pump parts cleaned, it was time to wake up again. If you're lucky, you get to sleep in four hour-long spurts, interrupted throughout the night.

Also, plan to have a good dish washer, because it will be running perpetually for the first year. This is an actual picture of our countertop during that period.


18. You really don't have any money. Check your bank account; if there's a balance, that means you forgot to buy the car seats.

19. If one of your twins gets sick, infect the other one as soon as possible.The other baby is going to get sick, anyway. It is inevitable. It cannot be prevented, so try to manage it. Take the sick baby's toothbrush, and brush your well baby's entire face with it. The only thing worse to working parents than two sick babies at the same time is one sick baby who gets better right as the other baby gets sick, which means instead of taking off four days to care for your sick children, you have to take off 7 days.

20. Some may assume that because they share the same womb and/or look alike, that they are the same unit. They often will not be referred to as individuals, but as "the twins." Recent studies suggest this isn't great for individuation (you don't say!?!) so try to do things that help people (including yourself) remember the distinct attributes of each child. This is particularly important because you will rarely know where they are, and sometimes won't know who is who.

21. Unfortunately, though some may treat your twins as a single unit, that treatment will not extend to daycare, where you will still have to pay for two.

22. If you have identical twins, people will ask you, "How do you tell them apart?" People just assume that, because you are the parents, you will have this magical ability to make the distinction between two completely identical children who have not yet formed personalities. It's much harder than you think. We kept the hospital bracelets on for a week or two, until one of our twins developed a very small, very faint birthmark, which is all we had to go on. Even still, you will call your twins by the wrong name at least three times a day. It does not make you a bad parent. In fact, during the first year, you will not only call your children by the wrong name, you'll call your spouse by the wrong name, and probably your boss, as well. There's a very good chance you will forget your own name from time to time.

23. There's another reason you may call your spouse by the wrong name, too. Once you've seen your spouse at 4 a.m. without pants holding one baby in her arms, while rhythmically patting the other whimpering baby in the crib in a room that smells of diapers, it's hard to recall the person with whom you walked down the aisle.

24. Cloth diapers? Hahahahahahahahaha!

25. Twins are an experience unlike any other, and you are lucky to have the chance to try your hand at this insanely complicated parenting challenge. Embrace the craziness, and be good to yourselves. It really does get better. Someday. I'm sure of it.

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • Karen Katulka

    I absolutely loved this. We had twin boys born on Valentine's Day of this year. I just read your "A Valentine's Day Miracle..." story. So beautiful. We had been told we would have MoMo twins, as well. Though the membrane was discovered at 24 weeks. So glad your baby girls were healthy. Big thumbs up to your wife! Thank God for happy Valentine's Day stories. Thanks for sharing.

  • Vera

    Thanks for the honest article. You should write a book. It would be a great title. I have twin 4 year old girls and it's been a wonderful experience but also extremely challenging. I truly love them, but sometimes I wish HONESTLY that I did not have twins, because of all the challenges.

    My latest challenge, is trying to get them in them in their car seats. They have not gone anywhere in the past month because of this. It has affected all of us tremendously.

  • jlefief

    Love this!! My singleton was 2 1/2 when my twins were born and I swear it is like you stole all the thoughts out of my head. We are always saying "it's not twice as hard, it's three or four times as hard in a lot of areas!" Nobody understands that except other twin parents.

  • Muddydog

    As a father of 21-month-old twin daughters, most of these items have been spot on for us, especially the mind numbing exhaustion during the first four months and the crazy counter top space. The funniest one though is #24; I really can't imagine cloth diapers. ever.

  • kelly

    I have identical twin girls who are three and a thirteen year old son. I laughed so hard reading this because it's all so true! thanks for the laughs!

  • Carrie

    I have twins. I smile at parents with small twins but I never speak to them. Mine are 11 now so we are just getting to the no money ever. This is the best article ever!

  • Mrs.Rippers

    Well, that was depressing. I'm about to give birth to twins and already have a school age daughter. I guess I should just give birth and promptly divorce myself for any hope of ever having financial stability or joy. Really looking forward to it as we are already struggling and the twins were a surprise. Can't wait to not be able to feed my kids.

  • MMS

    Took one identical twin to college in Denver in August, taking the other to UCDavis on Saturday. It gets better, well the sleep thing does, until they get to high school! Then the lack of sleep thing happens again.

    The money never gets better. Well maybe in three more years when they are done with college! Thanks for the laughs. And know that it is possible so sleep standing up. Easier done when you can lean against a wall!

  • pudgystummy

    Great read - thank you! #19 made me spit out my drink - so funny and so very true. If I may, I'd like to add:

    26. Be prepared to go through your family history of having or not having twins.
    27. Be prepared to be asked whether or not you plan on having more kids.

  • idautism

    I am a proud mom of id twin boys. They both have mod to severe autism. Sleep? I'm never gonna get it. I love them with all of my heart. Such good souls.

  • twinmom

    all of this is 100% true and completely hysterical. I have 10 year old boy girl twins and have gone through all of this. I must say it does get better, but it is still funny and sad at the same time. how is that even possible. what an insane experience!!! I somehow enjoy this craziness.

  • Randy Townsend

    16 is the gospel. Mine just turned 14 and I was NEVER as tired as I was the first 9 months. One had colic, I was driving 4 hours a night from 1-5 just so he would sleep, his Mom and his brother could sleep, and I could avoid the screaming/crying. 3 hours of sleep a night for 5 in a row - we'd sleep on the weekends, taking turns in order to get a solid 6 just to keep going. You don't remember most of it because the lack of sleep kills your memory.

  • Kristina

    Both my sisters had (Natural) twins. One had a set fraternal boys and used disposable diapers and the youngest had a set of identical boys and used only Cloth Diapers (except in route during cross country travel).

  • M

    I used to look after a girl/boy set, plus their 4 year old brother. On several occasions, while we were walking down the street, twins in the pram and boy on foot, I was approached and asked if they were triplets.....hmmmm

  • 3Under2

    Everyone does have a twin story. And they are all boring and as I am chasing my 2 who are going opposite directions in the grocery aisle, I really don't care. And I really don't want to hear about how YOU are a twin. The only people I listen to are the people who say "I have twins." Those people have good stories. And usually offer hope.

  • michelle

    i will never understand this. my twins will be crying or running around and i'm sure i have this worried/annoyed/i'm really busy right now look on my face. but people will still want to tell me about the twins they know or ask me questions about my twins. never ever has it been "oh looks like you're needed, i'll let you go". and anyone who does have twins, usually keep it short and sweet. no advice or stories, just "i have twins, it'll get better". which is funny because those are the only people i'd be willing to talk to longer

  • Jen

    We had two sets of twins, three years apart. I would add this to the list of annoying questions, "don't you know what's causing that?!?" also burns image of sex having in brain and I've been asked about our boy/girl twins, "are they identical?" Uh, no. No they are not. He has a penis and she does not. You post was spot on, thank you!

  • Bartmann_van_Ghent

    I guess the best approach is to ignore the parents and the twins entirely, unless one is forced into an interaction.

  • Ciara

    I hallucinated spiders crawling all over the wall from sheer exhaustion. LOL at "By the time that the feeding process was over, and the bottles made, and the pump parts cleaned, it was time to wake up again". I swear newborns can communicate - how does the one KNOW the other one just fell asleep so he/she can now wake up?? And I should have done that toothbrush/germ thing - then at the doctor you can just quickly slip in the other one as well and say - "thisonehasthesamecanIhaveanotherperscriptionplease" and save huge amounts (that are going into the minivan and diapers). I thought I would never have been seen DEAD in a minivan and now I am so grateful for our huge old scrapheap!

  • Alison

    Grrr... I found this article a little annoying. Having twins is a lot of fun all around. If you choose to take everyone's comments personally that is your own fault. Enjoy the attention and quit acting like you "hate it". You will never feel as special as this again in your life. And, yes, it is possible for twins to be born full term, without induction and they CAN be exclusively breast fed.

  • Jewell Sloan

    Yes, I totally agree with you. I feel like I read a lot of negative stuff about twins. How about an article about how wonderfully blessed we are to have twins? And not to worry, twin pregnancies are not much more risky than a singleton, as everyone in the world wants to tell you about how scary and risky they are.

  • Kara Bacon

    In defense of #4, it isn't always obvious if two children are twins. My sister is two years older than I am but I've always been tall while she is on the short side and even though we looked nothing alike other than our height we always got the "Are you twins?" question from about ages 3-9. I also know boys who are 11 months apart but look identical and their mother dresses them in similar clothing. I'm completely guilty of #3, too. I always wanted twins until I actually had children myself but it's just such a special thing that us twinless people can't resist. I can't, anyway.

  • Lamom

    I love 24 the best but yes this is extremely accurate!! The first 6 months are a total blur. My twins are 16 now and it is a love / hate relationship. Fighting one minute and helping each other with homework the next. It is a beautiful thing!! Now I see young twins and feel horrified...like how did we survive it. Of course, I hide this feeling from the parents of said twins but honestly I don't know how we survived it. You have to survive it and so you just do.

  • Garland Wilson

    advice from my brother. If people ask if you are twins say yes we are give us a dollar. If they ask if you are brothers say yes we are give us $5. This will pay for your college education.

  • lyd

    I have twin boys.... We have no money ha but I think to find the experience fun is the best way forward and meticulous planning for anything that is out of routine....my boys are 8...xxx

  • twinparent

    "Are they real"? "No, they're plastic." That's my answer to #5 for my identical twin boys.

  • Megan

    this is an absolutely hysterical summary of the last 14 years of our lives with identical girl twins -- THANK YOU -- I am printing this off and putting it in each of their baby books! You are dead on!!

  • Jessica Schultz

    I get comments from my friends all the time that its easier to raise twins because they have a built in playmate. It ticks me off all the time because I was like yeah if mommy is considered a built in playmate, then yea, they do have a built in playmate. They are 3 1/2. Constantly asking mommy will you do a puzzle with me, read this with me, play a game, this, that and the other thing. It's the same as having 2 singleton kids. Do they constantly play together? And play together well?

  • nng

    This article had me laughing (and weeping a bit) so hard. Every bit of it is true. The picture of the countertop with all the baby bottles - that was our kitchen. Running out of an academic conference to buy a hand pump which I then used in a bathroom stall - I did that. Imagine nursing two babies and then going away for 2 days when you can't nurse. Yup. Or trying to infect the other baby with whatever germs one baby has - did that. Getting a mammoth diaper bag ready, wheeling out the relatively unused stroller, strapping one baby in, only to find that the other needs a diaper change, so you have to take the other out as well. And then by the time both are changed, they need to be fed. And at some point you look at the stroller and wonder what it's doing there in the middle of the living room? I still remember sunday nights when the night doula would come for one night a week so my husband and I could teach our classes on Monday mornings with more than 2 hours of sleep. That hour from 9pm to 10 when the doorbell rang- the longest three weeks of my life!

  • twinstoo

    This is all so true...believe me...just wait until they go to college...and get married in the same year!

  • Ashley Foster

    I have fraternal boy twins and get asked if they are identical....hello,one has brown hair brown eyes and the other one is blonde hair blue eyes lol...they are as different as night and day.

  • Sandy Egly Phelan

    Love this! Thanks for sharing. You hit the nail on the head!

  • Mother of 4 under 3.5

    i got bored at 16. Why is it that everyone who writes these sorts of lists is so bitter. Be happy, sure its work, but its the BEST FUN EVER!!!!

  • DominaNefret

    Not sure where you got anything bitter out of this sweet, humor-infused article. Not sugarcoating reality isn't the same thing as bitterness.

  • SamsonAndDelilah

    Maybe you should try reading the rest of the list. The bottom of the list had me in tears laughing.

  • sal

    I always get asked if my twins - now 10 - are identical. Well, the fact that even now I still get them muddled up must answer that one! And if you have young twins or are expecting twins, trust me it does get easier when they start to play with each other and you get a little more "free" time to stick the washing on or make something to eat. I had my twins first and still went on to have 2 more kids after so they can't be that bad

  • Jo

    My twin sons are now 7 and I totally agree with all of the above.

    My sons are non-identical and went to after school care at one point, it annoyed me when the girls looking after them still said they were getting them mixed up!! Hello, apart form the fact they look different one has blonde hair and one has brown hair, surely thats enough of a difference... Oddly this after school care didnt work out!

  • hedra

    If you're succeeding at breastfeeding twins, you can definitely work and breastfeed (pump or supplement or both). Please do not despair if you have to work and want to breastfeed! Also, we managed cloth diapering fine with twins, but I suspect it helps to have done it before (it actually means your pail cycles faster, which I preferred). Like with breastfeeding, you may end up splitting your options (we also used disposables sometimes, because the mix gave more options than just one).

  • Aly

    I agree too - my b/g twins are 14 now. One other thing though. You can always tell if those who approach have kids already. Those who haven't will say "OMG twins! I hope one day to have twins of my own" and on the other hand, those with singletons already will say "OMG twins! How do you cope?!" I have a singleton now too - 9 years age difference. If I'd have known how easy one was I may have done it sooner!

  • anonymous

    Got a kick out of this. Many of these apply to my "irish twins" as well, at least to a degree.

  • Carissa Zuniga

    I very clearly remember being at the car dealership while my twins were in the NICU. I had to excuse myself to pump while my husband finalized the deal.
    This list is highly accurate.

  • Juan Rivera

    Eerily accurate.

  • alexmarie1

    We have 2 sets of twins, 21 months apart… and yes they were those "natural" types… by that I mean we were spontaneously blessed.. two times, and again two times. I recognize that and have from the start, so I never want to discredit the path some parents go down to make their family dreams a reality, and refer any other method as "unnatural", I am basically a genetic freak… but in a good way. Your article is great, it brought back so many, blissful memories;) the month after my g/g twins turned 1, I found out I was expecting again- SURPRISE! and then we had an ultrasound later that month- double SURPRISE! When I brought home set #2 (b/g) from the hospital, my "older girls were 21 months… that made for 4 children, age 1 and under. Currently we have two 4 year olds, and two 2 year olds under our roof… I'll let your imagination run with that. These have been the most amazing 4 years of my life. Most challenging, eventful, uneventful, horrific, hilarious, and WTF moments than I could have ever imagined. Twins are beyond interesting. Once again, thanks for the article, made me laugh.

  • Amanda Gallucci

    I have 5 kids total including my 2 year old twins and yes I have a minivan and number 12 applys to me lol..

  • Wendy

    What a great article!! I have twin boys- not identical. Infant one has red hair and the other brown and still get asked if they are identical. Ha! Ha! I love reading this, I laughed and agreed with it all!

  • Wendy

    Not infant, In fact

  • Hmwiley

    I totally agree with all of these except #24. I've cloth diapered my twins (now 20 months) and it was very manageable!! We also saved a lot of money :)

  • CJ

    Thank you for the laughter and the walk down memory lane with the sleepless nights and mass quantities of bottles (Our sippy cup situation looked exactly the same! ! We've made to 5 years with twin boys and holding on tight for the rest of the ride!

  • AM1

    agree with all! my id boys are almost 11 - but I disagree with the lol @ clothies - i sued clothies for my twins AND their 14 mths older sister and as the twins came out of them their baby brother went into them!

  • Budsygus

    Twin 5-month-old boys here. EXCELLENT list. People, listen to me: If you see twins it's ok to say how cute they are and it's ok to ask if they're identical, but do NOT tell stories. In fact don't do anything that will take more than 15 seconds of this parents' time because time is the one thing as precious and scarce to these people as their money now is. Seriously. 15 seconds is the limit.

  • Twin 2

    I wasn't able to read through the comments, so someone may have already mentioned this. The other people who have good twin stories are twins. I'm a twin, born in the 70s before a lot of technology, so my mom didn't know she was having twins until after the first twin (my sister) was born. Also, she has zero good twin stories because she says she was too traumatized from being a parent of twins. Anyway, your piece was funny. Wait 'til people start saying things like X is the happy twin and Y is the sad one, or X is the fat one, Y is the thin one. Good luck!

  • ch

    I almost peed myself laughing. Thank you thank you!! I agree wholeheartedly!

  • Jewell Sloan

    I HATE it when people tell soon-to-be mothers of twins all of the negative things about pregnancy - way to stress them out & have them live their pregnancy in fear of something going wrong. My pregnancy was PERFECT. No morning sickness, no stretch marks, a 5 hour labor, both super healthy twins who had no NICU time. I am part of an online forum of women who also had twins, and I'd say 75% will tell you a similar story. I'd like to see a change in the way people view twin pregnancy and birth, because it is NOT that much more risky than a singleton birth. Maybe a little more risky, but not so much more that it even needs mention.

  • SamsonAndDelilah

    Yes, a twin pregnancy is much more risky than a singleton pregnancy. Hence why we tend to go to maternal-fetal OBs and have way more doctor visits (I went from bi-weekly to weekly). I'm glad you had a perfect pregnancy, but that is NOT the case for most moms of multiples. Just like 75% of your online forum friends had perfect pregnancies, about 75% of the twin moms I know had difficult ones.

    And I don't see this article as trying to scare new parents. It's funny and it's true.

  • Laura Gargiulo

    I never try to frighten pregnant women... But neither should I let them walk around in rose colored glasses. Truth is every pregnancy and every woman is different. One woman can do everything "right" and have a rough time and an early delivery, and another woman can practically do everything they want and have a perfect vaginal delivery with 8 pound babies. My friend had 6 1/2-7 pound triplets at 36 weeks. But, I always tell them to listen to their bodies and keep the doctor informed. Twins are different than Singletons And you just don't know how a body will respond. So, don't go in to a pregnancy terrified, but keep your eyes open for any problems... I did everything right, but delivered early and my kids have CP.

  • Pixie

    As a mom of twin boys....SO TRUE! Money? What money? I'm supposed to have money???

  • Mommaof4

    GREAT list! Couldn't agree more! My identical boys are 27, and #'s 3,4,5,6,12,13,14,18,20,22,and 25 all still apply. It's a grand adventure filled with a lot of laughter if you just hang on and go for the ride! So proud to be a surviving mom if multiples!😄

  • twinsome

    #26: Prepare to have every article, meme, video, etc of twins sent to you in multiples as well. Friends and family think every twin thing out there is meant for you. I have been emailed, tagged in, and given the "You don't get lunch, She thought I was you and fed me twice" twin meme at least 4 times. The dancing twins, maybe 6 or 7. Enjoy.

  • Tiifany

    I love this. I'm the momma of 19 month old identical twin boys and I considered kidnapping our NICU nurse when we all came home.

  • Brittany

    Wow, great article for someone who is about to have twins to read. You paint such a lovely picture, and give those of us who aren't there yet (but will be) so much hope. (says this woman pregnant with twins in total sarcasm)

  • Liz

    The joke was seriously on us when we already had three kids under 5 and found out I was pregnant with twins. (I cried. The doctor thought they were tears of joy.) Now the twins are 19 months (kill me..seriously...do it) and we get the twin comments ON TOP OF the Are-these-all-yours? comments. Just tack on an extra hour to grocery shopping, because it's like we're a freak show walking around. And yes, they are boy/girl twins and people ask EVERY TIME if they are identical. I just say yes. Why bother?

  • Kimberly

    I have boy/girls twins, 4.5 years old. This list is very accurate! I have been able to be part of a local group who speaks to expectant parents of multiples, and these are many of the things we speak about! I have to respectfully disagree with your stance on cloth diapers however...we used them for over a year and it went very well. Thanks for sharing your insights, and yes, it does get better!

  • Sheryl Stroud Bryant

    Very interesting, funny and tiring story. There is no perfect placement to be in a family. We have 7 blended from two families, the last two are twins. All relationships shifted when we married and continue to ebb and flow! The twins' relationship is complex and interesting.

    Raising kids is very difficult. I think teens are the most difficult but that's where I am right now... Six of them. 24/7. God give us the strength to persevere!

  • Tina

    Just try Triplets. Trust me. You don't remember the whole freaking first year.

  • twinsoyvey

    this had me laughing out loud. i have 12 week old boy girl twins. Yes people ask if they are identical. hmmmm really?? Anyhow, we cloth diaper and find it to be quite simple and well freakin cheap!! and like you said if you breast feed you either pump constantly or stay home for a year and we chose for me to quite my job. as hard as that was (i loved my job) im glad i did. One because im too cheap to pay for child care when i can do it myself, but also im too cheap to pay for diapers and formula. You are right about other twin parents tho. we run into them all the time and they are always so sweet and say you're doing great and it does get better, much better. I never thought about taking a picture with them tho. Another thing before i try to go to bed....i dont know what your childrens names are, but people seem to have such an issue with the fact that my babies dont have names that "match"....whats the big deal? they are after all individuals are they not??? people are so strange.

  • Jenny

    Brilliant! Hysterical!! Accurate!!!

  • mateatavahine

    We have a son who had just turned one when the twins were born.. as the twins were a bit older people always stopped us and asked if our kids were triplets.. We had a VERY LIMITED WINDOW of time to get stuff done so my husband would get frustrated.. He would respond with.." Nope they are quads and the reason he is so much bigger is because he ATE the smallest one.." The look on those peoples faces was priceless... hehehehe

  • DeltaJuliet

    That is awesome.

  • Lori

    This is great - would you mind if we reprint it in our Twins & Triplets newsletter for our members to read? We would include a link to this site and your credit information?

  • pajiba


  • Molly

    God bless your wife for pumping exclusively! I am 6 months into breastfeeding twins but I only pump when I'm away from them. I am also an attorney, so yes, that means in the car, in the parking lot of the courthouse, at mediation under a nursing cover in the presence of other lawyers, mediators, and clients...The things we do to give them that "liquid gold!" (And yes, I tandem feed. The lactation consultant in the hospital told me not to get too ambitious, but the first night, when the crazy milk-sucking wailing vampire babies from outer space were brought in from the nursery, I thought, "hell, now is as good a time as any to learn to tandem feed." The boys have never looked back, though they are at an age where they stick fingers in each others' nose, ears, and mouth while they each try to feed.) Loved this post...and the top 30 things about kids they won't tell you in the movies. We still laugh about how far can a child poop? As far as the wall is!

  • So tired

    And how many people have asked your twins "who's older"? There's nothing like making one of them feel more important than the other. All they hear from that question is "older must be better".

  • So tired

    See how tired? I had to repost this because I left a word out :)

  • So tired

    And how many people have asked your twins "who's older"? There's nothing like making one of them feel important than the other. All they hear from that question is "older must be better".

  • Regan

    I love these. xo Dustin and Mrs. Pajiba-Hyphenate!

  • Laura Gargiulo

    Ha! I've got 4 surviving quintuplets. This list applies to us mommies of higher order, too, 'cept we have a full size van..,:-) I have 3 girls and a boy and constantly am asked if they are identical... Even now at 12 when they look nothing alike... I've been known to say some rather rude things when people ask me if they are natural! But now I just say "yup" and walk away. Your doing fine! It gets easier over time, well except for all the teenage hormones beginning to flow!
    Oh, and I pumped for 15 months... The Lord of The Rings came out when they were little, and I mentioned that I had read the trilogy in preparation. My husband said WHEN? I said "YOU try pumping at 2 o'clock in the morning and try to sleep..."

  • DominaNefret

    It is a really interesting phenomenon, how curiosity causes people to completely inadvertently detach themselves from empathy. Even after you wrote all of that out, in my head I went "quintuplets? wow! Those are rare. I do wonder if they are natural."
    It made me think about how often feeling desire for information as if it is a NEED will trump manners. Just because something is fascinating and interesting to me, doesn't mean it is information you need to share! I may not judge you for it, but that doesn't mean it is something you want to/are comfortable with sharing.
    (This "I" and "you" are hypothetical examples.)
    (Also, I am NOT asking you if they are natural or not, just confessing my curiosity to help make my point!)

    I wonder how many overly personal questions I have accidentally asked people? I can be pretty blunt, but I do try to also be empathetic and polite. That does not discount the fact that I can admittedly also sometimes be totally oblivious.

  • Laura Gargiulo

    Ha! I had help to ovulate, but the rest of it was natural, so they are natural, whatever that means to a person. There isn't anything artificial in little people anyway, since we haven't figured out how to make synthetic eggs or sperm...:-)

    Yep, people get so overwhelmed by my REALITY that they either don't believe it, or they feel they can ask exceedingly person questions in places like supermarket lines...:-)

  • Chloe Lynn

    #6 Mine are 15, it does get better, but I also still need to hear it!

    #9 Refer to the toddler’s rules (this goes for ANY toddler’s): http://www.scrapbook.com/poems...

    #14 Hubby, Ken, can attest to this!

    #15 Take the twins with you to bargain on the price – they will get you out of their dealership at any cost!

    #17 Praise to God that I could nurse the twins until cups!

    #18 Money? What’s that?

    #19 Ugh, remember RSV?

    #20/21/22 whatever…. My childs’ name: “BaiEmOLilyWhatever”

    #25 It does get better and did I say it already? At 15, I still need to hear it ;-)

  • irishspring

    #10 is incredibly, eerily true. I have 2 year old identical boys and that very screaming, wipe-throwing scene was enacted cor the 451, 374th time just today; only my facebook status read "h kbps on $*&nd"

  • threeboysandagirl

    Our favorite twin comments: "Are they BOTH yours?" My husband said, "No, one's hers and one's mine, and we're on a first date." Lol. The winner goes to the waitress who asked if they were identical. Yes. "And they're BOTH boys???" Here's your sign.

  • EM

    I have boy girl twins that just turned 2 yesterday, and in the beginning it was always. "oh twins" are they twins, are they identical, (mind you one has a penis and the other does not).. And my BIGGEST pet peeve is "The Twins" my family and friends do it even though they know my dislike for it!

  • e jerry powell

    I will confine myself to mentioning that I own a minivan (a 2008 Kia Rondo), and I am completely childless. I carry my cello, and occasionally my oldest niece.

    I got the minivan because I am 6'3" and there aren't many affordable standard-size cars that I fit into (though I discovered the joys of a Chrysler 200 this past weekend while the van was in the shop).

  • momof2wholeboys

    I have to disagree with some of those things. My boys were born at 36 weeks and 4 days and did not spend any time in the NICU at all. Also, I'm cloth diapering them. It's really not that much work. Feeding them wasn't really hard either. You just figure out a system that works and stick to it. They're 13 months old now and happier than ever.

  • where's_wallace

    "Everyone has a twin story. None of them are interesting."

    Mine's kindof interesting: in my 20's, within the span of about 5 years I dated TWO sets of twins, back to back. I dated Twin #1 for several months, then he dumped me and then I rebounded with his twin brother (#2) about a month later, and that lasted for a little less than a year. Immediately after that I ended up with a boyfriend (Twin #3) of 4 years that ended up breaking my heart, and I was so messed up about it I rebounded again with HIS twin brother (Twin #4) who told me he was madly in love with me. It was the most dysfunctional 5 years of my life. I am still great friends with twin #2 though.

  • DeltaJuliet

    Point made. That IS an interesting twin story! Also rather messed up.

  • Mrs. Julien

    That is indeed interesting.

  • Virginia Louden

    i love how you didn't have to exaggerate a single point. Spot on! Love this. I have 5 kids and the youngest are 11 month old twins. Great post.

  • beth

    I agree with everything....except after 80 days in the NICU with my twins I never once wished to see a nurse again.

  • Anina

    I cloth diapered our twins from the time they came home from the hospital all the way through potty training. Then they had a little brother when they were 25 months and I cloth diapered him too. All three kids were in cloth for a while!

    I also pumped every 2-3 hours for a year too. Anything is possible!

  • Yep, every single one is true. My fraternal twins are 19 (boys, well, young men, now) and off at college now. I never have and still don't have money, but I wouldn't trade them for the world.

  • Bonnie

    As a parent of b/g twins, I'll say that I've lived every single one of these in the last 17 months except for #8. When they're different genders, everyone but EVERYONE tries to tell you how "boy" and "girl" they are. They're both fighting over a toy? "Oh, he's just all boy, isn't he? Look how physical he is." They both run up and beg for a 'nack or bubbles or milk? "She's such a girl, so verbal!"

  • tipperteal

    I mostly agree. :) It's possible to cloth diaper (I did, even with four kids total) and breastfeed without staying home for an entire year (you *can* breastfeed outside the house and pump while you're at work). Also, most twins arrive prematurely because that's when doctors say they should arrive, but there's pretty good evidence that one can go ahead and carry one's twins as long as they decide to gestate. Many moms of twins I know carried past 38 weeks (I went to 39).

  • Tina Jones Kinney

    I have to laugh at all of the "I want to have twins," and "I'm wishing for twins" comments on here. I wouldn't wish my 5 y/o boys (the youngest of 4 boys) away for the world, but I don't think I'd wish them on anyone else either

  • DeltaJuliet

    When I was pregnant with my oldest, I thought "oh wouldn't it be fun to have twins?" After all, they run in the family and all that. However, once my son was born, I quickly thanked God for only giving me one at a time.

  • Diane

    you forgot to mention the people who ask if your twins are identical, when they are obviously a boy and a girl----SO not identical!

  • Jessica

    I absolutely love this. My twins just turned 2. And we have a baby due in January.. I didn't see any mention of how I can expect that to go.. Maybe I don't want to know. ;)

  • Sofia

    My parents somehow managed to raise 7 children. We all went to college. They let us study whatever we wanted. We never had a Nintendo or luxury cars or any of those things that seemed so important to have in the eighties and nineties, but we vacationed together every year and Sunday dinner was always special because it meant we could have hot dogs or pizza once a week. My oldest sibling was born when my parents were 22. My youngest sibling finished college last year. My parents were 63.

    When I read pieces about parenting, whether it's about multiple births or singletons, I find myself wondering how the hell they managed to do it.

    What I'm saying is, thank you for making me appreciate my parents even more. And it does get better.

  • Momof3

    Oh my goodness! I laughed so hard while reading this article and my two year old laughed along with me...even though she had no clue why I was laughing. This is hilariously accurate! I have 15 month old twins and things have finally "calmed down" within the past few months. When I say 'calmed down," I mean less fussing and crying, and more sleep for everyone. Of course, our life is still as busy. They climb into everything and get stuck, sit on each other, and fight over toys...but that's easier to tolerate when we've had "real sleep".

    Great article! I can't wait to show my husband.

    "Then come home and cry. You just bought a minivan!" Haha!
    "18. You really don't have any money. Check your bank account; if there's a balance, that means you forgot to buy the car seats."

    I love it!

  • Guest

    I agree with all of the above....let me tell you that these facts above also relate to having two boys 13 months apart ... also then a third child ,,, 3.5 year old, 2.5 year old and a newborn....and I did use cloth diapers... for five years.

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