Join Club Momme for exclusive access to giveaways, discounts and more!

Sign up

10 Things Parents of Twins Need to Know

When a friend sent an email introduction to me and his pal, who’s expecting twins this summer, it got me thinking about the stuff I wish I’d known when I was pregnant with my now 3-year-old boy and girl.

I ain’t gonna lie – parenting twins is tough. But it’s also pretty awesome. I mean, when else in life are you going to have two human beings want to be near you so much that they will literally push one another out of the way?

Here are the things I wish someone had told me:

RELATED: 10 Things You Never Knew About Twins

1. Don’t worry if you’re a little sad or upset at first

Even though I was thrilled to finally be pregnant, part of me mourned the loss of the image I had of me and Luke with one baby, being a sweet little family of three. Suddenly I wasn’t just having a baby—I was having a project. But as I let myself sit with the idea of twins, ultimately I realized how lucky I was: I was getting an instant family! When I learned I was getting the “variety pack,” as a friend called it, I was even more excited that I’d get the chance to have a son and a daughter. Not only could my wedding gown potentially make a re-appearance, I could now impose my Duran Duran fantasies on a tall, skinny boy who will learn to play bass guitar whether he likes it or not.

2. Be kind to your ever-expanding body

There’s no way to sugarcoat this, sister. You are going to get large. At five months into my pregnancy, I was fielding “Any day now?” questions. At eight months, motorists were rolling down their windows and yelling "You're having twins!" at me as I walked down the street. Start some kind of exercise regime right now, even if it’s just walking or prenatal yoga. Lie on the floor and put your feet up the wall. Take heart that getting dressed will be a cinch—flowy sundresses and flip-flops will be your uniform for the last few months.

3. Say HELL, YES! to any and all offers of help

Being a can-do kind of girl, I’ve always avoided asking other people for assistance. You need to scratch this philosophy ASAP. There are two of them and, even if your partner is super-involved, many times it will be just you. From big offers like relatives letting you take a night away to a random stranger offering to hold the door open, put your pride aside and make life a little easier.

4. Leave the fucking house

The first time I placed the two car seats into the Snap N’ Go I thought, "Go where?" Suddenly, a simple trip to the grocery store seemed like an obstacle course devised by the twisted producers of a "Fear Factor"-type reality show. What I discovered was, when there’s a will there really is a way almost 99 percent of the time. Being outside in the fresh air, even if it’s just for a random errand, will remind you that you’re part of the world. So go, and go right away.

5. Keep it in your bra

If you’re one of those amazing goddess twin moms who actually manages to breast feed, more power to you. I gave myself a pass on this one and felt no guilt or remorse (well, except for that one time my daughter tried putting her mouth on my nipple. Sorry, chick.) Believe me, no one will look at you sideways when you whip out your formula—you have TWO BABIES at once and with that comes a certain level of awe and respect.

6. Find your kind

I resisted subscribing to a listserv for Brooklyn twin parents, and this is one thing I actually regret. At the time, I didn’t want to pigeonhole myself in some sort of freak club. In retrospect, it would have been so helpful to swap stories and tips with other moms and dads going through the special type of insanity that is raising newborn twins.

7. Steal one-on-one time when you can

One of the biggest drawbacks of having twins is that you miss out on giving each child undivided attention. Many times I had to stop snuggling with my daughter to pick up my screaming son, and vice versa. But some of the best times we’ve had were when we didn’t pressure ourselves to be one big traveling family show. I’ll never forget the times I got to take my daughter to brunch, just the two of us, or the subway adventures I've had with my little guy.

8. Schedule twin-free time

Having twins was definitely a shock to our relationship. Once upon a time, we were that couple who decides to jet off to Montreal for the weekend. Now we're the downstairs servants to a pair of small yet demanding aristocrats. The time you spend parenting together does not actually count as couple time, so make sure you get out once in a while just the two of you. Equally, if not even more important, is for you to go out by yourself without a diaper bag and do that thing you do.

9. Laugh when they cry

The sound of two infants screaming in stereo is actually quite comical. It’s loud, it’s all-encompassing, but most of the time your babies are just fine. The upside to all this is that you won’t be one of those moms who freaks out at the first tear—you simply can’t be or you’d be going crazy all the time. Try to keep your sense of humor and the babies will pick up on that vibe. (And when that’s not feasible, just go hide in the bathroom for a few minutes and inhale the scent of your Suave coconut body wash.)

RELATED: Famous Latino Parents With Twins

10. Field strange inquiries with love

Like anything that comes in pairs (cute shoes, boobs, ceramic cat bookends), twins attract a lot of attention. Most of the comments you’ll get will be the typical clichés ("You’ve got your hands full!" "Double trouble!" or "A boy and a girl! Are they identical?"). These comments, for the most part, come from a place of genuine interest in and admiration of your cuties. So be nice. Or be like me and say, "Yeah, identical except that one has a penis!"

Share on Facebook?

Photo credit: Jonathan Altman

Explore More: parenting styles, being pregnant
More from baby