twin advice from non twin moms - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 45 Old 03-02-2008, 09:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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#2 of 45 Old 03-02-2008, 10:49 PM
 
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I know, it's frustrating. Also the, "well, mine were almost like twins because they were X months apart"

I either change the subject or just smile and nod. "Thanks for the info, it's something I can consider" In one ear, out the other

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#3 of 45 Old 03-02-2008, 10:55 PM
 
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I know, it's frustrating. Also the, "well, mine were almost like twins because they were X months apart"
: ohhhh!! I HATE that one! It goes to my core everytime...sorry sweetie but a 15 month old and newborn are nothing like twins!

To the OP...all I can do is : b/c it will get so much worse! Usually when people would do that to me, I would just say 'thanks' but completely ignore it..Sometimes I'm sure they could tell that I wasnt listening, I have a way with looks

The other one that you will hear alot that drives me crazy is "I dont know how you do it with twins, I can barely handle the one I have now"...And the whole time I'm thinking "why are you complaining, one baby would be a piece of cake!" But I guess until you have preemie, colicky, high-demand newborns (now toddlers that stay up all nite screaming, anything would be a piece of cake!

single mommy to identical twin girls (3/06) Non-traditional mama just : through life.
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#4 of 45 Old 03-02-2008, 11:19 PM
 
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I am sure I have gotten advice before, but I can't think of anything at the moment. One comment that drives me crazy is: "My kids are only 15 months apart. I am sure it would have been easier to have twins!" Why do people think twins are EASIER than having children one at at time? Pregnancy is harder, birth is harder, breastfeeding is harder, everything is harder-what is easy about having 2 at once?

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#5 of 45 Old 03-02-2008, 11:24 PM
 
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You could invite them to your house for a day to try out their suggestions!

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#6 of 45 Old 03-02-2008, 11:28 PM
 
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Ah yes the infamous "Oh, I have 2 children 17 months apart - it's just like having twins." comment

My Dh loves to reply "Well I guess since we have a toddler who was 19 months when the twins were born - it's like we have triplets." I WOULD NEVER in my right mind say that to a triplet momma!

I hate

"well, you got two for the price of one"
"I had mine the old fashioned way"
"well I hear it's actually easier when they are older."
"they have each other at night - so they should sleep better" Please don't discuss sleep with me.

and my least favorite
"I bet there is a lot of crying at your house." I hate that my babies cry more than my singleton ever did - you have no idea what it's like to have twins and a 19 month old in my house, with my situation.

i've had people tell me about how I should bounce one and rock the other at the same time, or how to "schedule" them or give them bottles to take a break and "get away"

Seriously, just tell me they are precious and forget the advice unless i spifically ask you what you think.
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#7 of 45 Old 03-03-2008, 12:43 AM - Thread Starter
 
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#8 of 45 Old 03-03-2008, 04:47 AM
 
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when I found out that I washabing twins my mom said "I had you and your brother 20 months apart so I know what it wi be like" my mom practically moved in with us after I gave birth and she still comes over three days a week. she is the first person to tell strangers that having two babies close together is NOTHING like having twins It isn't better or worse, it is just different.

I rarely get unsolicited advice any more, or if I do I'm just automatically tuning it out. It is the rude comments about "double trouble" or remarks on how relieved i must be now that I'm done having kids that irk me and I usually can't help but snark back.
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#9 of 45 Old 03-03-2008, 05:14 AM
 
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I didn't get so much unsolicited advice, but I got the "oh mine are close together just like twins" comment a *lot* I also got the "your three are like triplets" a lot (Rivka is 17 months younger than the twins). I will say there are some things easier about having twins, and some things easier about having a 17 month (and now an almost 3 year) gap. So yeah no real advice, but sympathy here too.

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#10 of 45 Old 03-03-2008, 09:53 AM
 
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Originally Posted by kjoy2 View Post
You could invite them to your house for a day to try out their suggestions!
My sister watched my girls for 4 hours one day. My older kids were gone. I had everything prepped and ready so she could just focus on the babies. Got her disposable diapers to use, the works. Her comment? "You could just as easily have 4 or 5 kids the same age, like an assembly line. You could be like a daycare."


Yup- raising my kids is no different than building a car!

But her 3 kids are all in school the whole day, her family income is 6X my families and her life is too hard to manage!

Me.  With 1 spouse, 4 kids, 16 chickens, 74 matchbox cars, 968,562+ legos, a dishwasher waiting to be emptied, a washing machine waiting to be filled and a lost cup of tea in the house.

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#11 of 45 Old 03-03-2008, 12:51 PM
 
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So wait, does that mean I have sextuplets since I have all mine step stepped?!?!?

I do hope having them all close together somehow prepared me for the juggling I'll be doing with twins. I know it's different, but at this point I'm used to managing multiple little people. I hope. Izzy will be 16 months at term and 17 months at my due date. Sheesh. I need some advice on THAT!
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#12 of 45 Old 03-03-2008, 03:18 PM
 
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I got used to it because my DD has Down syndrome and we are constantly given advice by people who don't even remotely have kids with any special needs or experience - especially my mom and MIL
As a reformed "smarty pants" myself i know it comes from a good place and some people just have a personality where they think they just know things even though they have no background or experience. I just sort of smile and nod and usually just change the subject. Though once i was a little peeved with my mom after she went on for 30 minutes about all the stuff i needed to do differently with twin so i said "I'm sorry i didn't know you had twins." which shut her up pretty quickly.

We were just talking to a parent of B/G twins who told us "You will be amazed at how many times you get asked if they are identical."
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#13 of 45 Old 03-03-2008, 04:01 PM
 
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Though once i was a little peeved with my mom after she went on for 30 minutes about all the stuff i needed to do differently with twin so i said "I'm sorry i didn't know you had twins." which shut her up pretty quickly.



That is priceless.

I haven't had this situation (yet.) Mostly, people just tell me stories about twins they know--"my brother has twins and it's amazing to see their bond" or "I have a twin brother and my mother says that..." Lots of twin stories coming out of the woodwork.

But not advice.

I can imagine the "Mine are x months apart and so it's just like having had twins" thing smarting, especially when I'm in the thick of it and feeling that those comments are somehow undermining my identity or reality as a twin mom....like, No you DON'T know and it's NOT "just the same." But I haven't heard that one yet, either.

I haven't even heard that many comments on how big I am (or am not) at X weeks through pregnancy. (Maybe because I'm not getting out that much!) But I've heard a few comments about it, or just noticed perplexed looks. Like at my yoga class. I guess I wasn't obviously pregnant, and then when this woman looked closer she realized I was, and I told her it was twins and how far along I was and I could tell she didn't think I looked THAT big. Which I wasn't, at the time, in terms of grandiose hugeness. But I was already needing maternity clothes for sure, and it so happens I was wearing ones I'd worn in the third trimester with my daughter (singleton pregnancy.)

I just feel like it seems people SHOULD at least realize that they don't necessarily remember how pregnant people look at 17 weeks, 22 weeks, etc. I mean, I don't even remember for sure how big I was at any given period in my previous pregnancy, apart from remembering what clothes I was wearing late in the pregnancy, etc. So when you don't look "big enough to be carrying twins," what exactly do they think they're basing it on? Their knowledge of what YOU looked like at 17 weeks or 22 weeks during a singleton pregnancy? Their impeccable visual memory of what singleton pregnancies tend to look like at, oh, 18 weeks?

It's just weird.

But even so, I've only gotten a few of those.

I dunno. I guess I don't really talk to people all that much, either.
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#14 of 45 Old 03-03-2008, 04:13 PM
 
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I get a lot of the comments about two singletons close in age being the same as twins. Hardly! I've had them close in age before and it's just even comparable. Meeting the needs of multiple newborns who are essentially helpless and need the same things at the same times is very different from having a newborn and a toddler (or even a 9 or 10-mo old!)

I ignore the comments and fortunately I don't seem to get much advice, except from my well-meaning mother. Her list of my parenting faults include not potty-training 12-mo olds, not scheduling, not giving bottles, not spanking, co-sleeping, etc. For some reason I get really defensive when I talk to her about parenting! The whole "you don't have twins" argument never works with her because she really does think she knows better than me! :

Heather, Army wife & Mama to M (10), J (9), L & S (my HBAC babies are 7!), N & R (5), and A (born 11/30/12 UBA2C)
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#15 of 45 Old 03-04-2008, 12:48 AM
 
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: ohhhh!! I HATE that one! It goes to my core everytime...sorry sweetie but a 15 month old and newborn are nothing like twins!
I've got twins and then a singleton 13 months later.

I'd do twins again way before I'd do 13 months apart again. Closely spaced was much, much harder than two at once IMO.

As for the OP, first off, I don't assume that someone without twins can't possibly have a good idea now and then that is specific to multiples. Heck, my neighbor has ONE six year old. I've got twin 6 year olds, a 5 year old, and a 15 month old. She has some *awesome* advice on juggling the four of them.

If, however, the advice is not practical or useful, or is just plain weird, I nod politely and move along. Just like I do with any other advice I get that doesn't work for our family.
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#16 of 45 Old 03-04-2008, 10:46 AM
 
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I've got twins and then a singleton 13 months later.

I'd do twins again way before I'd do 13 months apart again. Closely spaced was much, much harder than two at once IMO.
As for the OP, first off, I don't assume that someone without twins can't possibly have a good idea now and then that is specific to multiples. Heck, my neighbor has ONE six year old. I've got twin 6 year olds, a 5 year old, and a 15 month old. She has some *awesome* advice on juggling the four of them.

If, however, the advice is not practical or useful, or is just plain weird, I nod politely and move along. Just like I do with any other advice I get that doesn't work for our family.

I can really relate to this post - all of it and especially the bolded. I have a local friend who complains. She has twins who are about a year and a half. She also has a full time nanny. she is so excited to have another. I often think that if I had had the twins first I might think the same way. My toddler and twins are 19 months apart and it's been terrible difficult for me. I have no family state wide and we live semi rural. That said I'm rarely rude to people about thier "advice" I just sometimes (especially from the wrong people) find it soooo draining. But I hvae several GF's who have as many or more children than me (all singletons) who DO have some wonderful ideas.
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#17 of 45 Old 03-04-2008, 11:11 AM
 
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I am sure I have gotten advice before, but I can't think of anything at the moment. One comment that drives me crazy is: "My kids are only 15 months apart. I am sure it would have been easier to have twins!" Why do people think twins are EASIER than having children one at at time? Pregnancy is harder, birth is harder, breastfeeding is harder, everything is harder-what is easy about having 2 at once?
Tell me about it.

To the OP.... the only thing I can think to tell you is- hang in there, it does get better as the kids get older! My twins are now 7, and I can't remember the last time I got one of "those" comments. BUT I used to hear it all the time it seemed, when they were younger. I guess it's just the whole "parents of babies/toddlers talk about this type of stuff, while parents of school aged kids talk about that type of stuff" thing, kwim? Kinda like how I feel like an oddball in my AP parenting groups because I really have nothing to say anymore about bf, cd'ng, vaxing, circing, etc etc because I am in a different "phase" of parenting than they are--sure all of those things are important to me, and when they were issues, we made decisions accordingly. But NONE of those things are 'pressing issues' for me anymore (ok, vax still comes up occassionally for me). I mean, with bf and cd... I came, I went, I saw (for YEARS mind you!), and I've moved on LOL With circing, yeah ds is intact- so? He's 3- no one talks about that anymore lol

And so.... a lot of common parenting topics (sleeping through the night, feeding issues, milestones, etc) seemed to be brought up more when they were young, thus leading to the "well my kids are 15 months apart, so that's just like having twins" comments (or the "well twins would have been EASIER" comment)
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#18 of 45 Old 03-04-2008, 12:59 PM
 
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I only have twins (that was enough for me!), so I freely admit that I don't know what I'm talking aobut!

I actually think twins are easier than babies a year apart. My babies were always at exactly the same stage - I nursed them together, which was pretty easy - I didn't have to deal with a toddler (or younger!) at my elbow. My babies napped at the same time, ate at the same time, wore the same clothes, played with the same toys. I never had to deal with "Look out for your brother - he's just a baby!" or "You can do that when you're older, like your sister". I didn't have to try to find time to play Candyland with older ds, while still paying attention to the younger one. Older DS didn't get stuck playing Candyland with little brother, when he was ready for Monopoly.

No doubt about it, the first two years with twins are heck. But after that, it seemed to get easier all the time. One school, one soccer practice, toys in one age range. In our case, it's even better, because our twins are best friends - in 13 years I've rarely seen them fight; they hardly even argue. Give me twins any day!

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#19 of 45 Old 03-04-2008, 07:42 PM
 
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Why do people think twins are EASIER than having children one at at time? Pregnancy is harder, birth is harder, breastfeeding is harder, everything is harder-what is easy about having 2 at once?
But see, sometimes twins ARE easier than singletons or closely spaced siblings.

If I had to rank my pg in order of difficulty, I'd say my 3rd (singleton) was the worst, twin pg in the middle, and 2nd (singleton) was the easiest. My twin c-section was absolutely the easiest simply because I didn't have any little ones that I *needed* to lift that were over the weight restrictions. I could rest when they did instead of feeling like I needed to spend whatever few minutes the baby(ies) were sleeping reading to or playing with an older child.

My 2nd c-section was most challening from a lifting perspective since I had twin 13 month olds at home when #3 was born.

Breastfeeding was certainly more demanding on my body to produce for twins, but time wise, my fourth baby was by far the most time consuming to nurse.

What is easy about two at once? They eat the same stuff (be it breastmilk, bits of solid food, table food, whatever...they're at the same stage for the most part). They have more similar sleep requirements (two naps a day, one nap a day, no naps, hours per night are similar, etc). They play with the same toys. They have a built in play mate.

Sure, some of those things aren't true for every twin pair, but to say that nothing about twins is easier isn't terribly accurate either.

Like I stated above, I'd do twins again way before I'd do 13 months apart again.
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#20 of 45 Old 03-04-2008, 08:14 PM
 
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I had mostly good experiences with advice and such. Living aboard our boat, the kids were always a hit whenever we came alongside a dock. People would dig through their boats and memories and offer up childrens books, lifelines, video tapes, candy and lots of stories and advice....I usually enjoyed it, the kids loved and still do, all the attention....


I can only really remember three or four negative experiences, one, at a busy Florida mall when two ladies informed me that my kids shouldn't be on 'leashes'. (Gawd...) And one nutcase who called children's protection services because we had kids on our boat and she thought it was wrong. (Insert eyerole....) and when I had a woman say she felt sorry for me. Really. While I was grocery shopping with one twin on my chest, one in the carseat in the cart and my DS (15 mos.) in the cart seat. So I , in a calm, yet sleep deprived manner, asked "Why? What is it about me that you pity? Is it my three healthy children? Please. Tell me. I'd LOVE to know?"
She walked away saying glad its you, not me, etc....


But really, other than a handful of ignaramousus (sp!) most people were, and still are, only trying to be helpful....like this one time I'll never forget, we were living down in the country, DH was away, and it was a rainy, cold weekend. Anyway, I was going a bit batty in the house, the kids, at that point were almost one and DS was 2. I decided to load them into the vehicle and head out to a church supper in a neighboring community. Well! We blew in through the door of that church hall, all soaking wet and were greeted by the nicest people ever. Elderly ladies were drying off the babes, carrying them around, the old guys were dragging out ancient highchairs, people were dishing up food for us and feeding sweets to DS....it was so nice.... Don't know why I just thought of that but oh well! Sorry for rambling....

To sum up (lol!) when you get annoying advice, just keep in mind, a lot of these people offering this 'wonderful' advice, never have, nor probably never will, have twins. They don't understand, and probably never will, but for the most part, they probably don't mean any harm, in fact most of them (especially the Grandmotherly types) might just be looking for a chance to coo over two perfect little babes!
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#21 of 45 Old 03-04-2008, 09:52 PM
 
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What is easy about two at once? They eat the same stuff (be it breastmilk, bits of solid food, table food, whatever...they're at the same stage for the most part). They have more similar sleep requirements (two naps a day, one nap a day, no naps, hours per night are similar, etc). They play with the same toys. They have a built in play mate
All those things have made it more difficult IME. Instead of being able to nurse one and give the other one a sandwich, I had to be camped out on the couch tandem nursing, unable to get up with the doorbell rings, unable to get up to pee, etc. With one baby, I can just walk around nursing. Night-nursing and co-sleeping was VERY difficult for me and we did it for 2 years. Waking up twice as many times at night to nurse, the babies waking each other up if I left them alone in the bed, trying to figure out how to put 2 down for a nap before I was able to tandem nurse lying down, etc. My 2 year old twins also fight more than they do with their 4 year old brother. Because they are at the same age developmentally, there isn't a mature one to model good behaviour or to be more reasonable. Two 2 year olds wanting the same toy is not a pretty sight. Obviously we have all had different experiences, but for me twins has NOT been easier.

FWIW, I would LOVE to have twins again, hardships and all. I think it will be easier if I do get them again, since I will know what to expect and I've had practice.

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#22 of 45 Old 03-04-2008, 10:49 PM
 
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All those things have made it more difficult IME. Instead of being able to nurse one and give the other one a sandwich, I had to be camped out on the couch tandem nursing, unable to get up with the doorbell rings, unable to get up to pee, etc. With one baby, I can just walk around nursing. Night-nursing and co-sleeping was VERY difficult for me and we did it for 2 years. Waking up twice as many times at night to nurse, the babies waking each other up if I left them alone in the bed, trying to figure out how to put 2 down for a nap before I was able to tandem nurse lying down, etc. My 2 year old twins also fight more than they do with their 4 year old brother. Because they are at the same age developmentally, there isn't a mature one to model good behaviour or to be more reasonable. Two 2 year olds wanting the same toy is not a pretty sight. Obviously we have all had different experiences, but for me twins has NOT been easier.

FWIW, I would LOVE to have twins again, hardships and all. I think it will be easier if I do get them again, since I will know what to expect and I've had practice.

I have to agree. Everything about having twins has been (pretty much) twice as much work. The pregnancy was very difficult, getting the birth I wanted was a fight, and nursing was more time-consuming. I had a 3-yo and 1-yo when my twins were born. I know about close spacing, but still think having two demanding newborns was harder than my singletons. And maybe I'm just doing something wrong, but my babies woke at different times throughout the night so I was almost constantly nursing someone. They didn't always nap together during the day. When I would tandem nurse them in the beginning I couldn't get up and do anything. It was pretty exhausting! (But I am glad to be doing it again because they are such a blessing too!)

Heather, Army wife & Mama to M (10), J (9), L & S (my HBAC babies are 7!), N & R (5), and A (born 11/30/12 UBA2C)
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#23 of 45 Old 03-05-2008, 12:41 AM
 
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First off, I think that a lot of the singleton moms who say that having two close together is just like twins (or harder than twins) are probably just innocently trying to make conversation, so I usually don't say much in response other than "Oh," or "uh-huh."

However, my 2nd and 3rd kids were 14 months apart, and in almost every way it was not as difficult as having my twins. It was tough, don't get me wrong! I think my cesarean with #3 set me up with a bad start (very traumatic birth, and an example of how a c-section should NOT be done), so I had 18 months of PPD. I think THAT is the primary thing that made parenting two so close together so hard on me-- the fact that I was trying to AP two babies while living in a depression fog. Maybe if I had been a little more clear-headed or feeling like myself I could have pulled it off better.

That said, this go-round (with twins) we have had no PPD at all, and I'm STILL amazed at how difficult it can be! Especially now that they're moving! They can get into a million things at once. And don't get me started on the first 6 weeks. Even with fat little almost-term babies, I was sleep deprived and crazy and felt like I spent every free second with someone on the boob. Maybe if I didn't breastfeed/cosleep/AP it would be "easier" in some respects to have my twins, and maybe if we had a lot more money and I could hire some help around the house it would be easier. But reality for me as an attachment parenting mom who has no house help (other than my kids and husband) is that it's TOUGH sometimes. Still a major blessing, and I love my babies and other kids SO MUCH!! But it's tough having twins!

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#24 of 45 Old 03-06-2008, 02:45 AM
 
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I'm not sure why the OP deleted her OP and subsequent posts, but this thread is a good one...

My mom has often done the "I guess it's just different with twins (big sigh, resigned head shaking)" as a way to tell me she disagrees with how I mother my children but she's enough of a saint not to mention it.
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#25 of 45 Old 03-06-2008, 10:31 PM
 
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#26 of 45 Old 03-06-2008, 10:40 PM
 
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I just got more twin advice yesterday from a singleton mom. Sometimes the advice is good, not knocking that.

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#27 of 45 Old 03-11-2008, 03:44 PM
 
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My mom had 5 kids and she told me that she had wanted twins, but didn't think she could have handled it. It was a very nice compliment because I am sure she would have done great (the middle 3 were all less than 18 months apart).

I think personallity has tons to do with how hard or easy it is to parent kids. My first was SOOOOOOOO hard, especially as a infant/toddler. The twins were pretty laid back and actually slept until they were about 9 months old (then they stopped, sigh). If I had twins that were both like my oldest, I wouldn't be here posting, I would be in a padded room! In fact I prayed every day, that they not be high needs like my oldest!

Now that they are 2 1/2, they FIGHT constantly. They both have bruises and scratches and scars from the other one. They keep each other awake or pick on each other to the point of tears and tantrums. If I try to take them out, they just run in opposite directions and fast as they can. I would take twin newborns over 2 year olds ANY DAY!!

I know several other people with twins who haven't had those challenges. Their kids don't abuse each other and they don't run away, etc. I know others with singletons and they have the same problems that i have.

Personality has LOTS to do with it.

Like the op, I love to share my kids with others. My favorite day when the twins were tiny was when we went to a community concert in the park and I just couldn't deal with both of them while keeping my oldest out of trouble. A nearby woman was almost having fits trying not to get up and grab a baby . I say her and went over and asked if she would like to rent a baby for a while. She was over the moon, and i was able to deal with my oldest in a calm gentle manner!

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#28 of 45 Old 03-18-2008, 02:57 PM
 
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I really can't imagine how taking care of two newborns could ever be easier than one newborn and a toddler unless special needs were involved etc. I've just got the two...but the only thing I can think of that would be harder than taking care of two newborns would be *three* newborns!! (ahh! lol) or like I said before, if special needs were involved....anyway, I also get those "you're so lucky.." and "my two are just like raising twins comments" and I just smile and nod...
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#29 of 45 Old 03-19-2008, 09:21 AM
 
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#30 of 45 Old 03-19-2008, 09:37 AM
 
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I don't have twins - and won't say that I have something like twins - but I do have four, very close in age. I chose to do it - so won't ever complain, it is awesome.

However - I do feel for the twin moms getting advice from singleton moms. I am not that receptive to the parents of one babe who give me much sleep, manage the house, feeding solids, ap'ing advice. If you only have one, it is a completely different ball game.

I don't walk in your shoes, and many don't walk in my shoes.

However, I do think, like many of said (multiple moms, or moms of multiple kiddos) - we would all do it over again!
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