The Trouble with Two: How Being a Mum of Twins Sets You Apart |

The Trouble with Two: How Being a Mum of Twins Sets You Apart



Ever since the ob-gyn put the ultrasound probe on my stomach and announced I was having twins, I should have known my life would never be the ‘same’...

And that is, not the same as most. Things wouldn’t just be different to my kid-free existence, care of the interrupted sleep and fingerprint-marked decor, but because having two at once would set me apart from the majority of mums. Similarly to parents of children with health issues or those raising kids solo, my experience would always be that little bit different. Leave me slightly on the outer. That fact has been true since the day I pulled up at my first mothers’ group meeting. The nurse allotted me the centre’s driveway park because I had to cart two bouncers in (and two babies), plus pray I wouldn’t soon have two poo explosions on my hands (not literally … well, I hoped). And things have remained that little bit different now my fraternal boys, Alessio and Sebastian, are five. Something that I imagine will continue every age and stage along the way. For their birthday in July, we staged a disco-themed party in our garage. Not long after we sent out the invites, we began receiving texts asking if guests should bring one present or two. I couldn’t help feeling slightly indignant. They’re two people, not one. Isn’t it bad enough that, for the rest of their lives, they’ll be mistaken for one another? That they’ll have to share parties, birthday cakes, glory, so on, forever? And, as my sister pointed out, if friends have two kids, I’d buy them two presents, albeit spread apart. (Not that I said any of this, leaving it up to the gift-bearers.) Then, the boys’ special day dawned, and we found the present table heaving with 80 gifts (care of double the guests; 40 kidlets). So, all right, I really should have told everyone that one small pressie each would more than suffice, or better yet, to come empty-handed. My boys are spoilt enough; live and learn! One good thing? It’ll be another year until the hubs and I have the stress of planning another soiree, unlike for most parents. Before the shindig, we also received texts from parents asking if it’d be okay if their child brought along a sibling. As a mum of twins, this was a parental dilemma I’d never even thought about, as both my kids are always invited to the same dos. And playdates. (Though, thinking about it, maybe other children favour one twin, but feel guilty about not also inviting their brother.) Being a two-for-the-price-of-one package means my lads may also get left off party guestlists entirely because they take up two spots at a play cafe/indoor bike park/beyond. (Though, when they are invited, I always feel obligated to buy a more expensive gift to cover the two fees.) Preschool drop-offs and pick-ups, however, are easy-peasy, compared to the situation parents of different-aged children face. There’s no fighting the traffic to make two venues in a limited time. Handily, I get to deliver/retrieve the boys from the same location at the same time (though somehow, I still manage to run late…) In the future, I also hope to nudge my duo into the same school sport for my own convenience. Of course, the cons always balance the pros. When the twins were bubs, I used to be jealous that ‘romantic’ notions like breastfeeding in public and carrying them around in a Baby Bjorn were out of the question. (Though I do know other mums of twins who’ve attempted both.) I’d get frustrated that I couldn’t navigate the aisles of certain shops with a double pram when life with my tiny pair felt isolating enough. Even so, I’d desperately try to make it look like mum-life for me was no different, that I had it all under control, despite my ‘baby brain’ times two. Thankfully, there are organisations—like the Australian Multiple Birth Association and (in my state) Multiple Birth SA—where parents of multiples can gather together and feel ‘normal’ for a time. Like part of the flock. But even though there can be double the conundrums, hand on my heart, I wouldn’t have it any other way. And I can only imagine what life with triplets and beyond is like… Carla Caruso is the author of The Right Place (Harlequin HQ), which sees a young Italian-Australian woman torn, romantically, between twin brothers. Visit www.carlacaruso.com.au or @carlacaruso_creative on Instagram.  


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