Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Seeing Double (with new eyes)

I've always been thankful for my girls, but lately, I have had several reminders on how incredibly thankful I am to have twins! Yes, it's true: I have realized that I would much rather have twins than single babies. I would do it again if I had to ... but we'll cross that bridge when we get to it. So, for those of you who just have single babies (ha!), here is my list of reasons why I'm glad to have had twins first!
  • I don't have to discuss my choice to have my babies in the hospital, rather than using any of the numerous alternatives. That's just how you have twins. (Not to mention that Leila literally wouldn't have survived if we hadn't been in the hospital, but that's another story.)
  • Twins are actually better for routine and predictability. I feed my girls at the same time, every time. They nap at the same time as each other every day. And with a (flexible) routine comes happy babies, and an incredible sense of freedom, not imprisonment!
  • Twins have a built-in playmate. If I need to start a quick load of laundry, for example, I can be gone for a moment, and they'll never miss me because they are having so much fun together!
  • Twins don't know what it's like to be an only child. I visited a friend whose baby had a very hard time welcoming other babies into her house -- she wanted her mom to be all hers, and the noise was too much for her to handle. My girls never got a chance to be selfish. (But I'm not saying that they don't fight with each other over toys already!)
  • I never had a chance to encourage habits that eventually need to be broken. Nursing to sleep? Forget it. Holding them at every whimper? Not possible. Attachment parenting? Yeah, right! Making the house totally quiet while they sleep? Not gonna happen if sister wakes up crying (or if the cousins are visiting)!
  • I was on the accelerated learning track. I think some new parents get away without being incredibly educated on child-rearing, at least initially. Eat, sleep, potty, right? :) This is probably partially because of my personality, but when I had a problem with my girls, I read, developed a solution, and implemented it. A parent of one might be able to deal with chronic 45-minute nappers who are obviously still tired, but not a parent of twins! My favorites? Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child and Baby 411. I also just discovered How to Have Your Second Child First, and haven't read it yet, but wish I had.
Okay, this got a little longer than I expected. Can I make it up to you by posting pictures of my beautiful babies from our hike last weekend?


Jenia said...

Heather! I love reading your insights on Twin parenting! I really enjoy it. I have to say we are a fan of routines here too... I say it is a must have for happy children:) And... if I had had my second child first, she might have been an only child... no offense to my sweet second born!! :)

Abby said...

I don't think I've ever told you...I love how you dress your girls similarly but not identically. They are so incredibly cute and I love seeing their individual personalities--I just eat up the pictures you post!