Some Thoughts on Having Twins vs. a Singleton (From Someone Who Has Never Had Just a Singleton)

People wonder what it's like to have twins.  "I can't imagine having two babies!" is something that Tyson and I hear all the time.  Well...we can't imagine having just one.  I feel like it's hard to describe to people, since we truly don't know what difference there would be with having a singleton.  I probably have an idealized version in my head, but I can only imagine that it would make certain things in life simpler.  Things like...

Naptime.  Both Caden and Brooklyn generally take pretty good naps during the day.  We don't have a set schedule or times or anything, but they both usually take a morning and an afternoon nap, for about an hour  each (though sometimes as long as two or three!), and sometimes they will doze over lunchtime as well.  Taking naps at the same time, however, is a completely different story.  I'd say about half of our days are like yesterday, where no matter what I might try, their nap schedules were completely opposite.  And a part of me thinks that's okay...I mean, it's not their fault they're twins.  If they were each just single babies they would get to nap pretty much whenever they wanted, right?  But then the other part of me lets out a sigh, because just as I get Baby #2 to sleep, Baby #1 wakes up from their 40-minute nap...40 minutes that I would have otherwise had completely to myself to...I don't know.  What is it that people do when their single children are napping? Solve world hunger?  Write the great American novel?  Clean their toilets?  (Also, this is why it grates on me when people tell me to "sleep when they sleep!", because HAHAHAHA yeah, right.  Oh, silly me, it's just THAT SIMPLE!)  Anyway, days like yesterday are days with absolutely no baby-free time...someone is ALWAYS awake.

Bedtime.  Bedtime isn't really so bad, in that they both generally go to sleep pretty easy without much fussing (again, though, working on that consistent time thing).  But some nights, coming out of the glow of having successfully bathed, nursed, and rocked one baby to sleep, you come to the realization that...oh.  You have to do those things all over.  Again.  Right now.

Going out in public.  Besides just getting out the door, going out in public with two babies is an adventure in and of itself.  People are drawn to babies in general, but TWO babies?!?  Fuggedaboutit.  Being stopped and answering (often silly) questions is par for the course, and intrudes on the precious minutes of time that you have allotted to be out of the house.  We went to the farmer's market for the first time this summer a couple weeks ago, and got comments about the twins 18 or 19 times (we lost count).  And those are just the ones that were said directly to us or that we happened to overhear...

The comments.  Okay, so the questions/comments we get in public really do get quite ridiculous.  Or at least repetitive.  I'm guessing that with one baby you get the usual how old/what's their name/boy or girl/etc., and probably some unwelcome advice from time to time.  We get all that plus questions/comments that cover everything from our sex life ("Were you trying?"  Uh...none of your business.) to the foolish ("Are they twins?"  Are you serious?  "Are they yours?"  Uh...what?) to the tedious ("My cousin's uncle's sister had twins!"  I...don't care.)

One-on-one interaction.  Often enough I will be cuddling, talking to, or just in general spending time with one twin, when their cohort, who has otherwise been happily playing on the ground/in the swing/napping will suddenly decide that the current status quo is NOT okay, and become fussy.  It's annoying.  And frustrating.  And somewhat heartbreaking.  I don't necessarily get frustrated or annoyed at the fuss-er themselves, but at the situation, because it IS annoying and it IS frustrating to have to go from some great cuddle/bonding time to have to diffuse whatever other issue is happening.  And then the twin-mom guilt kicks in, since I have to put down the happy baby and then the happy baby is going to be like, but what did I do? and it is SO UNFAIR.

Mom guilt.  Speaking of the mom guilt, there is also twin-mom guilt.  At least that is what I am dubbing it.  Not only is there the normal mom guilt of the general am-I-do-things-right variety, but also the guilt over...Caden did the CUTEST thing today.  Or was it Brooklyn?  Ah!  I can't remember!  Wait, what did they do again?  If I only had ONE baby I would remember it right!  *sob*  Or when one baby needs more attention than the other for whatever reason, so you spend the entire day holding one baby while the other is just NEGLECTED by...playing happily on the floor.  You monster!  Yes, I joke, and the practical side of me KNOWS that the time spent with each child will basically balance out in the end, but it's still something that kicks in, like it or not.

When they are both crying.  At the same time.  Enough said.  Two crying babies trumps one crying baby.  Every time.

So forgive me, if I see you out in public with your one baby and whisper "amateurs" to Tyson as you walk past.  Or laugh a little to myself when I read people who blog about how they are pregnant with their second child and holy cow!  They are now going to be responsible for TWO children!  After having to take care of just one all this time!  How ever will they manage?!?

I can only imagine that the triplet and quadruplet moms, not to mention the moms of twin newborns AND a toddler or two are shaking their heads and chuckling a bit at me.


Besides, sometimes, at night, Tyson and I will look at each other and ask, "Can you imagine what it would be like to have just one?".  And we both just smile, because the truth is, we can't.  We can't imagine what life would be like without a Caden and a Brooklyn.