Twin-Ventures – that first year!
By Vidya Venkatesh, Guest Blogger @vidav
The experience of being a MoM (Mother of Multiples) is so unique and enjoyable, as back-breaking and bone-tiring as can get at times. Anytime I see a fellow MoM wrangling her double stroller and large diaper bag, and she sees me with mine, we exchange that wry smile of “I know exactly what you must be going through!” The cuteness nearly kills me on so many instances, so does the amount of work!
Says Divya Puri, mom of Amay and Aalia, 2 ½ year old twins – “raising twins is a lot more fun that anyone has ever told you and a lot more work that anyone has ever prepared you for. My boy/girl twins are 2 and a half years old and I am amazed to see their different personalities shine at different times. Raising two kids of the same age is like a joyful roller coaster ride, with new surprises every now and then”. This certainly resonates with my experience, and I couldn’t agree more.
So – how did I survive mothering twins in the first year?
During the first year, one mantra that really helped us was to not only stick to a schedule, but the same one for both kids. We did make exceptions on occasion while traveling or on our occasional days/nights out, but keeping both kids on the same schedule really helped save our sanity. We had an its been timer for each kid, it was a life saver during those times when days and nights had fused into one fuzzy combined time.
Another common sentiment that many parents in general, and especially those with multiples share – as new parents, when someone offers help, take it! There will always be a time and opportunity to return the favor. In traditional, large South Asian joint families where several family members co-existed under the same roof, parenthood had a whole different meaning. In our present day family lifestyles we build and reside in our own individual nests, but still enjoy a large community feel with our friends and extended family that live close by, we should leverage it. After all, it truly does take a village to raise kids.
(One resource to organize meal drop-offs, which is one of the most common help offered is www.takethemameal.com)
A mentor once told me “Outsource everything, but love. Choose to spend time with your kids, there will always be opportunities to save money”. That really stuck with me, and during that first year, we splurged on a nanny and other hired help to keep our lives running as smoothly as possible with the craziness of twin parenthood, we honestly have no regrets about it! Those precious moments in our children’s’ first year are entrenched in our hearts forever.
www.Care.com is a very helpful resource in finding reliable help, neighborhood kids/local College kids looking to make extra money by helping out with small chores like laundry, etc. are also good options.
Several times in that first year, I was engulfed with a double dose of mommy guilt – when both kids were crying, and I could only comfort them one at a time, when each kid wanted me to play with them with one-on-one, and with their own favorite toys, when one kid needed more medical attention than the other, and hence took more of my time, and the list goes on.. Now that I’m on the other side of that year, I can honestly say that I had no choice but to accept that each child would get the amount of attention they needed at that time, and in the big picture, it all evened out. I continue to bond with each child in a unique way, and pick the activities and games that each child enjoys the most. The hardest part is identifying and respecting their own individual identities and not treating them as the “twins” all the time, but it is something I consciously work on each day.
Just before my kids were born,I joined my local chapter of the National Mothers of Twins Club I’ve had the opportunity to bond with other MoMs, and learn from those with older twin babies on how to navigate raising two kids of the same age, at the same time, nothing like learning from the experience of those that have been there, seen that.
Twin babies have always attracted interest and intrigue – the Greeks had Artemis and Appolo, Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome, Castor and Pollux who went on to represent the Gemini twins, our very own Hindu Mythology speaks of the Ashwins the twin gods of healing; Yama and Yami, and Luv Kush from Ramayan.
In this day and age, even with a sharp rise in multiple births, the mystery and curiosity around twins continues! I hope to share more about this unique experience through these posts, stay tuned!
How do you manage your multiples? Share your tips below!
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