Raising Twins! Twice the fun or double the trouble? Our Rakhi special.
Twice the fun, double trouble! Our lives feel full and buzzing with just one baby in it. Can you imagine what it must be like to have two of them at the same time? This Rakshabandhan we get you a special treat from Pratibha, mother of twins, who candidly shares what it means to have two babies, growing up in the same house at the same time. Sleepless nights are the least of it! Over to Pratibha...
“With twins, the only thing worse than having no candy is having only one piece of candy.”
No, I didn’t write this, but I read it somewhere, and it is stuck in my mind. And I actually found a solution to this. I eat the candy.
It’s been ten seasons of raising twins. Right. If you are saying “Wow,” just say that again because I have twin boys.
It all started when I realized I was pregnant (but obviously!), five years after being married. I conceived sometime during Diwali, you know, the season where all that you see is “Buy 1, Get 1 free”. So the Universe conspired, and there I was, expecting twins. It was in the air! The first set in my husband’s side of the family. Needless to say that the family was excited is an understatement.
And my mum’s only hope was that I would be the one who’d add a granddaughter to the existing brood of 4 boisterous grandsons. That was the ending line after every single call. So you can guess the pressure that was on me, apart from the regular trips to the loo.
I won’t say the day dawned bright and sunny, but I had the most restless night ever, as I sat talking to my mum-in-law who had arrived to be with me after a crazy international flight. I felt the kicks 5 minutes into talking to her. I still had almost 45 days to go, but a casual mention of a slight flutter in the tummy sent everyone into a frenzy, and before I knew it, I was admitted to the hospital to be monitored.
Two days later I had an emergency C-section to get those hapless (who are boisterous as I write this) boys checked into this world & to carry on with their kicking in a more open space. While everyone was rejoicing outside, my cousin mentioned later to me that my mum called my sister and said, “I wish there were one girl at least. Boys, it is.”
The next 11 days were a blur. The boys were grossly underweight and spent the first few days in the NICU. It was a relief to be back home. And that’s when the reality kicked in.
There I was at home, with two tiny boys, two mums and a husband who didn’t know whom to listen to. The only saving grace; the boys were not identical.
All those articles on mindful parenting philosophies are fabulous to read, till you have to actually apply them. What works is going with the flow, acting on the gut feel, making mistakes and learning from them.
The first six months were crazy. On one occasion, I remember calling out to my mum to take one of the boys so that I could catch up on some sleep. What I handed her was a soft pillow that I had been apparently patting for 10 minutes to make it sleep while the boys were gurgling in the arms of their grannies. And then the sleep-deprived husband was rocking the cradle when both the kids were sleeping on the bed. That is how exhausted we were. If given a chance, I would have slept anytime and anywhere – the floor, the pot, standing up, under the shower, under the bed. Just anywhere! So yes, one of the first things that you will encounter is double the exhaustion levels.
Alright, this is insane, and I have no clue how the boys manage it, but they gang up against you. They are their own little pack. That moment when you want some silence and all that you hear is that dull buzz around you about what they want. It is like that incessant drone that gives you a dull headache. Sometimes I give in, and sometimes I don’t, and I still haven’t decided which bit is good parenting.
They’re there for each other. They may be having the worst fight between them, but if someone lays a finger on the other, hell breaks loose. Yes, it’s endearing to know that they’ll save each other at the time of need. The bonding between them is strong, and it’s there to stay. No matter how late it may be, they will always have a conversation about how the day was for them before they sleep. And we do love to eavesdrop on their talks!
Despite being twins, they are different personalities. And it is alright for them to be different individuals. While one loves a rough sport, the other one would be working out a new combination to solve the Rubik's cube. So let them be and don’t compare. One of the most important lessons I learned when I was raising the boys. And one more important thing I learned was to spend time with them one-on-one. That was a good start to know their strengths and weaknesses!
Ask for help. Actually I didn’t need to ask for it because my neighbor’s were kind enough to step in to look after the boys despite an exhausting day at work just so that I could take a shower or cook a hot meal when the husband was traveling and I had no time to cook for myself. Or have that cousin come over to look after the crawling boys so that I could get 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Or have one of the mums over to just pamper us. I was lucky, some may not be, so if you need the help, ask for it.
I have heard it loads of times, “Wow, managing one kid is so tough, and you have twins! I don’t know how you do it”! Let me tell you a secret, most of the times I have no frigging clue either. I trusted my instincts, sometimes I was right! All that I know is, in a blink of an eye, they are ready to step into the double-digit age.
I took to blogging about three years after the boys were born. I had to retain my sanity and keep myself busy. There is life beyond baby talk. Following a passion should not make you feel guilty! And as an eco-blogger, I worked hard towards writing extensively on green ways of living and saving the environment.
Raising twins is an experience. Yes, it is insanely complicated, but I learned to flow with the craziness and give myself time once in a while to rejuvenate. I love to see the strong bond between them, knowing they will be there for each other. Someday, I am sure that life will be a lot easier. Till then, I love the hugs, cuddles, and kisses that come my way.
Pratibha spent her childhood in idyllic places only Army kids would have heard of. After quitting the corporate world a decade ago, she got back to what she loves most…writing. When she's not rooting for eco-living or whipping up some DIY recipes to share with her readers, Pratibha is creating magic with social media. You can view her blog at www.pratsmusings.com, follow here craziness on Instagram- www.instagram.com/pratsmusings or reach to her on Twitter at @myepica.
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