Being a parent twins or multiples is an experience full of ups and downs. There are many challenging times, for sure, but also plenty of moments where you feel so lucky and blessed to have them. These are some of the things that I love most about being a mom of twins.
1. Armfuls and HandfulsEvery child fills their parents' hearts and home with joy. That's what I really love about having twins or more. The love and joy are compounded. Cradling two twinfants in my arms was so incredibly, almost unbearably, sweet. Holding hands with two toddlers -- one on the right, and one on the left -- while crossing the street made me feel complete. Double hugs, double kisses, mommy-in-the-middle "sandwich" cuddles on the couch... life just doesn't get any better than that.
2. Single-MindednessParenting happens in stages. For people with a one-track mind, like me, it's much easier to manage two infants, two toddlers or two 'tweens, than to juggle the needs of a baby and a preschooler. The phases of parenthood are experienced more intensely, sometimes, because they are simultaneous, but I love it that way.
3. Shared AccomplishmentsIt's always exciting to see your child meet a milestone. But when two or more multiples accomplish their goals simultaneously, it's a wonderful experience for a family. For example, I was bursting with pride when both of my twins made honor roll on their last report cards, but the achievement was even sweeter because they were happy for each other.
4. Private JokesIt's such fun to hear them share jokes, call each other by nicknames and role play their special scenarios. Once when they were babies, 10 months old, we were driving down the road, when giggles erupted from the car seats in the back seat. As one laughed, the other broke out in giggles; they spurred each other on the entire ride home. What a sweet sound those baby giggles were; it is still sweet to hear them laugh together, not at each other, but with each other.
5. Alike, But DifferentIt's fascinating to be an observer of twins. With so many similarities, but such stark differences, it's always interesting to see how they develop as individuals. Where parents of singletons may say, "Oh, you are just like your sister was at that age," parents of multiples have an instant basis of comparison and contrast among their children.
6. 2-For-1 BonusShort and sweet .... one pregnancy = two babies! Such a deal! Although a pregnancy with multiples may have more risks, and sometimes more complications, it truly is a two-for-one deal.
7. A Sense of StatusOkay, I admit it. I get a little thrill of pride in being a mom of twins. It's like being a part of an elite club. You feel an instant bond with other parents of multiples. I love the reaction I get when I tell people I have twins. "Wow!" "I always wanted twins..." "I don't know how you do it..." It's almost like we enjoy an exclusive status in the parenting world, earning a slight nod of respect for pulling double duty.
8. SharingTwins share everything -- their birthday, their parents' attention, and many of their belongings. Although they may get frustrated with their situation, as a parent, it's very gratifying to witness their "what's mine is yours" attitude in a moment of unselfish benevolence.
9. A Beautiful BondThe twin bond is more enduring than any other relationship on earth, starting even before birth, and often outlasting many friendships and even marriages. Despite their squabbles, it's comforting to know that they will (hopefully) enjoy their unique relationship for all of their lives. As their mother, I feel really privileged to be a party to their special bond, and to have the opportunity to nurture it.
10. Confidence in CompanionshipI love the confidence that my twins exhibit simply because they have always had each other to rely on. I love to watch them enter new, unfamiliar situations with total surety because they are together. I love seeing all the ways that being a twin shapes their personalities, both as an advantage and a disadvantage. They have never known loneliness because they've always had each other as a companion.
What do you love about having twins, triplets or more? Please submit your comments.