First of all, congratulations! You are about to enter a time that can be one of the most rewarding times of your life. However, I understand if you are freaking out.
Having a child is like riding a roller coaster, and never knowing what hill or turn will come next. When having twins, it is like riding the same roller coaster, but at supersonic speed. It can feel overwhelming, but will be one of the biggest successes of your life. To help you out, here are five tips to remember to make the ride a little smoother.
1. Having a routine is great, but always expect the unexpected
The only way to keep things running smoothly is to develop a routine that works for you and your spouse. This schedule will be a lifesaver to you both, especially during the first year.
However, there will be times when the unexpected will happen. This is the case with having any child. The chances double when having twins, such as having both children sick with the stomach flu at the same time, or just maybe, your twins will sneak out during naptime to paint your brand new couch with peanut butter and chocolate sauce; it has been known to happen.
Remember to always be willing to adapt to any situation. When something goes off course, step back, take a deep breath and think of a new plan. The routine can be shifted, and everything will work out just fine.
2. Twins are individuals born on the same day
From the day your twins are born, people will lump them together. For many, they will be known as "the twins." Remember, no matter how much they look alike, they are two different individuals who can have different interests.
Spend time with each child individually, and discover what each one likes and dislikes. One twin might want to be a ballerina with a glittery tutu, while the other wants to perfect her free throw in basketball while wearing the latest Jordans.
Celebrate their differences along with their similarities. Give each child his or her own voice.
3. Don't compare
As tempting as it might be, do not compare your twins with each other. Referring back to #2, each child is an individual. They will develop at different rates. One twin might progress faster than the other. Yes, they will have different personalities.
Remember to help them learn and grow at their own pace. Most of all, remember to love each child for who he or she is.
4. Remember "me" and "we" time
Raising twins can be an all-consuming task. Some days it might be too hard to find five minutes to take a shower, and if you do, you may have one of the twins screaming outside the bathroom door wanting your attention. "Me" time or a date with your spouse may seem difficult; but let me tell you, it is possible.
This is when every parent should have a set of lifelines. These are people who you can count on when you need it most. Many times it can be your parents, brothers and sisters or good friends. Do not be afraid to call upon these people. They will understand your situation more than you think. They will be more than willing to help you.
Remember, every parent needs "me" and "we" time to stay sane. Look for time to replenish your system and your relationship so that you can be a better parent to your twins.
5. Your love will double
Every person who is expecting twins has had the thought: How can I take care of and love one child, let alone two?