A friend of mine has just discovered she is expecting identical twins. After the initial shock passed, zillions of practical questions sprung to mind. The more you think about the practicalities, the more potential tricky scenarios emerge. Such as:
– Do you dress them in matching outfits?
– How do you tell them apart?
– Do you attempt breastfeeding?
– Is your car big enough?
– Is your house big enough?
– Can you afford to go back to work given the childcare costs?
– What kind of names are best – do they both have to have similar syllables? Should they both be traditional names or more trendy?
– When they start school, should they be split or should they stay together? What year do you start this?
– Will you cope?
etc, etc ,etc the list is endless.
Like all things in parenting, you just have to bloody well get on with it. But even so, it is a very daunting prospect for my friend, particularly as she has a child already. To jump from a one child family to a three child family is quite a jump.
There is also the constant worry during pregnancy, as they are sharing the same placenta. The hospital wants to see my friend for regular scans and check-ups, which will make her working life tricky.
But, as with all children and family planning issues, there are pros and cons to every scenario. Twins share a unique bond, which is irreplaceable. Do they fight less than other siblings because of this bond and because there is a zero age gap? It really is a gift to have children full-stop but to have 2 in one hit – that’s just damned lucky – bloody hard work – but those parents are very privileged to have such a unique occurrence happen to them.
My friend is still thinking she can juggle her work once the twins arrived. I say put it on the back-burner for a long while yet. Why the rush? Of course she’ll need a break from them for her own sanity but to miss out on the early years of her twins as well as her other child is just crazy. As parents of children much older will tell you – you don’t want to rely on films and photographs to document their baby and toddler years – memories of living the moment with them are much much better.
For those who have to work fine. For those who feel they need to work – try it part-time but don’t be a weekend Mum – you are letting some of the best years of your life pass you by. The sad thing is, you won’t realise they were the best until its too late.
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Thanks for reading.