Being a mom is probably one of the most difficult and yet one of the most rewarding jobs in the world, as it requires having a child who is completely reliant on you for everything. Moreover, the hardships redouble when you are having not one child, but twins.
Because the workload increases to a much larger degree, nothing remains the same for the mom of twins from the time of pregnancy to after giving birth.
From changing diapers to feeding the babies to getting them to sleep at the same time, it seems almost impossible to be able to do everything perfectly. However, at the end of the day, it all becomes worth it when you get to see those precious smiles!
Twin pregnancies, especially twin pregnancy that is also the first pregnancy, creates unique difficulties for the mom with twins that the moms with single babies do not have to go through. Having twins is a pretty rare experience.
As a direct consequence of this, the new mother may have a difficult time finding a person who can fully comprehend and empathize with the challenges she faces.
In addition to this, having to take care of two babies does not leave much room for any alone time for the mom. She can not go out whenever she wants because she has two babies to care for. All these factors can lead to the mom feeling pretty isolated even if she has friends and families to help her out with.
Giving birth to a baby comes with additional expenses. Even if the pregnancy is planned, most parents are unprepared for the arrival of twins in their family. As a result, an added baby brings on unexpected expenses to the family’s finances.
It does not take long for the costs of daycare for two infants, a double stroller, two car seats, and other related items to add up. If the couple does not have financial resources to sustain a surprise baby, or if the mother with twins is a single mother, the financial struggle becomes real.
Who is not aware of the struggles of feeding an infant? According to WHO, babies are recommended to be exclusively breastfed till they are six months old.
However, new moms find it very hard to feed their babies in a timely manner meeting all their nap times perfectly. Moreover, a mommy of twins has to breastfeed both babies at the same time.
Establishing a nursing time, getting them to latch on, getting enough milk supply for the twins, etc can make this task overwhelming very soon.
Moms become so wrapped up in caring for both twins that it becomes hard to spend time with each of the twins individually. Researchers have found that it is important to treat your children as humans with their ideas and thoughts.
It is especially important for identical twins, who have to share their physical features which is the most distinguishable factor in a person’s life, that their mom treat them as individuals. This contributes to the development of children’s individuality and sense of self.
However, due to lack of time even for the most beautiful twins, moms often cannot give them proper individual attention which might lead to them having an identity crisis.
Disorganized Home Situation
It is a truth universally acknowledged that children are messy. They manage to make a mess of everything they do, be it eating, playing, drawing, studying, etc. And when it comes to twins, the mess naturally becomes doubled. In addition, as the primary caregivers, moms have to deal with an exponential amount of mess every single day.
Sleep is perhaps the first and the most significant thing that a mom has to sacrifice after birth. You have to always stay on high alert for the baby’s needs all the time. As a result, moms often do not get enough time to sleep and take rest. Moreover, if the babies are twins, the mom has to let go of the hope for rest which hampers both her physical and mental health.
Many times the twins do not fall asleep at the same time. More often than not, one of the twins cries out as soon as the other one has fallen asleep after a long struggle, causing the other to wake up again. After that absolute chaos ensues and it becomes impossible for both the babies and mom to fall asleep at that point.
The mom of twins shared her perspective on the chaotic sleeping situation by quoting the phrase, “Twice the love, half the sleep,” which accurately captures the unique struggles faced by mothers of twins.
Anyone who has ever driven a long distance with a young child in the back seat can empathize with the challenges that twin mothers face in this regard. The combination of loud noises, crying, vomiting, stress, and traffic altogether make a recipe for a meltdown!
With two babies, twin moms have to go through the trouble of moving from place to place with babies all the time. Even if the car ride is only a short one from home to the grocery store and back, the total chaos makes the trip seem much longer than it actually is.
NCBI defines post-partum blues as “low mood and mild depressive symptoms that are transient and self-limited and are extremely common in the perinatal period”.
Due to the hormonal changes during and after childbirth moms feel extremely low, causing them to not be able to take care of themselves, let alone their babies. This affects the physical and mental well-being of both the mother and the baby.
Even though postpartum blues is can happen in any pregnancy, moms of twins get hit harder by it. Because they have to look after two newborns, the anxiety, sadness, crying, and exhaustion caused by PPB decrease the mom’s ability to care for her babies, and thus hampers the mother’s experiences as a mother of twins.
Being Fair and Square
Now, to talk about some of the parenting struggles, one of the biggest challenges for twin moms is keeping everything equal. As a mom of two children of the same age, you always want to give them equal opportunities and resources to them for everything.
Understandably you do not want to play favorites or give one child an advantage over the other. However, always ensuring fairness and equality can become exhaustive and tiring for the mom.
Moreover, moms often feel guilty if one of the twins does not progress at the same speed as the other one does. This is another important mental struggle that mommies with twins deal with.
This society loves to compare little kids. Especially if the kids are twin siblings, people are quick enough to judge them based on them being “prettier”, “smarter”, “more social”, etc.
These unfair comparisons can create toxic dynamics and a sense of competition between the twins, which might lead to one of them feeling lonely and left out. As a mom navigating these things and shielding the kids from society’s unrealistic comparisons and judgments can become a challenging job.
To conclude, twin babies are one of the most beautiful wonders of nature. They double the amount of fun and happiness in the family. The rewarding aspect and the smiles of the babies are priceless to the mom as well as the whole family.
Along with that, they can also bring physical, mental, financial, and social problems to the family if they are not prepared. As we know, being a mom is tough enough on its own. But being a mom of twins brings up the difficulties of the job to a whole new level.