When my friend from college told me she was expecting twins, I was so over the moon that I screamed in a restaurant and high fived everyone at the table!
If I'm being honest, part of my overjoyed reaction was selfish: Having multiples is a niche thing that can feel isolating in the absence of a community that gets it. So I was glad to have this close friend of 20 years—and her awesome husband—joining our team. But of course it was also out of just pure joy for them: They haven't even met their babes yet, and their adventures as a family are all still ahead!
Last night, we hosted these friends at our house for a nursery walkthrough and a fun barbecue. Over dinner, we imparted some wisdom that we've gained over these past almost 10 months as new twin parents. Here's what we told them:
Stay positive: Our friends think we're doing such a great job with our twins, they say we're their role models. And much as it feels flattering to scoop up that praise and affirmation, we'd be lying if we said it was easy. (And that lie would be a huge disservice—and potentially a very damaging one.) Let's be honest: Having two babies at once is hard work. But we've tried to stick with a positive, upbeat mindset that this is all an adventure, and one we're in together as a strong team. This attitude—and appreciation and respect for our partner—helps us get through even the craziest days.
Push through obstacles: When you have two newborns or infants, there are many, many reasons not to leave the house. It's so much easier to remain shut-ins, which helps you avoid schlepping insane amounts of gear and getting into uncomfortable situations. But being imprisoned inside is my version of hell. I've been able to stay sane by redefining potential obstacles as worthy challenges and seeing what happens when I dive headlong into them. For instance, I really wanted to try a solo hike with 75 pounds of cargo including my twins and double stroller. I knew that was something that could fail spectacularly for all kinds of reasons—or make me feel accomplished and proud. And when I stood on top of that mountain with my babies in tow, I felt like a million bucks. But even when things don't work out so well, I have to be the kind of mom who at least tried, and I suspect my friend will be the same way.
Splurge and save: On a more practical note, I told my friend there are some places she can save money and won't even miss a pricier alternative. For me, that meant buying discount cribs instead of what I considered to be totally unnecessarily spendier versions, and buying in bulk at regular monthly subscription intervals from Amazon Mom. However, I consider a few splurge items highly worthy. (For instance my Baby Brezza Formula Pro: obsessed. Kicking self that I waited six months to justify this purchase!) I told my friend that her splurges and saves will be individual to her needs (and baby's preferences) but for sure there's room—and necessity—for both.
Stay organized: If you don't keep your babies' closet organized, I told her, you'll find those shower gifts and babies' clothes right after the appropriate stage of development has passed—and that's a huge bummer. With two babies, one of each gender, there's even more need than ususal to categorize everything carefully! I think of myself as Michelle Duggar on a mini level: With multiples, you have to run a household with military precision just to stay afloat!
Related: Celebrity Parents Who Have Twins
Join a local club: It's so great that we have each other, but I suggested to my expecting friend that she join the local parents of multiples club. Parenting multiples is a specialized job, and it helps to have as many insider resources—and emotional support—around as possible.
Never stop traveling: Although we haven't flown with our babies yet, we will as soon as (we get up our nerve and) the right opportunity comes up. (See also: pushing through obstacles!) We want to be able to share those mind-expanding experiences with our kids, and we don't buy into the idea that having a family means putting the passports in mothballs. It means getting inventive: Like, say, coming up with a multi-family trip somewhere in a rental house with baby-friendly resources! Our friends are already fabulous jet setters, in part thanks to a Hollywood career that takes them all around the world for shoots. So we told them—and at the same time reassured ourselves—that they can set a precedent for traveling with their babies if they want to... and maybe we can all even do it together!
Because, after all, our lives are just what we make them. And the goal is not just to survive the first year, but to really thrive—yes, even with infant twins!
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