Having twins makes everything harder, especially when their young. Does that mean you have to give everything up? Or can you be an active parent of twins?
When I first saw the two little bean-shaped beings on the ultra-sound and realized that we were having twins, I was elated.
My first thought was that this was one of the most amazing things that could’ve happened to us at this moment in time. I mean every little girl that dreams about having a baby secretly dreams about how perfect it would be to have twins, right? And getting pregnant hadn’t been easy for us (thus seeing our two babies for the first time when they were only a few weeks old and looked like beans instead of humans).
Plus, let’s not forget that I wasn’t getting any younger; so, two at once was just right.
My second thought was do I have to give up the active lifestyle that I love because how on earth can I take two babies hiking let alone backpacking? And obviously, I can’t take them on my bike once they out grow the trailer…
Okay, so actually it was much later before I had the second thought.
It didn’t really occur to me how much having twins was going to change my life at first. I’d raised one child already as a single parent, how hard could two be?
That’s how hard – at least when they are babies, and the toddler stage is pretty challenging too. But don’t worry it will all start to pay off later on.
Rather than being thrown into being the parents of infant twins, my husband and I had a bit of a grace period, allowing us to ease into our new reality. Our twins were premature and spent two months in the neonatal ICU before they could come home. Two months that seemed really tough, until the twins actually came home and were our responsibility 24/7.
When the babies were finally allowed to come home, my mom came and stayed with us for a while. Which, incidentally, is the most amazing gift anyone can give the parents of twins! Because I will let you in on a SECRET:
Having twins isn’t twice as hard as having a singleton; it’s exponentially harder, at least initially.
But then she abandoned me… (okay, actually she had to go home)
On my own now and getting restless, I started to think that I might like to venture out of the house. Almost immediately, I came up against the first roadblock to getting back into my active life:
Infant twins is all about logistics -how am I going to get these two babies from point A to point B without anybody crying, or at least not me. Let’s be honest with two babies, someone is bound to be crying.
Of course, I’d already had a hint of the difficulties. The first few doctor appointments after my mom left were pretty tricky, but it wasn’t until I started attending a baby group and a few other things that I started to struggle. Double strollers don’t fit everywhere AND what about grocery shopping?
I got pretty jealous of the moms who breezed in with their baby snuggled in a carrier on their chest. Couldn’t they look just a little bit frazzled?
But the more I ventured out, and the more I struggled, the more determined I became that I would get back out into the out of doors. I started searching for tips and solutions. It quickly became apparent that the information I was looking for wasn’t there, or at least I couldn’t find it.
So I’m hoping to fill that gap.
My twins are well past the infant years now; which is the reason why I actually have time to sit down and talk about what I learned. And hopefully by sharing my struggles and my solutions, some successful and some not so graceful, you can transition back to being active quicker and easier.
AN ACTIVE PARENT OF TWINS?
YES, it is possible to be active with young twins. With some gear, some determination, and a willingness to do things differently you can get out and commune with Mother Nature again (or even just go to the grocery store on your own)
It will be at a MUCH slower pace and with a much heavier bag of supplies, but it’s totally doable.
Oh and don’t forget the need to plan for more preparation time. The days of just grabbing a bag and going are gone.
I welcome you to come and share my journey. It’s been a bumpy ride, but it was my ride. And although there were moments that I wish I could go back and change – those moments where I was overwhelmed and not at my best – I wouldn’t want a different journey.
Stay tuned to learn about how I got my twins from point A to point B. I welcome your insights about the twin journey no matter where in that journey you are.
And of course I recognize that anyone who has more than one child, especially if they are similar in age face similar challenges as the parents of twins. Twins are just what I know…
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