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Meet the mother who had two sets of twins in two years.

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Double, double the trouble.

We all know there’s no one in the world quite as busy as a mum.

Except, maybe, a mum of twins, or even the mum of TWO sets of twins.

Yes. You heard right. Two sets.

Allow us to introduce you to Anne Stephens, a mothering machine who gave birth to two sets of twins in two years. (Say it really fast, ten times over, and you’ll probably be about half as frenzied as this woman was three years into parenting.)

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Anne’s children: Clare, Jessie, Nicholas, and Jack. (Image supplied)

Anne is a mother, an English Teacher, a former netball coach, the president of P&C and did all this while taking care, and living with, her elderly mother.

On the latest episode of I Don’t Know How She Does It, Anne talks to Sarah Macdonald about how she managed, and sometimes didn’t manage, four young children under two — and how she manages them now, aged 24 and 22.

So, what was the toughest time?

Ask twin-rookies like us, and we’d probably hedge our bets on the early years. Nappy-changing and energy-demanding toddlers.

Listen to Anne talk about raising her twins here. (Post continues after audio.)

But that’s why we’re the rookies. Because for Anne, it was later.

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“As they got older, I couldn’t believe the demands emotionally. It changed completely, and I was like ‘take me back to when I just had to change your nappy and put food in your mouth, instead of me having to be here to listen to every single thing you have to say’,” she told Sarah Macdonald.

But don’t let her fool you into thinking that having four young children under two years old was anything more than a walk in the park. In fact, at times, it was the walks in the park that were the hardest.

“Every time I would attempt to put them in the stroller and attempt to take them to the park or whatever, I could always find seven shoes, not eight. And it would drive me crazy. So eventually, someone would just go barefoot that day.”

For Anne, double sets of twins was never really part of the plan.

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Anne and her family. (Image supplied)

“When we had the girls we noticed how much attention that they got – people would stop you and ask you what their names were, asked you whether you were breastfeeding them… all sorts of unusual things.

“I said to my husband, I can’t believe how much attention these two get. Maybe if we had another child – one more – that might take a little bit of the attention away from the girls that we were scared were going to turn into princesses, because everyone was like ‘oh aren’t they cute.’ And then, we discovered that it was twins again.”

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Sure, Anne acknowledges that managing four non-identical, completely different DNA individuals who were all easy going, was tough, but doesn’t deny having two sets of twins didn’t have it’s perks.

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Anne Stephens. (Image supplied.)

“You can stay home and they can entertain themselves. You don’t have to go to playgroups; you don’t have to do all of that stuff, because it’s too hard to get out of the house to do any of that stuff anyway. You can just put the music on at home, and they play and make a mess and hang out together, and dress each other up.”

Instant friendships, no?

“Absolutely.”

It may not be long before those instant friendships are dispersed, though, with Anne acknowledging it won’t be long before they all move out and she’ll be left with an empty house and it will be “really interesting”.

“I think I’ll be going to their houses a couple of nights a week for dinner…”

Payback. We like it.

Listen to the full episode here:

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