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"Toilet training is... exhausting." 11 parents on what it's really like raising twins.

When Reddit user, ICantFigureOutMyKids found himself in a unique parenting struggle involving his two-month-old twins, he turned to the internet for help.

After he finished his paternity leave, the dad-of-two realised he was having difficulty telling his babies apart.

“My wife makes them share clothes, so I have zero clue which is which by their outfit. They both look almost exactly alike and I can’t figure out which is which,” he wrote on the subreddit, AmItheAsshole.

“Ever since I’ve gone back to work I’ve had a lot of issues identifying them. Anytime I call one the wrong name she gets mad and ignores me for an hour. She spends all day with them every day so she knows exactly which is which. I can’t do that.”

Bec Judd shares what it’s like being pregnant with twins. Post continues below.

Video by MMC

And so he took action.

“Instead of my wife being mad at me I drew a little dot (with a safe marker) on one twin’s right hand, and one on the other’s left hand and I made sure to have the names right. It started to work,” he continued.

“I didn’t have any issues identifying them until my wife found out. She got really mad at me because I needed that much help figuring out our babies names. The issue is I do need help. She spends all day with them. I do not. She got mad and left the house.

“A few days passed and she’s still mad at me.”

In an act of solidarity to parents of multiple babies, we asked 11 mums to share the parenting highs and lows only those with twins know to be true. The good, the bad, and the… ugly.

“Some days will be utter exhaustion. Some days you’ll feel like superwoman.” – Nicole.

You will hear “double trouble”, “you’ve got your hands full” etc. All. The. Time. As if it’s the most original comment in the world.

You’ll work through your sick leave pretty quickly when you return to work and feel so unreliable. Instead of being sick at the same time, they’ll tag team and draw that sh*t out. One will also always need less sleep than the other. Things do just simply take longer when you have more than one toddler of the same age. E.g daycare – other parents arrive after me, pick up their kids, and leave before me. Every single time.

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Some days will be utter exhaustion. Some days you’ll feel like superwoman.

Going outside the house with twins by yourself is doable, but can be hard and has its own challenges/logistics when it comes to two kids the same age. Sometimes I find myself looking at other parents at the park and thinking they don’t realise how easy they have it – even those families with multiple children but different ages. Only other twin mums really get it.

The joy you get when they giggle with each other, cuddle/kiss each other spontaneously, sprint to one another and crash tackle to the ground when they haven’t seen each other all day. Makes you realise how lucky you are to be a parent to twins.

“Toilet training is exhausting.” – Amanda.

Two people who look the same can be so, so different. Doing anything with two babies or toddlers is so much harder. Having kids close together IS NOTHING like having twins. Toilet training twins is exhausting.

“You can’t keep them apart.” – Suz.

We try to interrupt the competition, and nurture them as individuals while respecting their bond. It’s impossible to get them apart even for the shortest amount of time, even when it’s obvious they need it, and that’s something we’re struggling to crack with my nine-year-old boys.

“I hope their girlfriends don’t get jealous.” – Anne.

My twins used to swap personality traits from a young age, and I’m pretty sure they did it just to confuse people. At 26, their bond is still so close. I hope their girlfriends don’t get jealous.

“Twin prams at Christmas.” – Lauren.

The world is not designed for twin prams. I’m looking at you Kmart at Christmas time!

“Having two kids close in age IS NOT the same as having twins.” – Kristy.

Only parents of twins know that having two kids close in age IS NOT the same as having twins.

Only twin parents truly know the pure exhaustion that they bring as well as the emotional challenge of trying to share yourself between two needy little humans. On the flip side, we also only now how amazing twins really are.

“Their personalities are polar opposites.” – Jacqui.

It can be difficult to tell my identical twins apart, but their personalities (at only 20 months) are polar opposites. It’s frustrating when family, friends and childcare don’t bother to get to know them and call them by their names – just ‘the twins’ or ‘this or that one’.

And yes… sleep is a disaster as babies. My boys were so out of sync with sleep we pretty much never had both asleep at the same time.

“Wait until you’ve seen two twin babies making each other laugh.” – Emilie.

Having twins apparently means complete strangers are allowed to ask you about the most intimate details of conception/birth. Were they conceived naturally? Did you do IVF? Did you want twins? Did you have triplets and lose one? Did you have a vaginal birth? People will also ask you if you’re due soon, even if you’re only four months pregnant.

Also, at some point you will feed the same baby twice. Yes even if they don’t look alike. It’s going to happen. You haven’t slept in days.

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If you think the cutest thing in the world is a baby who bursts out laughing, wait until you’ve seen two twin babies making each other laugh. One of the other best things about being a twin parent is the community of other parents of multiples. They’re always ready to help.

“Some days you do feel like you are missing out.” – Jayne.

The biggest challenge in the early days is the demand. Everything is always at the same time, and you have to meet the demand of two tiny humans with the SAME developmental need.

From breastfeeding and latching one handed and bottle feeding two at once, picking up one newborn with zero head support ONE HANDED, helping two wobbly six-month-olds support themselves sitting up and trying not to fall over and hit their heads, two tiny toddlers going in opposite directions at the park and you have to sit back and ‘field’ them like a cricket game, because you can’t provide one-on-one supervision.

You might be physically present to meet every need, but emotionally you are never really there or fully tuned in because there is always someone that needs something. This pulls at the heart strings as you watch singleton mothers holding their single baby, looking into their eyes, feeding them. Some days you do feel like you are missing out.

Getting them onto the same schedule is absolute twin mumma goals, as it ensures your own rest and recharge.

“They were plotting my death.” – Deseri.

Having twins at 24 years old was a real baptism by fire for me. I can remember very early in my motherhood journey, the girls were about one, both front facing in the car and they had a conversation – how cute I thought as they babbled back and forward in their own twinese language. Then they both stopped talking at the same time and turned to look at me very intently. One of them shook her head and then they both gave out a cheeky laugh whilst looking at each other.

I was sure at that point they were plotting my death.

“Sleep is overrated.” – Antica.

1. Sleep is overrated.

2. Monkey see, monkey do rings true. During the boys’ school interview, one of them told the principal that she smelled funny, then the other piped up and said “Yeah, and you need to clean your office, it’s dirty!”

3. Nothing melts your heart more than double snuggles, double kisses, double I love you mummy.

4. A day in the park sounds fantastic, except for when you have two 18 month olds that decide to do a runner. Panic kicks in! What do I do?? Grab the kid closest to me and tuck him under one arm like a football then start running after the other, yelling at the top of my voice like a crazy woman, “Stop that kid!”.

Are you also a parent to twins? What are the other things only the parents of twins would know to be true? Tell us in a comment below.

Tags: children , kids , motherhood , parenting-2 , twins
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