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"I can barely hold them both at the same time." Five things no one tells you about having twins.

When I asked the hosts of Mamamia’s upcoming baby podcast The Baby Bubble, Sean Szeps and Zoe Marshall, for the things no one ever told them about becoming parents, one word came up again and again.

Poo.

Lots of poo. All. Over. Everything.

Aside from all the baby poo, Sean and Zoe had so much to say about everything they wish someone – anyone – had said to them before assuming responsibility over their tiny, helpless humans.

Some good, some bad, and some really soul destroying because, as they both confirmed, being a parent is bloody hard.

Let’s start with Sean and the five things he swears no one warned him about before he and his husband Josh brought home their twins, 16-month-olds Stella and Cooper.

We’ve got a little taste of The Baby Bubble for you, get it in your ears below. Post continues after audio.

1. You’ll never have free time again.

“I always say to people when they ask for my piece of advice about having twins is that you have to say goodbye to your free time. One of the things I realised right away when I was speaking to other parents of newborns is, when you have one child, the beauty of the fact that they sleep so much is you do get breaks. There are moments in your day, and most people sleep during those times, that become a routine where you’ll know OK I’m going to have a pocket here and here.”

“The problem with having twins is that kids are unpredictable, so even though you can attempt to put your twins on the exact same schedule, the reality is, sleeping and eating and crying and pooping all over your rugs is going to happen whenever they decide they want that to happen. So with twins, you’re not going to get the breaks you so desperately need, because [in my] personal experience, when one child was sleeping, the next child might go down 30 minutes later. And it’s the fact that your days are monotonous, you do the same thing, multiple times a day, day after day after day after day after day. And THAT is what no one told me.

“I feel like what they do is they have conversations in their own baby language where they’re like, ‘let’s f*ck with them today, should we have completely different sleep schedules today?’.”

2. Trying to change nappies is like WWE wrestling.

“Changing nappies with twins is like WWE wrestling. You’re literally slamming one child on the ground and grabbing the other by the foot, and wiping poop on your forehead. It can be intense, but also really funny, it’s like you’re in a viral video.”

“Everything takes longer with twins. If you’re parenting by yourself, if you’re a stay-at-home parent or a single parent, you are constantly needing to manage and pull another child in one direction. Those moments are the most stressful, when something as simple as changing a nappy becomes an hour job because you’re dealing with the first child while the other one is trying to run away.”

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These kinds of candid chats are exactly what you can expect from Mamamia’s upcoming podcast The Baby Bubble. Check out the trailer below, post continues after video.

Video by MMC

3. You need to be in shape to physically carry your twins.

“I really should have been working out for 10 years prior to having twins. They’re so damn heavy and they got so heavy so quick, I was like, my muscles are not ready for this. I can barely hold both of them at the same time to get from the tub to their bedroom, why didn’t one ever tell me you need to be in shape to be a parent?”

4. Your twins aren’t identical in every single way.

“Newborn babies really are blobs. Silent, pooping blobs who sleep the whole time. When one goes out of the room, the other one gets FOMO and goes out with them, they never leave each others’ sides. It’s cute when they’re not vomiting everywhere. But they have their own personalities. Sleep training, introduction of food, dummies, bottles and prams – I’m a type A control freak personality – everything goes out the damn door because your tactics might not work for both of them.”

5. You won’t ‘love’ one or both of your children at all times.

“Parenting is, without a doubt, the most beautiful, terrible experience you’ll ever have. And almost every parent refuses to acknowledge it because they feel they’re failing if they’re not finding it amazing.

“If I had a dollar for every time someone looked at me and said, this is the blessing of a lifetime, but you can see in their eyes and their smile that they’re trying not to cry… it is amazing, of course, but in an instant, you suddenly have to take care of tiny humans and they’re not rational and they freaking poop every minute.

“You’re allowed to say I hate my child today. Every minute of every hour of every day or every week.”

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Yes, having twins is challenging, but so is wrangling just one child.

Zoe and her husband, professional NRL player Benji Marshall, have their 10-month-old son Fox. Here are the things Zoe said no one told her about birthing one small human.

1. You’ll worry you’re raising a brat.

“For me, the kind of parent I thought I’d be changed completely. I thought I’d be the really strict one, that I’d be bad cop and Benji would be good cop, but it’s the complete opposite.”

“Something no one tells you is that as soon as the baby was born, I had this overwhelming sense of wanting to make this baby feel safe and loved, even if that means Dad is saying no. Then you think, far out, is this how brats are made? No one tells you how to raise your kids ‘right’.”

2. How much you won’t care about anything but surviving.

“I think no one told just how much you will not care about anything but just surviving and getting through it. For example, I was always one to text back right away, but everything goes by the wayside.”

“It’s like you’re in a casino and you have no sense of time. I remember having the blinds drawn for three months! You’re just trying to eat, wear clean clothes and survive in the most basic ways.”

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3. Your doula isn’t always right.

“My doula came over in the early days when the baby wasn’t settling and she said, you need to get all the pillows and make you a cocoon with the baby and you’ll sleep together as one. I got in this bed and for the first 15 minutes it was so nice snuggling with the baby, but then, the baby fell asleep and I was petrified of rolling on the baby, so I didn’t sleep at all.”

“I was just pissed off and surrounded by pillows, I was uncomfortable and I needed to go to the toilet. So that wasn’t for me.”

4. You can, in fact, ‘over-kegle’.

“Your vagina can be tighter than before – no one told me that. It’s all supposed to be loosey goosey, but you can over-kegle. I had a tighty righty. No one told me you can over-kegle.”

Whether you’ve got twins or one baby, are co-parenting or parenting on your own, there’s one universal truth that Sean and Zoe have noticed is consistent for everyone.

“To be honest, most of the things that people told me about having twins ended up not being true – what I’ve learnt is every single kid, single or twin, is so different, but most importantly, every parent is so different.”

To find out more about The Baby Bubble, the podcast that will tell you everything you need to know about what to do when you bring the baby home (that no one else will), subscribe to The Baby Bubble where you get your podcasts! The first episode will drop on January 31st. 

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