Out and about and in passing, people often ask me how I cope with 4. In fact, people often ask me how I cope with twins without realising that there are another 2 in the ether. I have to judge carefully whether or not to break it to them that I have 2 more depending how pitying their first comment sounded (note: please don’t let twin mums know that you feel sorry for them, it’s just soul-destroying, especially at first when all you want to hear is an encouraging ‘aren’t they lovely’ or ‘you’re doing a great job’). In fact, ‘how do you cope?’ is more of a rhetorical question, and often followed by “I find it hard with one!”.
It’s difficult to know what to say and perhaps the onus should not be on the twin mum to make the other person feel better. I’d love to say – “well, deal with it, 1 child is a piece of piss compared to 4, why aren’t you doing more with your spare time?”…but that’s not very empathetic is it and instead usually reply with ‘it’s fine really’ or ‘it’s not that bad’ with a forced smile because you really don’t want people’s pity.
Every morning when I was walking my then 3 year old to pre-school my neighbour used to say, with almost a cackle, ‘getting any sleep yet?’ and it would drive me nuts. I used to lie about them sleeping through just to get her to shut up.
But in all honesty, it IS tricky, much trickier than single babies and it takes practise and support to feel like you can cope. Over the next few weeks I’m going to write some (hopefully helpful!) posts about how to cope with twins and, specifically, two plus twins.
PS – when I was expecting #2 I borrowed a book from the library called ‘Coping with Two’, oh how I laughed when I found out about the twins. I didn’t find any books called ‘Coping with Two PLUS TWINS’.