I love my twin girls and am so grateful they joined our family. Why? Many reasons. Some of which I didn’t realize would be the case when this whole crazy journey began.
Here’s why I’m grateful for twins:
Twins Teach You Priorities
When our girls were born, I didn’t really know what we were getting into. Sure, we’d talked to other parents of twins and read some books. Of course, there wasn’t a book just for twin dads then, but I thought we had learned and prepared.
However, I soon realized that twins aren’t just a challenge, they are priority makers. The demands of infant twins (and even through the first year) forced me to realize what is important in life. Hobbies, leisure, sleep, work, etc. all fell down the list of “important” things.
I’m grateful for the insight into priorities having twins has brought me.
(RELATED: Still expecting twins? Will you be having two boys, two girls, or boy/girl twins? Answer these quick questions to see what several old wives’ tales claim you’ll be having….)
Twins Are an Adventure
When people find out you are having twins, they often ask “Do twins run in your family?” We like to retort, “They do now!” Infant twins have you constantly on the go, caring, feeding, and nurturing them. As they get older, your twins literally run all over the place – and often in different directions!
I’m grateful that our twins have been an adventure. They keep us on our toes and force us to be flexible and creative in our parenting.
Grateful for Twins During the Twin Pregnancy
During the twin pregnancy is when we’re most worried, most freaked out about what is happening. That being said, there are many things that we can be thankful for during the twin pregnancy.
One of those is because we’re expecting twins, we’re going to have a lot more frequent visits to the doctor. These are great because you get frequent and constant updates on the progress of your babies. Whereas when you are only expecting one child, those doctor visits tend to be more spread out and definitely the ultrasounds come less frequently. With twins, you get an extra peek into what’s going on with your babies on a very frequent basis.
During the twin pregnancy, mom is going to get a lot more attention. Not just mom, but you and the family as you are expecting twins. As news spreads that twins are coming, you’re going to get a lot more attention from friends and family. It’s not everyday that they find out someone’s having twins.
Another thing to be thankful for during the pregnancy is that people are more willing to help you get ready for the twins and they always offer what they can do to help once the twins arrive. Now, of course it’s up to you to be able to capture that intent and sign them up to do something of meaning for you and your family.
Another exciting part of the twin pregnancy to be grateful for is that you get to plan for two babies. It may be boy/girl twins so you have very different decorations and clothing preparations to make. It could be two boys and two girls. Each of those brings its own unique aspects of preparation and planning, which are very exciting to consider and go through.
With a twin pregnancy, one thing that my wife really enjoyed was that she got two babies for one pregnancy. Sometimes we call this “two for the price of one.” As we know, twins are not that economical. However, for the physical burden of a mom who’s carrying the babies during the pregnancy, my wife was very grateful that she only had to go through one pregnancy to get two babies. Having experienced two single births previously, it was an economy scale to have two babies for the same time frame of a single baby.
During the twin pregnancy, yes there are a lot of challenges and worries and fears, but there’s also a lot of things that we can be grateful for as we get an extra view of how our kids are progressing, but also some of the extra preparations that we can make for their arrival.
Gratitude in the Newborns Stage
Once your twins are here and they enter the newborn stage, there’s a new set of things that we can be grateful for.
One is the sheer joy of holding two babies that are your kids. They’re the same size, they’re so needy, and usually they’re asleep and they’re easy to cuddle. It’s just a very fun time to be able to hold and reflect on the joy that these two little babies bring into your life.
Feeding them both at the same time is a very exciting endeavor. If mom is breastfeeding the twins, you can bring the babies to her to help her do this. If you’re bottle feeding, you’ll get a chance to feed both babies yourself. You’ll also be able to get to notice some of the similarities and the differences in each of your twins.
Because you’re feeding them so frequently, you’re going to be able to start looking and noticing in their physical differences, mannerism differences, and their personalities are going to start to come out.
Another thing to be grateful for is that you reflect on the twin pregnancy and how these babies acted in utero. Maybe one was more active than the other. One was kicking, one was kind of docile. Maybe they’re both going crazy. How are they’re acting now that they’re outside of the womb? You can compare and contrast what you saw before and compare and contrast them to each other.
Another thing to be grateful for is trying to trick everybody else of who is who. Obviously, if your twins are identical, it’s going to be more difficult for others to identify them. Even when they are fraternal twins, they might not look very much alike at all, but when they are newborns and they’re swaddled up and all you see is their little face, it’s going to confuse a lot of people to want to know who is who. That’s kind of a fun adventure: seeing the reaction of the people as they try to guess which baby is which.
When your twins are infants and you take them out in public, you become the star of the show. Everyone seems to flock to you like magnets to want to see these babies. They ask, “Are they twins? Are they natural? Oh, you have your hands full. I’m so glad it’s not me, it’s you.” There’s an endless barrage of commentary and questions that you receive. Now, while some of these questions can be kind of probing and embarrassing or awkward to answer, it is fun to get some attention in public to recognize that, yes, you do have your hands full and, yes, you are amazing to be able to have these twins and care for them.
Gratitude with Toddler Twins
As your twins move from infants and newborns into the toddler stage, there’s even more things that are pretty cool about that stage. It’s fun to see who reaches which milestone first.
Crawling, walking, talking, eating solid foods. A lot of these will be happening simultaneously, but sometimes you’ll see one twin go ahead of the other. It’s fun to be able to see their uniqueness and their differences at those stages.
Their personalities are also going to be shining during this time where they’re able to better express themselves with words or if you’re doing baby signs. You can start to see their personalities evolve and they’re able to be more expressive. Also, look for differences in their mannerisms, speech, food preferences, and toy preferences. All these things are fun to watch.
As you move beyond the toddler stage, one thing that I’ve really enjoyed with our twins and I’ve very grateful for is that they have each other to be friends and to play with. Of course, that starts at an early age and a basic level. Playing and learning to share with each other. Ultimately, they’re going to be able to progress to the point where they’re continuing to be roommates and they’re with each other all the time. That may lead to having similar interests. They’re able to also entertain themselves. That frees up a little bit of time for you or for mom to get other stuff done around the house.
Another thing that I’m grateful for with twins is that you can use the peer pressure that having that built in peer gives you. You can encourage positively one of your twins to end a certain behavior. Maybe they’re doing a chore or they’re doing their homework, or they’re acting a certain way that you like, you can praise that and reinforce that. That will give some positive pressure to the other twin who also wants that positive praise and attention and affirmations. Peer pressure is something to be grateful for in a good way here with your twins. You can help leverage that to get the proper behavior that you wish out of your twins.
Another thing to be grateful for twins as they get older are that people don’t notice as easily as they did before that they’re actually twins. Before when you would go in the double stroller and both your twins were babies, it was very obvious that you have twins. Now as your twins get into toddlers and beyond and they start to express preferences of what they want to wear and even if they’re identical, they wear completely different outfits. This is a fun time as well because you can go and kind of be incognito in public and people don’t bug or harass you as they did before. By the time you get to that stage, you will be thankful for it because you will have had to deal with that for months when your twins were younger.
If you take time to count your blessings with twins, you’ll find a lot to be grateful for as well. And that’s a habit that you as a father of twins need to form because if you have a habit of gratitude and a thankful heart, it’s going to make things a lot easier as you have and raise your twins.
Make a Gratitude Journal
So I wanted to share with you all a family tradition that we have here in the Rawlinson household that I invite you to try out. And if it sticks, it will be a blessing to your family as well. We have what we call a Rawlinson family gratitude journal. This is really just an old spiral notebook that we use everyday to express our gratitude.
Each evening before we get ready for bed, we go around and we ask everyone in the family “what are you thankful for today?” and then each family member answers. Once somebody says something, someone else in the family can’t reuse that thing that they’re thankful for.
We try to focus on something about that particular day that they are thankful for. And it’s surprising how everyday offers something unique that maybe we haven’t thought of before and we can be thankful for. It’s especially true as you interact with your family and as you’re raising your twins, there’s always something new each day that you can be thankful for.
At the time of this post, we’re up to 740 things that we’re grateful for. Sure there are some things in there that are repeated, but that’s okay because that means we’re extra grateful for them.
Gratitude Helps Your Perspective
One thing that having a gratitude journal will do for you is that it will help give you a positive look on the crazy, insane days that you have as a parent of twins. Sometimes you get to the end of the day and you just want to collapse. You’ve given it your all physically, mentally, and you find that there’s really nothing left. And you look back and you may think, “Man, was I even successful today and did I get anything done today?” But if you look back and evaluate your day, you will find things that you can be thankful for and that will give you good perspective.
As we’ve talked about before, having perspective as a father of twins is vital to keeping your sanity and helping keep a long view on the things that you’re doing. You may get so bogged down in the logistics and the tactical nature of raising twins day to day, particularly when they’re young that you need to stand back and look at the long-term horizon of what you’re actually doing.
Be Grateful for One Thing Today
All you need to do is look for one thing. One thing today that you’re thankful for that will help keep you moving forward. Is it a smile from one of your little babies? Is it a diaper that actually did its job and didn’t blow out and leave a mess all over your lap? Perhaps it’s an extra 30 minutes of sleep between nighttime feedings. You start to see that your babies are stretching out and sleeping at night. Or maybe it’s a new milestone that your baby has made, she’s crawling or she’s teething.
If you look close enough you will find something that you can be thankful for with your twins. Keep asking yourself and observe what it is that you can be thankful for and you’ll find it. Be grateful for these little moments that you have and the things you’ve been blessed with and it will help pull you through the tough times.
I invite you to start your own family gratitude journal and if it’s not at the family level, try individually so you can help think what’s going well and count your many blessings.
What are you grateful for with your twins?
I invite you to look for the positive and the fun and exciting things about having twins, regardless of the stage that you’re at with them right now. There are a million things that you can be grateful for. They’re progressing on their milestones, that they’re healthy; that they’ve overcome some of the challenges they may have had in the NICU, that they’ve come home from the hospital, that they got over their last cold that they had last week.
There are lots of things that you can be grateful for with twins. Try to look through the clouds of the challenges, the overwhelming feelings and count your blessings with your twins. I guarantee that you’re going to find several that you can be thankful for.
What are you grateful for with your twins? Take a few moments to reflect on that and then share what you find with your spouse or even your twins. Show them what you’re thankful for about them.
Don’t forget that you can get a free audio book version of my Dad’s Guide to Twins book by visiting freetwinbook.com.
Why are you grateful for twins? Let us know in the comments.