8 Things That Are Harder When You Have Twins

Most of the time, parents have kids one at a time. But parents of twins face the challenge of raising two same-age children. While the rewards and blessings of having twins are abundant, there are some situations that are a little bit more difficult when you're a parent of twins. Let's take a look at some of these challenges, and how parents manage them with twins. 


Taking Baby Pictures

The Cost of Raising Twins
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Every parent wants to document the special moments in their child's life. From the first smile to the first steps, the camera is always at hand. When you have twins, there are lots of cute moments to capture.

But it's not always easy to get a good shot. For every good picture, there's a trail of mishaps. One looks at the camera, one looks away. One with eyes open, one with eyes closed. One laughing, one crying. 

Persistence is the key to getting good photographs of multiples. However, if your efforts are not rewarded, it's OK to leave it to the professionals.


Attending School Open House

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Have you ever thought about what it would be like to have a superpower? Imagine being able to fly, or to leap tall buildings in a single bound, or to scale walls like Spider-Man. If I could grant a superpower to parents of twins, it would be the ability to be in two places at the same time. That's the skill that is necessary to successfully navigate that annual rite of passage known as "Back-to-School Night."

This event, where parents visit their child's school shortly after school starts in the fall, is a chance to tour the classroom and meet the teacher as well as other parents. While schools generally try to accommodate parents with multiple kids of different ages, it is much trickier to manage when your kids are in the same grade.

Even if they are in the same class, there are two sets of artwork to admire, two desks to check out, and two agendas to discuss with the teacher. And if your twins are in separate classes, the logistics are even more challenging. 


Participating in Group Classes or Lessons

swim lessons
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Many families with twins are met with disappointment when they try to enroll their young children in group lessons or classes, such as swim lessons or Mommy-n-Me time. Excited about enjoying a fun experience with their babies, they discover that the class requires one adult to participate with each child. Unless both parents (or a babysitter) can make room in their schedule for the class, parents of twins are out of luck. 

Even when activities don't require parental participation, it can be tricky when space is tight. Many organizations are willing to make room for "one more," but will have to deny twins, who would put the class over capacity.

It's OK to skip the waiting list. That way, you can avoid a situation where only one space opens up, but both twins want the spot.


Rocking Babies to Sleep

Newborn Premature Twins holding hands
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Nothing is sweeter than snuggling a tiny baby and watching them gently drift off to sleep in your arms. But try that times two, and it can be an exercise in frustration. As soon as one falls off, the other is squirming or squalling.

Even if you do get them both to sleep, how do you maneuver them into their cribs without waking them up and starting the whole process all over? With only two arms, it's pretty tricky. 

That doesn't mean it can't be done; in fact, mastering this skill is one of the most rewarding achievements of being a parent of twins. It takes some practice, and it's definitely harder than rocking a single baby, but the payoff is quite satisfying. 


Using Public Restrooms

Female and male sign on toilet door, close-up
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What do you do when you really have to go but have two babies in a giant double stroller? It won't fit into a stall with you, and the thought of leaving your precious ones unattended in a public restroom while you're otherwise occupied is quite terrifying.

Luckily, solutions to this particular problem have become more available as family restrooms become more prevalent. Another option is to utilize the larger space of a handicapped stall, but even then, many double strollers won't fit inside.

Otherwise, you can always hold it, rely on the kindness of strangers, or take a helper with you when you can go out. While the stroller stage is short-lived, the problem persists — as sometimes get worse — as twins get older. Because then THEY are the ones that have to use the restroom and usually both at the same time. 


Transitioning to an Empty Nest

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Twins arrive two at a time. And for many families, they also leave home at the same time. Whether going to college, joining the military, or moving into their own home, they leave behind a big void.

Just as it took time for you to adjust to having two new babies, when your twins grow up and leave home, it's another transition.

For parents of twins, the empty nest becomes really empty, really fast. It can be as difficult and unsettling as when twins join the family. Many times they're not gone for long! Between school breaks and job changes, they're likely to be back at some point. 


Dropping off at Day Care

twins carried in car seats
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It's part of the daily routine, but it can still be one of the most difficult times of the day. The logistics can be challenging when you are transporting two babies or young children in and out of the car, and in and out of a daycare facility.

Combine emotions (from parents and kids!), stress, weather, traffic, and disorganization, and you've got a recipe for a meltdown. (Again, parents and kids!)

In the early days, a travel system stroller makes things a bit easier because they allow the babies to remain ensconced in their car seats. But as they grow, it becomes more difficult as the babies get heavier but still need to be carried. Transitioning from the car into a stroller is one option; another is enlisting the help of the staff. 


Teaching Teens to Drive

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It's a rite of passage for teenagers, one that brings freedom and responsibility, but also angst to parents. Getting a driver's license often requires several hours of practice driving, accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Parents of twins will spend twice the hours in the car, clenching their teeth and clutching their seatbelt as they slam an imaginary brake from the passenger seat. Teaching a teen to drive can be stressful and nerve-wracking, and parents of twins get to do it double time. 

By Pamela Prindle Fierro
 Pamela Prindle Fierro is the author of several parenting books and the mother of twin girls.