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March 31, 2009

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Parisienne Mais Presque

What amuses me is the "oh, if you have twins, you'll get it all over with at once."

That never made much sense to me before I had kids, but now that I'm the parent of a singleton, it sounds downright nutty. I never knew what people were referring to, exactly: the pregnancy? Infancy? The "terrible twos"? These all sound more than twice as hard with two, never mind worrying about putting two kids through college at exactly the same time.

Growing up as an only child, I always dreamed of *being* a twin, though. I think I had a rosy picture of what having a sibling was like, honestly. I did not like being an only child AT ALL, and having a sister exactly my age sounded pretty cool.

Nancy

Hi Hedra,

I found your blog through 'Ask Moxie'. I always enjoy reading your wise input there, and this post has a lot of nice take-aways for parents whether they are parenting twins or perhaps a few very close in age.

When it comes to sibling rivalry, anger management, and conflicts, it really is helpful and important to take a long-range view. As you say, they will regress, and the fights will occur, but as parents, we can give them the gift of skills. These skills take time and practice--they're hard for adults, so of course even harder for children.

Here's a nice approach from our site on emotional coaching that sounds right up your alley: http://tinyurl.com/dj65jx

Best to you and your family!

hedra

@Nancy, your link is a good sum-up of the bulk of the things we do. :) Though we mangle it a good bit, too. Plenty of days we end up on the wrong side of the power curve and only later go 'OH, WAIT! I get it! Duh! What you really needed to hear was ...' (Sigh.) But it still seems to work... fingers crossed.

@ParisienneMP, I've had people say 'it must be so much cheaper to have twins'... um, can you think that one through for me? No hand-me downs? All outgrow-able items have to be direct capital purchases? Two bikes, for instance. Two sets of wardrobe, and please don't tell me that you think they'll just share the same outfits... at least not after 2 or 3 years old. Two winter coats, two car seats, double stroller, two sets of snow boots...

We get a little lucky because Miss M is smaller than Miss R, so there is a little passing-down of clothing. Sometimes.

Strangely enough, college may make up for it because the current (fingers crossed) rules increaase the amount of financial aid you qualify for if there are two in college at once. So there is a bonus there, because of the US rules on financial aid packages. Still may be ouchy, and may be more than paying for just one (gulp), but that's strangely the easy end of the process, financially.

Now, two preschool bills, that's ouchy. Hard to find financial aid for preschool. And there's way less discount at that age, too (most are 5% off for a second child, which really doesn't make that much difference)... Just one more year of preschool, just one more year of preschool, just one more year of preschool... But so far, very worth it (as you know, we SOOOOOO love Montessori education, and so do the kids).

Nancy

I mangle it too. We're only human. I'll never forget going to a parenting conference and hearing a speaker say if we do it 30% of the time we're doing well. My first reaction, "phew!". I think if we can just make an intention, that's a good thing.

This was our first year after seven years to not pay for preschool. We had years here and there paying for two at once, so I feel for you. Most of us never regret spending our money on education--it may stop us from spending extra on the lattes or shoes, which we may actually regret :).

Nancy

L.

My reaction when I think of multiples is sheer terror. Pregnancy, birth, and beyond, it seems very challenging. I know people do it all the time, but still ... my hat's off to anyone who does.

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