Thursday, May 23, 2013

Mother of multiples

Ugh. Once upon a time I was a freak about being the mom of twins. I joined one of those "mothers of multiples" clubs and everything.  I think I joined that club before they were even born.  I went to the meetings.  Which really consisted of talking only about the meetings and the committees.  Nothing really helpful about raising twins.

I really went to those meetings to get away, and because I had met three hilarious women there, and we had a great time making fun of the whole deal.

Oh, and twice a year they had a HUGE sale, where we could buy each other's used twin stuff.  It was a super score.  I was even on the sale committee one year, in charge of the sale.  I overslept on the day of the sale AND did cocaine in the bathroom during the sale.  Probably not my GREATEST contribution.

Sorry ladies

One  useful thing they did was once a year they invited a panel of twins (adult twins) to come in, so that we could all fire questions at them.  We did this so that we would know what horrific mistakes their parents made, and be sure not to make them ourselves.

The questions were like this:

"Did your parents give you two birthday cakes, or one?"

"Did your parents dress you alike?"

"Did your parents make you share a bedroom?"

"Did your parents take you places without your twin?"

"Did your parents give you two separate birthday parties?"

"Did you encourage separate friends?

"Did you put them on the same sports teams?"

And so on.  Some of these questions were asked EVERY SINGLE YEAR.  The birthday cake one cracks me up.  People take that shit SERIOUSLY!!  For the record, I've done it both ways, depending on how much money we had during each birthday.  I don't think my kids suffered any long-term effects with either of those choices.

But the one that struck me as the most important was the question about putting the kids in separate classrooms.  In Minnesota, there is actually a law on the books that gives the parents the ultimate choice whether they put their twins into the same class or not.

On the twin panel, at these meetings, this was an emotional question for many.  Some told stories about being split up that first day of Kindergarten, being terrified, and one woman even choked up when talking about how traumatic that experience was for her.  It seems that splitting the twins up in school was a very difficult thing for the twins.  It seemed like it was across the board a bad experience.

I am not a twin.  So I do not understand the relationship.  Who am I to say they need to be split up?  My boys seem well adjusted, are their own people, have friends, and do not cause trouble for anyone.  So I have kept them together, because they want to be together.  It has been suggested that I separate them, but no one has ever given me a good reason.  Not saying the school is wrong for suggesting it, I just think people believe that they should be separated.  But I think that if they want to stay together, and aren't hurting anyone, then they stay together.

So here we are, at the deciding point again for next year.  And although I have been in the "let them decide for themselves" camp, I thought that 5th grade would be the year we for sure split them up.  Right before middle school starts.  To give them a chance to be on their own.  But the boys want to stay together.  In fact, they got pretty upset when I tried to talk them into separating.  Like...SO sad.

So, they win.  For 5th grade, the boys will again be in the same class.  Maybe they will have all of the same classes in middle-school, high-school, college.  Maybe they will live together or in a duplex, work together at the same place.  Maybe they will marry sisters. Who am I to say that is wrong?  They are happy, healthy and doing just fine.  They are best friends and I am so lucky to be their mom.  Twins rule.


  1. "They are happy, healthy & doing just fine." what a blessing. You are a great Mom, Betsey.

  2. OMIGOD. OMIGOD. Just another reason I love you, Betsey. I, too, have twins. They are together in school this year. We've done it both ways. I LOVELOVELOVE that you let the boys decide. I love your reasoning, too- it's doesn't have to be rocket science, people. If they're learning and being decent kids, let them make this decision!! My twins are boy-girl and in third grade. They have their own bedrooms, but 99.999% of the time end up in the same twin bed in one of their rooms. Or in with their older sister. I love how much they love each other. Loved this post. XO

    1. Keely, that is awesome! I agree. I love their relationship and will always support it. So sweet!

  3. My cousin has twin boys and they are always together- school, baseball teams, etc. They love it!
    You're an amazing woman!

  4. I think that is wonderful!

    I am a teacher and this post is extremely helpful to me. I've had a number of twins in my classes over the years and parents always ask my opinion on when their twins should be separated. This post gives me a slightly different way to think about it. Generally I tell parents that they know their children best and they will know when their children are ready to be separated. But I didn't really think about HOW scary that change is for the children, so scary that adult twins remember. Thanks for giving me something important to think about! :-)