The loneliness of being a twin mum

the loneliness of being a twin mum

Motherhood. It can be a lonely gig for any mother. The loneliness of being a twin mum has caught me by surprise. I’m surrounded by the people I love the most, yet I’m lonely. There can be days on end when the only adult I speak to is my husband. In 7 years of parenting I’ve never felt this isolated.

Perhaps that isolation comes from life with two babies. There are things that are manageable with one baby but a struggle with two. Like taking the older boys to the theatre or movies. I can’t balance and keep quite two squirming babies on my lap for the length of a show. Swimming lessons with one baby are straightforward, but I can’t work out the logistics of one parent and two babies in the pool. I’ve flown with one baby. One adult flying with baby twins isn’t possible. Each baby needs an adult lap. Sure, each of these things isn’t a huge drama. But they compound to make me feel hemmed in to my house.

Once the twins and I went out for brunch. It started well. Both were asleep in the pram. Then one woke. So I feed her. While feeding her, the other woke. I finished feeding one, put her in the pram and tried to feed the other. The first twin started screaming in the pram. I fished her out and held her while the other fed. Neither would happily go back in the pram. Eating a meal one handed is pretty standard for parents. But I was alone and holding two babies. I did my best to shovel in a few mouthfuls of food. It was too hard. I left my barely touched meal and went home. Biting back the tears. Feeling frustrated that my plan for a quite brunch hadn’t worked. In the days of one baby that situation would’ve been simple. Feed baby, hold baby, eat. Go home full.

Double trouble

Strangers tell me that twins are ‘double trouble’. The thing is, there’s some truth in it. With two babies there’s an increased risk of things going wrong. Leaving the house is hard with one baby. With two, some days it feels impossible. Your chance of a nappy explosion or screaming baby in the car or supermarket double. Tandem breastfeeding is a juggle. Even though I’ve mastered the art, I’m not comfortable getting both my boobs out in public. Browsing the shops with a double pram isn’t a simple task, often the pram doesn’t fit between the racks. I’ve also discovered that the doors to many parents rooms aren’t wide enough for the pram. I literally have to dismantle the pram to get inside. All these things leave me wondering if leaving the house is worth the bother.

A twin tribe?

Part of my feelings of loneliness is a lack of a twin ‘tribe’. I’ve got amazing mum friends. I know they try to comprehend life with twins. But you really only understand the juggle of burping one baby while breastfeeding the other when you’ve done it. Or feel the depth of mum guilt associated with ‘choosing’ which baby’s needs to meet first. Before having twins I couldn’t imagine the marathon involved with getting two babies to sleep at the same time. And the maddening frustration of getting one to sleep just as the other wakes.

I love and adore my girls. And being the mum of twins may be the best thing that’s ever happened to me. But that doesn’t change that it’s hard work. The new challenges twins present have thrown my ‘can do’ attitude. I’m learning to accept that somethings as a mum of young twins just aren’t achievable. There are parts of life, as a twin mum, that I have to sit out. I’m sure it won’t be forever but for now it’s left me feeling lonely. The loneliness of being a twin mum was not something I anticipated.

Have you ever felt a sense of loneliness or isolation as a mother?

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129 thoughts on “The loneliness of being a twin mum

  1. I think there are lots of mums who will appreciate your openess and honesty. I had never contemplated how you BF and burp the other baby at the same time. My sister had twins as her 4th and 5th babies and mums of multiples are supermums in my mind. Can you find a group for multiple parents nearby?
    I have felt lonely as a mum living interstate and having a child with a disability – I think there are seasons of loneliness in each motherhood journey. I hope yours is short.

  2. I think parenting has its lonely moments for us all, but as a Mum to twins I can imagine this must be even more challenging. I can only imagine how difficult it must be to get out of the house at times, or even to have the quiet time to talk to someone on the phone. My thoughts are with you and my fingers crossed this time is only short lived. x

  3. Do you accept hugs from strangers? Because I just want to give you one! I know how you feel to a degree. I’m feeling terribly lonely right now but for different reasons. And it’s awful. I know that you know it will get better, but I just have to remind you of that. In the mean time, try to find joy in the little things that bring some light into your life each day. A cup of tea in the morning sunshine. A walk around the block. A TV show that makes you laugh. Laughter helps A LOT. Hang in there Clare. You are doing a great job. x

  4. Hats off to you and all twin mummies. You are my super heroes. I have no idea how you do it. “There are parts of life, as a twin mum, that I have to sit out. I’m sure it won’t be forever but for now it’s left me feeling lonely…” I really was in this piece with you, great story telling and big hugs to you.

  5. I literally can’t imagine. Also, what idiot designed parents rooms doors that you can’t get a twin pram into?! How bizarre. Do you know of Elle Roberts who runs the Artful Biz Conference? She has young twins too – you should look her up on IG and try to find a twin parent to talk to.

  6. When I was a teenager and when I still wanted kids, I thought how much easier it would be to have twins because I could pop them both out at once as it were. But as your post shows it clearly involves a lot of juggling (but not of babies.) I wanted to give you a big hug after I read this, because you are doing such a bang up job, not just of raising these gorgeous twins but three other children too. Is there a multiple birth group in your hood? Even if you can’t meet in person, it might be therapeutic to have someone to talk to who is in the same boat. In the meantime, go gently, be kind to yourself and make sure you find a little “Claire Time” even if it’s just 5 minutes. Big hugs for you x

  7. Oh wow, that does sound tough. I’m sending your blog to one of my friends, she was a single parent with twins. To this day I still have absolutely no idea how she did it. Keep your chin up, the days will no doubt get easier.

    1. Any chance I could get in touch with your friend? I am a single mother to 1 year old twins. We have a twins group locally but I hardly know anyone doing it as a single mom.

      1. Are you in Australia Anne? I have noticed there are other single mums to twins in the ‘Mum’s of Multiples’ Facebook group.

  8. As a mum to 8 week old twins I can truly relate to this article! I went everywhere with my singleton and have certainly tried to go everywhere with the twins but as you said sometimes it just doesnt work and you have to be prepares to just give up and go home!! People think I’m crazy for breastfeeding the twins bit I just love it!!

    1. I’m so pleased my post resonated with you Rachel. There’s certainly more logistics to worry about with twins! As for breastfeeding, so many people told me I wouldn’t be able to breastfeed mine. But I have and we’re still going at the 7 month mark! Well done you, not crazy at all xx

  9. Hi Claire! So many considerations when you have twins that haven’t ever crossed my mind as a mum of singletons. Your honesty is really great. Have you looked into an AMA group in your area? Some twin mums I know find the support there very good. You are doing so well parenting all five kids. ❤️

    1. Thanks Bronwyn. I do go to a multiples playgroup, generally with my four younger kids. I am hopeful that in time some of those women I have met will become true friends.

  10. Chin up super Mum!! You talk about you juggling the twins but give yourself more credit! Your a Mum of 5 you keep your kids entertained! They are always out and about having a great time. Don’t think of all the things that are hard to do but look at all the things you still do. Being a Mum is lonely but it won’t be for long! You will have a whole houseful of little people to chat to, laugh with and exist with!! I can’t imagine what it’s like having twins but you are an amazing role model and inspiration!
    You go mumma

    1. Thanks Gemma, you are far too kind. It’s probably fair to say that some of the loneliness stems from having so many kids to wrangle, not only because of the twins!

  11. Oh this is so true! I have twin boys and an older daughter and the early days with the twins were completely like this. I’d try and get out of the house everyday when my eldest was at school but it could be so exhausting and the chances of something going wrong so high. I sometimes felt like a bit of a circus act at baby groups double feeding, winding, nappy changing. I used to envy the mums with one baby who got to chat and drink coffee! Sending you massive hugs! I found a local private twin facebook group an absolute lifesaver as I got to talk to lots of people who totally “got it” and got lots of practical advice and support. My twin boys have just started school so we are in a very different place right now.

    1. Thank you for your lovely comment. It’s so reassuring when people ‘get it’! I feel like a freak show when I am out and about with my five kids, we attract so much attention. I too sometimes envy mums with one baby and how comparatively simple things seem for them!

    2. As a mom of 2 years and 8 month old twins I hear u, people use to take the Mick out if me being so organised but u have no choice if u want to try and get anywhere. I hear u about the single mom’s sitting and chatting at times I used to feel very resentful but thankfully it does get easier -im looking forward to twin meltdowns when their singleton baby brother arrives in a few weeks 😂 keep going they are worth every moment, I know that some of the moments I witness with my boy’s together my singleton will never have-part of me wanted him to have a twin for that bond but I won’t miss the hard work and juggling involved with having twins again. Every twin mom is special thanks for sharing x

      1. Thanks Sarah, I do love the smiles and looks that my twins share. It will be lovely to see their bond develop as they grow.

  12. On a practical level, is tandem babywearing an option? There are double carriers like the twingo, or you can combine and double wrap, use two ring slings, a sling and an ergo etc. even wearing one might help you have some free hands.
    It must be super isolating. Feel free to shout out via pm if you just feel like a chat. Xx

    1. It’s definitely doable, but easier when they are very very little. I moby wrapped my twins until they were about 6 months old and at that point, wasn’t interested in investing in another carrier.

      1. Yes Kelly, I agree that it’s easier to wear them when they are little. I have a Twingo now which is great but they are getting rather heavy in it!

  13. Oh dear me, I so want to have words come from me which will help you but I think that this situation of loneliness in motherhood is a fact. I found that out with ONE child and went back to teaching as a result once I could and she was in fantastic care with a local family next to the school where I taught. I think you are most likely also being TOUGH on yourself and I say that in the kindest way because from what I see of your IG postings you are out there doing and being all you can to enrich your boys’ lives and nurture the girls in the many ways you do. If you can see the temporary nature of this situation.. the girls will be out of your lap soon and racing around, that might help but for now, yes it sucks and I get that. I was and am still socially isolated and lonely because there is NO-ONE yet I have come across where I live now that I can make a connection with socially. Hence my life is on-line. The thing with me is that as a teacher all my life we tended to have friends from our school life and when that went as I retired, there was little connection. Last week I had a lovely time though when two of my friends from back then decided to drive up and see me for lunch and it was like we had never been away. I hope that you can see that not only have you disconnected from your work life that you also disconnected from your Sydney life…and all of these changes on top of birthing the twinnies has an effect. I hope dear Claire that you are buoyed by some of the comments here and on FB and you know you are loved and not alone as far as we are concerned. Denyse xxx

  14. You know, I think part of the reason why I had such a big struggle last year was because I had spent 2015 at Tafe and after 3 years at home with no-one but babies and toddlers to talk to it was amazing to be back among the land of the “living” and have adult conversations with people who enjoyed something I loved. So when that all finished and I went back to being a SAHM the isolation of that life really hit me hard (not to mention the fact that it was the first time in 5 years that I had slowed down and therefore had a lot more time to think and all the things I hadn’t processed from the previous few years suddenly had to be dealt with!). It can be really tough being at home on your own with the kids day in and day out, but throw two babies at once in to the mix and it’s a recipe for loneliness. Sending you massive hugs, my friend xxx

  15. I get you… I am a mother of twins and some days feel as if my mind is made of ‘moosh’. We unfortunately only have one car so I cannot even attempt to leave the house. I’ve never had one baby, but I can imagine trying to juggle attention between three kids is challenging, never mind just trying to see to the twins needs. I agree when you say even though friends are around it is lonely as they do not fully understand how some days keeping yourself together is a challenge in itself. Never mind having to tend to household duties. But… it gets better 🙂 I’m not sure I read how old your two are but it gets easier as they get older. Try and find a twin mom support group, or start your own? – chat about challenges and give advice etc. You can do this Twom (twin mom) 🙂

    1. Thanks Taz, it is hard for some people to understand that it’s possible to feel alone even in a group of people! My twins are 7 months and I have three older sons. Daily life is a juggle. I do have some great support online and I am positive some of those women will become my friends ‘in real life’!

  16. I Love the way you layed out your article. As a mum of 5 including twin girls, I coudnt agree more! People look at me and feel sorry for me as I have twins and then they see my five angels and they are totally shocked. My husband and I are so happy yet there are days its hectic.

    I experience the loneliness you speak about in your article as my husband works shifts and I am a bit of distance from my friends and family but God gives me that strength to push through!

    I would love to hook up with twin moms and just share our experiences and just to know we are not alone helps.

    All the best

    1. Thanks Tasneem! Five kids certainly attracts attention. We live in different states from our family too and that does add to the sense of isolation. I have meet some great women who are twin mums and I am hopeful that in time we will become friends ‘in real life’.

  17. I’m a single mum to twins and In my opinion I just got on with it because you dont really have much choice. I’m not for one minute saying it’s easy because it certainly has been hard work. And yes it’s very lonely raising twins as people forget that things like swimming you need two people and baby classes you don’t get to go to as who helps you when you got to get up and dance with them or move parts of there body when singing row row row your boat.. it just doesn’t happen. And then there’s trying to get on buses well that’s just a nitemare along with having to hunt down a double trolley for you to be able to go shopping. But despite some of the hassle it can create I wouldn’t change it for one minute as you get double the love, cuddles and kisses and if your lucky enough you get to witness every milestone twice. Hazel x

    1. Hazel, I absolutely hear everything you are saying about baby classes and shopping! I admire all single mums and especially those with twins. You’re right about double the love and it is special to witness those ‘firsts’ twice.

  18. I have 18month twin girls and I adore being a twin mum….but I understand every word of your story! It’s tough and at times impossible and you do just have to go home and put the kettle on! My two are my first so I didn’t have other children to split my time between and I was and am still exhausted so you really are a supermum!! It does get easier I promise! Xxx

    1. I’m pleased that my post resonated with you. Being a twin mum is wonderful but exhausting too! Many people tell me it does get easier, which is very reassuring.

  19. I can totally relate to this strange loneliness in company of toddlers. Where i live we are about 6 moms of twins who have supported eachother and met for walks and playdates throughout the first 1,5 years now. And it is totally different than meeting moms of singletons! We step in and take care of all the kids if needed, while I feel like moms of singletons have just sat there and watched you struggle. Like a scary stressful freak show is how i’ve felt sometimes haha! One baby one lap is normal to them so i think it might be difficult to foresee the next step of events that you might need preparation for. I am so thankful for my twinmom friends! Seek out your local facebook network!

    1. I’ve felt like a ‘stressful freak show’ too! What a perfect way to describe it. I’ve got some great Facebook groups, and I’m positive that I’ll make ‘in real life’ friends with some of the women from those groups.

  20. I totally understand what you are talking about! I had a girl before having the twins and I know the difference… With my first daughter we could go everywhere! Shops, restaurants, museums, activities, name it, we had done it! With the twins I felt isolated because small tasks were impossible when they were little. I was trying to do things and it wouldn’t work. I had mum friends at the time and I tried to join them a couple of times but I was returning home exchausted and defeated. They were trying to help but they couldn’t realise the practicalities of being a twin mum, let alone a breastfeeding mum. I started reading blogs and posts from other twin mums and that kept me going because I knew I wasn’t alone! I enrolled in the local twin club and joined Facebook groups! Best decision ever! I wasn’t alone any more, fellow mums knew what I was going through! Thanks for posting it. My twins are two now and things have improved so much that we are out and about every single day! There is light in the end of the tunnel…

    1. Yes to absolutely all of that! I wonder if perhaps having the older three boys makes the sense of isolation greater. Both because have to coordinate them to get out of the house too and because I know all the fun things that are possible with one baby. I have joined some great online groups and have my fingers crossed that in time those relationships will develop into real friendships.

  21. I promise you it does get better!! My girls are almost 2 and I can vividly remember feeling the frustration you describe. Like you, I’m very much a “can do” person and found it really difficult to lower my expectations, but it actually helped me to see the small victories I won each day! Basic tasks truly become monumental ones when you throw twins into the mix!!
    While other twin mummies are wonderful to have close by, I actually found that relying on sympathetic singleton parents helped more, as they usually had a free hand to help out and were always willing to come over to mine or do whatever was easiest for me. I’ve been very lucky!
    I hope your loneliness passes and your days become easier soon Xxx

    1. Thank you for your reassuring words Alexandra. While it sounds silly, I do expect a lot from myself and sometimes it’s hard to not be doing the things I did do before twins. But as you say, lowering expectations does have some positives! Your point about friends with singletons makes perfect sense to me.

  22. As a friend of a Mum of twins and only one myself with one on the way I can only imagine how hard it is with twins. Twin mums are amazing having one baby / toddler is hard enough! Rest assured you would be doing an amazing job as all mums are especially those of twins!

  23. Yes to all of this! I have a 14 year old a 12 year old and 2 year old twins. Life is extremely lonely and it feels so selfish to say this but it’s exactly true. The terrible twos are multiplied by 10 when there are 2 of them. I really very rarely leave the house because the odds of one of them melting down is almost guaranteed. And when it’s not 100% about the twins I’m working on homework, sports or just trying to have time with my big kids. With one toddler it feels like there is always someone hanging on you but with 2 of them there actually is someone ALWAYS hanging on you. I miss adult conversation and the little things like eating without a huge mess, doing anything alone and reading lol. Thank you for sharing this:)

    1. YES to all of this. I am not looking forward to the toddler years, that will present a whole new raft of challenges. Juggling the twins needs with giving my three older boys attention is tough. And I totally get what you say about there literally always being someone hanging on you. It’s exhausting!

  24. Wish u lived close. I would invite u over for a playdate. So we can chat all abt twins. I have 19 month old boys. They are keeping me very busy.

  25. There are a few parents out there with twins or more than twins but there are only a small percentage that had twins after already having three children. It’s what the twin books referred to as being more fertile after already having children increasing your odds for twins. I didn’t know this until I was pregnant with twins and already had an eight year old, a five year old, and a two and a half year old girls. So I can sympathize with the loneliness of raising twins and trying to do all the things normal moms do. My daughter’s were in girlscouts, Indian princesses, and other activities through church and school. Juggling the children’s school with trying to take care of twins was hard but I also did all the shopping, paying the bills, and household cleaning and meals and yard work. I didn’t work outside the home but I also noticed very few other mother’s of twins did either. Come to think of it all my years as a preschool teacher when my twins were older I saw very few sets of twins. Back then I juggled swim lessons, taking all the children to school and the 3 year old to preschool. I signed her up because I felt guilty the twins took so much of my time she wasn’t getting enough time to play or socialize with others. It was hard she didn’t want to go but I think it was the best thing for her. The swim lessons with the twins I recruited my younger sister to be a second adult for the babies swim buddy. It can be done yes it’s hard but I made it through and you can too. 🙂 At least you have social media like Facebook that didn’t exist for me no cell phone either talk about isolation and loneliness.

    1. You’re right Mary. Twins is one thing, but three children and then twins, well that’s just bedlam! I am grateful for the support from people online. But somedays it’d be nice to have a cup of tea with someone in real life who ‘gets it’. Unfortunately we have no family nearby to hep out with things like swim lessons. But I am sure they will learn to swim in good time. Thanks for sharing your story, it’s great to hear from someone who has been there before.

  26. Oh Claire I can feel your exhaustion and isolation. I hear every single word you have said. Only a twin mum can truly understand that isolation with twins. I can’t remember where you live but I can probably put you in touch with some Multiple Birth groups around and then you can maybe get out and meet a few other mums with twins. I don’t think I really left the house until the girls were three except to another twin mum’s house where she completely understood and she was set up for twins so I didn’t have to cart two portacots over etc.

    Please drop me a message so I can put you in touch with some ppl.

    Sending you all the twin love xoxo

  27. My twins turn 2 on Monday and I agree with you 100%! If it wasn’t for my local Moms of Multiples group and my Moms Club I’d be in a completely different emotional state. I’ve always been somewhat of an introvert, and I deal with anxiety, so getting out of the house in a positive state, with two toddlers, is why I’m a huge supporter mental health support, I.E. anti-anxiety and anti-depressants. Going to play dates at other people’s houses is a struggle. They rarely stay in the same area, so instead of sitting and chatting with other Moms (while they keep an eye on their one child) I’m running from room to room making sure my toddler tornados aren’t breaking priceless heirlooms. And let’s not forget putting shoes and jackets on 2 toddlers who don’t want to leave the fun new toys!
    It may be isolating, but having twins has taught me to find and hold onto my priorities. I really don’t care if I’m a complete hot mess when I leave the house. And guess what, the double tantrums because I gave them goldfish and not animal crackers, or she wanted pink socks like her sister not the purple that’s clean, or she wanted to push the toy stroller her sister has… well, work it out ladies. I feel like I’ve become immune to other kids crying and tantrums, because it’s what I deal with the majority of my day! Pick your battles, get a good anxiety prescription, and reach out to other twin Moms. Being a parent is hard, being a parent to twins is next level super hero!

    1. Oh Sara, I feel that you’ve given me a glimpse into my future. Twin tantrums are going to be SO MUCh FUN! While each parent has their own challenges I think you are right when you say being a parent to twins is next level!

  28. Lonely? You said three words that made me long for your loneliness…..”husband”, and “mum friends”! When I had my twins (along with two older kids, ages 4 and 6) I was single and had NO friends at all, mom friends or otherwise. And when I would ask my family to babysit you would have thought my twins names were black and plague! They had no problem taking the older kids but the twins were usually pretty much out of the question. I understand that you feel lonely because you feel stuck at your home and your struggles with going out but at some point when your husband comes home you can have him take over so you can relax in the tub or take a walk or whatever it may be you need to relax. You have those mum friends that you can call or visit with at your home while you are stuck there that you can vent to. Some of us don’t have those luxuries. I wish I had your “loneliness!” Even now that my twins are older, one of them struggles deeply with emotional issues and every day is a struggle with him, the other one is very hyper. Every single day is a struggle. A break would be the epitome of happiness but even now, at 10 years old, asking people to let them go to their houses is a not happening thing! On top of it all, my oldest son has twin daughters that he just got custody of ( 1 1/2 years old). So now we have another set of twins in our household as well. It is tiring, exhausting, and if anyone knows about the loneliness that you speak of, it is definitely me, lol. But, it is also very rewarding! I love all of my babies so much! I wouldn’t trade them for the world!

    1. Gosh Michelle, I do not know how single parents of twins manage. It must be truly exhausting. We have three older sons, so even when my husband is home, there’s no ‘downtime’. But I am certainly very grateful that I have a husband to help ease the load.

  29. Thank you for posting this Claire! So much of what you say resonates with me – I’m mum to 19 month old twin boys and have felt really lonely too. We moved to a new area just before they were born with no family or friends nearby. I found taking them out so difficult in the early days but it does get easier and now we get out every day. The boys entertain each other too which is lovely and takes a bit of pressure off. Take care x

    1. Thank you for your kind comment Emily. While I would not want any mother to feel alone, it does give me comfort that my post has resonated with you and others.

  30. I absolutely ‘get this’. I became a twin mum back in dec 2010, 2 months after moving from cheshire to wiltshire and boy was it hard. Hubby is military so i often felt like a single parent. It often took 2 hrs to get out of the house and by that time we’d missed ‘baby sensory’ or mum and baby coffee mornings. We were very lucky in the fact we were in hospital for a month after they were born and this really helped getting them into a routine – especially feeding times (we were able to stagger them). My ‘breakthru’ came when I decided enough was enough and i needed some adult company. I became a body shop at home rep as this gave me some confidence back, independence and also gave daddy some time with his children. I no longer work for them but i honestly dont know where I’d be had i not done something for me. I can hand on heart say that altho we will be celebrating their 7th birthday soon, things are still hard. Yes certain things got easier, finding that routine, cuddling both as u will find other options (bouncy chairs were a life saver). But the things you found hard to start with are now simple and other things become hard (weaning, terrible 2s, teething, wanting their own independence at different stages) but………and this is massive, you will get thru it and come out stronger on the other side. Try inviting single child mums to yours for a while so u dont have to struggle to leave the house, or arrange a ‘date’ with them later in the day as i found most things were 9.30am!!!!! (Not a chance in hell) and finally, book a babysitter and go out with hubby and talk to him about how u feel. Lots of love xxxxxxxx

    1. Thanks Ellie, it is reassuring to know that I am not alone in feeling alone. I think you are right about things that are hard now will become easer and there will be fresh challenges. I doubt parenting ever really becomes ‘easy’ and certainly not with twins!

  31. That’s it! When we are there next, you and I are going out for lunch and I will HAPPILY hold your children while you eat at leisure! My guy and your guys can play in the acorn park, while you have a rest and I cuddle those cuties.
    Motherhood is super lonely, even though as you say, you are with the people you love most. Big hugs Claire, I know that every time I see your pictures AND see a new blog post, I think “my god, she’s a supermum!” xx

  32. This is so how I felt. I appreciate such honesty. I always felt bad like I couldn’t say these things because I didn’t want to offend the moms in my baby group who all had a singleton and they were all on their first baby. It was lonely and eventually I stopped going to baby group because it was swimming and things which were hard for someone to do alone with twins. It was lonely.

    1. I was nervous about posting this because I did not want to offend any mums with singletons. It’s all a matter of perspective I guess. Being a parent is hard. But I don’t think it’s outrageous to say that being a parent to twins does come with additional challenges.

  33. Totally can relate. More so because I am a single mom to my twins. My family especially just don’t get it. My stress is at a high level all the time, they are 2 now and trying to chase 2 of them is hard. My mom onced asked me ” how do other ppl do it?” When I asked for help at their 1 year old birthday trying to clean cake of 2 covered 1 year olds! Finally got the sleep thing down, so they nap at the Sametime, but it took almost a year to do it. I was a walking zombie for the 1st year. And still feel like I could sleep for months!

    1. I honestly can’t imagine being a single parent to twins! No wonder you feel like you could sleep for months.

    1. Thanks Jessica, it’s reassuring to know that fellow twin mums relate! I have three sons who are 3, 5 and 7 as well as my twins. Busy days xx

  34. I’m a single Mommy of 4 year old boys. Been going through a horrid divorce since they were 1. Domestic and child abuse…So keeping them safe has been my #1 priority.
    With that said, I understand every single word in your article. I was a teacher for 10 years and could bring 30 first graders to the zoo, but bringing my twins to the store was so difficult.
    This journey is extremely challenging, but at the end of the day, as long as my boys are healthy, safe and happy, nothing else seems to matter.
    Sending love ❤️

  35. We have had a thread on just this topic in my local Multiple Births Club Facebook group this week! We are Sydney based and even though we have each other, actually getting out of the house can be so overwhelming……
    If you haven’t already, look into joining your local club. I don’t know where I would be without mine! And now that I’m further down the road (my twins are almost 3), I love that I can help support other twin Mums as my club’s Breastfeeding Advisor. In the early days I felt like I had no one I could talk to as a Breastfeeding twin Mum, being able to reach out to others is such a joy!

    1. Thanks for the advice Katrina. I am a member of some wonderful and supportive online multiples groups. But as you say, getting out of the house is the challenge!

  36. I’m a first time mum to 5 week old twins and I’ve already experienced all of the above. Today I left
    The house for the first time this week and headed to my local mother care. I managed just about to get around the shop with the pram but after feeding them babies in the cafe I headed to baby changing room to find my pram wouldn’t go through the door. I had to leave one baby unattended while I quickly led one down on the changing mat and run back for the other. So stressful sometimes and like you said it makes you want to hibernate. I love my babies soooo much and I do think being a multiple mum is being selected for a special job but I totally get the feeling of isolation sometimes!

    1. Good on you for venturing out of the house Amie. But isn’t it ridiculous that double prams can’t fit through the doors of parenting rooms? It’s those kind of things that make life that little bit more challenging!

  37. Being a twin mom of 18 month olds along with a 7 yr old and 4 yr old…i know exactly how you feel. As many people tell me daily it must be so hard yet they have no real realization on how hard it really can be. The first year was the hardest. The infant stage is a struggle with one let alone 2. I’m in the toddler stage bow and am actually loving it(most days). Watching them learn new things and really understanding Whatcom saying is great.
    Good luck and it gets easier!!

    1. It’s lovely to hear from someone that is enjoying the toddler years. I’m a little nervous about that stage!

  38. Thank you for sharing! Your honesty and struggle is something most Mom’s won’t open up about because of the perception of being an “ideal Mom,” which lets be honest, doesn’t exist! I can completely relate, for I am a Mom of 21 month old triplets. Your blog appeared on my FB newsfeed a minute ago, which ironically right after I burst into tears of loneliness and exhaustion and the feeling of “i can’t do this anymore.” It’s so tough and I think we are living in the darker moments right now with major limitations but I hear someday it will get easier and easier. Who really knows though 🙂 From one multiples Mom to another, hang in there dear!!

    1. Oh gosh, triplets. I honestly cannot imagine how you do it. I’m told it gets easier too, but I can’t say I’m 100% convinced! I guess we can only hope. Stay strong lovely xx

  39. I can totally relate. My twin girls are 3 years old and I still experience those lonely days when in a crowd of friends. We are currently potty training (lots of fun) I’m alone with my girls during the day so I will be busy with the one on the toilet when I hear a shout from the other room from the other saying they also need the toilet. By the time I’ve wiped and got the first one off the toilet is too late for the second, who has now decided it is fun to play with the mess she created on the floor.

    That said it really does get easier going out with them. We go out almost everyday now and they are now having individual lessons at swimming which is also easier. I do wish we got double trolleys in South Africa though as it is still a fight as to who gets to sit in the trolley seat. Oh and it is totally possible to breastfeed twins. We managed for over 2 years.

    1. Oh Tessa, I had not even thought about toilet training. What a challenge that will be!
      It’s great to hear that going out with them will get easier. I’m happily breastfeeding the girls for now, but I’m not a fan of doing it in public.

  40. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one that feels the same way. My girls just turned two on Monday. I love them to absolute pieces but it’s lonely! We don’t get invited or included to do things anymore, it’s a struggle going somewhere, we’re mostly confined to the house. Especially now that they’re two and listening is not one of their strong suits. I wouldn’t change a thing- I love the snuggles and the laughs and that they get to grow up with each other. But it is hard and it is lonely, and I think that’s something not many parents admit. Thank you for writing this.

    1. It is reassuring to know that you are not the only one that feels alone. But it is hard to admit that parenting isn’t all fun and games. I do worry that it’ll be even harder to leave the house as they get older and can run in different directions.

    1. You are welcome. I felt rather vulnerable posting it but I am so pleased I hit ‘publish’. My post seems to have resonated with many other twins mums! Hugs from Australia.

  41. I completely understand how you feel! Sending lots of hugs to you from a single mummy of twins who are now 5 years old. I promise you it does get easier!! 😘

  42. This is so true! I adore my girls and now they are 3, I feel less “shackled” to the house! But when they were babies, once the novelty of people visiting wore off, I’d find myself alone, apart from my mum! I wouldn’t see anyone til my partner came home! And a simple trip to the shop was simply out of the question once they were toddling! Thanks for letting me know I’m not alone! Xx

    1. Thanks Ele. It is so reassuring to know that we are not alone in feeling alone. The term ‘shackled’ to the house is spot on!

  43. Hi twin Mumma ! I have 14m old twins and 4yr old I get this struggle so well !! It’s crazy and the Mum guilts I’d leaving them to be watched is almost impossible because What if they can’t cope with 2 babies 👶🏼 👶🏼 Huge high 5s to us #wegotthis

    1. You’re so right Louise! As a twin mum you quickly adjust to coping with two babies, but you do worry about how others will manage! Simply because they aren’t well practised at it. I’ve got five kids, I am not sure I can pass that burden to anyone else, even for the shortest of times.

  44. I can relate to everything you wrote. I love my twin boys beyond measure (they are just about 6 months old) but life can feel really challenging at times. Granted, these were my first babies, but I feel as though I am on a never-ending merry-go-round of chores. Wake up, clean bottles, make formula, change two diapers, feed babies, rock babies, play with babies, try to get out of the house, solids for two, clean up mess so far, put two down for a nap- and it’s only 9am. When we go out and about sometimes it is perfect and other times it is a disaster. The attention you get from strangers can be overwhelming, especially when things aren’t going well. At my mommy group with moms of singletons, I feel like a circus show. Ultimately, while I love my twins, being a twin mom is nonstop and it is difficult when you are constantly trying to get the babies settled. I often feel like I miss out on time to just bond or just be with them. It is also rough feeling the guilt of tending to one over the other. Finally, no-one else in my life quite gets it. They are supportive, but at the end of the day I am running the show and I am exhausted! Thanks for sharing your experience.

    1. Yes to everything you have said Caitlin. You’ve summed it up perfectly. It is certainly relentless and I think when others around you don’t ‘get it’, well that adds to the feelings of loneliness.

  45. Awww, I really feel for you! I had twins as my first pregnancy (and only pregnancy!) and it was so tough to deal with two babies at once. The thing that saved me was definitely finding my tribe of fellow twin mums. Other twin mums are amazing. They don’t even hesitate if they see a friend’s baby in need of help – they just get stuck in. I second everybody who has suggested trying to find other twin mums in your area, and catching up with them. We had play dates at each other’s houses from very early on, and now our twins are all nearly five, and those twin mums are still some of my closest mum friends – and our kids have ‘known’ each other since they were a few weeks old. My twins’ twin friends are like our extended family! And play dates at friends’ houses are so much less stressful than trying to go out, because you know that you’ll have everything you need. Our multiple birth club also had a fortnightly playgroup, and that was a godsend as well.

    You are doing a magnificent job, juggling baby twins and three other young children. Yes, some things, like baby swimming, are just not an option with two babies, but trust me: as your twins get a bit older you will be SO THANKFUL to have two of them at once. My two are best friends, and play together constantly. I actually think life is easier for twin mums when the kids hit two or three, because they entertain each other so beautifully! And my kids didn’t start swimming until they were nearly four, and have done a great job of picking it up. My blog details my life with twins from the day I got pregnant onwards, so feel free to check it out if you ever need reassurance that life does get a lot easier xxx

    1. Well it is certainly reassuring to know that there are some positives to having twins! It will be lovely to see their bond develop as they grow.

  46. I’m the first time mom of twin 9 month old girls and I was just trying to explain how isolating it feels. Recently someone was like, “Why can’t you join us at the beach,” and told me about other people there with their babies. And I’m like (!!!)—I just… can’t even imagine. And you tried brunch by yourself! Brave soul! But I did want to say thanks for the post. Since these are my first children, your sharing just validates for me how hard this is. My babies are not sleeping through the night, and I’m so tired. Everything is just so much work. And I do feel guilty about which one I pick up first, who is left crying and so forth. Ugh. Anyway, thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks Melisa, I really think until you are in the depth of being a mum of multiples, it’s impossible to imagine just how isolating it is. The beach, that would be a nightmare! My almost 8 month old girls aren’t sleeping through the night either so I get how tired you are. Parenting is hard work but this twin thing is so very tough. Take it one day at a time. We’ve got this xx

  47. I loved your post Claire, so open and honest. When my twin girls were born my little boy had just turned 2 and life was incredibly busy! I was lucky enough to have some amazing friends but there were some days when I couldn’t muster the strength to head out. Things were always busy but comments from people in the supermarket would often send me over the edge. “Wow you have your hands full” “You’re brave!” You learn to deflect with comments like “no rest for the wicked” but I would then sit in my car and cry my eyes out. I feel we are turning a corner nearly 3 years on but supermarket visits or quick trips to the shops I now do late at night or online as I struggle to wrangle all three heading off in different directions. I sometimes find myself wishing the time away so we can progress to the next developmental stage and forget to enjoy the now. I take my hat off to you a Twummy and mummy to three boys too, you are amazing 😊

    1. Thanks Hayley! You certainly need a thick skin when you have twins. I get that the ‘you’ve got your hands full comments are well meaning but it’s just not helpful, is it! I absolutely understand what you mean about wishing the days away, which does make me a little sad. You really can’t ‘enjoy’ each of the stages in the same way you do with a single baby!

  48. My girls are 5 and I’m still feeling the loneliness. Compounded by also having older kids (19 and 17). I have to simultaneously live in two very different parenting stages and balance the needs of all four of my children.
    Even now we have days where the process if getting out the door isn’t worth the drama 😔

    1. Yes Heidi, I totally get the struggle of balancing the needs of all of your children. I have the twins as well as three older boys (3, 5, 7) and giving them all enough attention is so hard.

  49. I am so glad to have found this article. I have 14 month old twin girls and have been feeling this way a lot lately! I can’t go meet my friends for a play day at the park or really go anywhere by myself unless it is a quick trip to the store. I feel as though I am losing the social aspect of my life and I miss it so much. I know it will get easier as the girls get older and I can let them go play on their own or be more independent, but for the last year plus, it has been very isolating. Thank you so much for making me feel like I’m not alone in this crazy twin world!

    1. Oh Kirsten, you are absolutely not aline in this crazy twin world. I absolutely know what you mean about losing the social aspect of your life. Sometimes I feel like I have no idea who I am anymore, beyond being a mum.

  50. Hang in there love, as a mom of now 2.5 year old twin girls (and my son who is exactly 18 months older than them) I know exactly the isolation and loneliness that you speak of…..BUT it passes, I promise. My husband used to joke during the first year that the couch had a permanent imprint on it of by bum….that was just what life was like for me for what seemed like an eternity. There was no way I was getting out much at all with 2babies and a toddler…add colic and reflux and a son with chronic ear infections…you catch my drift. I can happily report that all of my (and their) handwork during their first years has paid off. We are much much more social these days, they all sleep well and actually even listen to me occasionally ;-). You are doing an amazing thing, raising twins. It will be the hardest but most rewarding job of your life. I promise you that things will get easier and you will be less isolated and lonely and because of all of those emotionally draining moments you will have an incredible bond with those girls and one day you may actually yearn for those home bound days ❤️

    1. Thank you Kat, this being a twin mum, and a mum to five kids, is testing me. There is never any down time (typing this reply with a three year old on my lap). It’s reassuring to know that all the hard moments are worth it xx

  51. Hi Claire, I can absolutely relate to your story and yes it’s so hard to be a twins’ mum and so so lonely as well. I have a 9 year old daughter and twin boys who will soon turn 4. Hats off for you on breastfeeding, it’s not easy. I was breastfeeding my twins for 4 months until I found a lump and was diagnosed with breast cancer. I had a very hard time with my surgery and treatments and the responsibilities of the family and everyday life. I had no family to help as I live in another country. There were days, I didn’t even wanna go out or see anyone.
    Now they started nursery and I thought I can go back to work, but my plans always seem to be smashed. A month ago I was diagnosed with another breast cancer on the opposite side. Can you imagine with all the stress I’m going through, I have two very very active boys running around, screaming, shouting, fighting with each other?
    I hope everything will get easier for you with your twins. Time goes by fast and they will start nursery or school before you know it and you will feel much better.
    Take care and big hugs for you and all the mums ❤️

    1. Gosh Talia, what a tough time you’ve had. I can’t imagine the challenges you face. Thanks for your words of reassurance that I will feel brighter in time.

  52. I’m a twin mom, too. Mine are 2-years-old now, which I’m finding challenging — but I totally remember the days you’re talking about and they weren’t easy. I found the play dates with the singletons challenging because it really felt like no one really understood … and they didn’t and couldn’t. I’m on a group called Parenting Multiples on Facebook that I find really helpful for those multiple parent ventings / how do I tackle this questions. People from all over the world are on there and really supportive. It’s not real life, but it does help. Good luck Mamma. You got this! It does get easier as they get bigger. 💗

    1. I must admit that I am not looking forward to the toddler years! It must be tough. There are some great online groups which are indeed better than nothing. We’ve got this, right?!?

  53. I am a single mama of twins and thank you for articulating how i felt and had to live when they were born, Another mum of twins said you just won’t be walking up the Mount with a baby bjorn on six weeks after birth don’t expect to do what mums of singletons do manage your expectations which helped. I talked a lot of the loneliness at the time and found people often affronted by my talking about loneliness – i later read in a study that people actually feel lonely when you tell them you are lonely so they feel your loneliness and feel uncomfortableness! The loneliness is not the same now as the girls are 9, but it defo added to the shape of my experience when they were younger. Another book a twin book also described the exeperience as ‘intense’ and i found that fit too! Keep it up miss – and totes if you have just one friend you can bounce the twin stuff off ie another twin mum it makes a ton of difference. ox

    1. Thanks for your lovely comment Jody. I think having been a mum of three single babies who did ‘all of the things’ it’s been a rude shock to be so much more restricted with twins. But you’re right, I need to manage my expectations! And yes, being a mum of twins sure is intense xx

  54. Thank you for writing so sincerely about the truth of being a twin mom. Our boy/girl twins are almost 6 months and I have felt what you have written about to a t. It’s so comforting and reassuring to know I’m not the only one and that this too shall pass. The lonliness is real. I appreciate the caring thoughts of parents of singletons but until you have twins yourself it is all just an opinion and thought. I’m so grateful that a friend of mine shared your post with me. Thank you kindly.

    1. Oh Amanda you are so very welcome. It took some courage for me to write this post. Yet reading that it has given you comfort and reassurance makes me so very pleased that I published it. You are not alone in feeling alone xx

  55. Big hugs. Have you joined the multiple birth association? In my oldest’s year we had three sets of twins in her pre-prep class who were all friends and had met through there and supported each other for years. (And two of them had older kids as well). You are kicking butt managing the kids but totally felt for you as you described all those situations we have all dealt with but x two. Xx

    1. I have Debra, thank you. Sometimes it takes time to develop relationships with other parents and it’s especially challenging when there are three older children in the mix. But I am hopeful that I will one day have a great twin tribe.

  56. Thank you so much for an article that pretty much verbalises my thoughts. I have triplets that I absolutely adore and they’re 7 months now but in spite of the fact that I have their constant company (which admittedly is becoming more entertaining) I can feel really low and lonely. We tried for years to have children and were lucky enough to get three gorgeous babies at the 4th ivf attempt. I work with children and have always dreamt of being a mum and it still is the best experience ever but at times I’m so isolated. I make a point of going out every day but as someone who has always liked to blend into the background I struggle with the staring…99% of people are so kind (you do get the occasional idiot- triplets!!! I’d rather die!!!) but they stare all the same. Mine are teething and starting to be a little clingy and liking cuddles so going out to groups is very difficult as it’s hard to put them down and I can’t placate three at the same time. Sometimes even playtime feels like crowd control and I’m so busy being the court jester that I can’t spend the time watching these amazing little people explore the world…my attention always needs to be on the one that’s crying. People don’t get it either…others say to me, “oh just goniht anyway all babies cry” but I feel like an imposition on others who offer to help me look after my own babies. And when one is in pain and needs me and I can’t cuddle two at once it kills me. Luckily I have met other multiple mums who understand and are tremendous support. multiples is hard, whether two or three….. if you have more babies than pairs of hands prepare to spend a lot of your life feeling like a burden and inadequate. Whether is 2 or 3. I don’t regret a single decision and I thank god for my three amazing and healthy (🙏) children each day. I love them more than anything but it can be very lonely and I’m grateful to you for writing such an honest post x

    1. Debbie, honestly, triplet mums amaze me! I absolutely understand what you mean about playtime being crowd control, you’re constantly on high alert, right? And truly, the only people that ‘get it’ are other multiple mums!

  57. Yes! It can be lonely and totally exhausting. My twins are 4 (girls) with older brothers 8 and 10.and a younger sister 2. I missed many baseball games of my.bous when the twins were younger bc by the time in would get there and unloaded i would be loading them back in the car to feed and it was difficult to keep them both content and confined. Then now with a younger one its difficult because managing a 4 and 2 year old is difficult but having two 4 year olds makes it difficult to leave any situation gracefully if someone does not want to cooperate. I have a girlfriend with triplets and although not local iys great to talk abput the craziness we are experiencing. I feel you and it is damn hard!

    1. Oh Kimberly, I didn’t make it to a single soccer game this season! The guilt. I do think having additional children adds to the sense of isolation. I know how tricky it can be leaving somewhere when someone isn’t keen to come along. I’ve had the twins screaming and a stubborn three year old refusing to budge. I only just held it together that day!

  58. I feel your pain! I’ve got 5 month old twins a boy and a girl and while they are truely my world I do often get moments of feeling like I’m missing out on what a singleton mummy can do.
    I struggle not to get mummy guilts when I spend too long playing or feeding one baby and worry if I have to pick one to do something with that the other will think I favour them!
    To leave the house with both babies is often a mammoth task especially if I’m on my own- BUT I have learned that I don’t need to do everything by the book all the time, I don’t put pressure on myself to look like I’m handling the situation if I’m stressed- I’ve accepted help from kind strangers, I’ve braved them both crying in public and I’ve made jokes about experiences I could easily have cried at. I think I’ve been blessed with twins to teach me patience and to enjoy them- I can’t be a perfect mummy but I make sure my kids have fun and cuddles each day and if they both cry for a feed at the same time in public it’s not the end of the world 😊

    1. I absolutely understand what you mean about the mum guilt that comes with having to spread your time and attention between two babies. But I guess the flip side is that for twins having to share their mother’s attention is normal!

  59. I can relate so much except I’m a full time single mom to twin girls almost 14 months old… it’s actually easier for me since I’ve been single since before they were born so I had the opportunity to get them in the routine of waiting while their sister got her poop bum changed since she peeped or vise versa… it is hard work rewarding but hard… I never have time in the day to even think if I’m lonely I’m always so busy my girls have spent every single second since birth with me no family and no friends I trust with my babies!

  60. Hi Claire 😊 Nina here and I just had twin identical girls February 8th 2018. Oh man this has been crazy. I love them so much but I wish people would understand there is no glamour to it. I get so many comments from people saying they always wished they had twins or that they want twins so bad or that it must be so fun for me, it makes me feel guilty to complain but I can only be honest about the reality of my situation and it usually shuts people up or makes them stop wanting to talk to me lol. My girls are teething right now, I am stuck living in a small travel trailer in the countryside for the time being and I have not attempted doing an outing myself for the simple reasoning that it is hard enough when I have help on an outing but much better as well. I am looking forward to the days where it will get easier and they can do more. My husband works full time and I am alone with the girls most of the time so I get lonely as well. Thank you for your article, it seems to help findong reads like these.

    1. There is always something reassuring to know you are not the only one with certain feelings. The comments that ‘I wish I had twins’ are really insensitive, because they really don’t have any understanding of how tough it is! I hope things have improved for you now Nina.

  61. Working Mom of 16 month old twins girls and 5 year old son. The last 16 month have been tough. I’ve struggled to keep my sanity. I’ve missed out on some much but I keep telling myself my time will come. My kids won’t be this young forever.

  62. I just read this article as I am now a mum of 9 week old twin boys and a 4 year old girl. I feel more lonely than ever.

    1. Oh Jen, I do hope that the feeling of loneliness has passed now that your little ones are older. Parenting is a tough gig and twins is an even bigger challenge!

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