When I became a new parent of twins, I had a lot of expectations of how my life would be. I imagined chasing two kids around in two different directions at the same time (which by the way, turned out to be exactly what I do). What I didn't expect, however, was the many bonuses and unexpected perks of having two little ones hanging out with me all the time. So to all you new and expecting parents out there, here are a few cool things that nobody warned me about:
1. Ride sharing. Surprise! Your solo car riding days are over. You suddenly have an extra body (or two) in your car, which means something awesome: you get to use the carpool lane. Wave goodbye to all those suckers sitting in traffic on the freeway.
2. Crazy talk. You can talk to yourself in public all day long, and you still won't look like a crazy person. You can wander around the grocery store mumbling to yourself, "Where's the cheese? Did they move the cheese? We need paper towels and batteries." As long as you have a kid or two in the shopping cart, no one will give you a second look. So go ahead and recite that grocery list out loud and talk yourself through your errands. You have a free pass with the crazy talk.
3. Royal treatment. Once you have a baby, people will treat you differently. Some will race ahead of you to open doors, some will offer for you to cut in front of them in line, some will smile sweetly as you pass, and some will ask you questions about your baby or tell you about their kids. Either way, you win. Having two babies is hard work, you deserve to be treated like the royalty that you are.
4. Celebrity status. Having twins makes you an instant celebrity. Everywhere you go people will stop to ask you questions (Are they twins? Are they identical? Are they natural?) , give you double-looks, stare at both you and your babies, and treat you like a super-hero. If you've always wanted to know what it feels like to be famous, this is your chance to shine.
5. Surprising adaptations. As a new parent, your body will shock you with its ability to adapt to new and extreme conditions. Your body will learn to function (and thrive) with a torturous dose of sleep deprivation. With an endless amount of physically and emotionally demanding days ahead, you might feel like you are going to die if you don't get some sleep. Don't worry, you won't. Your body will adapt and adjust, and you will make it through another day. Just make sure you get your hands on some coffee, and drink up.
6. You can do anything now. Being a parent of twin babies is hard, but don't worry. This will make everything else seem easy in comparison. There's nothing more stressful that trying to pay at the register while two babies are screaming and trying to climb over the side of the shopping cart (aka trying to break your spirit). If you can get through that moment, you can handle anything. What used to feel overwhelming and stressful in your pre-baby life is now a walk in the park. Hey, you managed to successfully grow two human beings inside of you at the same time, and then deliver them into this world. If you can do that, you can do anything.
7. Toys! Having kids means that you get to relive part of your childhood - picking out only the coolest toys. You literally have to buy new toys all the time to keep your kids entertained. It's like a dream come true. They're too young to know what they like; so it's okay if you get them that tepee that you always wanted, a pretend vintage kitchen that looks nicer than your actual kitchen, or a box of 30 different toy cars.
8. Vicarious living. Always wanted to be a soccer player, a dancer, an ice skater, a gymnast, a boy scout, a singer?? Go find the signup sheet and get yourself -- I mean your kids -- started.
9. Permission. When you have young kids with you, you suddenly have permission to do whatever you need to do to survive the day. Out at a store and your kid needs a snack? Grab some string cheese, a box of crackers, or a granola bar. Just go for it and eat it before you pay. There's an unspoken understanding between you and store clerks everywhere. Your kid needs to eat, and you will pay later. Trust me; it's better for everyone this way.
10. Check out those muscles. When you spend your entire day lifting (kids, double strollers, car seats, groceries, toys, etc), squatting (picking up toys and little people), and practicing endurance exercises (baby wearing, long stroller walks, frantic cleaning, meal planning, cooking, baths for two), you will become one incredibly strong lady. So go ahead and admire those muscles, you earned them.