My Life With Twins: Protecting Marriage
Society would have us think that parents of twins (0r more) are more susceptible to marital disharmony and even divorce. If we look at celebrity super families such as Jon and Kate Gosselin, it would appear that parents of twins are doomed to a lifetime of henpecking and fighting. Twins and marriage do not need to spell disaster.
An interesting study was completed in the past few years by the group, Mothers of Supertwins (MOST). It was titled “Divorce and the Multiple Birth Family.” The results were surprising to me, as I have often heard statistics citing a high divorce rate for parents of multiples. This study however, puts the divorce rate of parents of multiples at a much lower rate than the “average” married couple.
I found this surprising at first, but the more I thought about it, it made perfect sense! As I pointed out last week, I know a lot of parents of multiples, from all walks of life. Almost all of them are still married.
The same things that strain a marriage while giving birth to multiples are the same things that can strengthen a marriage.
When I was pregnant with the girls it was not my first pregnancy, it was my sixth. However, it was my twin pregnancy that forced me to cut back on my household duties. The Rev. had to do a lot of things that he never had to before, or I had not allowed before. All of a sudden he was doing laundry, cooking, and driving the kids to and from school. Not only was it hard for me to let some of those things go (not the laundry though), it was hard for him to work these extra activities around his busy schedule. We both came out of the pregnancy with a renewed appreciation for all of the work that goes into running our household.
When I gave birth to my sons, it was almost always an easy transition for me. I am one of the very rare people who had almost no trouble breastfeeding, I had babysat extensively through my teen years and I was thrilled to be a mother and care for my kids. I handled a newborn singlehandedly. I rarely asked the Rev. to do much more than play with the new babies. I took care of the bathing and the feeding and the changing. (yes, even the laundry).
However, bringing home two babies instead of one threw a wrench into my routines! Now, when I got a baby out of the tub, there was another one in there as well. It took me a long time to get the hang of tandem nursing twins and I almost always had a baby crying while one was eating. I often needed the Rev. to help appease the unhappy baby while she waited her turn. The two of us were forced to work more as a team than we ever had in fifteen years of marriage!
The sense of coming through a really hard thing, and being stronger for it, the leaning on each other for help and support; these things strengthened our marriage in amazing ways.
Now, admittedly, we do not get a lot of romantic one on one time. Last Valentines Day the girls were just a month old. I had another mother come over to watch them so we could go out for a nice meal. I’ve never been good at leaving one baby with a sitter. The thought of leaving two was killing me! We had a very nice, though rushed meal. I’m glad we got out, but I decided that day that it would be a few more months before I would go out with him again sans baby. At 13 months, the girls would be fine if we left them for dinner tonight, however, they are both battling a stomach virus (their first). As always, and rightly so, the kids come before romance! We’ll get a date night soon enough!
As a mom of multiples and single birth children, I know that marriage takes work. Some days it seems like it is not worth the work it takes. Now I can see how worth it the work has really been. We really are (and this will sound sappy) prefect for each other. (And I’m pretty sure the kids appreciate the work we put into our marriage as well!)
So, chime in! How has parenting multiples changed your marriage. Has it helped or harmed it? I’d love to hear your tips for getting some time alone in a large family! You know I’d love to hear from you!
Do you have twins, are expecting twins or know someone who is? Make sure you click on over to my “Got Twins?” page and learn more about the wonders of twindom! Lots of advice and experience from pregnancy, breast feeding and beyond!