Are You a Teenage Twin? We Need Your Help!

Being a teenager AND a twin can be a huge challenge! Not only are you trying to establish your own identity, but it’s complicated by the fact that people see you as a matched set (even if you look nothing like your twin). Bestselling author and mother of twins, Susan M. Heim, is putting together a book just for teenage twins! She’s looking for…

stories

poems

advice

tips

questions

fun stuff

and more

…about what it’s like to be a twin teenager. Do you and your twin switch places? Have you grown closer together — or farther apart — in your teen years? What do you love — or hate — about being a twin? Does being a twin complicate friendships? How does being a twin affect your relationship with your parents? Do you have any advice for other twin teenagers? Do you have funny stories about you and your twin? What do you wish that people knew about being a twin?

If you’re a teenager AND a twin, or have safely navigated the teen years and want to share your experiences with other twin teens, Susan wants to hear from you! Please email her at susan [at] twinstalk [dot] com with your questions or contributions and contact information. Thank you!

Is It Possible for Twins to Have Different Fathers?

The answer is yes! According to Britain’s Daily Mail, that’s just what happened to Mia Washington when she was unfaithful. Her eleven-month-old twin boys, Justin and Jordan, are half-brothers. Experts say there is only a one-in-a-million chance of this occurring.

When Mia was ovulating, she cheated on her partner, James Harrison, with another man. After the twins’ birth, Mia noticed that the twins had different facial features, and she decided to investigate. Subsequent DNA tests show that there is only a 0.001 chance that the twins have the same father. Mia broke the news to James, who has forgiven her for her infidelity and is raising both twins with her as his own. Mia is now pregnant with another child (and says there’s no doubt of this child’s paternity!).

Mia says she will reveal the truth to her twins one day when they’re old enough to comprehend it. She has taken responsibility for her actions and says she’s committed to rebuilding trust between her and James, and raising their family together.

Adjusting to Your Changing Lifestyle as New Parents and Parents of Multiples

By Lisa Cartolano

It is simply amazing! From the moment you lay eyes on your newborn bundle(s) of joy, your life suddenly changes. How could someone so tiny and helpless make such an incredible impact so quickly? Babies have the unique ability to steal your heart, challenge your abilities, and can turn your world upside down if you let them. Having a baby (or two or three) is an absolutely wonderful change that will necessitate some changes in your way of doing things. As many seasoned parents have probably already informed you, your lifestyle will need quite a few modifications. Here are some suggestions that will make your adjustment a little bit easier.

Get Organized!

As painful as this thought may be for the more spontaneous among us, getting and staying organized can make the difference between riding a tidal wave and getting hit by one. Not only will you be able to better meet the needs of your children, but you may even have some time left over for yourself. You’ll thank yourself for it!

Buy in Bulk

Take an inventory of non-perishable products that you are most likely to use. Whether it be diapers or everyday household items and foods, stock up when there is a sale. Eliminate those last minute dashes to the store to purchase necessities or forgotten items by keeping close track of your stock. Faithfully keep an ongoing shopping list on your refrigerator door and get into the habit of writing down an item as soon as the need for it arises or it begins to run low. When it comes to baby goods, many items such as diapers and formula can be bought by the case.

Keep It Neat and Easy

How do you keep your home from looking like a disaster at the end of a long day of devoting your efforts to taking care of your baby or babies? Take as many shortcuts as possible. During the day, soak dirty dishes in a tub of warm soapy water in the sink until you can get around to cleaning them. Use clear plastic tubs to store children’s small and medium sized toys. (Labeling these clear tubs with a word or picture will help children learn to locate and put away toys.) Use separate hampers for white, light and dark laundry to avoid sorting. Have designated spots for important items, such as keys, pocketbooks, checkbooks, and pacifiers. (Try your best to return these items to their set location to avoid daily scavenger hunts for them.) Organize your home to help make your job and your life easier.

Learn How to Say Yes

When people offer you assistance, say YES! Parenting, and especially parenting multiples, is a very humbling experience, so learn to swallow your pride and realize the physical and mental limitations of being a SuperMom or SuperDad. Even the most independent people need help sometimes. You will enjoy being a more rested and less stressed parent. Don’t be ashamed to ask family and friends, as well as trusted neighbors, mother’s helpers, school or church volunteers for a hand. Let people take your grocery list to the store with them (after all, when will you be able to get there in the near future?), run errands, feed a baby or two or simply just give you time to take a well deserved nap or read a book. Burning yourself out trying to do it all is simply no good for you or the little ones who depend on you.

Learn How to Say No

Likewise, it is important to know your limitations. If you are unable to entertain guests or attend functions due to exhaustion, tactfully let the party know that you would like to have done so under different circumstances, but you simply cannot do it at this time. For some people, learning how to say no takes time and practice, but it is a necessary skill to avoid burnout. On the other hand, try if possible to get out of the house regularly or on special occasions to refresh yourself and take a short break from the world of diapers and formula. Spending time with friends or family can be uplifting and just the boost you need to get you through the rest of the day or week.

Be Realistic

Especially difficult for the perfectionists and over-achievers among us is learning to set small and realistic goals. Your expectations need to adapt to your new and changing lifestyle. Simply taking care of your babies’ basic feeding, burping, diapering and comforting needs, especially in those early weeks of infancy, is enough of a daily challenge. You are not a poor parent because your house looks like a small tornado has passed through it or because you don’t know why your babies are crying. Focusing on overcoming those daily hurdles will keep you busy enough without having to worry about perfection.

Stay Alert for Special Discounts and Programs

Many baby companies and government agencies have special programs designed for parents of multiples. They can include anything from discount coupons to free supplies for baby. Don’t be shy about asking. Contact your pediatrician, check with local multiples organizations, call toll free baby company hotlines, check multiples magazines and inquire in retail stores for possible discounts.

NOTE: Take Time to Enjoy

All work and no play makes for a very exhausted and stressed out parent. Make it a point to regularly set aside time for yourself to do something you enjoy, whether alone or with others. Think of it as a mini vacation, even if it is for a few minutes a day. Likewise, remember that your babies themselves can be a source of rejuvenation. Sometimes we get so overwhelmed with the burping, feeding, changing regime that we forget to make time to enjoy playing with our children. There is nothing that can brighten your day like a baby smiling, laughing or cooing at you. Babies grow up before you know it, so why not try to enjoy every moment while you can? It is especially wonderful to leave the camcorder out and ready to shoot so that you can record little snippets here and there of your babies’ latest and cutest feats. Just taking five minutes every so often makes for a beautiful chronicle of babies’ first years. Especially after a long and difficult day, it is rewarding to watch a few precious moments of your little ones at their best.

©2008 Lisa Cartolano. Reprinted with permission.

About Lisa Cartolano

Lisa Cartolano is a certified, tenured Elementary School teacher with a Masters Degree in Teaching. Lisa is a mother of five children, and currently works at home providing online educational resources for parents of infants, multiples, toddlers and school-age children. She is the founder of Little Ones, an educational online resource designed to assist parents facing the challenges of educating young children from infancy through the elementary years and beyond. The Little Ones’ mission is to provide parents with the information and tools necessary to actively support children on their journey to becoming more productive and successful learners. Whether it be through promoting well-selected, educationally sound products, encouraging the development of efficient work and study habits, or simply advising parents of the most effective learning strategies, Little Ones will be a valuable resource for the creation of more stimulating and enjoyable learning experiences for both you and your child. Visit http://www.littleones.com.