Twins. A double blessing. Doubly lucky. That’s how most people responded when I told them I was having twins. My response to this was tears. A lot of tears. What they didn’t realize was that twins were also double the cost. Not only financially (although there is no denying this) but also emotionally.
Space. Or lack thereof. Our tiny, turn of the century home had been getting small for the three of us and we had casually been looking for something a bit bigger, especially when we discovered we were pregnant. Then we found out we were having twins and the whole ball game changed. With the exception of one family, all of the people on our block had a maximum of two kids. The houses just weren’t built for more. There were very few houses big enough for a family of five to live comfortably in our neighbourhood and most were, if not already occupied, out of our price range and/or in need of many repairs. We decided to look beyond our beloved neighbourhood, and moved to a different neighbourhood where the houses were quite a bit bigger. This was hard on us, particularly me. We had really great relationships with all of our neighbours, and although we said we’d stay in touch, I drifted apart from a few friends who found the 15 minute drive to the new neighbourhood too far to travel. And with two new babies, I wasn’t going anywhere for the first little while.
Isolation. Another unspoken cost to having multiple babies at once. Not every mother of twins feels this way, but I certainly did. I was exhausted, overwhelmed, and had not one, but two babies to take care of as well as our older son. I was not able to get out and meet people in our lovely new neighbourhood. The twins were born in November and it was easier to stay inside during the winter months than bundle up three children and wrangle them into the car. That first winter felt really, really long.
Giving up to move on up. I had to give up my tiny Toyota Echo and trade it in for a Honda Odyssey. At the time the twins were born, our oldest was still in a car seat and there was no physical way to fit three car seats into my Echo. After twenty-some years of driving small cars, I had to move up in size. I’m still not particularly comfortable parking the van in tight spaces, even though I’ve driven it for three years now. I usually park on the perimeter of any parking lot and walk to my destination, which I suppose is good for exercise. But I miss parallel parking like a pro in tiny spaces.
I’ve forgiven my double blessings the hardships they unknowingly bestowed upon us because they are wonderful in so many other ways. And I’ve mostly forgotten the costs–that is, until another fundraiser form comes home for two children from the pre-school or when I’m trying to catch two runaways at the park and have to decide which one to chase after first, while glancing back enviably at the two parent, two grandparent, one child unit that has just entered the park.
Notes: I’ve been needing a bit of of push in terms of writing lately so I’ve returned to the Daily Prompts from WordPress’s The Daily Post. Today’s prompt was entitled Forgive and Forget? and the task was: Share a story where it was very difficult for you to forgive the perpetrator for wronging you, but you did it — you forgave them.
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