Don’t Call Us “The Twins”

I recently read a book called Don’t Call Us the Twins: The World’s Most Misunderstood Minority. It was written by identical twins who are now in their 60’s. While I did not think it was the most well written book, it gave me a lot to think about.

There was a chapter devoted to the term “the twins.” The authors referred to the label as “one of the biggest battles identical twins face in life.” They went on to say they would not recommend referring to identical twins as “the twins,” because it takes away each person’s identity and people who use the label are just lazy. They also think it’s a mistake to dress identical twins alike because it further strips them of their individual identities.

I currently subject my twins (See? It’s a habit of mine already) to both of these cruelties…. As I write this, they are wearing matching neon tank tops and blue shorts. They even have the same ponytail.

At first, I thought the authors’ view was pretty extreme. Is it really that serious if I choose to call my children “the twins” and dress them alike? As I thought more about it, I started to think that maybe the authors were right. While I think it’s pretty special to be a twin, I’ve never been one myself so it’s hard for me to intuit what may be difficult about it.

I am wondering what other people think about this. Specifically if you are a twin yourself, did you hate being dressed the same as your twin and being known as “the twins”? If you’ve raised twins, did they protest these things? If you were best friends with twins, did they confide in you about this stuff growing up? If you’re a psychologist, do you think I will damage my kids if I emphasize their twinness? If you just have an idea about this at all, please help! Comment below or send me a Facebook message or a text or anything. Thank you in advance!

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Pre-baby Weight

The scale finally says I’m back to my pre-baby weight. I gained a whopping 70 pounds during my pregnancy and it took me almost two years to lose it all. I remember feeling disappointed on the twins’ first birthday because I still hadn’t gotten back to my pre-baby weight. However, instead of dwelling on the extra pounds (like my pre-baby self would have), I chose to focus on what my body had accomplished 12 months earlier. I appreciate this body more than I used to.

As time goes on, I’ve realized that I can’t “get back” to my pre-baby body. That body doesn’t exist anymore. I look a lot different than I did 3 years ago, even at the same weight. I think most women would agree with me when I say that pregnancy permanently changes your body. It’s just different.

In a fun little switcheroo, the more weight I lose, the more readily my stretch marks show up. Although I wish they weren’t there, I don’t hate my stretch marks because I think pregnancy also changed my brain. I obviously still care about the number on the scale, but having kids gave me more perspective. Like a lot of people, I always want to lose 5 more pounds, but it’s no longer my first priority. It took pregnancy and childbirth for me to respect my body. Two people grew in there, you guys, and I don’t know what could be cooler than that.

I initially started writing this post because I was happy to have lost the weight, but I kept asking myself why I was really writing it. Was it to let other moms know that I did not “bounce back” in 8 weeks? Was it to pat myself on the back? Was it to convince myself that weight doesn’t matter? I think it’s a little of all of that, but, since having the twins, it’s been an unofficial goal of mine to be less fixated on my weight. I have two little girls watching me now, and I don’t want them to have body image issues, like so many (most?) girls and women do. I know that I can only control my own actions and that they will inevitably see magazines and watch television and be otherwise influenced every day with images of what they’re supposed to look like. I can’t control everything that they see and hear, but I hope to give them the skills to know what is real and what is important. Should be easy, right?