The Individual Twin

November 27, 2014


Arthur and Brandon will soon be one and as the time goes on I am starting to think more about how to get the balance right between life as a twin and encouraging individuality. The hectic newborn baby days are behind us, we’re still pretty busy though and while encouraging them both as individuals isn’t my highest priority it is always in the back of my mind. Obviously, when you have twins you want them to be close, to make the most of that special bond but I have read so often that they need to be given the space to develop their own identity.

One of the best ways it is recommended to do that is to treat them as you would any other siblings. This seems a bit of a tricky one if I’m honest; I just love that I have twins and I don’t want to make them feel like they are just normal siblings because they are not! At this age they do everything together; they eat meals together, sleep at the same time they share bath time, playtime and cuddles. I love that they will always have a friend, that there will be someone there when they get into bed to tell their secrets to and that they will have a hand to hold when they have their first day at school. I wouldn’t want to lose the special way they look at each other and giggle, the way they come when they hear the other one crying or how they reach out their hands to one another in the pushchair.

I suspect I commit all the sins of twin individuality; I can’t tell you how may times a day I will say ‘the twins’ rather than say their names, I do dress them the same or similarly, they share toys and I don’t have one of everything for each child (the same goes for Lucas though!) When it is their birthday they will be having one cake, one party (I suppose as they get older this will change but let’s face it they won’t be eating much cake at this age). They are very rarely apart, I think I’ve only taken one out on their own for a doctors appointment and I couldn’t even imagine going for a day out with just one of them.

Maybe because they are identical twins, both boys, they are even closer and I find it harder separate them. I worry about pushing them too far the other way, to almost make them too individual and losing what is so special about being a twin. It is such a difficult one to get right and as they grow I become aware of it more and more. I would never stop them pursuing their own interests, having different friends or doing whatever they wanted as an individual. There will be times that they will be apart, they may join different groups or be invited to different parties. It breaks my heart to think there might come a time when one feels left behind. I want them to be happy as an individual but I still want to celebrate that they are twins.

So much of it is just a wait and see and there will be decisions to be made as they get older but I quite like this quote from Tamba. It just sums up how I’m feeling about it all at the moment;

“Given all the tasks you face as parents of multiples, don’t overburden yourself with anxiety about individuality. There will be plenty of occasions when treating your multiples the same is simply the practical option; your own wellbeing as well as theirs is important to the happiness of the family.”


Individual Twin

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  • Bex @ The Mummy Adventure

    I love them in the same swing! So cute. I guess it is about noticing their differences even if you don’t seperate them? I love the idea of twins and I think I would be the same.

    November 27, 2014 at 9:20 pm Reply
    • hayleyfromhome

      Won’t be much longer we can fit them both in the same swing so I am making the most of it! I think you are right, we don’t really separate them at all x

      November 27, 2014 at 9:55 pm Reply
  • Mummyofboygirltwins

    I agree with the quote. Sometimes I treat them as one and other times I treat them separately however I’m not worried either. Maybe mine being a boy & girl will mean more individuality as time goes on – who knows? Yours will fight at times but then be and be best friends forever which is pretty special. Great post xx

    November 27, 2014 at 9:25 pm Reply
    • hayleyfromhome

      Thanks Jess, I think that’s the way. This is totally unknown for me so I’m just going to do what feels right for us. I suppose with a boy and a girl they will naturally develop differently but I just love that they will be friends forever too xx

      November 27, 2014 at 9:57 pm Reply
  • Twinmummyyummy

    I can completely identify with everything you are saying here. Mine are identical boys, aged 19 months. I am finding that their individuality is emerging daily at the minute as they try to say their own words and they do naturally like doing their own thing. Harry likes cuddles and sitting with mummy while Matthew prefers to be independent and strong willed. I agree, no days out on their own. I couldn’t bare that. We’re just differing on the ‘the twins’ part. Mine are always called the babies-never the twins. Loved reading your post.

    November 27, 2014 at 9:30 pm Reply
    • hayleyfromhome

      Thank you. Yes we sometimes call them the babies too although I suppose that will have to stop eventually, I think we started saying that to their older brother and it just stuck. Interesting to see what it is like when they get older and especially when they start to talk more, must be fun!

      November 27, 2014 at 9:59 pm Reply
  • Julia @ rainbeaubelle

    what a lovely post, I have two sets of twins in the family so have seen first hand what life with twins can be like, double the work but double the cuteness too. I guess as their personalities develop they may become more individual anyway but it must be so special for them to have that twin bond. X

    November 27, 2014 at 10:37 pm Reply
    • hayleyfromhome

      Thanks Julia, that’s exactly it and I’m happy for them to just develop at their own pace, I don’t feel like I need to force the individuality upon them, not yet anyway! Wow, two sets of twins that must be fun when you all get together! xx

      November 28, 2014 at 7:42 am Reply
  • Donna

    All I can say is – don’t stress it. What will be will be. You seem like a wonderful Mum and you do the best for your boys in every single way. Whether you do things with them together or try and encourage individuality your boys will find their own paths. Just keep doing what you’re doing and all will turn out just perfectly x

    November 27, 2014 at 11:17 pm Reply
    • hayleyfromhome

      Thank you Donna, that is really very kind of you! I think now they are getting older I’m just finding different things to worry about and it is something I often wonder about as they get older. xx

      November 28, 2014 at 7:44 am Reply
  • Mrs H

    Hayley, this is a beautifully written post. I can understand your fears. But I think it sounds like you are doing everything right. There will be plenty of time to encourage their individuality when they are older. I must admit, that paragraph about the special bond they have as twins is wonderful. It made me yearn for twins. That bond and relationship that Arthur and Brandon have must be a lovely thing for a mother to behold. Hugs Mrs H xxxx

    November 27, 2014 at 11:18 pm Reply
    • hayleyfromhome

      Thank you so much. That’s exactly what I love about twins, seeing all those little moments they have together. It really makes all the hard work worth it! I know things will change as they get older but I just would hate for that to go. It’s the same with all children I think though, as they get older we just find different things to worry about! xx

      November 28, 2014 at 7:46 am Reply
  • Tina

    I feel like once they are a little older they’ll have such different personalities (I know you’ve said they do now but you know what I mean haha) that lead them to different hobbies and then later different after school activities and stuff like that so you’ll definitely give them more individual attention! Maybe only one boy will like sports and so you’ll be hanging out with the other while they’re at practice! Haha I don’t know, things like that. And you can do one cake but decorate each side different 😉 You’re such a good mom, they definitely would never feel left behind!!!!

    November 28, 2014 at 1:33 am Reply
    • hayleyfromhome

      Aww thanks Tina, that’s really sweet. I will definitely make a cake like that one year, would be so funny to have each side different! It’s strange to imagine them all grown up though but I think that’s the same for everyone, must be the same for you and Lyla too xx

      November 28, 2014 at 7:47 am Reply
  • Katie @mummydaddyme

    A really interesting post to read Hayley as it is something that I guess is really important when raising twins. I guess their personalities will really develop in time and as they get older. For now I guess it is just adorable really seeing them as twins and as being similar. x

    December 5, 2014 at 7:39 pm Reply
  • Caro | The Twinkles Momma

    I relate to everything you’ve said here — apart from we call our boys The Twinkles or The Babies!

    That said, Bertie and Cosmo are so very different it makes it easier to treat them as individuals. It just goes to show that the ‘nature’ of a child is very much dominant over ‘nurture’; given my two are being brought up exactly the same way. I love how different they are — not just their hair and skin colour but their personalities. Being a parent of multiples is such a privilege — I feel honoured to have front row seats in watching these two little personalities develop. We twin-mamas are so lucky 🙂 #multiplemadness

    December 10, 2014 at 3:39 pm Reply
    • hayleyfromhome

      We often say The Babies too, it’s funny isn’t it to see them grow up alongside each other but as you say we are so, so lucky to see it! xx

      December 14, 2014 at 8:02 pm Reply
  • Kim (sisterkin)

    A lovely post. I’m not an expert on identical twins but I do have 2 year-old boy girl twins. As their mum I think you know what’s right for them and if they want to be together and enjoy each others company there is no need to force individuality on them.

    October 27, 2015 at 11:40 am Reply
  • Janani Viswanathan

    I ditto your thoughts Hayley. As a mom of twin boys I too have worried about their individuality. Still practically couldn’t resist from doing certain things the same way for both of them . I think as they grow older, they will start showing their independent personalities. Until then we can celebrate their special bond ‘Twins’ 🙂

    September 4, 2016 at 8:54 pm Reply
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