Raising twins can be a tough job for parents as there is a possibility of neglecting one of the babies. Today we have Ms. Charu S. Gujjal with us to enlighten us on "Dealing with raising twin kids together" as she will be sharing with us her experience as a mother of twins.
Hello, everyone. We are back with another live session. And today with us, we have Ms. Charu S. Gujjal. Hello Ma’am!
Hello. It’s a pleasure to be here today.
The topic for today’s live session is dealing with raising twin kids together.
Before starting with the live, ma’am, I would love to tell you about what Ezyschooling. Ezyschooling is a company which is at present working with 150 schools to make their admissions process simpler. Besides that, we have a parents’ community with us. We help them, guide them, and give them tips about all the issues related to parenting. Our founder, Mr. Mayank Jain, has created over a network for fifteen thousand parents, all together.
Starting with the live, ma’am. Tell us something about yourself and your kids.
So, I’m a parenting and lifestyle blogger, and I actually belong to the field of education. I have been a teacher in the past, and I have worked as a language trainer and English language teacher in a secondary school. But, post parenthood, I had quite a full-time job, and I’m into freelance writing and, you know, more work from home options, and eventually I started blogging, and I’m right now blogging since past 3 years; more than 3 years actually. And I’m also the author of the E-book A to Z of parenting twins. And my twins are four years old. I have a boy and a girl, Aarav, and Aarohi. And they are four and a half years old in fact, they are turning five very soon. They are very naughty!
Taking this live forward, the first question that pops to the mind is like, when you got to know that you have twin kids, together, so, what was your reaction altogether?
So, of course, I wasn’t expecting, in fact, both, me and my husband weren’t expecting twins, and it was less of a surprise and more of a shock. Because we didn’t know how to react, or you know, what to do in a situation like that. And I was, you know, a little nervous because whenever you think of twins or twin pregnancy, you always have this thing, ki bohot complicated hoga, you know, how will things unfold? So, I remember my first question to my doctor was not about, you know, twins hai, kaise hai, you know, what kind of twins, or, you know, fraternal or identical or whatever, like my question was, “how safe is that? Ye risky toh nhi hai?” And she was like, “congratulation first, you should be happy about this.” But, yeah, it was a lot of nervousness initially, and I had a very tough pregnancy, all through nine months. So, the entire focus during the pregnancy was just to have two healthy babies. Usse jyada humne nhi socha, we like just, you know, we should have two healthy babies and that should solve our purpose for now.
So it’s like, you have two babies around you, like, and you have to manage your work also and the kids also, so, how does it work for you? Like, how you manage the two things together?
So, actually, I have been in a work from the home situation for quite a long time, like it’s not just because of this lockdown. Abhi, I have been doing it for the past three and a half years. So, I’m pretty used to it now. The only thing that works for us is that I go by a routine, a very strict routine for myself and my kids, you know. By strict I mean, I try to follow it rigorously. And over the years, you know, now I have made my routine, my work routine in such a way that it kind of revolves around kids’ ka routine. So, their nap time, their sleep time, the time when they used to go to school, or now when they are having their classes or something, I utilize that time for myself, for my work, especially the afternoon time, when they are sleeping or napping for like one or one and a half hour, I utilize that time, for my blog work. And the other time when they are, you know, around, they are playing, they are having fun at home, or they are with me, I try to do my house chores and all. So, I try that I only do my work or my blog-related things when are either busy with something or they are asleep. Like I don’t try to mix the two things because I know, it’s not possible in such a scenario when you are working from home and you have to handle babies. So the first thing that actually works for me is to go by a routine.
So like it actually works for you, as well as for your kids also.
Yes. So, initially, before the lockdown, they had a very nice routine where they would go to school, for 2-3 hours, come back, take a nap, in the evening, they were again out for some activities or something. And I would have like two hours in the morning, two hours in the afternoon, two hours in the evening. Now, of course, things have changed a lot, as they don’t step out of the house. But, within the house also, like they are busy in some of the other things these days. So, I like to utilize that time when they are busy. Because for me it’s very difficult to multitask. If they are around, I can’t focus on my work. So, I keep them busy first, and then I try to do my work.
At some point in the age of the kids, like it gets very easy to interact and like, you know, we should let-go them, like they are on their own. So, in the scenario of twins, when do it gets easy? At what age it gets easy?
Honestly, with twins, things never get easy. Maybe, it becomes a little easier when they grow, like, the first year is very difficult. After the first or second year, things become a little easier because, you know, they can eat on their own, they can express themselves, they don’t need to be in your lap, all the time; things like that. But, different kinds of challenges arise. I think, things never get easier with twins, it’s just that we learn to handle those things those challenges. We as parents learn the trick, we become habitual of handling. Like, initially, for the first year, it was very difficult to, hold the babies together, feed them together, or like, they would do everything together. So, it used to become very difficult for me to pay attention to both of them. But, eventually, I learned how to do it, how to keep one busy when I’m doing something with the other child. So, eventually, I think we learn the tricks of the trait, parents grow up; for kids, things really don’t change. They need us, not like, they don’t need us physically now when they are 3-4 years old, they need us emotionally. They need us to be with them, constantly talk to them, or you know, provide that kind of support. So, even if they grow independent.
Certainly, a lot of things do change after the first two years, like as I said, they learn to eat on their own, they express themselves better.
They learn to, you know, kind of change their clothes on their own. So, a lot of things, you feel like there is a lot of burdens that were off your shoulder now, that you don’t have to take care of these things. But, there are lots of other things that arise, and you need to take care of them. But, you as a parent, grow a lot over the years, and you learn how to handle things.
As you told us like you have a boy and a girl, so, of course, dono ke alag interest honge, like both have different interests, so, how you manage to keep them busy and like make things interesting for both of them together?
I have a boy and a girl, and they are two different personalities, and I think it’s not just about gender, even if I would have had two boys or two girls, still they would have been very different. And they are two distinct personalities, in fact, their interest, their likes, their choices are very different. I mean, we do fun at home, humare gharme, ek ko daal pasand hai toh ek ko roti pasand hai. Like both of them can’t eat the same meal together. One eats half and the other eats half; it’s like that.
So, certainly, it makes a lot of difference, and we need to, think and cater to the interests of both the kids. My son is a lot into sports and, you know, vehicle toys, airplanes, cars, and all. And he also enjoys art and drawing. My daughter on the other side is more into music, dance, she is more into creativity. So, I try ki mai in dono ko unki individual activities main engage karu. I don’t try to, like force them into something which they don’t like. Before the lockdown, they were going for some activities which were like art, craft, dance, music, and all. They were enjoying it, but now I see that they are likings are changing, so, I probably have to put them apart in different streams where there are hobby classes and all, where they would enjoy.
Other than that, even at home, you know, it’s actually a good thing because it’s a way to teach them how to understand or respect the other person’s individuality.
Yeah, interests. Like my son; for example, TV shows, they don’t like the same TV show. So, every time they go to watch TV, there’s always a fight at my home, ki mera show lagega, and mera show lagega! They can’t just sit through each other’s show. So, I give them turns, like okay, first one will watch his show, and then you have to sit and watch it, and then after 10 minutes, your show will begin. One episode each, something like that we do at home. So, it’s a way to teach them also, how to acknowledge and embrace the other person’s choices also.
But, yeah, dono ke interests and individuality levels ko, we have to, like, pay full attention. Otherwise, one would either get neglected or would be forced into doing something which is not of his or her interest.
when it comes to twin kids, like, we have a statement that if one baby cries, the second automatically cries. So, is that a fact or a myth?
No. Definitely as twins, they do share a special bond, like both, my son and daughter, they have a very close bond which is very different than what they share with us as parents. Unka aapas main ek bohot hi strong connection hai. In fact, they are very quick to defend each other. So, if I’m scolding one child, the other one will immediately come to defend the first one. Or even if they are having a fight, and I scold one of them, the other one will quickly say “no Mumma, don’t scold,” like “its okay, hogaya, toh hogaya.” So, they definitely have that connection, you know, they share a special bond. But it’s not exactly like, there’s no unnatural connection or telepathy sort, ki agar ek roo raha hai toh dusra automatically rone lag jayega. It’s nothing like that movie- Judwaa, ha which we all have seen. It’s more because have a special connection, they live with each other 24/7, they share a special bond, they have been together since, you know, they were in my womb. Toh vo bohot strong ek affinity hai, and it's difficult for them. So, agar ek rota hai, toh dusra isliye nhi rota, ki agar vo roya toh mai bhi rounga like. Vo isliye because, you know, the other one feels equally bad, or sad for the first one. So, it’s because of that strong bond. But there is no telepathy or unnatural connection between twins.
It’s just a myth. They definitely have a very strong bond, but, it’s a myth that you know, this telepathy thing is a myth, that’s not true.
So, like all the time, kids are always around their mother. Like their mother and their kids have a special bond. So, like, in raising kids, what is the actual role of a father, like how the father helps in raising kids?
I think a father’s role is very important, not just in the case of twins, but generally also, in like, raising a child, it’s very important. And it’s like, it’s something you can’t do without, you know, in a regular situation. With twins, all the more because you have two kids to take care of or support. So, in fact, it’s not just with the father in the case of twins, you need the support of any kind, be it from your extended family members, your parents, your in-laws, or if you don’t have them around, then maybe, you know the nanny, having a nanny or something like that. You definitely need that support, especially for the first year. Because they are too young and you need to like, from diapering to bathing, to feeding, everything has to be done. So, it’s very difficult for the mother to do it all alone. So, you need that support, especially from the father because that’s the time when fathers can also learn things and bond with the child from the start.
So, in my case, you know, my husband has been pretty active, even now he is very active all through. And, first-year main toh I remember, like when I would feed one child, he would bottle feed the other, you know, we would divide the things like that. Even now, we have divided duties, like, if I’m sitting through their online class in the morning, he makes sure that he helps them with the homework in the evening, or he reads the books to them in the night, after, you know, his work and all is finished. So, you have to kind of divide responsibilities with your partner in this way. And more so in the case of twins because you have two kids to cater to and it’s very difficult for one person just to take all the responsibility that ways.
So like, parenting gears are very important, so in the case of kids, like especially twin kids, like what are the most important gears that you need in the starting of years?
Okay! So, in the first year, I can tell you from my experience, the kind of gears we require. We had to buy a lot of things two in numbers because there were two kids. But, there were a lot of things that we just bought one in number because we knew that they will be used for a very short time period, and we did not want to waste money on two of those. And because they are little babies like we knew they would not fight for a bouncer or a rocker, you know, for things like that. So, definitely, you would require a twins’ stroller, begin with, a car seat first, like because you are especially driving around with the two kids, you would need two car seats, you would need a stroller, now that’s your call if you want to go to buy twins’ stroller, or you want to go by a single double stroller. So, if you are going for a single double stroller, I think it depends on how much you will be using it. If you are going to use it for inter-city travel, or flight travels and all, then two single strollers, like two normal prams would be good enough for you, because they are easily foldable and all. But, if you are just using it for around in the garden, or in your society and all then a double stroller could be managed by one person alone. So, you can go for the twins’ stroller.
I think I required two baby carriers, and, if you are breast-feeding your kids then a nursing pillow, or maybe two nursing pillows, and if you are not breastfeeding then breast pumps and bottle serializers and things like that. But, there were a lot of things that I bought only one, like, I bought only one bouncer, one rocker because I knew, both the kids like I would place them one by one, in, you know, turn by turn. . And one play gym, you know, those, that play gym kind of a thing which kids, you can place the child and the child can then play for long hours, again I bought that one. I would place them turn by turn, or sometimes together also. They were too small, you know. So, a lot of money could be saved in this way. You really need to think about things that you can buy in two that are definitely required in two quantities, like a stroller or a baby carrier, and the things that would be required in one quantity. But, these are like the basic essentials, any essential, the basic things that you require for a single child are also required for twins. Just that we need to take a call, how many you would require two in number, and how many just in one.
So, here we come to the end of the live session. So, any last messages for our viewers?
So, I don’t know, I don’t have a message, I would just say that parenting is a very beautiful stage, you know, especially, now due to this lockdown, we really got to spend a lot of time with our kids.
We have our good days, we have our bad days, be it a single child, be it, twins, be it, two kids of different ages, we have, like, you know, it’s both a mix of good and bad. So, just like, enjoy the good days, learn from the bad days, and have fun during this time. I mean, these are the years that will never come back. So, have fun and enjoy your time with kids.
I’m sure that the parents out there, matlab, they have just learned a lot today. So, thank you so much Ezyschooling.