raising twin girls.

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LOVETAZA sept1118-2

yes, it’s true. having newborn twin girls is terribly cute. like, all day long.  two babies. two girls! cue the cuteness! even when they are both screaming at me at the very same time, it’s kind of adorable. “twins!” they’ll all say as we pass by. “twin girls!” the pitch in which they express it almost goes an entire octave higher. i get it. it’s very cute.

but, as their mother, having twin girls has also been nothing short of terrifying to me. even before their arrival, after learning we were expecting two girls and during my entire pregnancy, i wrestled with knowing how hard their lives could potentially be at times for them both, simply because they are twin girls. sorting through and figuring out their own individuality when often being referred to as a unit, and then the never ending comparisons….oh, this is the chubbier one, the prettier one, the faster one, the better eater, the more articulate one, the softer one, the quieter one, the louder one, the sweeter one, the smarter one, the better at this one, or better at that one… it’s what we all tend to do as we peer over twins, often unknowingly, because we’re trying to sort out who is who, and what makes them them. still, it’s got to be a lot to navigate straight from birth.

long before josh and i even had kids, we had chatted about twins a lot because i have twin sisters. we also happen to know a lot of twins. because of this, we’ve seen a lot of the pros and cons of the situation up close. still, i can’t even imagine what it must be like to be a twin. to be a part of that miraculous experience of being raised right along side someone else. sharing a birthday, so many firsts, so much time and love and growth together. in so many ways, having a built in best friend from your first few breaths on earth. having witnessed my twin sisters relationship over the years, it’s evident that having that sort of connection is nothing short of being so very special. and i’m really looking forward to having them share that bond. already, it’s so very apparent that they calm one another in the sweetest way. when they are side by side, they find a way to connect their arms or hold hands almost immediately. when one is fussy or sad, being placed beside her sister can help quiet her. i know they will love each other deeply in the years to come, and that gives me such strength as their mother to know.

i would love to hear from other twin parents, twins themselves or anyone who has any insight from knowing or observing twins, what you have found most helpful when it comes to cultivating that special individuality from an early age while continuing to strengthen the bond of being a twin, as well as what works/what doesn’t when it comes to those interactions with others.

a few things we have read, observed and put into practice have started with simply not always referring to them as “the twins.” we try hard to call beatrice and madalena by their first names as often as we can, although i admit i sometimes accidentally replace “the twins” with “the baby girls” which is sort of from the same vein, so i’m working on it. i had read somewhere before their birth that it’s helpful to not get so hung up and focused on the fraternal/identical thing, so we’ve tried to shy away from it in addition to the whole “who is the older one” or who was born first. we actually didn’t share that information with anyone, not even our families after their arrival, so it won’t be a major focus in the years to come hopefully (i don’t know if this sort of thing really matters, but in the spring after sitting in the movie theater with my older three kids watching peter rabbit, i was glad we made this call after watching flopsy, mopsy and cottontail argue the entire movie about who was the leader based on who was born first). while the matching twin wardrobe is so much fun (and i love dressing them alike a lot!), i do want to be mindful that they may not always be into this, and even when they are little, they don’t have to always dress the same.

another thing we’ve been trying to do, and encourage our other children to do, is to not compare them. sometimes you think, “oh, this makes sense for when they are older. we won’t compare the big stuff, sure…” but i noticed it creeping in right after birth. maybe one had a few more wet diapers, suddenly i was worried about the other. maybe one met a milestone much faster than her sister, i’m in a panic all of the sudden! if there was only one baby, i’d have nothing else to compare the moment to and wouldn’t worry. but you have that instantaneous comparison because they are right beside each other all day long! so these sorts of things almost become amplified, everything they do or don’t do, since there are two.  and then i start to overanalyze, do i praise and get so happy for one who is accomplishing something big when her sister is struggling to do the same? do i diminish her success because i don’t want the other one to feel bad? i mean, it’s little things like rolling over at this point, but it has me thinking hard about the years ahead and how to navigate all of that in the most loving way that is right for everyone.

but the physical comparisons are what i want to get ahead of here. they may only be three months old and have no idea what is being stated around them, but the mama bear in me has come out in full force as i’ve observed family and friends and strangers the past few months begin to vocally call out comparisons that could be hurtful or dangerous in years to come. it’s such hard territory to navigate for everyone, but i really think we all can agree that calling one “chubbier” or “chunkier” isn’t very helpful. oh, but they are babies! someone will argue. yeah, but i have three other children listening to everything we say and observe, and we can get into better habits now of finding ways to differentiate them. i don’t need my seven year old daughter sitting beside you to start analyzing her own cheeks because you’re calling out her three month old baby sister’s.  right now, it’s easy to steer this sort of conversation somewhere else since they are so small by just saying, “madalena has the red headband and beatrice has the pink, actually.” or “madalena has longer hair right now, that’s how we can tell them apart.” many twins who are older have shared with us that those sorts of comments come at all ages. even in your teens or twenties or thirties, the comments can come. “i can tell you apart because you have fuller, rounder cheeks!” like, really?!?!?! one has long hair and one has very short hair. one is wearing a dress and one is in jean shorts. you can’t be serious.

i remember hearing an amazing example of speaking to/about twins that i think applies to how one might talk to/about siblings as well. it was something along the lines of trying not to use phrases like, “oh, she is definitely the creative one!” when you could instead say, “she is very creative!”  i think there is so much great insight packed into this example when talking about kids in general, not just twins. just like twins, two sisters who are a few years apart don’t need to be compared, either. or a sister and brother. or whoever it might be. i struggle with this a lot, because it’s easy to compare anything and everything against a sibling, and sometimes it feels natural to do so. but it’s been really helpful to try to pause before i say something out loud about one of my children in front of the others and think about how i am phrasing it. our words mean so much to them… we owe it to them to express our words as best we can.

so many thoughts around raising these beautiful girls and if i think about it for too long, i start to get really nervous. am i bonding with them both?! am i giving them equal attention?! how do i encourage each of their unique individual personalities while acknowledging the other? do we split them up straight away in school classes and sports/extra curriculars? is it best to keep them together and for how long? basically, it’s like all the mom thoughts i had with the births of my other children, just twice the amount of nerves around it all.  i would really love to pick anyone’s brain in the comment section who has had twins or is a twin or knows twins well and has great advice or insight to offer. thank you for being here and a part of this community and for being willing to share with me, too! i am so very grateful for this chance to raise these beautiful strong little girls and it’s insane how much love i feel for both already. a year ago now, we had no idea. i have never felt so blessed (and slightly panic-y, sure), but blessed feels like such an understatement when i really think about it.
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  1. Jamie

    Wow, what a fascinating read. I really love that your protective of the comments people make when you’re other three children are listening. Very wise!

  2. Mackenzi

    I’m not a twin nor do I have twins, but I love all the thoughts you’ve shared. The fact that you’re thinking about it so much and so early in their life shows that you are such a perfect fit for these two kids as well as your other three! I just wanted to ask if you’ve read the book Siblings Without Rivalry by Faber and Mazlish? It talks a lot about not comparing any of your children and helpful ways to communicate ideas. The comments you made in your post really reminded me of this book and I thought you might enjoy reading it if you haven’t already! You’re doing a great job though! You make parenthood look easy!

  3. fefe

    Wow, this is really insightful! Madalena and Beatrice are very lucky to have parents who acknowledge the importance of making sure they are individuals, and not just twins. I know way too many parents of twins who don’t do this, at all. Also – I’m sure they will also be close with your sisters! They will have a lot to share about growing up with a twin.

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  4. The girls are PRECIOUS and I love following them and your family through life (here and especially on Insta!).

    I won’t lie, reading this post was kind of cathartic. I feel like you identified so many concerns and potential feelings and it made me analyze them too as I went through. You are already such an amazing mom to consider these thoughts, so know that you’re ahead of the game.

    I am 30 and a twin – both of us girls. :) My sister is my absolute best friend. It is really hard to explain that relationship, but you see it in your sisters and you’ll see it in your girls.

    Looking at childhood, I do wish some things were different. (Don’t we all!) I always thought “if I ever have twins, I’d do xyz…”

    I think you’ve already nailed it on the head, but the biggest thing I think is to appreciate and recognize them as individuals. I’ve LOVED being a twin and being referred to as “the twins” or “the girls” didn’t bother me, but I also feel like we weren’t really ever seen separately. I feel like we always had the same friends and celebrated birthdays all together and were just “one” person. Everything was, together. It would’ve been nice to have those separate moments. While birthdays and things like that might make sense to always do together, I would recommend trying to make sure you and Josh take Beatrice and Madalana on separate one-on-one dates. (Either together, separate, whatever.) I think I really wish I just had that single “everything is about me” attention. I didn’t get that much.

    Just my two cents. We turned out fine. :) My other says we’ve been best friends, except for 7th grade. She said we were awful together, haha. But they’ve got a pretty awesome big sister that they can look to when the other one is bugging them!

  5. Kristin

    I have boy/girl twins. And on the indivuality, I my POV has always been, “well they are twins!” That’s what makes them individuals, to the outside. I think it’s important to let them lead the way in making that decision. From my own experience, we chosen smal private school upstate so that they could be together and not be separated. They still share a room, have common interests but also separate friends and separate interests.
    With the comments about how to tell them apart… well I find because we have b/g twins, 9yo, as our daughter matured people like to point how, “how much bigger she is than her brother”, including relatives. Which at nine hearing “how much bigger you are” is not exactly uplifting and has def caused some self-awareness with body issues. I wish people would just not say anything, unless it’s positive and uplifting!!

  6. Bonnie

    My twin boys are 18 months old and feel their personalities were different from the beginning and I just tried to embrace it. I have to remind myself everyday they are two different little boys. One may liked to be snuggled one may not. It’s so much fun and a blessing to watch two little boys grow up at the same time and be so different! I’m still figuring it out day by day but I would just say embrace it. They may love the same things, they may not and that’s ok :)

  7. Natalie Browning

    Those are two of the cutest baby girls I have ever seen. I nanny for five year old twin boys and the comparison thing is definitely hard. Something I try to remember is to treat them like siblings instead of twins. For example, taking each one out on special outings or praising each one separately when they hit their milestones. It’s hard to not want to praise both of them at the same time so one doesn’t feel left out but I try to stick to this. One of the boys was potty trained before the other and I treated him the same as I would any other child. I rewarded and praised him and when his brother was eventually potty trained I did the same thing. I didn’t praise both of them when one was doing something so that they know they are individuals and it is okay not to be the same. I have no idea if this makes sense but I’m hoping it helps!

  8. Caroline

    Sweet happy babies!!!
    I have a twin sister and even though we are fraternal we look exactly alike…growing up I never minded if people called me by the wrong name because I loved that they were trying to figure it out bc I the most frustrating thing would be being called the “twins” or “twin” because it was too hard to figure out. Truly I love having a twin sister not only is she my sister but one of my best friends!! Although we shared everything (room, car, clothes you name it) it was honestly so fun to always have her around!! We have the same best friends which my mom used to worry about but I absolutely love bc we are so close. I always loved when people would describe our personalities bc that felt like they truly cared about knowing who was who. It’s a fantastic experience and unlike any other and I absolutely love it!! Beatrice and Madelena are lucky to have each other as well as Eleanor, Samson, and Conrad!! Have a great day!!

  9. Kacy

    Love love love this post! I have 3 month old twin boys and struggle with some of the same things. I find myself worrying when one meets a milestone before the other and falling into the trap of comparing them even though they are two totally different people. I am looking forward to hearing from other twin parents on how they handled these things because I am not sure how to navigate these waters quite yet.

  10. BD

    I have 6-year-old twin girl cousins and they could not be more different in looks, interests, and personality. Unfortunately everyone in the family, including their parents, tends to point this out and one of the girls often gets the less flattering comments. It drives me insane. I was the black sheep of the family (and I didn’t even have siblings to be compared to, only cousins!) and have some lasting scars from being misunderstood and always thought of as the troublemaker or the difficult one. I worry about this for my little twin cousin, though she seems much more resilient than I was. Obviously you aren’t parents who would make any of your kids feel bad about themselves, and I know you will build a strong enough circle of safety and communication at home that will help your girls ignore criticisms and comparisons others might make.

  11. Naomi, this is such brilliant insight and really important thoughts and conversations to have. My brothers are twins and so are my partners brothers. Both sets are fraternal and are DRASTICALLY different humans who have experienced life in such a different way. One of my brothers, for example, is very quiet, creative, kind, and thoughtful, but making friends and connecting with others has been very difficult for him. He also struggled with school and early on we realized he needed different attention than his brother. The other brother is also kind, but outgoing, very athletic, analytical, and made straight A’s without a blink of an eye. Things always seemed to come easier for him, but therefor he did not understand the struggle the same way as his brother. They grew up being very close and still are, but I 100% give credit for that to my parents for separating them in school at a very young age. They started in Pre-K together and when they noticed one answering for the quieter one and speaking for him, that’s when they made the switch. It has made all the difference. People did not even know they were brothers for a while since they were so different and in different classes. This was great for them to build their own individuality and realize their unique strengths. I can’t provide a lot of insight on details of my partner’s brother’s experience, but I do believe that treating each as an individual will eliminate comparison early on. That even means changing our mindset and the way we fret about it. If our words and intentions are non comparison, than that is the best way to grow in that way. I have asked my mom for insight lately for a friend who also has twins and she started tearing up immediately just remembering how challenging it is to do right by your babies, but also how rewarding.
    I have been following you long before you had children and it is such a beautiful thing to see your family grow. Very inspiring for when I decide to start my own (and I am 90% sure twins will be involved too! haha!) Good luck with those sweet babes, it’s all going to be challenging and so beautiful!

  12. Kate

    I’m a twin, and honestly I think that being a twin is AMAZING and it would be really really hard to screw it up. My twin was the “smarter twin”, and I survived! My mom separated us in classes after kindergarten (once we’d adjusted) and I am glad for that. We had the same group of friends but made a point to have “alone time” where we could hang out with a friend individually to get away from each other which was great. We both play volleyball but that was because of separate interests in the sport, and it was really great honestly having each other there. I think a lot of it depends on the personalities of your girls because my twin and I are best friends but recognize our wishes to be separate – we even sat down and both agreed we wanted to go to different colleges :) but I’ve heard of twins rooming together at college and loving it, so it totally depends on the twins. YOU WILL DO GREAT, twins are awesome, I think everyone should be or have twins honestly!

  13. Rachel

    These things have been weighing heavily on my mind as I am trying to navigate raising twin girls also. My girls were born on the first of February. It’s crazy to me how many people ask me who the nicer twin is, or who is older, or how they can tell them apart because one has a bigger face. I have four older daughters that I am trying to protect also and be very diligent in not having people around us compare. There have been times when I have had to just walk away for fear of me saying something hurtful. Yes my girls are twins, but they are also sisters. I try to also call them by their names. I always put a different headband on them so when people ask who is who I can say Reese has the green and Rowan has the blue. It helps to not focus on their physical appearance as much. It is hard! I am so glad you posted this! I cannot wait to come back and read the comments

  14. Katelin

    As one of identical girl twins, my parents allowed us to make decisions on extra curriculars and sports. We did a lot together but also developed our own interests, all of which they encouraged. Allowing them to choose their own clothes and hair styles also helps establish individuality on their own terms.
    Also, don’t let others call them “the twins”. It gets annoying and I often felt like a unit rather than two individuals.

  15. Marie

    I am not a twin, and I don’t have twins, but I just want to say how beautiful I think this post is. I’m so impressed by your sensitivity to this subject when they are just babies, and the thought you give to what their older sibs might be hearing and picking up on. This is such thoughtful parenting, and a delight to read about. Wishing you and your adorable family all the best, always.

  16. Nichole

    I have twin girls who are 8. I have tried from the very beginning to make sure they are individuals. However, it’s very hard. They are constantly called “the twins” and since they are identical, they get called the wrong name a lot! I have put them in the same class at school, simply because they want to be together. I have always allowed them that choice and will
    Continue unless I feel like there is a problem. This year in dance however, their teacher suggested putting them in different groups. I have one that is a stronger dancer and last year she won most improved for the studio. Imagine the heartbreak at our house when the other one didn’t get an award. It broke my heart on so many levels. This year has already been so much better. They have their own classes and are thriving as individuals! I worry so much about them and never want their feelings hurt, but I know it will happen and I just try to prepare them to handle it the best they can. I am an only child myself, so figuring that out has been hard! And from since they were tiny I have dressed them differently. They have also chosen completely opposite likes in everything from colors to food, I think mainly because they want to be different from each other. But this I do know, no matter what, my girls will always have each other and will always have a best friend and for that, I am forever grateful!

  17. Tiffany

    Hi Naomi!!

    I have been following your beautiful family for a while! I feel very compelled to comment on this subject! I am an identical twin. I may be 22 now but I can absolutely relate to the constant comparison my sister and I have gone through. People do not realize the weight of their comments when comparing us. Like as you said, this one is the chubbier one, this one is the skinner one etc.. I know for a fact my sister has insecurities to this day for everyone always pointed out she had the chubbier cheeks. It’s always a matter of comparison for twins and it truly fosters unhealthy comparison mechanisms that only get worse as we grow up. We still to this day get people who compare us. I believe that with you as their mom they will be able to value themselves individually but also as a unit. Us twins have a bond nobody but twins understand!
    My sister and I were together in school until about the 2nd grade. My mom fought the school system to keep us in classes together at first. It isn’t for everyone, but it allowed us to make friends together and as years went on we were able to make our own friends. I believed it helped us make friends because it was easier together. With that being said every set of twins is different.
    We always seemed to be the spectacle, never-ending stares. It’s one thing you have to get used to… the stares, comments, questions, it truly gets to be a lot. The best thing to do is encourage individuality but don’t force it. Let them know they are valued as individuals. Listen to their wants as needs, they may want to be together in school or not. Encourage individuality by spending time with them each alone. This will allow them to feel like they are their own person. It can truly feel like you are a unit rather than one person. Don’t compare them but point out their strengths as you would with your other wonderful children.

    Just one last thought, It’s great being a twin but i’ll never forget when I became friends with someone who didn’t know my twin sister, for once I was just “Tiffany” and not a twin. It was nice being known for just me.

    Good luck with your beautiful twins and family <3

  18. Leah

    I’m a twin myself- I have a twin sister. This post brought up a lot of things that even I, as a twin, haven’t thought about very much before! I know that my sister is the “older” twin, but it never bothered me too much growing up because I knew that (as identical twins) we had existed for the same amount of time. I 100% agree about stopping physical comparisons in their tracks. It’s not helpful, and even as a 22-year-old, it still happens (“your face is rounder,” “you’re skinnier,” etc. Not good at all, and why do people feel they have the right to make comments like that?!). In terms of whether or not to put Beatrice and Madalena in the same classroom, my sister and I were in separate classes growing up and I think it made a huge difference in terms of developing our own individual academic interests! We ended up going to the same university, but we majored in different subjects and never lived together as roommates or suitemates. It was just the right balance of being able to see each other when we wanted to, but not being together constantly. For us, too, since we’re such good friends, we haven’t really struggled with too many feelings of competition. Even though we have many similar interests, we have our own, too (and to be honest, I don’t think my parents made too many conscious decisions to push us to do different activities growing up- it just happened naturally). We actually have a set of fraternal twin brothers who are two years younger than us- it’s funny to see how different their experience has been as no one could guess by looking at them that they’re twins! Regardless of the ups and downs, being a twin is awesome and so much fun- it’s part of my identity, and I like it that way!

  19. Julia

    Hi, very interesting read. Are your daughters identical twins? because I think you can clearly tell them apart in the pictures :)

  20. Jessica

    I just had identical twins boys (they’ll be seven weeks tomorrow) and I’ve wrestled with the same thoughts! When we found out we were having two boys my boyfriend said he wanted to name one him after him. NO! I couldn’t let him do it…what about the other?? They’d be questioning why their brother was the “favorite.” I couldn’t deal with that knowing that surely they would already be comparing themselves to one another.

    Twins run in my family and my Mother is one. She was telling me recently after the boys were born how one year she had her own birthday. She explained to me that a few years back she went into work on a random day in December to find balloons, cake and gifts on her desk. She was confused, what’s all this for?? “Happy Birthday!” Everyone exclaimed…even more confused now because her birthday is in February. Her coworkers told her they wanted to give her a day all to herself when she wasn’t sharing it with someone else. My Mother loves her twin sister-they are soul sisters-but this was the most special gift anyone could give her. She had never NOT shared her birthday, even if her sister wasn’t with her.
    I guess it taught me to remember that my boys are individuals and to treat them like that. No comparison or grouping together as I know so often they will be.

  21. Jacqueline Wills

    Hi Naomi!
    I am a twin! My brother and I are fraternal—and let me tell you it is the most compelling, beautiful, loving relationship. We are linked in a way that I share with no one else, and we have both felt this bond our entire lives. My amazing mother took a lot of energy and time into making sure we grew into two amazing individuals, and when I ask her about it she tells us stories of how we hated being called “the twins”, and or when anyone tried to put us together in a box. So, she basically took her cue from us. My mother looked to us in ways to develop our own lives, interests and our own identity. For example, my brother was not as excited for school when we first started, so that told her that maybe me going ahead a year was a good idea. Or, we both had an incredible interest for dance and the arts and liked sharing this expierence together—so she put us in joint dance classes. My point is that you are already such a wonderful mother for even exploring this and having these thoughts and this awareness. I have a feeling your girls will let you know what they need as they grow, and your careful attention and love to each of them will show you the way. It is how my Mom did it—and my brother and I are better for it. Lots of love ❤️—Jacqueline

  22. Christine

    I’m only on day four of this twin parenting journey, so this post came at a great time! I had boy girl twins on Monday, and they could not look more different from each other (interestingly, she looks exactly like her big sister did and he looks exactly like his big brother did!). After only a couple days it feels weird to know they are twins or call them twins just because they look so different.
    My BILs are twins and it’s fun to have another set of twins in the family, but because ours aren’t the same sex people have already said things like it means they won’t be as competitive with each other. It’s interesting how fascinated people are with twins.

  23. Natalie

    Hi! First of all, what sweet happy baby smiles in those pictures :) I’m an identical twin and my sister and I are the only children in my family, so I only have a twin’s perspective. Two big things I can think of always affected me. As you already said, don’t compare. (And like you said, that really goes for all siblings.) But as twins, we pretty much compare ourselves constantly anyways, so we really don’t need to be reminded of it. The other thing I’d say is to go ahead and praise each of their accomplishments without worrying about the other. I can think of a specific instant when my mom (with all good intentions) didn’t let me participate in a soccer tournament because my sister hadn’t also been selected to participate. She didn’t tell me until months later and I still get upset about it! I earned that! I think it can cause resentment and also convey the message that you’re not an individual: you can only accomplish things if your twin can. That’s all I can think of for now! I’m sure you’re doing great, momma!

  24. Alexis

    I’m a twin and I absolutely love it! I think it was more difficult for me than my twin sister though because I was “the trouble maker” and “the drama queen” and it was really hard being labeled as that, like I would never be different. I wish my parents chose to recognize my positive attributes rather than ones that caused them problems. Because of that, my twin sister always had positive labels because I had the negative ones. My sister and I did a lot of the same activities and she was pretty much always better than I was. I think the most important thing is to teach them to have joy in the successes of each other. My best shouldn’t be compared to my sister’s best. But I should be happy for her when she does something great, and she should be happy for me when I do my best, whether my best is “better” or “worse” than hers by someone else’s standard. I think that’s so easy to say but much harder to actually do. I’m the end, 26 years later, my twin and are are best friends!

  25. remi

    i love this whole post and i think it’s beautiful that you’re starting this at such a young age. i have twin nieces and twin sister-in-laws. i remember when my twin nieces were about the same age as your babies, we were in line for a fancy restaurant and i was standing by the two strollers, when a lady came up to dote on the twins. she then made a comment saying, “this one will get married first” and walked away. it’s been 8 years, but i still feel a bit offended from the comment. could you imagine someone saying that to them when they were old enough comprehend and vulnerable to emotion!? i was a protective first time aunt and still to this day, i will not allow people to make comments like that to the babies! i have noticed though, from both my 8 year old nieces, and 18 year old sister-in-laws, that they love being recognized and referenced as twins, but they prefer to be identified as their own individuals. complimenting and referencing them from their personalities, hobbies, and interests makes a world of a difference as opposed to their appearance. it makes all the difference. :) the comparison game is such a difficult road and it’s so wonderful that you’re instilling this in a young age. props to you mama! may we all learn from this for others and for ourselves.

    side note—my sister put one of the girls in ballet and the other in gymnastics. she also split them up for the first grade because that’s what the needed that year. they needed to learn independence but also individuality. for second grade, she ended up putting them both in the same class for school and put them in dance together, because they needed each other emotionally. i think it’s best to go off of intuition and prayer when it comes down to deciding for your girls and what they need best at the time :)
    you really are such an inspirational and talented mother!

  26. Michelle

    I’m one in a set of twin girls! Let me first just say, being a twin is the most amazing thing EVER. I’m also the youngest of 4 kids, and with those girls being the youngest (as of now…), they’ll be totally great! Everyone is more chill (especially the parents!), it’s all fun and crazy, they have siblings to watch go through life events before them. They’ll probably be easy going because, well, they kind of have to be! Not to mention y’all are like the most loving and fun parents, they’re SET for success! I recognized so much of who I am and my individual qualities by looking at my entire family. It really wasn’t until I was older did I realize how much of a big deal it was to be a twin, because we all got along so well. It’s like I just always knew she was there, she was my rock, it was instinctual. Also, being a twin is such a unique thing that will make them stand out and feel special. Focus on them always having each other, and loving each other for what makes them both alike and also different. Sure, being unique and different is what makes someone feel special for who they are as an individual. But the best thing I’ve found that has helped me as I grow up is having my support system-my family-my twin, my rock. THAT is what sets you up for success. School and life in general will force them to have separate identities and lives, which is wonderful (and sometimes scary!) but they get to have a special bond through that, and that is what makes being a twin the best. My parents constantly said do not compare yourselves, so I would definitely suggest that (especially with report cards.) The last thing i’ll say, is I shared a room with my twin until my sophomore year of college and THAT created such a strong bond. We had to pretty much share everything, and I could not be more grateful for it as an adult. Life itself will throw enough at them, but they have each other, and they have you guys. They’ll go through the world like they’ve been introduced into your family. Surrounded by unconditional love and a strong support system, and already having to make a space for themselves in a sea of fun and people-they will be unstoppable! Just watch out…it’s easier to be mischievous when you’re a team! Hehe.

  27. J

    Twin Girl here! I think the fact that you are aware and consciously making an effort to define them as their own individuals will already help tremendously. I love my twin sister but it was very competitive and very “she does this, she got an A, etc, etc) everything my entire life has been a comparison game and it has been tough. I also have other siblings which for sure helps with it and I don’t think anyone ever thought twice about us as “the twins” so I think being self aware is already a HUGE start to giving them their own identities. They’re adorable :)

  28. Danielle Foster

    You are seriously the sweetest mama. I am an identical twin. My twin sister is two min older. We were always the best of friends. I always had the chubbier cheeks and everyone always pointed it out. For some reason it never bothered me. My parents always made me feel so beautiful. I actually liked having the chubbier face. I still always felt pretty. I think as children, the hardest part was being separated in school, because we were always together beforehand, but then we went back to college together. We both went to FIT, took every single class together! I always registered for the both of us. I was always the nerd. My sister was always the one to find jobs at these amazing companies, so I helped get her through college and she always helped me get these amazing jobs. Now we both work together for an amazing children’s shoe company! We are both married with lots of kiddies who are the best of friends. Nothing is better than a identical twin sister, built in best friend!

  29. Anna

    I have four girls. 5,4 and the babies are almost a year old. AMEN to your post. I was very grateful to find out we were have fraternal twins because I thought it would be easier for them in establishing their individuality and for others to tell them apart. I try really hard to not refer to them as “the twins”. Of course when asked if why are twins my response is yes, but I call them by their names or refer to them as the babies. As they get older I hope to treat all of my daughters as individuals. I think as you know the same sort of comparison can happen in families with all same gendered children. How did your mother help you feel like an individual among all of your sisters?

  30. Annie

    This was a lovely piece. I’m not a twin but 1 of 6 children, and growing up, I was often pinpointed as the disorganized, lazy, free-spirited child, when in fact I just liked to daydream. I interiorized those labels until I went out into the professional world and realized I was way more organized and efficient than the average person, getting many project management positions right off the bat.

    I couldn’t believe it and felt like an impostor. Since then I vowed to never label my children’s personalities in that way. People are multi-faceted and saying “this is our creative child” and “this is our nerdy child” (or worse, “this is the troublemaker of the family”) will limit and damage their sense of self.

  31. Croshoun Austin

    I’m an identical mirror image twin and I can honestly say the comparisons drive me crazy! The whose the mean twin because they’re always a mean twin! The, can you read each other’s thought! Why can’t you draw as well as your sister! Why does your nephew look just like you, are you sure your not mom! Comments that are unnecessary! Also the understanding that being a twin mom is different than being the actual twin and I’ve had twin moms try to tell me who I am or should be because they raised a set of twins! So did my mom but I love that she said early in she made peace with the fact that we seemed to love each other a little more than everyone else! She never got in the middle of disagreement or acted like because we share a face we can’t be frustrated with one another! I love that she always got us our own cake on our birthday which is even more important because you don’t beg your own separate day!

  32. Nathalie

    Loved your thoughts! Parenting is really challenging and I love hearing about parents who work hard to create the best lives tie their kids!
    I bet you would love the message shared by twin sisters Lindsay and Lexie Kite who are both PhDs and teach body image resilience @beautyredefined. They have spoken about comparison and have such s positive message…one of my favorite phrases they have coined is “the body is an instrument, not an ornament”.

  33. Autumn

    As a teacher my opinion is to separate them in classes, starting in K. They will become much more independent from one another, and peers will see them as their own people.

  34. Kello

    Hi. I have 7yo b/g twins and every day is an adventure. Still to this day! I agree with a previous reader in that them being twins does make them special and individual in their own right. I will say for me since mine are b/g, I think it does make it easier for them to not be constantly compared because of the different gender. But I also sepererated them in school since the beginning. They will learn the differences between each other and I’m am sure that you and your husband and family will make them feel unique and special. Don’t worry mama. You got this and are doing a great job!

  35. Maggie

    As a twin, I recommend never putting them in the same classes. My twin sister and I really blossomed as individuals in the few years that we didn’t share every class together. However, I’m sure when the time comes you’ll know what’s best for your girls!

  36. Lucinda

    Yes to this!
    I’m not a twin, but was friends with a set of twins as a teenager and you could FEEL the life of comparisons. Literally one was the “clever one” and one was the “pretty one”. They were truly identical, and it took months for me to feel confident differentiating them. I suppose people feel uncomfortable and worried they’d call them by the wrong name.
    When I had my daughter, a lady in my antenatal group had identical twin girls. I broached this subject and she looked at me as if I was mad. They were dressed in the same clothes daily which would mean people would be looking for something to separate them.

  37. Danielle Manwaring

    I already commented on your insta post, but hadn’t had time to read the full blog post until now. All of what you’ve expressed concern over, I have too. We sort of got a pass on the “who is older?” thing because our babies came out in the same exact min (due to emergency) and it even says so on their birth certificates! But before that we planned to not tell anyway. I think that being intentional is half the battle, so I’d say you’re (we’re) on the right track. You’re a wonderful mom, thank you for your example and insight 💕

  38. Laura

    Growing up, from 6th grade through the end of high school, my best friends were identical twin girls. We were so close and over those junior high and high school years with so many changes, I observed how much comparison, jealousy and upbringing impacted my twin friends. I already started thinking about what I would do if I ever had twins myself. From early on these twins shared just about everything and did most everything together and they loved being twins, and they had an incredibly deep care for one another that I could tell their mother really helped foster. But as they got older I saw how problematic this was for them. They were the opposite of competitive – they were so consciencous of the other sister that they didn’t want to hurt the other and be the first to do anything, like have a first kiss or go on a first date or get a first job. They didn’t want the other sister to feel bad if they made the swim team but the other didn’t or get invited to a social gathering that the other didn’t. So, while they had this great bond, I felt sad for them that so many decisions they made had the question of how the other would feel and then this need to not disappoint their mother in this pact to not leave the other twin behind. And I feel like they both suffered from this. They missed out on great opportunities and had guilt over things they should have celebrated. They couldn’t leave each other behind when getting into colleges and always had to work at the same places.
    I think there is a lot of complexities to being a twin and raising twins and I agree that it deserves extra thought. I don’t not have twins, but if I ever did, I feel that after I observed my twin friends for so many years doing most things together, being in the same classes, I would make a conscious effort to foster individuality through independence from an early age, especially in school. Of course this is true with all siblings but I feel that there is an extra amount of intentionality there with twins. My friends didn’t have other siblings and I’m sure this plays a factor as well, along with a million other things. Clearly I am not an expert, but I feel that
    parents of twins have an extra challenge of helping their children embrace the beauty that comes from their connection as a twin while also helping each child find what makes them uniquely them.
    All the best!

  39. Fiona

    Wow this is such a beautiful post! I think it’s so so important to consider these things and you seem to be doing an amazing job already! I am not a twin, but my sister and I are very close in age and the comparison and “she’s the —- one” really did a number on our relationship growing up, and we’re still figuring it out now that we’re in our late 20s. I think as long as you’re conscious of these things – as you are now! – it will make all the difference!

  40. Kristen Gamble

    First, your girls are adorable! I am a mom of twins.. when I had my first set I was lucky to have a nurse that was a twin and I asked her one thing she wishes her parents did differently. Her answer was separate cakes for birthdays! I always ask older twins also and I have had that come up twice! I was blessed with a 2nd set of twins so I am very interested in reading others! I’m a mom of fraternal twin boys x2 (4 & 6) and a 16 year old boy and a 2 year old girl!

  41. Ashley

    I am an identical twin! (girls) and all of our lives we have heard nothing but people comparing us to each other. Mostly about our physical appearance. I have always been told I am the bigger twin, chubbier twin, less attractive twin (you would be surprised how many people have actually said that) and how my thighs are bigger, I have smaller lips etc. When I was young it didn’t bother me. I don’t think I fully understood the heaviness of peoples comments until I got into my teenage years and all of those comments stuck with me and I struggle even to this day with not looking at my twin and wishing I looked more like her ( if that makes any sense) I think as their mamma you need to be prepared to nip those comments in the butt as soon as someone says it and correct people when they offer comparisons. I have spent the majority of my life correcting my name or hearing people say ”oh you’re Ashley because you have dominant face structure” people really don’t realize the weight of their words.
    Celebrate their individuality. They will probably be similar in so many ways, but they will also be so incredibly different. Honoring their differences will help him them to move into a self-love that is beautiful, honest and true.
    Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE BEING A TWIN! IT is the greatest gift that I have ever received in my life. A forever best friend, a soul sister, and healer and a bond that you can’t ever put into words. I wouldn’t trade being a twin for anything in the world.
    Take the time to get to know them as individuals. You’re their mamma so it will come naturally to you, but take them out individually and bond with them separately. My sister and I always wanted to be in the same class and do everything together and my parents made sure that when we were in school that one year we would be in the same class and the next year we would be separate. She found that when we were in the same class we didn’t make friends with any other children, we stayed with each other and always lived in our own bubble. Separating us forced us to make friends, showcase who we really are, and it helped us because we learned that people could love us for being ourselves and that we didn’t need each other all the time to have an identity. We are perfect the way we are!
    My mom said that having twins was the most special time in her life. Watching our bond grow was something she will always cherish. My twin is my world. I love her more than anything!

  42. Noelle Gruber

    Hello Fellow Twin mamma. I have twin boys who just turned 2 and this experience has been life changing but what you are writing about is something I’ve also struggled with. Having twins gets a lot of attention especially in the beginning at a time when as their mom, you are just getting to know your little ones. It can be so overwhelming.

    Family and strangers would constantly label the boys he’s the smart one, no he’s the funny one, he’s the fat one you get the idea. It bothered me. Personally, it was so hard for me to refrain from comparing the boys when they were little as they would both reach their milestones but in completely different fashions and in their own time. One crawled first while the other one walked first. So many things happened differently but also exactly when they were supposed to.

    When strangers or family would pass judgment or comment I have learned to ignore and mostly be my boys champion. I always comment to people that my twins are a great team. Without one another they would be lost. We celebrate their individual victories and when one does something great this brother is right there to give him a hug and cheer him on. When one falls the other is there with a hug and kiss.

    They don’t see a label or an expectation they just see a brother that they love and don’t know a life without him!

    When it comes to keeping them together. We had the luxury of being able to give them their own bedrooms at 6 months old. They love having their own rooms and first thing in the morning they run into wake the other one up. I think for us it has helped to foster that sense of individuality. I was nervous at first but honestly i don’t think anything could ever break the twin bond.

    As moms and parents we learn as we go and as long as our children are healthy and happy I think its a sign that we are on the right track!

  43. Jo

    Hello! This is a tough one! We have identical twin girls who are 6. I think the easiest way to foster identity in twin babies into the toddler years and beyond is to dress them in different clothes. My girls did not even believe they were twins until they were 5 because they thought you could only be a twin if you were dressed alike! As for comments on who is who based on looks (chunkier, happier, red pants, etc) that is unfortunately not in our control as moms! Especially if the girls are identical. Family members, friends and strangers will always struggle to figure out who is who and it always falls on physical characteristics. As of now, my girls think it is hilarious that people can’t figure it out. We shall see what the future holds there, but I think it is out of our hands. People try so hard to hold on to something physical to keep them separate! Irinically, I think it is done to protect their identity. A grandparent or neighbor or friend doesn’t want to carry on a conversation with M all the while thinking it was B! None of us would want to make an error like that, it would seem like such an insult to both girls to not know who you were talking to. I’m just not sure that we can figure out a fix for assigning one twin or another to a physical characteristics by extended family/friends/strangers. So great that you are thinking of this now!!

  44. Logan

    Naomi this is amazing! So eye opening. I have a sister six years older than I and I relate to so many of these things. After reading this I even notice that I tend to almost “downgrade” myself a lot even though in the moment it doesn’t seem like anything serious. You encourage me to be better! You’re such a light in this world!

  45. KRB

    My aunt had identical twins and from the start she parted their hair on different sides. Makes their faces more individualized and gives the viewer a lifeline if they don’t want to ask (esp family). Sooo helpful. As a much older cousin I was able to pick them out immediately even if I hadn’t seen them in a long time.

  46. Danielle Manwaring

    Oh, and I wanted to add that I don’t think it’s bad to distinguish between fraternal and identical. I think it’s more a matter of science than anything. We have identical boys and a fraternal girl. We have to explain because some people don’t get how identical/fraternal triplets work and will ask if they are all identical, even when they know our girl is a girl 😂 I don’t think it’s a label that could be detrimental, rather a scientific classification 😉

  47. Connie

    i’m cracking up at “i get it. it’s very cute”

    they are so so very cute (all of them. all five) and delicious!

    just the fact that you are thinking about these things so deeply (in the haze of having two newborns no less) means that you will handle the twin-ness and comparing-of-them issue 95% better than most humans. 95% specifically. you are a rockstar.

  48. Jen

    Hi Naomi!
    I have five year old twin girls and I remember feeling so much of what you described when they were babies.

    For us, we never have referred to the girls as “the twins”. We use their names when referencing them, and I feel like those around us have followed suit. We also try to be really intentional about communicating to our girls that they have value- inherent value–because that’s how God created them. Yes they are twins, and that is so special, but God created them each uniquely. There is no one else exactly like them, even as a twin.
    We do our best to encourage and celebrate the ways that they are unique, much like you described– words of affirmation and individual quality time go a long way to support that.
    At the same time, we also try our best to cultivate their relationship with each other. We remind them that they are each other’s best friend, and that they are a team. I have loved watching their friendship, and their fierce defense of one another, grow over the past five years.

    The girls started Kinder this year, and we have them in the same class, because we felt Kinder presented enough of a shake-up on its own. But I have several friends who separated, and their kids have done great. Every parent knows what is best for their kids. For us, it’s just always been about deciding what is right for us, for right now. Parenting is so hard, and we won’t always get it right, but Im so thankful for Grace and wisdom. And when you know better, you do better– or at least try to.

    Twins are so much fun. You’re doing a great job!
    Xo..

  49. Michelle

    i love that your commenting on this! i am a twin with and it is so special. Definitely a built in best friend. The comparison thing was something that my mom never did but she always encouraged each other to learn from each other. Always stressing how great it was that we had someone who could help each other be better.
    My sister and i are fraternal so while I look more like my dad, she has a good mash up of them both. When i was little I hated that people always told me that (of course thinking that “looking like my dad meant i looked like a boy”) and my mom used to always tell me ” Yours is the face I fell in love with”.
    My mom definitely had a fight with the schools to keep us together when we were younger but i loved having her there as a support ( especially being a lot more shy and quite then my sister was). I think since I was quieter and a bit more sensitive it was harder when my sister was labeled ” the fun one” or ” the popular one” by friends but my sister the ever protector never let that stand for to long.
    What challenged and also helped our relationship was when we went to High School. As NYC Public school kids you have to apply to different schools and we didn’t apply to any of the same ones. My mom tells me know she was nervous about that but she never let on. It was great to be in situations and just be “Michelle” and not a pair. it also helped us learn to be friends in a different way. WE could share stories with each other and introduce people to one another! Something so foreign to us hahah!
    Also as we moved away from each other it help us feel more empowered that we could singularly do it. i know it did for me
    You seem to have such a strong family bond, I’m sure each of your girls will feel so individually loved

  50. Sydnee

    This is my brain right now! I’m pregnant with twin boys, and I keep thinking about how I can foster their twin relationship and help them appreciate their twin-ness, while also encouraging them to be individuals! I know it will be with the best of intentions, but I’m sure my family will refer to them as “the twins” and I want them to be so much more than that!!
    It warms my heart to know I’m not crazy for thinking about these things so early. Thank you for sharing this!

  51. abby

    This is a goodie! I have a fraternal twin sister as well as little sisters who are 9 years younger than me, and also fraternal twins (I also have two older sisters, not twins, one older than the other. They’re in the minority by not being twins). My twin sister and I are incredibly different and my mom and dad really allowed and facilitated that from the get-go. My mom was adamant that we were never called “Twin” as children, even though we had a few family friends who thought that was endearing or clever (it’s wasn’t).
    Despite the fact that we are really, really different (in terms of looks, interests, what we studied in college, personality, communication style, etc.), we are very close. We fought the least out of the group and my mom always said that if one of us was given two cookies, we would instinctively share the other with our twin sister — while any other sister would run with the two for herself. And that relationship has definitely followed us into young adulthood. While I am very close with all five of my sisters, if I’m going to chatter to someone on the phone for 90 minutes about nothing, it’s more often than not with my twin sister. We live states apart but I call her at least three times a week. I’m really grateful for that!

    It’s interesting sometimes because we are so different, that I sometimes feel like I don’t get to claim the whole “twin” thing because we aren’t a replica of one another. So, I would say that it’s still good to acknowledge the specialness of that relationship without putting pressure on forcing it to be unusually close or special if, for some reason, it’s not. But, there is something special to be said for being raised side by side (in the womb and outside :) !)
    We definitely get compared more closely than me and any of my four other sisters — I’m thinner than my sister and have been historically more academically motivated, this has been tricky for us. So, your inclination to not compare and to make that an expectation from the beginning will definitely be helpful. It’s probably impossible to avoid just because two girls are going to be different athletes, students, or children (and in our case some of us have definitely meshed better or differently with our parents than others…). I see the same thing happening with my little sisters now. This isn’t twin specific, but I think for us my mom was intentional about placing value in all sorts of different traits (I was an excellent student but my sister was a passionate lover of horses and a great horse back rider). Even if my parents preferred certain traits over other (and they are people, I know they do), my parents have spent equal time at speech tournaments, volley ball games, swim meets, cross country races, oboe recitals, and watching a kid play Sims on the computer.

    All in all, I would be seriously tickled to have twins once I start having children just because I adore being a twin – my first and best friend. (also your life, while I’m sure complicated and challenging like anyone’s, also seems quite charming!)

  52. Angie

    You may have already done this, but I highly recommend you join your local twin/multiples group or club. Parents of multiples are a special tribe, and it’s so comforting to find like-minded people who “get it.” For me, the twin club functioned like my own personal oracle. They are my only source of advice I take when it comes to raising my now 3 year old b/b twins.

    Best of luck to you. You’re doing great!

  53. Jane

    I have 7 year old twins and a few things, although they may seem silly, are important to me. Always there own cake on their birthday as well as the entire Happy Birthday song sung to them individually. If they are both invited to a birthday party, they both walk in with their own present to give. Desperate birthday parties with friends when possible (I have a boy and girl so this may be easier for me). Separate activities/sports, which can be tough but does give one on one time when the other is in their activity and allows them to start finding their own interests. Encouraging friends parents to only invite one over for a play date. It’s tough at first but the other will get a turn. You’re doing a great job. The first 3 years were super tough but now it’s amazing as they have a constant playmate!!

  54. kate

    Very interesting thoughts! You definitely have been given a great blessing, but also a very big responsibility.

    I’m very close with a family with fraternal twin girls and somewhere along the way one almost became the “good twin” and the other, the…”less good” twin? That sounds terrible, but that’s how it played out in life.

    One was (by societies standards) GORGEOUS, and every single thing in her life came easily to her, grades, sports, friends, college, jobs, family, and her sister was the exact opposite. She has absolutely struggled through life. Now they are grown and only see each other at Christmas. It’s SO sad. I will say that they split the girls up from preschool on, and I personally think that might’ve been a mistake. They bonded with other kids and moved away from their early years of (sisterhood) friendship.

    You are also in an interesting situation because you’ve chosen to make your kids’ lives very public. Your mother bear instincts are kicking in and I think that’s probably good. You will probably have to work harder than most to keep peoples’ seemingly innocent comments away from your littles’ ears.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts with all of us. :)

  55. Stephanie

    It is so interesting to read these comments from all the twins.
    I remember thinking A LOT about these issues
    When my now 4 yo twins were first born. One was fussier than the other so we held him all day long and I worried the other was being left out. But the thing is if they were born in different years I wouldn’t be making these comparisons so I had to try and stop overthinking things. I try hard to treat them as siblings and not twins. Others constantly ask me why is only x in soccer and I say because only x likes soccer. They aren’t clones. But you will notice that as they grow older, they will form their own friendships (separating them for preschool helps with this) and naturally exert their independence. It’s a beautiful thing to watch.

  56. Leah

    I’m currently pregnant with twin girls due in November. I constantly have these thoughts about how to encourage family and friends to not constantly refer to them as the twins and compare them. I think you have wonderful perspective on this situation and it helps tremendously to see the little glimpses into your life with older children and twins since we are about to experience something very similar. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  57. Melanie

    As a preschool teacher who has had many sets of twins in my classroom, I in my classes I would encourage you to really push for different classrooms as they enter elementary school. Our school tends to encourage that, but some parents really push back and the twins are kept in the same class. I find it very challenging to really get to know each twin independently and their uniqueness, especially if they do look quite similar and are very attached to each other. Some twins have been more independent and that isn’t as big of an issue, but some are quite inseparable and with 20 other students in the class it is difficult to always have time to tweak out the differences in their personality or preferences that aren’t obvious. Also, I often see one twin is much more independent and the other twin relies heavily on them, not allowing them to do anything with out them. I just think allowing them to have their own classrooms gives them a great opportunity for teachers and peers to get to know them just for who they are. They will still have plenty of time to be together at home or the playground. Best of luck!!

  58. Erin

    Hi Naomi,

    I’ve been following along since Eleanor was born. I was delighted to hear you were having twins, because I’m a twin! I have a fraternal twin sister (the same sister who told me about your blog so many years ago! ;) ) I’ve been meaning to comment on your instagram pictures, because I absolutely love how you already seem to be allowing your girls to have separate identities. This was what my mom said was most important to her when we were born. She rarely dressed us the same, though we often coordinated, and she always corrected people when they referred to us as “the twins”. Although similar to you, she said she always found herself referring to us as “the girls” since we have a younger brother! We were always in the same class in elementary school because we went to a small school where there was only once class per grade. Honestly, I loved it. It always gave me a sense of security, and I never thought about it any other way. I think this worked with our personalities, so you’ll know when it’s time what will work for your girls! We were as competitive as any siblings would be, but I always felt happy for her when she accomplished something and I always felt she did the same for me. I recognized early on that we both had different strengths and wasn’t offended when others pointed them out. I felt that my parents did a great job with this, because they always let us do different activities so that we were able to excel at different things, and praised us for our individual accomplishments.

    Good luck with your baby girls. You’re doing a great job!

  59. Tara Robinson

    I think you are on the right track. Even though I only have one baby (8 older children) I definitely try to be mindful of comparing and what we focus on. With 8 older siblings there is always some well meaning family friend or stranger trying to pick my kids apart for who the baby looks like. We have taken to just saying Solomon looks like Solomon. You have a lovely family and everything will end up just fine for all our love and worry!

  60. Triplet here! I am one of three and when I read what you said about your beautiful twins growing up as a unit instead of individuals that spoke VOLUMES because that was my main struggle growing up. I was always “the chubby one” “the tom boy one” “the older one” (by 1 minute), I was always “one of the triplets” I was never Megan. I grew up with happy and loving family and friends but people who don’t have multiples just don’t understand that calling me “the tall one” or Ann “the skinny one” or Marie “the pretty one” can have long term affects on us, even though they mean well. I didn’t feel fully like an individual until I started at my full time job just 3 years ago. People I work with didn’t see me as “one of the triplets” they saw me as Megan and I love that!…though they know I am a triplet now it’s still nice they only see me as me and not “the chubby one”.

    From experience growing up as a multiple, here are some things I wish I spoke up about because (as much as I love my sisters and feel guilty for feeling this way) I wish I could’ve brought this to my parents attention sooner and maybe wouldn’t have struggled for so long with not feeling like my own person.

    1. I never had my own birthday. That meant one birthday party for three people. I hated getting the same birthday present but always in a different color…or worse, the same exact thing. That made me feel like I wasn’t special. Also meant three birthday cakes. That was the worst growing up. I remember our 7th birthday for example no one took a piece from my birthday cake. I remember my grandma finally took one piece from mine probably because she felt bad. What 7 year old doesn’t want people eating their birthday cake!

    2. Having my own friends. I wanted nothing more than just one friend of my own. As a triplet who always was in the same grade, classroom, after school activities this was a lot to ask for. I remember going as far to lie to my mom about how my friend Cassidy could only have 1 friend over at a time so that I could try and go to her house by myself. That didn’t work and you bet all three of us went over.

    3. wearing the same clothes. This meant truly never feeling like an individual. Always having two copies of myself, down to the clothes meant never truly feeling like a person always a triplet. We eventually grew into our own styles and that helped a lot but there was a good chunk of my childhood were we have the exact same outfits.

    4. How do I word this one….having the funds to help our friends parents. Let me explain. Growing up our friends would go on vacations and were allowed to bring one friend. Like most families would allow their child. Well, because there was three of us we were automatically out of the running because how do you choose just one without the other two feeling left out?? So those friends would just pick another girl to go with them camping, or to their grandparents house in Florida. My parents realizing this actually paid for all three of us to go with our friend. Our flights or gas money and food money all of it. So that we could all go and finally be options! This one was a big one for us. (ps thanks mom and dad!! that couldn’t’ve been cheap for three girls) (pss my parents are the best!)

    These were my top 4 things growing up as a multiple that I struggled with the most but that was my childhood. Though at times it was difficult growing up as a multiple I absolutely LOVE being a triplet and I couldn’t love my sisters more. We are best friends and especially now we are all 24 and live in different places, I would do anything for them. I don’t want to add more stress or worry you at all by explaining my top 4 struggles I just hope if anything it helps you!

    My top 3 FAVORITE thing about being a triplet though…

    1. built in best friends! You ALWAYS have someone to go grab a coffee with, go to the store, workout, talk to about problems! It’s fantastic!

    2. You have someone who knows everything about you! and we can always talk about memories because we have the same ones!

    3. They’re never gonna leave you. I will always have a special bond with my sisters because we are triplets. Triplet (or twin) telepathy is a thing! ITS TRUE! Here’s a quick fun example of this. I was explaining to my friend how triplet telepathy is a real thing. My friend, being the skeptic she is, didn’t believe me. I tell her I’m going to call Marie and ask “what movie am i thinking of” (now it’s July, nowhere NEAR cold weather) I tell my friend as the phone is dialing “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” (a suuuuper random movie that my sister at the time has probably never seen) My sister answers, I ask her what movie I’m thinking of and while on speaker phone she says instantly “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” — that’s ONE of the MANY times something like this has happened! LOL.

    Anyway, thanks for reading if you made it this far! I really hope this helps or if anything gave you some insight from a actual multiple :)

    love you and am a big fan of yours by the way! Keep up the great content!

  61. Sloan

    You are such a wonderful, thoughtful parent. It warms my heart to no end to see all of the thought you put into the way you interact with your children and the ways you build them up. Thank you for all of the love and joy you bring into the world.

  62. karen

    love all of your observations. i am the auntie if boy/girl set of twins who are 18. my sister and her husband have done a great job raising them. they aee completely different, and i think it’s okay to recognize those differences. they were in the same class until 5th grade, and then the teacher suggested they be separated, because she (girl twin) needed to become a little bit more independent, for herself and for middle school preparation. also, they always get their own birthday cake! might have to share the date, but not their cake!

  63. Emily C

    Just by virtue of being so conscientious about establishing their individuality, I think you’re miles ahead of the game! I can’t imagine how tough it must be for twins, but I think many if not all siblings have those rather unhelpful moments where they compare themselves to their brother or sister.

    I’m -SO- different than my brother in so many ways; it’s honestly difficult to believe that we even grew up so close in age and were raised by the same parents! Still, I’m always grateful that our parents recognized those differences as just that – differences. I never felt that they favored either of us – we were both difficult, just at different stages of our lives! I have friends whose parents clearly favored one sibling over the other and it makes for such a difficult dynamic.

    Good on you for being so careful about this issue, Naomi. Seriously, such an awesome post today.

  64. madeleine schaefer

    I am half a boy/girl twin set which I would say is way easier than having a twin sister. But we grew up loving it, we did all the same sports, same friends, and lots of the same interests! He even married one of my best friends and our boys were born two weeks apart! My mom (who is a teacher) kept us in the same classes until 10th grade, we didn’t necessarily have the same schedules in middle school and high school but she tried to work it that we had the same teachers. Her reasoning was that it was hard to try to keep up with two sets of homework (especially if it was taught two different ways)and that we could help each other (and lets be honest, I could keep track of everything. He is smarter but not as organized). Our teachers usually didn’t sit us together but our science teacher once did. It resulted with both of us sitting outside the classroom looking very guilty while the teacher called my mom’s classroom to discuss our behavior.

  65. Kenzie

    My brother and sister are twins and now are 19 years old and both serving missions at the same time. They have absolutely loved growing up together, sharing a birthday, sharing the same class and friends at school. It has even become a greater blessing to them now that they are older and they have their friendship. When it comes down to it, I really believe it depends on the people you are dealing with. Some children who have a twin will need to be with each other. Others might need their space and their differences in extracurricular activities. You will know them best. You are their mother and you can turn to your Father in heaven to know what they need. He trusts you with them!

  66. Amy

    This is your best blog post ever! I’m a twin and I LOVE that you didn’t tell anyone the birth order. I’m the oldest and I distinctly remember thinking “but I don’t WANT to be the ‘responsible’ one!” when I was younger and my mom always put me in charge of the other kids. And I’m very happy that you’re recognizing the comparison of appearance and how problematic that can be. I definitely remember feeling like the “ugly” twin and even now I compare my body to my sister’s even though we are completely different. It’s annoying that it still happens. And there was always the “good/bad twin” distinction that people wanted to make which was really hard on us both. We weren’t friends growing up because we were SO competitive and I always regret that. I want my daughters to be close so I’m trying to take those lessons from my own childhood and apply them. My mom also made a point of never calling us “the twins”. In fact I can’t ever remember being called that. She wanted us to be our own people from day 1, which I appreciate, but at the same time I sometimes wonder if she pushed that too much. We were never in the same classes or sports which gave us our own thing but I sometimes wonder if it also pushed us away from each other. So don’t be too afraid to call them the girls or the twins or whatever! The comparison thing is SO hard because you’re right, it’s so easy to categorize children and takes more effort to change your language to avoid that. But they’ll so appreciate it as they grow older. You are obviously being so thoughtful and intentional in how you raise them and they will turn out beautifully!

  67. Alida Post

    Hi, I don’t have twins, but I used to know a pair of identical twins. They were pretty hard to tell apart, and would colour their hair, but sometimes the blond would become the brunette and vice versa… But they had very different personalities, and I always tried to look into their eyes to figure out who is who. Encourage people to see their souls or personas.

  68. Leigh

    I am an identical twin and have dealt with the side-by-side comparisons my whole life. Most of the time the attention we receive is a lot of fun, but there have been times that have left me in tears. My twin is my best friend, we spent most of our lives having the same friends, the same hobbies, so basically sharing an identity. It wasn’t until after college that we spent a substantial amount of time apart. Our lives had been So parallel that we had never spent more than 3 days apart our entire lives. We finally separated. You might think it would be debilitating, but it was actually liberating! I missed my twin but I was finally just Leigh! No comparisons, no innocent (or not so innocent) judgements. I finally relaxed and stopped worrying if someone liked my twin more than me.
    My advice to parents has always been to treat them as two individual people. For Christmas one year my mom bought us girls a new makeup kit, my older sister got her own
    And my twin and I got one to
    Share. This scenario was very typical, and I get things get expensive, but we are two people. Also, if possible, try and find ways to cultivate different passions, so they can have separate identities.

    People want to make twins the extremes of each other: good/bad twin, fat/skinny twin, pretty/ugly twin, nice/mean twin, and so on.
    And that is almost NEVER the case. But these labels are super painful and we start to believe them. Anyway, I know this is long and as I write this I didn’t realize how much I had to say until I started typing. As hard as it was at times, I love being a twin. She’s my wombmate and life long bff. I hope your girls are the same ❤️

  69. Caitlin

    I’m one in a set of quadruplets – three girls and one boy. One thing that just comes naturally to humans is the tendency to compare ourselves to others – with or without others doing it for us. My mother was a fierce advocate for us, as was my father, and chose to give us special, age appropriate control over our choices. She never dressed us the same and let us pick out our clothes even in preschool. They also chose to put us in separate classrooms when we started school, which cultivated the ability to stand on our own and make friends without being part of the “quads.” I love my siblings dearly, and at 28 they are my most trusted friends. As we’ve gotten older we have all learned to work out the dynamics of being a multiple. It’s been healthy to acknowledge ways in which we feel inferior and celebrate the goodness that comes from this unique pairing. I would say give yourself grace as a mama. You’re doing great!

  70. Kerry Mitchell

    I had twin sons first and then nineteen months later I had their sister. They are 29, 29, and almost 28 now.

    Our family has always referred to them as “the boys” – except for their sister who has always called them “[my] boys.” Whenever anyone called them “the twins” it was actually a shock to me.

    From the beginning I felt I should emphasize their differences, their individuality. One way I did this was with their names (like Beatrice and Madalena) and I named them Jordan and Logan. A lot of people had a hard time with the fact that they didn’t have matching names. (Like Jerry and Terry, or Floyd and Lloyd.) Back then I was told that they were fraternal because there was two placentas, but have since heard that that is not a definite, defining factor. They look very much alike, and some people cannot tell them apart, but to me they are not identical.

    Also, back then there were not a lot of cute boy clothes to choose from, either. Girls – plenty! But in the boys section, the same size, few choices. I usually bought the same outfits but in two different colors. One son mostly wore blue or red while the other usually wore mostly yellow or green. But I always let them choose what they wanted to wear and they rarely wore the “same” outfit on the same day. But sometimes they did! Sometimes they wanted to!

    To me, I had three kids. Three kids with a lot of similarities, but also with a lot of differences. Just like Eleanor, Samson, and Conrad. I never really accentuated the twins aspect. The boys were always in separate classes at school and had different friends. If one had sleepover company, the other did, too. When they played t-ball and baseball I made sure they were on the same team, but that was just to keep our schedule manageable. Not because they were twins. In high school, they both tried being in the band and on the wrestling team and in the end, one stuck with band and the other stuck with wrestling.

    They did use the twin thing to their advantage, though. For example, one wanted to run for President of the Student Government Association. He felt that his brother was more popular at school, and knew that the votes would be based on popularity, so he talked his brother into running as his Vice President. We had t-shirts printed up with TWINS on the front as part of their campaign. And during tryouts, in front of the school assembly, they did a comedy act based upon what it’s like being a twin and the questions they get repeatedly. (Q: “When your twin is hurt, do you feel pain, too?” A: “I don’t know. Why don’t you punch him and we’ll see?”) They won SGA President and Vice President by a landslide! LOL!

    Now one is an engineer and one is an attorney. Still very different yet very similar personalities. And they are each other’s best friend. They talk on the phone almost every day.

  71. Lauren Cook

    Hi! I have a twin sister and I have twin daughters! You touched on a lot things that are so accurate!! I always try to call our girls by their names and never refer to them as “the twins”. I remember not liking that from my childhood, so good job! I absolutely loved being a twin, so I try to focus on the positive thoughts, because I do share some of the same fears you do for our daughters. One thing I read that I have put into practice, is to help the siblings build individual relationships with each twin. I think this is awesome for the siblings as well as the twins. So don’t be afraid to take one twin to the movies with two siblings, and the other twin do some specifial with one sibling. We just started doing this with our 4 year old and our toddler twins, and it’s so fun to see! You are doing great! Twin sisters are such a gift!

  72. Sarah

    Hi,
    I love your blog! So as someone who has twin sisters that I’m very close to, I have a couple of suggestions that they themselves (as 29 year old adults) say themselves! As well as my mother (who is the best mom ever, but still say she regrets not doing this) is to put them in separate schools and/or separate classrooms. Sounds a little extreme but my sisters were and still are always being compared. Twin a was the more popular one, while twin B was less so and struggled with anxiety. Twin a got married first at a really young age and twin B didn’t. These things are already hard, but especially when it is someone that you’re always compared to and do everything with. By attending seperate schools they get a chance to express their individuality without constantly being compared to their twin.

  73. Marian

    Yes, this is great! I’d love for you to share what all you have learned from other moms. It’s good for me, as someone who doesn’t know many tfolks ins to know what to say/not to say when you are trying to make innocent conversation. Thanks for sharing!

  74. Kayla

    I don’t have twins nor am one but I just finished reading a book called “sibling rivalry” by Adele Faber and Elaine mazlish and it talks a lot about sibling roles whether they’re created by parents, siblings, others. It’s made me think a lot about what I say (like how to praise and teach) to my kids. Twins certainly put those relationships under a microscope and every child will compare themselves to each other. It’s really important to focus on each as an individual because it not only affects them as an individual but also their relationship with their siblings. I love this post and look forward to everyone’s thoughts.

  75. Amanda

    As an identical twin myself, it’s so refreshing to hear all the thought you have put towards this!

    My sister and I are best friends but we have always been really independent of each other. I know that lots of twins aren’t like that but we just always have had different interests and have felt that we need to follow our own path even it that means being apart. We haven’t lived in the same town in 8 years! Would I love her to be closer? Absolutely! but we both have to follow our own dreams.

    It’s so hard to explain our relationship. We are so different yet at the same time so similar. We always say that we are the ying to the others yang! Things she is weak in, I’m strong in and visa versa.

    The comparison thing is hard, and it’s something I think is unavoidable. My advice is to raise your daughters to just be confident in themselves differences or not. Teach them to know when to speak up and redirect ignorant people. For example, I always hate the “good twin” vs “evil twin” one, she’s my sister I’m not going to say that she is evil! I also think there are things about twins as a unit that should be celebrated. She is someone who has literally known me before I was born. A best friend my whole life! This is something that cannot be replicated with anyone else and is so special! It really is such a balance because we do have undeniable similarities that WE even compare each other on but we also know that doesn’t define us. I’m actually expecting my first child and after visiting her this past weekend I’ve never felt so pregnant. Looking at her was almost like looking at my body not pregnant and then I’d look over at myself in shock at how pregnant I looked! (Which is another twin line I usually hate “do you ever look at your sister and think you’re looking at yourself?” 🙄)

    I think the comments about twins are always going to come and you can’t take it too seriously. In fact, acknowledging that usually it comes from a good place and just laugh at that same line you have heard a thousand times helps a lot! I could list every twin line out there.. I’m sure it’s different as a parent looking out for your daughters though.

    I’d say don’t over think it because you’re doing great! Twin comments and comparisons are annoying but if your girls are confident in who they are as individuals and their identity as twin sisters comments won’t matter. They have such a special bond that’s not going anywhere! Being a twin is such a blessing!

  76. Gillian

    Hi, Naomi! Gosh do I love reading your posts. I have twin cousins and my grandma was a twin, which is to say I’ve known some twins but can’t really speak from experience… but I am a therapist, so for what it’s worth, here’s my suggestion. Right now your daughters are little and you and Josh are in charge of creating boundaries for them (such as “please don’t call them ‘the twins’”). As your daughters grow up, encourage them to slowly take over the boundary-setting by 1) asking questions about their preferences when it is possible and sensible to do so (“do you like being on the same soccer team as your sister, or would you prefer to be on a different team, or to do a different activity?”), and 2) show that their voices matter when they speak up (“thank you for reminding me that you prefer to be called by your names instead of ‘the girls’”). This may not always be feasible, but it demonstrates that you’re humble and open to learning as parents, as well as showing your daughters that you care about each of their individual voices! Love and warmth from St. Paul, MN — thank you for sharing your spirit with us.

  77. Kristi

    UNICORN HERE! Twin who has twins. 🦄 I have a fraternal twin sister. We look nothing alike (I have red hair, she’s blonde) but were always lumped together as “Kim and Kristi.” Now I have 6 year old boy/girl twins— also a redhead and blonde!

    Since I’m a twin, I am applying the twin wisdom to my own kids. We always had separate cakes and gifts at birthdays. Hated getting one gift from people!!! Mom made sure that we were in different classes so we could be our own girls/women. We definitely were competitive and always compared to each other and our brother—but honestly that happens with any siblings. Everyone is different so I’d say to rely on what your parents did for you all as an example.

    One thing I HIGHLY recommend is making sure each kid gets alone time with you. We always had a Saturday morning with my dad—rotated each week per kid. I’m 43 and still remember how awesome it was to just have time with him and no other kids!!!

    Keep it up, mama. There will be tough times but you’ll make it!!!

  78. Gabbi

    As a twin myself, (I’m 21) I loved reading this post. My sister and I look nothing alike so although we couldn’t be compared in that way, we still dealt with comparisons often. I still remember a teacher asking us to our face who was the smarter twin. That was the worst! I think you already have a great mindset, but I think the biggest thing is to try to have separate and unique relationships with them. Also, something my mom did, which I am forever thankful for is keeping my sister and I in separate classes all through elementary and middle school. We didn’t ever share a class until high school, where unfortunately scenarios like what I just mentioned occurred. However, I think when you’re in high school you’re mature enough to handle that. This really helped us to not to be compared by teachers or our peers and we got to have some separate friendships!! Best of luck!!

  79. remaliah

    I love this post too, Naomi, and I love your perspective, questions and desires of how to parent your sweet little girls well. We have 8 year-old identical twin girls. They are our oldest of four children. I LOVE having twins – it feels like such a special gift! I also have never really liked hearing them called “the twins” because it doesn’t celebrate their individual selves…though I know some people just find it easier to call them “the twins.” It is easy to get caught in the comparison trap, and I’m conscious to never talk about their differences in front of them – they are both quite different but both have beautiful gifts and characters. We did decide to separate them at school this year because they are different academically and it allows them to be themselves without the comparisons. It’s been interesting reading through the comments, because I also want to learn how to do this twin-parenting well! To find that balance in celebrating their individuality, but also allowing them to enjoy the special gift of growing up together with the unique bond they have. Right from the start we’ve dressed them differently, for most of the time. I did enjoy dressing them the same, from time to time too ;) I used to hate the “double trouble” comments we’d get when they were babies…we’d come back with “double the fun” or something more positive because, while it does take more energy doing everything twice, it is such a blessing! I really look forward to following your parenting journey. I am so inspired by the happiness of your children, their confidence in knowing they are loved so well. When I’m tempted to be too serious and hard on ours, I remember you and Josh and all the joy in your photos and videos :)

  80. Sadi Rodriguez

    As a twin it’s super important for you to let them have the up and down experiences of what it’s like to be a twin. For example, yes they probably will get grouped together (I’m 20 and still happens to my twin and I) but I truly think that part of that experience makes them think about who they really are. Some tips that I’ve gathered from my life; 1) let them have different friend groups, 2) they can go places without the other one (separation issues can be really bad if not started early on), 3) remind them that they don’t have to like the same things and that they don’t have to dress the same or do the same things if they don’t want to. Those are just some things that I think have been key factors in figuring out who I really am in my own life! I’m so excited for you though! Watching that bond between those two is going to be one of the most amazing things ever! Wishing good luck and good health to the twins and your whole family!!

  81. Justine

    Hey there!

    Congratulations! It is the most wild and intense thing having twins. I always tell people I don’t even remember the first year but I know we all did make it!

    My identical twin girls are 3 and yes, it’s a tricky thing and mostly the comparisons come from the outside. It can be really hard to avoid and I’m always worried how this will effect them. Just last week their preschool teacher had set them up to do snack helper together when all the other kids get to do it alone, doesn’t seem very fair right? I asked her if they could do it on their own separate months so they each get their own turn like every other kid. That’s just a recent example of the thousands that have happened.

    For us, we never dressed them alike. I didn’t want them to always be lumped together as “the twins” but rather be E & V individually. Now that they’re a little older my husband and I take them on separate outings. Even little things like grocery shopping, or going to get a treat, they love their alone time and when we get home they are beyond thrilled to see each other. I think we always try to treat them as their own person, just that they were born at the same time. You being concerned about it seems like the best start to me!

    My girls are currently in preschool together but come kindergarten will be separated. I thought being taken from me (who they’re with everyday) was enough change for one year. A friend of mine with older twins told me when hers were together in first grade they would come home and one would tell her everything that happened and the other would have nothing to say because their experiences and friends all got lumped together. She separated them the next year, and I thought that was a really important thing I wouldn’t have thought of. If they don’t have their own experiences than they will always be “the twins”.

    Anyway, I’m not sure if any of that helps! I’ve always found that talking to them and taking individually time for each of them makes each of the girls feel so excited and I don’t feel like they’ve lost a normal childhood (which they kind of do being two!). They’re going to have the most amazing special bond, I know mine do, and they’re lucky to have such wonderful parents!

    <3 Justine

  82. M

    Oh Naomi, this is so close to my heart!

    My sister and I are fraternal twins and also best friends (so you have a lot to look forward to there as I’m sure you know since you have twin sisters). The comparisons, the lumping together is inevitable– I’m sure you’re already used to hearing your twins’ names together in the same breath. For the most part these things didn’t bother me growing up– my twin sister and I had the same friends and did some of the same activities but also a lot of different ones too, which I think helped. She danced, I swam, she liked art, I liked writing– having things apart was also nice for us because obviously we aren’t the same person and have different interests! I’m also grateful my parents encouraged us to pursue these different paths.

    I’m not going to lie and say there weren’t times where I hated the comparison and lumping together. Like when people would say “so you’re the sporty one and she’s artsy one?” Because no– we weren’t reducible to those archetypes just so someone could mentally categorize us as different people. When people say one of us is more this and one of us is more that — it got more annoying as I got older. But once we finished high school and went separate ways for college that mostly stopped, and I don’t think it really hurt me in the long run.

    For the sake of efficiency we were almost always lumped together my our families and friends, but I also think that’s made my sister and I more easygoing as people, and closer as friends. That being said, I think one of the best (and maybe one of the only) things you can do is spend some time with each of your twin girls individually when you can. Because they’ll be together a lot inevitably!

    My other suggestion is to consider your other children in this context. Besides my twin sister I also have a younger sister and I think there was a tendency for my non-twin sister to feel left out of this twin club. Luckily my parents encouraged us to include our baby sister in our twin play time as much as possible which I think did help.

    To wrap it up, I think being a fraternal twin girl is the greatest blessing of my life, and the pros far, far, far outweigh the cons. The comparison can be frustrating but also inevitable, and I think you have a good grasp on how to combat it as best you can. My twin sister and I have been best friends our whole lives (despite being compared constantly!), and like you said, people looooove twin girls which weirdly I think made our social lives easy growing up. To me there is nothing more special than my relationship with my twin sister, and no one who knows me better which has outlasted any negative comparison we ever received. (despite my mom’s concern) You got this, Naomi! If my mom and so many others could do it, you can too!

  83. Dee

    A close friend of mine has two sets of twins. Non-identical boys who are completely different in personality and who have some same friends but they don’t actually hang out with each other. My friends have always let them be themselves and I don’t think the boys get compared too much now that they are older. Their girls are identical and are very close and have the same set of friends and similar likes. I think protecting them from comparison is important so they can just become who they are going to be. With regards to separating them or keeping them together in sports or school then I’d just trust the teachers judgement on this subject. My eldest daughter has two friends who are twins and they have been kept together for the first two years of school but in the third year the teacher recommended that they be separated as one was becoming more reserved and the other girl more dominant.

  84. DCP

    Oh my gosh, thank you SO much for bringing up this topic. When I had my twins (a boy and a girl), I noticed these things immediately!!! People CONSTANTLY talked about my twins’ bodies. They especially loved to determine who was “chunkier” and it absolutely drove me insane. Unfortunately, my twins are 4 years old now and people still do this! It’s crazy!

  85. Ellen

    What a great read! The fact you’ve already thought of these things means you are ahead of the game. I am a twin and my sister and I didn’t our whole lives being ‘the girls’. We did get compared a lot by others but our parents treated as us individuals from birth, just like you are doing with Beatrice and Madalena. I think that really helped for us growing up because the people who cared about us most saw us as individuals and celebrated our milestones individually.
    My sister and I did a lot of extra curricular activities together and were mostly in the same classes until middle school. We really became separate when we left school and one of us started working straight away and the other went to university. People put a lot of pressure on our parents to separate us more but my sister and I are similar and have always shared friends so we were happy to stay so close for as long as we did.
    We are now nearly 30 and live in different cities but we are still best friends and share such a special bond that can’t really be described! You are very lucky to be able to watch the special bond between twins grow again!

  86. Lisa

    I’m an identical twin, and it’s hands down the best, most special thing about my life (and I have a great life!)

    Looking back I realize that my parents have never used the term “the twins”, they always said “the girls”. My sister and I did everything together (same interests, same friends, same extra circulars, same classes – small school). We even dressed alike until like 8th grade (hahahah.) We totally embraced the twin thing I guess?

    There will always be comparisons, but maybe because we are so similar it was never too bad. It made us probably more competitive than most in our grade at the time, but in a good way.

    I would say the hardest part was in middle school when we started liking boys and a boy would like one of us one day and switch to liking the other the next. It was the first real feelings of jealousy I felt around my sister. (Oh boy can I remember the day my crush, who had sat next to me on the field trip bus because he “liked” me, gave my sister a bracelet he bought her when I thought he bought the bracelet for me – I’ll never forget it! haha, come on man!)

    At the end of the day though, I wouldn’t worry so much….the good of being a twin far outweighs the bad. Comparisons will happen whether you’re a twin or not, but that special bond is only possible if you’re a twin. They’re the lucky ones.

  87. Laura

    I am an identical twin (we think because we have never done the blood test) and I love your thoughts! We were best friends growing up. We were definitely grouped together a lot, and the best thing for me was being in a different class than my sister so I could be my own person. It’s strange now, even, we live in the same area but I don’t even tell my friends that I am a twin because I don’t love showing pictures and the comparison. We look a lot alike, so much so that in high school I dyed my hair darker and my sister bleached hers light, so that people could see the immediate difference and not compare our bodies or size.

  88. Alexa

    Hey Naomi! I’ve been such a big fan of your blog for almost 5 years now, and I have an fraternal twin sister so I thought I would give some insight. Although my sister and I are fraternal twins we look very much alike and have always been clumped together from an early childhood, which at some times has been frustrating. With that said my parents did an amazing job at showing us how important our individual voices are from an early age. When we were very little my mom would dress us up in either the same clothes or variations of similar outfits, but as we got older (around 2 or 3) she would almost never put us in the same outfits. Although this may seem small I think this played an instrumental role in developing our senses of individuality. Another thing that my parents did was separate us in school. This started in pre-school and lasted throughout our senior year of high school. This way we were able to hold our own and make our own friends in classes. Another great thing they did was spend individual time with each of us. A few times out of the year either my mom or dad or the two of them together would take either me or my sister out for a fun outing. This was a great way to get one on one time with them and be able to connect with them not only as a daughter but as an individual (I know I keep saying individual a lot lol!) And while I think it’s so important that we were taught to be unique and that we didn’t have to be the same was important, I think it’s just as important to let twins hold onto each other sometimes. My sister and I have such a special and strong bond that couldn’t compare to any other relationships I have, so when I need her, I really need her, and vice versa. Now that we both just started college (I go to GWU and she goes to Loyola University Baltimore) I have only just realized just how close we are and how it is such an amazing miracle to have a twin (especially being the same gender). Overall it is such an incredible blessing and I KNOW you will do an amazing job raising them to be kind, lovable, and independent girls. If you want any more advice feel free to email me!

  89. Erin

    I am a girl/boy twin and I found this so interesting! Being a twin is definitely a cool experience and ironically while there are always issues of comparison and individuality, it was always the one thing that made me feel unique. Being different genders I think definitely helped in the individuality as well, and no one ever called us “the twins.” However you wouldn’t believe the number of people who still ask if me and my twin brother are identical.

    The only thing I would say is school separation isn’t that big of a deal until you get older, at least that was the case for me. We were always in the same class until grade 7. When I was younger I loved sharing the same class because we always shared homework and helped each other, and it was easier on my parents. However as I got a little older, and developed more of my own personality around my friends at school, I felt uncomfortable that my brother was there all the time. I felt like I couldn’t get away from my family and figure out who I was independently.

    My biggest advice is to always have two separate birthday cakes.

  90. Claire

    Oh Naomi, I cringe when people refer to babies with derogative names such as “chunky” “fatty” etc under the pretence of being cool or funny. There’s not enough people speaking up about this!

  91. Em

    I’m a triplet, with one sister and brother and am currently pregnant with twin girls. So much of what you said hit the nail right on the head! Referring to your kids by their names and not as, “the twins.” Encouraging people not to compare them. With my brother it was a smaller issue (although still there), but growing up my sister and I when through some really incredibly rough times being compared all of the time. Especially the physical comparisons. I really like that you didn’t make who was older a big deal, because to my sister being the youngest (even if it was only by a minute) was the worst! My mom split us girls up in school starting in 1st grade and my brother alternated between one of our classes. I am so glad she did! It encouraged us to be more independent, to grow as individuals, and to have our own place to shine without that constant competition. The other thing that I remember being the most important growing up was for my parents to be as equal and fair as possible (although I know it’s impossible). The fact that you have so much insight already is so incredible and will be so helpful. I am so thankful you shared this!

  92. Suzy Englund

    I love this post! I have an identical twin sister. We definitely got compared growing up. Like you said, it’s kind of natural to do and hard not to! My mom was always very careful about never calling us “the twins” and I loved that! I loved being a twin and share a special bond with my sister. I think as your girls get older they’ll guide you on things like dressing the same, classes, extra carriculars and all of that so don’t stress! Sometimes we had classes the same and sometimes we chose not to. I do think the physical comparisons can be kind of harmful. But it’s great that you’re already aware of it.

    Also super random, but I’ve seen your old posts about Fort Bridger Rendezvous. My family goes every year! I keep hoping one of these times I’ll run in to you.

  93. Nashali

    My boyfriend is a twin and although him and his twin are no longer identical, they were when they were babies. The best way I tell them apart in the rare moments isn’t but checking whether one is “chunkier” than the other but their hair because my boyfriend has this one spot on his hairline that has always been there since he was a baby and even though he tries to cover it now, it’s still there. Also, his twin brother had a different hairline than he did. I don’t think that’s anythinv that would ever affect them when growing up. They may have visibly different hair texture when they get older, one may be a little curly one may not, who knows. Another way is by when they smile. Although identical I’m a firm believer in that every single persons smile is different. All beautiful but all different in they’re own way.

  94. Katie McNeill

    My second daughter, Greta, is almost the exact same age as your Eleanor. When she was almost 6, we had our third baby, a girl. I remember Greta telling me that her legs are chubby. It shocked me until I realized that chubby legs were an amazing compliment in her mind! It made me laugh.
    It’s tough balancing out families and making sure everyone gets what they need.

  95. Jessica

    My husband is an identical twin (and we grew up together so you could say we were close). He thought it was good that they always shared aa room, there was a time they would compete and were compared a lot and making them share rooms forced them to learn to love each other and be best friends despite crazy teenage years. His parents pushed them together a lot when they were younger and didn’t allow for individuality. If one wanted to do a sport and the other one didn’t they had to agree if they were going to do it or not. I think this resulted in one becoming the trouble maker and the other the peace maker because of lack of individuality, so they always had to go together to activities and friends parties in fear of the trouble maker doing something bad and because they knew the peace maker was going to have good friends. Give them every oppertunity to be the best of friends but let them be different because they are two different spirits with two different missions God wants them to accomplish. But they need that friendship to accomplish them. That is what we have learned. He couldn’t have done his “mission” with out the support and love of his twin and vice versa. Lastly they let the school class thing happen naturally. Sometimes they were in the same class and sometimes they weren’t. I thought that was good.

  96. Kaitlynn Motley

    I have a twin sister who is my absolute best friend. Your girls are in for such a special connection that will last forever and through whatever distance. We never minded being called “the twins” or “the girls”, I personally liked it.

    There are certainly things that were hard or bothersome: always being asked “which one are you” by acquaintances, and constantly being reduced to your identifier such as “the blonde one”. Within our family, we did deal with quite a bit of comparison that was frustrating at the time (especially as a teenager), but wounds have faded with time as we’ve grown into our own persons. I feel these things are inevitable and it already sounds like you are taking steps to mitigate them, which will only benefit your daughters.

    My sister and I always did sports together, had the same group of friends throughout high school, and went to school together up until the end of college. One thing I wish we had been encouraged to do earlier on was do things separately — I’m talking as early as elementary school. As I got older and was increasingly without my twin, I realized that I’d never learned how to make friends because she had always been there. I never minded us having the same friends, but when it came to making friends on my own, I didn’t know how to form strong friendships.

    Overall, being a twin has been a wonderful experience. I have had a best friend and family wherever I go and can’t imagine a different life. I loved reading this post and know that your girls will be just fine, no matter what.

  97. Liz Romney

    My twin nieces were born two months and I’d never even considered half of the things you shared. Thank you for opening my eyes and sharing your thoughts. I won’t be calling them “the twins” anymore :)
    (My dad is also a twin and now I’m curious how he felt growing up! I’ll be asking him next time I see him).

  98. Liz Romney

    **two months ago

  99. Taylor Hughes

    Hi! My name is Taylor and I am a twin! I love being a twin. It is such a special way to experience life. My twin brother and I as adults still retain a special bond of brotherly friendship that is hard to describe. Your fears and questions are valid. A lot of the issues you talk about in the post are real obstacles twins gave in the world. People naturally compared my brother and I a lot growing up. Much of the time it is inevitable. What made ALL the difference is that my parents supported me and my brother in whatever we wanted to do, and whatever our talents are. In high school, I did theatre, dance, and art. My brother did Football, baseball, and wrestling. I was always an avid reader. My parents always made both of us feel that we were both loved and valued. I am so grateful for that. As adults it has continued. I came out as gay, and my brother is straight. My parents love and support us both in both of those realities and identities. I have NO DOUBT you and Josh will be wonderful parents. I have followed your blog for a long time and have loved seeing your family’s journey. I am moving to NYC in a couple weeks and am excited to also share in your love of that marvelous city. Thanks for your shining examples of parenthood.

    Love

    Taylor

  100. Ruth

    I have a twin sister and you are absolutely on the right track by not referring to them as the twins and shutting down physical comparisons. Both of those areas were such a struggle growing up. My sister and I are now wonderful friends as adults, it’s an amazing bond!