Most would agree that raising kids is never easy, but for many parents, the joy is doubled thanks to having multiples.
“Being the mom of twins is one of the greatest blessings I have every received,” said Regina Waller, mom to 18-year-olds Rachel Alexandria and Richard Anthony. “The best part about raising multiples is that I got to experience each phase with both a son and a daughter.”
Birmingham native Andrea Joiner Oliver, mom to six-year-olds Daryl Jr. and John Robert and four-year-olds Aidan and Averi, agrees parenting multiples is a blessing. “I have two sets of twins, and often I am asked how I do it,” she said. “God allows me to see that they are my reward and doesn’t allow me to see all the work so I won’t be discouraged. I enjoy them and love them unconditionally. I have more happy times than hard times. I thank God for choosing me to be their mother.”
Even though multiples share the same birthdates, for many parents, that’s where the similarities end.
“They are fascinating to watch,” said Melanie Glover, mom to 14-year-olds Cameron and Colin. “Just seeing their personalities although they share the same birthday—shared the same womb space—is amazing. They are like two sides of one coin. When they were younger, they would sleep in the same positions without even realizing it.”
Despite their differences, the closeness of multiples is unmatched.
“The best part of raising multiples is watching them interact daily and hearing them repeat the things that my husband and I have taught them. Also, watching how intense their love is for one another. They work as a team and know that they are each other’s best friends,” Oliver said.
Added Waller, “It did give me a certain level of comfort when they started school that they had each other. I would always say, ‘If you don’t make a friend, you take a friend.’ It’s a little less stressful as a mom when they approach new situations together.”
Even as they grow older, there is still some measure of stress. For Glover, it’s making sure she is being fair and equal. “It can be exhausting trying to make sure you’re balancing their needs,” she said.
The balancing act often spills over to meals.
“My least favorite part is mealtime. That’s when one says I wanted this or I wanted that,” Oliver said. “I tell them what the chef cooks is the meal, so eat up.”
For all parents, raising multiples is a work in progress.
“Throughout the years, the only thing that has remained the same about my twins is their age. It was wonderful and at the same time challenging balancing each phase—from the toddler years through the teen years. I can honestly say that every day has been an adventure,” Waller said.
For parents embarking on the journey, Waller adds, “Relax, enjoy and make wonderful memories because they grow up fast.”