Letter: Rich rewards for parents of twins

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The Independent Online
Sir: I would not want expectant mothers of twins to be too depressed after reading Ruth Picardie's article (7 August). Twins certainly change your life, but so does any excursion into parenthood.

My own identical girls are now 10 and they have been a joy and a challenge since their birth. I can remember sitting with my husband in the hospital canteen having a "last" meal before taking them home, and reflecting on the quote "the condemned ate a hearty breakfast".

We progressed through the early days of desperately trying to breast feed both and ending up with the sensible compromise of breast at alternate feeds during the day but definitely a bottle each for the night feed, and a bottle of Guinness for me! We passed on through the fascinating spectacle of the girls alternately being the "leader" of the pair, and then on to rotas for who sits on Mummy's lap, who has their hair washed first, who has first pick of the hand-me-down clothes etc.

The rewards of parenthood are double for the parents of twins. It is all certainly hard work, but support is always there from the health visitors at the beginning; through neighbours and friends (even if Granny no longer lives round the corner); through the local twins' club (a branch of TAMBA, the Twins and Multiple Birth Association, always a rich source of practical and moral support); and through teachers, for whom twins always hold fascination.

Parents of twins will learn to compromise, prioritise, not worry about the non-essentials in life, and emerge hopefully intact as a family with two children who, possibly because they have to fight for your attention, value it all the more and become your loving friends. A rich reward indeed.

VALERIE NEWMAN

Horsham West Sussex

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