Cheryl Lage is a freelance writer/editor, part-time video post-producer, and full-time wife and mom to teenage twins. Cheryl lives with her family in Richmond, Virginia. When she’s not working or expounding on the adventures of twin parenting, she’s a volunteer guide at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, is active in her church and book club, but above all else, prefers basking in leisurely time with her husband and twins. Learn more about Cheryl and her family by visiting her blog, Twinfatuation.com.
How old are your twins?
“As impossible as it is to comprehend, our twins are fifteen! FIFTEEN! In some ways it feels like they were just born; and in others, as though they’ve been “big-kids” forever. Our She-Twin just got her learner’s permit to drive. He-Twin did not. The tribulations and triumphs of twin parenting do continue into teen-dom.”
What made you decide to write your first book about twins?
“When we learned we were expecting not one, but two babies, immediately I ran to seek out books and resources on twin pregnancy and early parenting. Sadly, in 2001, there were soooo few, and the ones that were “out there” were replete with horror stories and medical/psychological causes for concern – times two. All I really wanted was a detailed, no-holds-barred, first-hand account – something upbeat and positive about how life with double newborns could be navigated, and maybe even fun! When we never found that book, my husband – who was disappointed to find nothing for double daddies-to-be on the shelves – and I decided to fill the vacuum.”
When did you find time to write?
“Interestingly enough, I basically just started by keeping a lot of loose notes. Whenever a situation arose in which I was surprised, or concerned, or joyful, or that was completely unique to a multiples pregnancy, I noted it – and how I felt while it was fresh in my mind. The twin-related books we read all seemed to have been written well after the authors’ pregnancies and toddler-dom with twins – leaving out many of the details about which we were most curious.”
What is the most important advice you have for a pregnant twin mom today?
“Be merciful and loving to yourself – physically and emotionally. No matter what the moment brings, the grace and care you allow yourself benefits those two babies growing inside you. Don’t push yourself too hard. It’s only nine months… uncomfortable at times absolutely, but finite.”
The second edition of your book is published. Can you tell us a little about it?
“The second edition of Twinspiration retains the bulk of content from the first, but updates things a smidge. For instance, when the first edition was published, blogging your pregnancy and children’s early lives wasn’t commonplace at all – now I’d heartily recommend keeping an electronic, or handwritten, document for your memories’ sake. Trust me, you may think you can and will remember all the details, but sleep-deprivation takes a toll! Likewise, the pervasiveness and ease of smartphone use makes grabbing imagery of your little ones’ moments a recommended breeze. In addition to the technology advancement updates in the new edition, we’ve added some worthwhile additional content: Our responses to questions most-asked, thoughts on toilet training toddler twins, and some essayed glimpses of life with twins beyond that first year (where the first edition concluded).”
What is your most important advice to moms who have twins?
“Please try to laugh at your multiples-raising mistakes… but be sure to learn from them; and by all means, be flexible with – and forgiving of – yourself, your partner, and your twins.”
What do you love least about being a twin mom?
“Our twins are our only two children. In the “tougher” twin raising times* my husband coined the phrase, “Two and Through.” In those instances, we might have double the duress temporarily, but then we’d not have to confront that parenting challenge again. Now, that our twins are growing older, “Two and Through” strikes as a bit more nostalgic than reassuring… last day of elementary school, last visit from the tooth fairy, last party at Chuck E. Cheese. My man’s mantra used to be heartening, now it’s more heart wrenching.”
* For instance the sleep-deprived nights of two newborns, potty training x 2, science fair projects due the same day, etc.
What do you love most about being a twin mom?
“At the time we first composed Twinspiration, I’d have answered this question by citing the gift of twice the adorable, twice the milestones, twice the all-around joy.
Now, with our twins as young teens, what I love most is seeing their undeniable connection, unflinching support, and genuine love for each other. They’ve got personalities and talents all their own; but via their twin-birth, and same-age, someone always has their back – at what can be a very tough range of time socially/developmentally. Raising teen twins isn’t without difficulties, but like those early tw-infancy days, the blessings by far outweigh the challenges.”