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Cheryl Lage Interview

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Cheryl Lage and her twins
Cheryl Lage and her twins

Author of the real-life diary/guide Twinspiration and blog Twinfatuation.com, Cheryl Lage gave us light-hearted and empathetic responses to our questions about her life as a Mum of boy/girl twins:

We asked Cheryl:

What is your most cherished memory of your twins to date?

Now that our twins are freshly eleven, it’s somewhat challenging to pinpoint a single memory. If you can settle for the first that came to mind, one from their twinfancy does stand out! In those early days, like so many other twin mothers, I was constantly barraged with questions from singleton parents: “Do they speak a twin language?” “Are they each other’s best friend?” As wee babies, they were simply “same age” more than anything mythically “connected.” However, one memorable morning as they were “playing” (more like trying to remain sitting erect!), our She-Twin suddenly hit a pronounced bout of crying/fussing. Without missing a beat, He-Twin extracted the pacifier from his own mouth and inserted it in hers! Instead of an effort to “shut her up,” in person, it very much appeared to be a “Feel better, Sis,” gesture. Since that time, each has often stepped up to assist the other, often when I least expect it. Those instances tend to become my happiest memories of twin parenting.

What was the most important milestone for your twins when you felt life was becoming a little bit easier?

Hands down, as soon as they began sleeping upwards of 6 consecutive hours a night!

What do you think is the hardest thing about being a parent of twins?

Just last week I contemplated this for a friend who’d asked the very same thing! On a very cursory level, and in order: 1.) the sleepless weeks of newborns 2.) simultaneous potty training (yes, I know we didn’t have to do it simultaneously, but I preferred twice the duress, half the time!) and now with older twins 3.) science fair projects due the same day! On a more emotional level, the unavoidable division of maternal attention between same age, similarly demanding children.

What’s the best thing about being a twin parent?

Clichéd though it may sound, there is never, ever a dull moment; and while “double trouble” is bandied about, truly, double the fun is more applicable!

What’s the silliest thing a stranger has asked you about your twins?

Our twins are a boy and a girl and yet we—as do most parents of boy-girl combos—got the “Are they identical?” question incessantly, even when dressed VERY gender specifically.  More than a silly thing asked, one silly thing said sticks out in my mind. Our twins are uber-fraternal, and our son has long-outsized our daughter. One day in the cashier line with my then twin toddlers, a fellow shopper asked, “How much older is your son?” Clearly our two were developmentally synchronized, but differently sized! We were asked that question often, and I always took delight in responding, “Seven minutes!” On this one occasion however, when I replied with my predictable “Seven minutes,” answer, the asker was surprisingly angry, and declared forcefully, “But they are NOT twins!” I assured her, with a smile, that despite their visible differences, most assuredly, they were indeed twins. Whereupon she huffed, “They certainly are NOT!” At that point, I was happy for the cashier’s request for payment and to leave the store!

Are your twin’s personalities alike or ‘chalk & cheese’?

Our twins share tremendous camaraderie, but given “alike” or “chalk & cheese,” it’s “chalk & cheese!”

How did your working life change as a result of having twins?

When my husband and I married, we discussed how we always planned to have one parent “stay-home” when we decided to become parents. That’s exactly what we did….we purchased our home modestly, knowing that was the plan.  However, with the decision to write the book, freelance writing from home for numerous parenting websites became an unexpected—and welcome—source of supplemental income.

What inspired you to write your book?

Twinspiration Real Life Advice from Pregancy to First Year by Cheryl Lage
Twinspiration by Cheryl Lage

As soon as we learned we would be greeting not one, but two babies as our first child/children, I rushed to the bookstore to bolster myself with twin preparation material. To my chagrin, in 2001, there were pitiful few supportive books out there. Most were medically composed tomes of pregnancy and delivery complications and then psychological challenges of raising same-aged siblings. What I desperately sought was an “everymom” recounting of one experienced mom’s experience….told with honesty and positivity and humor. When I realized the huge vacuum on the shelves, my husband and I together decided to share our tales of twin pregnancy and first days.

Can you summarise your book in a few sentences?

Originally, the subtitle of Twinspiration was “A Double Dose of Motivation and Encouragement from a Mom Who’s Been There.” While I love the subtitle the publisher suggested (“Real-Life Advice from Pregnancy through the First Year”), think the originally submitted subtitle is perhaps more accurate! From breastfeeding two, to finding a workable schedule, to maintaining healthy communication with your parenting partner (if there is one in the picture), to excusing yourself for what others may view as “shortcomings,” my fondest hope is that Twinspiration serves as a “pep talk” for plural parents and parents-to-be.

How does your book differ from other books about twins?

Borne from what we had hoped for in a book when we were twin-expecting, I think Twinspiration is far more candid, “real” and encouraging than the bulk of twin-parenting texts out there. We composed it WHILE we were living those early days, so our experience wasn’t dulled by the passage of time….everything is unabashedly shared!

What is the one thing you would say to someone who has just found they are having twins?

After the immediate and heartfelt, “I’m so jealous!”, I usually encourage the expecting multiples mama-to-be to take good care of herself, take lots of pictures and consider starting a blog to document her own experience. Of course I also suggest they pick-up a paper copy or download an e-Book of Twinspiration: Real-Life Advice from Pregnancy through the First Year! When meeting folks expecting twins in real-life, I always give them my email address and the URL of my blog, Twinfatuation.com.  The internet has been such a blessing for the sharing of information amongst those parenting multiples….case-in-point, our connection! For those expecting twins now, I wish you a happy and healthy meeting with your twosome, and ENJOY them!

Designed For Twins would like to thank Cheryl for making us laugh and smile whilst sharing her ‘very familiar’ life stories of being a Mum of twins!

Want to find out more about Cheryl Lage?

You can email Cheryl on cheryl@twinsights.com

Follow Cheryl on Twitter https://twitter.com/Twinfatuation

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