A term originally used to mock the fertility of Irish Catholic families. It refers to siblings born in the same calendar year, or otherwise less than twelve months apart. It references a perception about families of Irish Catholics who may not use birth control (and thus may have children in quicker succession). The phrase originated as a derogatory term associated with Irish immigration to the United States and England in the 1800’s. In modern use, the term is not intended as an insult, but rather a description of siblings born close together.
We are the parents of “Irish twins”. We also seem to be rather fertile Catholics (yes it is possible to get pregnant while fully breastfeeding). Our two daughters were born 11 months and 10 days apart. Which apparently seems to be more common than we think, often people we talk to bring out examples of people they know who are Irish twins.
Life with the two is certainly busy. But not as hard as I thought. I guess when I had moments of stress and thoughts of what life would be like with them when I was pregnant, it was mixed with panic and wonder at how I would juggle two babies. But in thinking about that I didn’t take into account the love for these beautiful babies and all the things they do to brighten your day, and how easy it is to fall into a routine and get used to having two girls to care for.
I’m finding that having them means being very good at multitasking and having my head switched on (to know what needs doing and who needs what at every moment) as well as having good stamina to last the day and whatever situation is thrown at me. But after the exhaustion of pregnancy while looking after a baby , it is so great to have that out of the way and have lots of energy from simply not being pregnant!
There are so many good moments from the earliest days there were kisses from big sister to little sister, now watching big sister try to help, little sister smiling at her big sister and most recently they have started “talking” to each other by humming at each other and answering.
The advantage of having each other is they will both never know any different and will have a playmate and hopefully be close as they grow up. There is no jealousy, Big Rose at first ignored Little Rose, and now just gives her kisses or hugs and otherwise ignores her. I also don’t need to buy clothes for each as they will be the same size and the same time of year one year after the other and can share.
With big sister now walking it makes life so much easier. When she gets into trouble I can lead her by the hand while carrying little sister.
Sure, there are hard times. When they both cry at once it is hard to pacify them both. They are both so young and can’t communicate well. And some days I don’t get a moments break from the moment I get up until the moment they go to bed, as one of them is always up and needing something. Eating is on the go, housework is done with a baby on the hip, and often the best rest is while breastfeeding. I never get a chance to reply to emails, forget totally about text messages I’ve received, and often miss the phone because I can’t get a free hand to answer it. It is making it much easier to curb a facebook addiction when I don’t have the time to look at it!
Time goes so quickly though, and with the girls now aged 2 months and 13 months I’m trying to enjoy every moment while they are so small.
Thank God for a great husband and great friends and extended family to offer a bit of help and support where needed.
I’m loving it and wouldn’t change a thing.