Jessi Cruickshank: What I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Had My Twins
Stars: They’re just like us! Getting a chance to hear what CBC star Jessi Cruickshank has to say about being a Twin Mom was refreshing and fun for us because she has no problem telling it like it is when it comes to motherhood. From letting the kids crawl around on dirty floors to learning to be patient with herself, and even the importance of bringing snacks with you everywhere, here’s what Jessi has discovered about being a mom of twins.
1. What is the most annoying question you get asked about your twins?
“Are they TWINS?” I swear I must get asked this 5-10 times a day. I don’t mind answering “Yep! Identical twins!” because I still think it’s pretty cool and generally the person asking does too. But often they’ll follow up with “a boy and a girl?” and I’ll have to explain again that identical twins are the same gender, that Rio is a boy and that we put his hair in a ponytail because it is out of control and I’m too afraid to cut it.
2. What was the biggest fear you had going into twin motherhood?
The TWIN part! I never imagined we would have twins. I wanted one baby that I could travel back and forth with, from LA to Toronto, just an adorable little accessory to my busy bi-coastal lifestyle. Then we found out it was twins. Which was the SCARIEST DAY OF MY LIFE. I didn’t know twins, I didn’t have twins in my family, my only frame of reference for twins were the Olsen twins movies I owned as a kid on VHS. I was afraid of the workload, of cultivating two identities, of being able to tell them apart….EVERYTHING.
3. What is the number one myth about having twins that you’d like to debunk?
A lot of people seem to think that having twins must be easier because they just play with each other. Sure, they do play with each other but that doesn’t mean I can just give them a ball and go get a manicure. Having twins is exactly like having two babies. At the same time. Everything you do with one baby – feeding, changing, dressing, playing, bathing – you have to do all over again with another one. I’m just lucky that these are my first babies, so I honestly don’t know any better.
4. What do you wish someone had told you before you had your twins?
I sought out a LOT of advice – I joined twin clubs, I befriended twin parents, I went to twin classes and read twin books – I was told a lot about the hard stuff, but I don’t think anyone really told me about the GOOD stuff. I wish someone had told me mid-pregnancy, that all the complications, stress and anxiety was going to be worth it – because having identical twins is the most unbelievably special thing in the world. The way they have these two distinct little personalities, but also share this deep bond with each other, is so incredible to watch. I never wanted twins, but now I wouldn’t have it any other way.
5. What is your twin-mom must-have (either for yourself or for your kids)?
Places to put them! You will ALWAYS be looking for a safe place to put down one baby, so you can attend to the other one, so arm yourself with boppys and dock-a-tots and bumbos and swings and jumpers and playmats. Whatever works for you. We registered for one boppy, by the time the boys were a month-old we had every apparatus ever invented for holding babies in every room of our house.
6. What is your biggest tip to new moms?
Be kind to yourself. You just birthed a HUMAN CHILD. You. Are. Superhuman. Now, all you can do is your best. If it’s not what you had hoped for, or imagined, be patient and be forgiving with yourself. As moms, we put so much pressure on ourselves to be perfect. Try to let that go and know that your baby loves you for you, no matter how much you breastfeed, how organic your purees are or how long its been since you showered.
7. What have you learned about yourself after having twins?
I am way more relaxed than I EVER thought I would be as a mom. There is something about having two baby boys that has really forced me to let it all go. When there is one of me and two of them, I simply can’t do it all, and a lot of the time, I just have to make it work. The other week my boys were squealing and squirming in their stroller at Ikea, so I did the one thing I thought I would never let them do—crawl on the dirty cement floor. They loved it and yes, they survived.
8. What’s your best tip for travelling with twins?
Oh god. The last time I travelled with my twins I let them crawl down the aisle and one got stuck under a row of seats while I was paying attention to the other one. The flight attendant had to ‘evacuate’ 6 people from their seats so she could extract him. So…. don’t do that.
I would say snacks. Bring LOTS of snacks. And if you can get a row with an empty seat in it, sneak on a car seat! If you are holding twins, no one will dare stop you. Having a place to put one will SAVE you.
9. Why was the partnership with the NEW JOHNSON’S a good fit for you and your family?
I was weeks away from having two babies and I realized I didn’t really know what I was doing. I was shopping for baby stuff and I felt completely and utterly overwhelmed until I went down the bath aisle and I saw a row of JOHNSON’S baby products. They were the same JOHNSON’S products my mom used with me, in the same yellow bottles with the same JOHNSON’S font and for the first time since finding out I was having twins, I felt relieved. It was the one thing that I knew. So, when JOHNSON’S approached me about a partnership, it was a natural fit.
By the way, I still don’t know what I’m doing, I barely know which twin is which most of the time, but now that the JOHNSON’S products I know and love are made with simpler formulas and more natural ingredients, I am confident that when I bathe my babies with JOHNSON’S … I am doing something right.