You Know How Children Are Made, Right? Irish Twins | The Beginning | by LaurenCop

Irish twins? Are those siblings with red hair? Have Irish backgrounds? Born on the same day? These are siblings who blessed their mothers by being born within a year of each other. Oh, well, how often does this happen you may be thinking – more than you would think. On average 33.1% of women have their second child within 18th months of their first birth.

Being a mother to Irish Twins – Viv and Noli – is a unique parenting experience. I wish I was one of those mothers who LOVED every second of being a mother; but I am not. I struggle sometimes every day, week, month. There were many times I didn’t know who I was, what I needed, or what my children needed. I couldn’t even describe to my wonderful husband, mother, MIL, or SIL what I needed. I was utterly lost and completely in survival mode the moment I realized I was pregnant with Noli. Now don’t get me wrong I LOVE my children and a majority of the time I LOVE being their mother! They have filled my life with more love than I knew could exist. But motherhood is tough; and being a brand new mother with another on the way can be daunting!

2015-08-08_Vivian_Noli_Watermarked{Vivian and Noli | Pic by my husband, Andrew Carlisle}

So here is my very brief overview about the beginning of being a Mother to Irish Twins and some tips and encouragement on how to survive…

Your body – Your body is super human! Many mothers would sell all they have just to have one child and now your body is in hyper drive and pumping them out one after another!! No, you will not have lost that first set of baby weight and yes, you will gain more. Never has your body been more beautiful; you get to keep that glow, ‘cute’ belly, luscious hair, and no monthly visitors. You can and will get back to feeling comfortable about your body – but right now it needs to focus on growing this child and getting your hormones back together post-partum. Also if your body was like mine you may have super powers in the delivery room and your second birth could be 10% the labor time of your first!

{Click Image or HERE for Original Source}

Your first child – It can be so hard to cherish your first in the end of your second pregnancy when hormones are raging, you’re tired, and SO uncomfortable. You are so worried about missing time with your first and making sure they are ready for another sibling. What’s great about 12 month and under kids – they love unconditionally and they adapt. You will not cause abuse by putting on some TV so you can take a nap, nurse #2, or change a diaper. Sometimes just a quick story and special craft is all you need to make your #1 feel special again. Practice those moments as often as you can before #2 is born – it will help set the routine. It is ok to let #2 cry for a moment while you attend to #1. You can do it!! You are super human remember – and your precious first born will see it too! Here are my quick tips of distraction when #2 first comes home and your help has left….

  • Read a book or watching TV during nursing time. This way you can have a discussion and some quality time with both of your children at the same time.
  • Allow #1 to help in whatever small way you can think of – bringing an item (pacifier, diaper, wipes, blanket, toys etc…), holding baby’s hand while changing diapers, singing a song to help calm the sibling, holding a bottle– this may not always work, but it will help you feel not so alone and allow your oldest to learn how to interact with their new sibling. They can also help you with chores like sorting the laundry, emptying the dishwasher, dusting, swiffering, or even cooking (more to come on toddler cooking in a future blog post).
  • Mimicking what Mommy is doing with a doll baby and, in turn, teaching how to play with the baby. Practicing soft touch, feeding, comforting, and playing can all be practiced on the doll baby before moving on to the real deal.
  • Quiet time activities – sticking objects on contact paper; bowls with rice, beans, flour, or ice with some measuring spoons, cups, and small toys; coloring/painting; stickers; sorting pom poms; playing with cooked spaghetti; and play dough. All of these activities can be done in a high chair and potentially outside. Yes they may create a mess – but if it’s outside all it takes is a quick rinse of the hose! If nothing else Pinterest will certainly fill your head with millions of ideas!

BabyViv_Watermarked{Baby Viv | Pic by my SIL LAC}

Your mind pre-pregnancy #2 – It can be hard to wrap your head around the fact that you will be doing this with 2 in less than a year! Try not to think that far in advance. You will NOT have 2 newborns (i.e. twins) so it’s really hard to actually prepare for what is to happen. Your hormones are raging more than before so quite frankly you aren’t thinking the most rationally. I remember waking my mother up at 3am (husband was out of town) panicked that #1 was still not sleeping thru the night and what am I going to do with 2 babies around! A) Thanks Mom for not killing me for that; B) Viv still doesn’t sleep thru the night and we make due and C) You cannot control what is going on or predict what is going to happen. Try to let things happen as they may. (My biggest obstacle in life.) Remember Moms you are super human now and you WILL survive! It may not be pretty – but don’t let those pregnancy hormones take over your brain like some alien abductor. Plan, make lists, do what you can and all will come together eventually.

{Click Image or HERE for Original Source}

Your mind post-partum – Well you may have thought you lost if before – but once #2 arrives you are in a free fall. It is complete survival mode now. Hey, there are still cloths in the drawers – laundry can wait. There is left overs in the fridge – you don’t need to cook. You need a nap – put on some TV. Don’t be afraid to get creative with what you need to accomplish. Once you figure out a daily routine that can work around nap and feeding times, life will become more manageable. You may feel a loss of identity life I did. Before children I had a career, social life, and was confident. Post baby most of those things went away – I became a SAHM, friends stopped calling, and I was a mopey, overweight, lazy, whiney and overall unhappy. I became one of those people that I judge and quite frankly can’t stand! Once I started having some ‘me’ time (going to the gym, play dates, and continuing my coaching career) I began to feel more human. I look at my children and how much they love and need me – and I feel my super human self come back to life! It is ok and normal to have all of these feelings – but never give up!

{Click Image or HERE for Original Source}

Your second child – Just perfect! That is how I feel about my newborns anyway – they are just perfect! However, there were times I felt resentment towards my sweet Noli. I hated still not sleeping; missing my relationships with my husband, Viv, and friends; having no ‘me’ time; and my body being so beaten up. But looking in my sweet child’s face and seeing how much she loves and needs me makes those feelings pale in comparison to the love I have for this precious girl. Having that second child is such a blessing and now that I am finally coming up for air (it takes about a year to be honest) – I can finally really appreciate just how wonderful having Irish Twins can be! #2 will always want to follow and do what #1 is doing. Show them how to work together, and that they don’t always have to have the same things to be ‘fair’. These life lessons will set them up for success in their future and also have a loving sibling relationship.

BabyNoli_LMC_Watermarked{Viv at BARELY 1 Year, Noli newborn | Photo from my MIL Lesa Carlisle}

Your local peanut gallery – In case you didn’t know – people can be SO RUDE to expecting mothers and mothers in general. Dear world… it is NEVER ok to comment on another’s body or ask a total stranger/non best friend about their sex life PERIOD!! Mothers of Irish twins: get ready, for it can be harder for you. I have heard – “Was she planned?” “You know how children are made right?” “Oh and your pregnant with number 3?” (I am still fighting this one daily – I have not been able to leave my house in 3 years without someone thinking I am pregnant. And I have lost about half of my pregnancy weight. Talk about mental abuse!) “You aren’t going to have more are you” “You must be having twins” “You are going to pop any second” and the list goes on… I don’t feel ashamed when people tell me these things anymore – instead I give a quick honest response while also letting them know that these comments are not ok, ever. I wish I could say that most of the time these comments come from men – but they don’t which is appalling. Women should treat each other better. Please remember your body is super human and people are dumb!

{Click Image or HERE for Original Source}

Living Creatively – As a mother of Irish Twins you are in a creative worm hole! Everything you do has to be done in a different manner – getting into the car, feeding children, going on trips, going shipping, potty training ect.. If you cannot think outside the box, you will survive but it won’t be easy. You cannot do what mothers of one can do – they only have 1 nap and feeding schedule after all. You cannot do what mothers of twins do – they have the same schedule for 2 children. You cannot do what mothers of multiples do because they usually have one child old enough that can take care of themselves in some fashion. You MUST think outside the box and get creative. Overall, it took me about a year to feel comfortable with being a mother of Irish twins. Although I still have my good and bad days – the bad days are much further apart. Hang in there Mamas; you are not alone, you are amazing, and you will get through this!


I hope I have given you some encouragement and thoughts on how to do so. I plan on expanding how I live as a creative parent in future blog posts so make sure you stay tuned, and check out all the other lovely creative lifestyle tips from The Olive Shoe.


Lauren Cop is a SAHM (Stay At Home Mom) of Irish Twins by day and coaches Volleyball and Track in her “me time”. A Clemson fanatic, alumni and general sports enthusiast. She loves reading, gardening, food, and traveling. Follow her Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

The Olive Shoe | Paperie & Design | Celebrating Creativity and Creatively Celebrating is designed and run by Lauren {LAC} James © 2015 LAC James All Rights Reserved.

Lauren James is a Sr. Designer of Product Graphics for an international manufacturing company by day and a creativity crusader, designer, planner extraordinaire, artist and blogger in her “free” time. Follow her and The Olive Shoe on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram! Please subscribe to receive emails, of course, come back and visit again soon!

Please visit the online art gallery {Art by LAC} and Etsy Shop too!

Why are all the photos of the kiddos watermarked? Why should you think about watermarking pictures you take of your children before you post them on your own blog?


  1. Loved your article Lauren! Sums up my first 2 years as a mom. 😉 It’s amazing how lonely the first years are. That’s something no one ever talked to me about before I jumped in the rabbit hole.


  2. Thank you for this! I just found out I’m 6 weeks pregnant & my daughter is 10 weeks old. I’ve been freaking out! I go back to work next week. Meh. So I guess I’m not going to lose this extra 20 lbs either, lol? Wish me luck!


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