A Mother of Twins Gives Advice to Pregnant Beyoncé

Photo: Awol Erizku

This piece was inspired by an episode of The Cooler, KQED’s weekly pop culture podcast. Give it a listen!


'Twas the first day of February, and the internet was abuzz with chatter about our president’s Black History Month address (obviously a month dedicated to the accomplishments of Black people in America wouldn’t be complete without deep reflection on how the press “demoralizes” Donald J. Trump). Then, along came Beyoncé with the most popular Instagram photo in the world thus far.

On a dreary day pockmarked by willful ignorance of Frederick Douglass, the announcement that the supernova pop star is carrying twins became a sunny contribution that's being recognized more and more. Particularly for me, you see; Bey's announcement was another step toward my certainty that she and I were meant to be BFFs. Allow me to explain:

We’re both Virgos and almost birthday twins

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Beyoncé “Giselle” Knowles Carter was born on September 4, 1981. I was born 364 days later on September 3, 1982. 

We’re practically cousins

"My daddy Alabama, momma Louisiana. You mix that negro with that Creole, make a Texas bama.” As Beyoncé forcefully stated in "Formation," her mother’s people are from Louisiana. My mother’s family? Also from Louisiana.

We both dreamed of stardom at an early age

As a child, Beyoncé performed on Star Search as a member of the hip-hop, rappin' Girls Tyme. As a child, I wanted to be on Star Search (and be a Fly Girl on In Living Color) and performed (in our family living room) as a member of a girl group my cousin and I created. See how the similarities are stacking up?

We decided to start a family in the same year

When Beyoncé was pregnant with Blue Ivy, I was also pregnant with my first child. We could have hosted a joint baby shower! I’ll also add that we’re both working moms, who, after having children, arguably got better and more confident in our respective fields.

We decided to double up

In 2013, my womb decided to bless my husband and me with twins. Ms. Knowles-Carter and her husband are soon to be walking down that same road -- one I know very well.

Given that Beyoncé and I have so much in common, and I have a four-year jump on this new journey into motherhood, I figured I should share a few things I’ve learned as a mother of twins.

beyonce twins gif

KEEP UP DATE NIGHT

According to several studies, parents of twins are more likely to divorce (28 percent, compared to 24 percent of parents of singletons). Many studies cite “financial distress” as a main factor. Money problems seem highly unlikely for the Carters, but it’s still important that the couple keep things gravy in this post-Lemonade phase of their relationship. *cue roses*

BUY ACCESSORIES

When I was carrying twins, I railed against all the modern contraptions people suggested. Eight months in, I sincerely regretted not acquiring a belly harness. My honest suggestion: buy every pregnancy pillow, My Brest Friend and baby swing that will make your life easier. No one will show up with a shiny medal to reward your suffering.

PLAN THE SIBLING INTRODUCTION CAREFULLY

Meeting new people can be stressful! Hell, I know plenty of adults who freak out at the thought of an introduction. Prep your eldest in advance, define their role and let them choose when they want to meet them. We heeded the advice of our nurse and waited to make the introduction once the twins were home. We walked our eldest in the house, asked him if he wanted to meet his new brother and sister, and let him walk into the nursery when he was ready.

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STOP, DROP, AND SLEEP

When they sleep, you sleep. PERIOD. And if possible try to keep them on the same sleep schedule. A sleep deprived mommy is a cranky mommy. Trust me.

ALLOW THEM TO DEVELOP INDIVIDUALLY

The matchy-matchy look is super cute (and believe me, I’m here for mini identically dressed Beyoncés), but if one twin is more dominant than the other, you’ll need to make sure the less dominant twin has an opportunity to develop his or her personality. It’s also important to remember they’ll develop at their own speed. Just because one twin is walking doesn’t mean you should be concerned if the other is barely crawling. Watching twins come of age is life’s way of reminding us of one very important fact: we’re all different.

MOISTURIZE AND PREPARE FOR A LONG LIFE

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Several studies, including one conducted in 1800s Utah, suggest that women who have twins are more likely to live longer than their counterparts. So buckle up, Beyoncé -- it’s possible we’re in for a long ride.

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