Shannon Young is experiencing the rewards and challenges of being a mother of twins.
Young, a volleyball coach at Washougal High School from 2007 to 2009, is now a full time mom and a part time teacher for “IQ Academy WA” online classes offered by the Evergreen School District.
“I love teaching, and this gave me the opportunity to be at home with my kids and still be an educator,” she said.
Young is the mother of Connor and Garret, 27 months.
She said there are many rewards to having children, and having twins allows them to always have a playmate.
“There is twice the fun and excitement to see them experience new things and milestones in their lives,” Young said. “Seeing them laugh and play together is so rewarding to me as a parent. Every time they learn something new is so exciting.”
She and her husband Jon live near the Vancouver-Camas border.
The challenges of parenting twins include spending time with each child individually.
“They really like their alone time with mom and dad, but finding the time and means to do that can be difficult,” Young said. “It is also two of everything — clothes, diapers, food and baths. As most parents know, kids can go through challenging times and having two going through those years at once can be difficult and stressful.”
She said her twins communicate with each other in a “strange language” that only they understand.
“It is so funny to watch them try and speak to other kids in their language,” Young said. “Nobody understands what they are saying. They will sit there and talk with each other and bust up laughing. Obviously they think it is funny. I wish I understood.”
She is a member of the Columbia Mothers of Twins Club, a group that provides friendships and support.
“There are so many moms of all different ages that have a range of advice for common parenting problems,” Young said. “They welcomed me immediately, and we now do tons of things together. This group is of value to any mom of multiples that is looking for a great support group and to meet some wonderful women.”
Activities include having picnics and “mom’s night out,” as well as going to Seattle Mariners games and the Oregon Zoo.
The Columbia Mothers of Twins Club recently hosted a conference for similar clubs throughout the northwest. They included members from Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Alaska and British Columbia.
In addition to a woman portraying a pioneer on the Oregon Trail, conference speakers included a representative from the Clark County Sheriff’s Office who talked about safety in the home and what can be done to deter burglars.
Another speaker asked “What is in your backpack?”
“All three motivated the group to examine your home defenses, count ourselves lucky to be living in the 21st century, and what should be removed from our already cluttered lives to make room for the things in life that really matter,” said Dixie Fuller, conference chairwoman.
She has been a member of the Columbia Mothers of Twins Club for 30 years. Fuller, of La Center, is president of the 53-year-old club and the mother of Justin and Jeffrey, 31.
“I love to organize and participate in the workings of the organizations,” she said. “I’ve been the ways and means ‘chairmom’ for 28 years. I appreciate the friendship and support I’ve had for all these years from these moms, and as the years have rolled by I find that I am friends with their adult children.”
For more information about future meetings and events, contact publicity ‘chairmom’ Sandy Pagel at 573-3318 or visit www.Columbiamothersoftwinsclub.webs.com.