When you approach a “DETOUR” sign when driving, do you get apprehensive? I do. I hate the feeling of not knowing where I am, and inevitably it seems, the gas light comes on.

When I found out I was having a second baby very shortly after giving birth to my first, there I was in front of a massive “DETOUR” sign, with no idea where this new route with Irish twins would take me.

What are Irish twins, you ask? Having two babies in under 12 months makes you not exactly a twin mom in the literal sense, but it’s close enough. Just ask a mom who has raised or is raising two under two.

Here’s a little roadside assistance, should you embark on the journey of Irish twins yourself:

1. Your consecutive pregnancies will rival the gestation period of an elephant.

I birthed two humans in a span of 19 months. Google tells me elephants are pregnant 18-22 months (whoa). But when it’s over, those cold cuts in the Italian sub you devour in your hospital bed will be phenomenal.

2. You will hear the words “Looks like you have your hands full” everywhere you go.

If I had a quarter for every time someone says this to me as I push along my double stroller, my kids would be all set for college. It’s not mean-spirited or anything, it just gets said A LOT. My husband encounters this too. Sometimes, his response is to look down at his (empty) hands and feign confusion.

3. People will want you to get personal.

Some people crave TMI. Complete strangers will feel no shame in asking you if you planned this pregnancy and a slew of other inappropriate questions. It’s none of their business, so don’t say anything that makes you uncomfortable.

RELATED: Yes, We Had a Lot of Kids and It’s Great

4. There are definite benefits—think diapers.

Theoretically, your kids could be potty training at the same time or pretty close together (I’m really hoping this comes to fruition in my case). So unless you have another child later on, this means you’re done with diapers forever in a shorter period of time.

5. Your babies will be built-in best friends for life.

Don’t feel guilty about your first baby not getting you all to himself for very long. Your kids will never remember a time without each other, and when you think about that, that’s a pretty awesome gift.

No matter how scared you are in the beginning, no matter how little confidence you have that you can handle (gasp) two kids under one . . . you can—and having Irish twins will be worth it. Remember, even when the road leads you to a detour, eventually you still end up right where you’re supposed to be.

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Hilary Gately

Wife and working mom of Irish twins (human) and an 80-pound furbaby (canine). I like listening to Queen, eating eggplant parm, and wishing it was still the '80s.

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