‘They are blessed to have 2 mamas’

The Bella Twins open up about motherhood. (Photo: Getty Images; designed by Quinn Lemmers)

The Bella Twins open up about motherhood. (Photo: Getty Images; designed by Quinn Lemmers)

Welcome to So Mini Ways, Yahoo Life’s parenting series on the joys and challenges of childrearing.

Nikki and Brie Bella — best known to WWE fans as The Bella Twins — have taken being identical twins to the next level. They’ve wrestled together, starred in a reality show (E!’s Total Bellas) together and have launched multiple product lines together, the latest of which is a collaboration with the stroller and baby accessories brand Colugo, which has just appointed them as creative advisors. 

Now, the wrestling duo is parenting together. In 2020, they each announced their pregnancies on the same day. On Aug. 1, Brie — already a mom to daughter Birdie, now 4, with husband Bryan Danielson (a.k.a. wrestler Daniel Bryan) — welcomed son Buddy, just one day after sister Nikki became a first-time mom to son Matteo, whose father is her fiancé, Dancing with the Stars pro Artem Chigvintsev.

Raising babies side by side is a natural next move for the twins. Here, they open up about their new mama-minded line and why even their kids struggle to tell them apart sometimes. 

What are you each loving most about motherhood right now?

Brie: I’m loving seeing Birdie as an older sister. She’s so sweet and helpful. I just love watching her and Buddy play and cuddle.

Nikki: I love Matteo’s milestones. Every day is an adventure and he learns or does something new. He makes my life so complete.

With babies so close in age, do you find it hard to avoid comparing their milestones, personalities and so on?

Brie: It’s interesting because I’m a twin and I’ve been compared my whole life to Nicole. I try not to do that with the boys. Instead, we acknowledge their strengths. Matteo definitely talks more than Buddy, and Buddy pulls himself up and tries to walk. The one thing that is the same is their teeth— they always grow at the same time!

Nikki: We definitely do [compare]. We are always like, “Matteo did this,” “Oh, Buddy did this too,” etc. [Personality-wise], the boys are already so different! Matteo is our lover, and Buddy is our fighter.

Nikki, you’ve been candid about experiencing postpartum depression. What has helped you get through it?

Nikki: Time, therapy, acceptance and admitting I needed help. I had to learn to let go of what I couldn’t control, and realize I couldn’t do it all on my own — that needing help didn’t make me a bad mother. Once I accepted that I needed the people around me, it made me so much healthier.

Brie, you’ve proudly shown off your “treasure marks.” Do you feel there’s too much pressure for new moms to “bounce back” after giving birth?

Brie: I definitely feel there’s too much pressure to bounce back. For some reason, social media makes you feel like you always need to be your best self. I wanted other women to know that the journey of losing baby weight is hard and that I am right there with them on the battle, [dealing with] the insecurities and the pressure. I call my stretch marks treasure marks because I was tired of looking at them as a negative, instead of as a positive. Birdie and Buddy created those and they are my everything!

How would you describe your parenting styles? Do you share the same approach?

Brie: We are very much alike. We are a lot like how our mother was. We are protective, but give freedom. We love hard and love having our children with us all the time. Nutrition and nature is really key for us to give our children. I love that we have lived the same and see life the same.

Nikki: Brie would say I am more strict, which I guess I am. I feel that’s just being a new mom. Overall, though, we are so alike in how we believe we should raise our child, which makes it so nice. From eating, to learning, to sleeping, we see it all the same way.

Stocking up for a new baby can be expensive and overwhelming. As Colugo creative advisors and moms, what were your priorities? Were there any real-life issues that you wanted to problem-solve with the collection?

Brie: The On The Go Organizer is my favorite thing ever! It allows me to be hands-free, have all the kids’ stuff and it looks fashionable. I take it hiking with me, to the park, the grocery store… and then when I’m strolling Buddy, it snaps on perfectly. I also have to say our Compact Stroller is amazing for the busy mom. I’m always out and about and this stroller doesn’t take up space in the trunk: It’s lightweight, so it’s easy to take in and out of cars and it’s so easy to open. A mother’s dream stroller!

Has being a twin affected how you plan to parent? Is there something that annoyed you growing up that you’ve vowed to avoid?

Brie: Growing up as a twin, I was constantly looking compared to Nicole, from our athletic ability and grades in school to our looks and weight. The one thing I know is that I’ll never do that with my kids. They will be their own person and, my guess, have different likes and strengths. I’ll never compare their abilities or pace of growing. We all grow and learn differently and I’ll always rejoice that with them.

Nikki: Definitely being a twin hasn’t affected how I parent. If anything, it’s a huge plus for our kids because it’s almost like having two moms.

Finally, have your kids ever confused you?

BRIE: Ha! Oh yeah! Yesterday Matteo kept looking at Nicole and [me], confused. Almost like, “Which one is my mommy?” Birdie sometimes will ask me, “Wait, are you Dodo?” I’m like, “I’m your mama!” They are blessed to have two mamas because that’s how we are with each other’s kids.

Nikki: When Brie walked in for the first time in a month, Matteo did a double-take. It was so funny! He kept looking at her like, “You look exactly like Mumma.”

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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