When my husband and I got to know that we are going to be the parents of twins, it took some time to wrap our head around this fact! We were excited and nervous at the same time.
It was a difficult pregnancy. I got diagnosed with Gestational diabetes. I had to inject insulin 4 times a day in my last trimester. I was admitted to the hospitals several times in my final weeks. I was on complete bed rest in my last trimester.
But, all seemed worth it when our boys came into this world during the Christmas of 2015 :)
It was a normal delivery so physically I was in no pain after the delivery. But, very soon we figured out that the days and nights are going to be more difficult than it was during the pregnancy.
They are now 3 years old, highly energetic toddlers!
Surviving toddler is a great achievement but surviving twin toddler is nothing less than winning a battle. Each day comes with some new challenges and the only option you have is to take on the challenge and give your best shot. Sometimes you win; sometimes you lose – but you have to get going!
Also, “Twin toddlers” and “Energy” are synonyms. They go hand in hand! It seems like they take energy from each other. When one of them has a dull moment, the other one pump him up and vice versa! The only good thing about all these energy transfers is that they sleep on time at night :)
You need to know the trick how to distract the one while comforting the other one. You must be great at conflict management.
When I compare my twins with other kids, I always think that my kids are naughtier than others. They always come up with new ideas to destroy things. But, I later realized that they are the same as any other kids. The only difference is that they always have a “Partner in Crime”.
It is difficult to discipline them as they always have a support system which is other than their parents. This makes them fearless and innovative.
But, it is also awesome to see them bonding! Our boys fight in every 30 minutes (or sometimes earlier). But, they cannot stay away from each other for more than 30 seconds!
In this blog posts, I am going to take you to my world of motherhood and how my husband and I manage them without any support system.
1. Discovered the new sides of each other:
When there are two little naughty kids running around in the home and doing something that they are not supposed to do, you tend to lose your control.
Before we had kids, my husband and I had a rather peaceful life. We hardly fought. We rarely shouted at each other. We use to spend lots of time together and we also had enough space for “me-time”. So, there were little topics for conflict :)
But, our life turned 360 degrees when we became parents. Now, most of our times are either for the kids or office. There is hardly any “me- time” or “we- time”. As a result of that, we discovered new sides of each other, both good and bad ;)
The bad ones are – We also shout, we also fight for little things, and we also get irritated without any reason. And the good ones are – we complement each other a lot, we are capable of multitasking and we care for each other the most.
2. Stick to the schedule:
Every kid should have a fixed schedule to follow. If kids know that they have an option of not doing something, it is almost impossible to make them do it. So, make the schedule and do not (in any circumstances) give them the impression that they have an option of not following it. This is “THE” most important thing that we learned over the years.
And, when you have twins you should definitely make an extra effort to set them into a fixed routine. We made a conscious effort to get our boys on the same schedule. Same playtime, same naptime, same feeding time etc.
When kids were younger and they were more dependent on me for sleeping and feeding, it was rather difficult to keep them in the same schedule but now I think that was one of the best decisions of my life.
If you have a different schedule for both the kids, you will never have any free time!
3. It is more mental tiredness than physical:
With twins, there are indeed lots of extra physical work. But, over the years I realized that it is more of the mental tiredness than physical. I believe that twins usually cry more than the siblings of different age.
Basically, when you have kids with an age gap of 2-3 years, they have a slightly different liking. But, twins have mostly the likings for the same thing. They want the same thing at the “exact” same time. So, they fight often and cry often.
And, when we see our kids being irritated, it makes us tired not only physically but also mentally and emotionally.
Over the years we realized that the day when kids are less irritated or are in a happy mood, we feel much more energetic. So, it is more about the emotional and mental strain than physical.
And, the scariest part is when they are playing in silence. It definitely means that they are up to something mischievous.
4. Start early and end early:
We all love waking up late during the weekends, right? Earlier my husband and I also had a privilege to wake up late. But, not anymore! Our kids are early risers. So, we have two default alarm clocks that ring everyday early morning including weekends :( And, there is no snooze or close button. All you can do is “WAKE UP” :)
Although it is not a very happy feeling for both of us, we have made peace with it. And, now we also believe that It is better that kids wake up early and go to bed early. It gives us more free time post dinner to watch TV, finish up some pending works or just talking with each other.
5. Weekends are equally exhausting:
Usually, everybody waits for weekends to have a relaxing time. But for us, weekends are equally exhausting as weekdays. During Weekdays, we have a rather routine life. Kids go to kindergarten for the whole day and we are in office. We return home around 5.30 and then usually dinner and sleeping time.
Weekdays are indeed hectic but weekends are nothing less. During weekends our biggest challenge is to handle them the whole day and match up with their energy levels. Trust me, it is not easy!
The only way to tap their energy level is by involving them to the household work, engaging them in some indoor games or taking them out to the Playground.
As I also wrote in one of my earlier blog posts, it is a myth that the twins play amongst themselves and you get your free time. You have to get involved with them – actively or passively!
As toddlers, they do play together but you need to have a constant eye on them as you never know when they will start fighting and destroying something.
6. Recognize good behavior:
No one should ever compare between their kids. We never do that! But, it is very important that you recognize and reward the good behavior of one and punish the bad behaviors of others.
More often than not, we give more attention to the kid who is showing tantrum in order to pacify him and tend to unintentionally ignore the calmer one. But, this gives the wrong signal to the kids. They gradually get this feeling that to grab your attention, they should show tantrums.
So, we consciously make an effort to give more attention to the kid who is showing good behavior and ignore the one for a while who is showing tantrums. It is not always easy but it is very necessary in order to discipline them and make your life easier!
7. Don’t be hard on yourself :
And last but definitely not the least, remind yourself that it is okay not to be perfect all the time. You have to let go of things sometimes. I always remind myself that I am not a superwoman ;)
It is okay if you are irritated somedays and scold kids a bit more than they deserve, it is okay if sometimes your home is not as perfect as you want it to be, it is okay if you repeat the dinners or breakfasts…
Do not strive for perfection, strive for happiness and peace!
In the end, I must tell you that it is easier to handle twins if you accept the situation which you are in. Whenever I feel stuck or low on energy, I think that how many people in this world are blessed with twins? Not many, right? So, all the hardships that come with it are worth it!
Never give up on them because there is always the last time for everything they do. They are not going to be like this forever. So, enjoy as much as you can.
Disclaimer: Easier said than done :)