I remember when I first found out that I was going to be a mom of twins and let me tell you… my emotions were all over the place.
There was some joy, but honestly? My first reaction was to completely freak out.
Once I got over the initial shock, I was able to calm myself down a little bit by reminding myself that I got through one newborn and I could get through two.
Things would be OK.
My husband is a fantastic partner and together we do make a great team and we’d get these babies sleeping and eating and everything would be OK!
So, if you’re a twin mom, whether you have twin toddlers or newborn twins, I have a message for you: You got this…. but it can be really freaking hard.
I started this post out with the intention of being encouraging and building up other twin moms.
Not that I am planning on being discouraging now, however, as I got to writing, I decided that there is something that mothers of twins need to hear just as much as encouragement.
There’s something that I, personally, know that I need to hear!
Being a mom of twins is mother freakin’ hard.
There. I said it. It’s NOT a walk in the park.
Yes, it’s double the joy and kisses and hugs and love and adventures…
But it’s also double the work, and honestly? Sometimes it feels like triple the work.
I feel so privileged and blessed to be a twin mommy, but sometimes?
Sometimes I need validation. We need validation.
What we’re doing is hard work, so YES, while we need encouragement, we also need to know that we’re not crazy for being so exhausted at the end of the day.
Parenting Twins Doesn’t Get Easier
Each stage of twin parenthood has different challenges. While some things DO get easier, new challenges constantly arise.
1) Twin Pregnancy is Incredibly Difficult
I know a few twin moms who have had easy pregnancies. A. Few.
The majority of twin moms I talk to have experienced twin pregnancy the same way I did: it was excruciating.
It was uncomfortable, painful, and oftentimes I felt like my body had completely failed me.
My pregnancy had zero complications (that is until my water broke at 30-weeks…), it was just really, really hard. Growing two babies is really hard on your body.
Other Twin Pregnancy Posts You’ll Want to Read…
2) Newborn Twins = So. Tired
Our twins were sleeping through the night at 14-weeks, but those 14 weeks were the definition of extreme exhaustion.
Since they were premature, we had to wake them up every 3-hours to feed them, and it generally took 60-90 minutes to feed them.
Simple math tells you that we were sleeping in 1.5-2-hour increments… at best.
And even when they started sleeping through the night, there were nights when they woke up due to teething, sickness, sleep regression, etc.
If one twin woke up, there was a good chance that the other twin would wake up… as soon as the first one fell back asleep!
Read –> 5 Essential Tips to Survive Life with Newborn Twins
How To Get Your Twins on the Same Schedule
3) You’re Outnumbered From the Start
From day one, twin moms are outnumbered.
If both babies are crying, you pretty much have to pick your favorite.
I’m kidding, although many days it may seem like that!
It’s incredibly difficult to have two babies and not be able to snuggle them both up soundly in your arms like you can with one baby.
You adapt and figure out what works best, but it is a challenge.
Both babies crying at the same time? Here are my tips to get you through the witching hour with twins!
4) Double the Tantrums
I’m currently pregnant with our fourth, and dealing with some heavy hormones that leave me with very little patience!
I was venting to a friend about it and she said something that really hit home to me. She said that she can stay calm when she has to have patience with one child… but that if two of her children are fussing at the same time, she is quick to lose her cool.
It hit me why I have to work extra hard at keeping calm.
I have two kids losing their ever-loving minds at the same time… multiple times per day.
THIS TWIN PARENTING THING IS MOTHER FREAKIN HARD, RIGHT?
Not a day goes by that I don’t have two kids melting down at the same time… or one after another. Not sure which worse.
My kids bring me a TON of joy and have lots of sweet moments. Our days aren’t one giant screaming fit (most days anyway haha).
But they are young and haven’t quite figured out how to regulate their emotions. Heck, I’m in my 30s and I’m not sure I have it figured out either.
Read –> The Terrible Twos Times Two: How to Handle Tantrums with Toddler Twins
How to Teach Your Kids the Skills to Calm Down
5) They Encourage Each Others’ Bad Behavior
There are two sets of naughty ideas, and sometimes it’s as if they’re a tiny army, striving to take you down.
Josie went through a phase for (for a VERY long time) where she would strip down naked in the middle of the night, take off her diaper, and wake up in a puddle of pee.
Margo did it occasionally, just to join in the fun I suppose.
We tried putting Josie’s pajamas on backward so that she couldn’t unzip them.
Well, that worked until they started climbing out of their cribs and Margo unzipped them for her.
We ended up having to DUCT TAPE her pajamas right under her armpits so that she couldn’t get out of them. And sure enough, since we had to duck tape Josie, Margo wanted to be taped up as well.
They are so daring and do things that Theo never would have DREAMED of.
It’s easy to break the rules when your BFF is sitting there encouraging you and cheering you on!
6) Twin Mom Guilt
Our singleton, Theo, knew his entire alphabet at the age of two.
At two, we were lucky if Josie and Margo knew their colors.
While it could be a difference in personality (Theo loves to learn… the girls love to move haha), or even a firstborn vs. second born thing, I can’t help but feel guilty!
If I had more time to spend with them one on one, would they know their letters?
I mean, truly it doesn’t matter. Who cares if they know their letters at two?!
But every challenge we face with the twins, I can’t help but feel as if it’s my fault for not being able to clone myself and spend more time with each of them.
Read –> How to Deal With Twin Mom Guilt
Two high chairs.
(We actually had 3 of each of those, since Theo had just barely turned two when they were born!)
Figuring out how to get two babies out the door and into the pediatrician’s office.
Breastfeeding two babies, or finding space to store approximately one million bottles.
It is a constant juggling act!
8) Parenting Different Personalities
Every parent who has more than one child can tell you how drastically different their children can be.
What works with one child can be a terrible failure with another one.
This isn’t a problem when you handle the terrible twos differently with your second child, because the odds are, your first child won’t remember.
But when you have twins? You’re parenting them through the same challenges at the same time.
One of our twins is really struggling right now with being able to calm down when she gets upset. Literally, there is nothing that works, except for giving her what she wants.
I cringed writing that. But you know what? I’m pregnant with our fourth baby, and she’s experiencing a lot of emotion about it… and that’s OK. Giving in to her is what she needs right now.
But what does that mean for our other daughter, who is able to calm down on her own?
Is it fair to stay strict with her when we’re letting her sister get away with more? Should we still hold her accountable since we know she’s capable of it? Or, do we treat her the same as her sister?
Is it fair to hold them to different standards, when we KNOW they have different abilities?
Yes. I do think it is fair, BUT that doesn’t mean they won’t notice and become resentful.
So, for now, I don’t have an answer and we have been taking each day one moment at a time.
We really strive to encourage our twin girls to be individuals, while also nurturing their twin bond.
They definitely have unique, individual personalities… however, sometimes I wonder if they say they like certain things just to be different from their twin.
Josie loves the colors pink, purple, and white. Margo’s favorite colors are green, yellow, and orange.
When I’ve offered Margo something pink, she is adamant that she does NOT like pink, and pink is Josie’s color.
I truly don’t care what their favorite colors are.
However, I want Margo to love her colors because she truly loves them, not just because her sister doesn’t.
Margo loves owls and Josie insists that owls are not nice.
Josie loves unicorns, but Margo only loves horses.
Margo has a stuffed elephant, and Josie will not read books or wear clothing with elephants on them.
It’s a bit suspicious, isn’t it?
It’s hard to encourage their individuality when you aren’t even sure if they are being true to themselves.
One of our twins is a social butterfly.
She is fearless, outgoing, and loves people. She thinks everyone is her best friend, and people naturally gravitate towards that kind of personality.
I’ve seen her hug a friend, grab their hand, and skip off together, leaving the other twin in the dust.
She doesn’t do it to be mean or to leave her twin out, it’s just a natural reaction for her.
I get nervous about our other twin sometimes. She has a delightful personality and is charming and funny… but isn’t as gifted with people as her twin is.
I’m nervous that one will be a favorite; there will be a ‘pretty twin’ or a ‘smart twin’ or a ‘fun twin’ among their peers.
10) The Messes
Oh lord. The messes they can make. Even if it’s just shoes, coats, hats, and backpacks strewn on the floor upon getting home from preschool.
We are pretty diligent about requiring our kids to clean up after themselves, but their version of cleaning is a bit different from ours.
Those are the ten most challenging things to me about being a mom of twins.
What would you add to the list?
Regardless of what’s on your list, how hard it is to be a twin mama, I wouldn’t change it for the world!
P.S. Make sure you’re following me on social media to keep up with our family and all the twin cuteness! I am on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest!
Thursday 30th of January 2020
Thanks for replying! Yes it helps so much to know we're not alone. And yes - I'm doing my best not to label them easy and difficult haha! Everyone has their difficult times. The labels other people give them is a whole different story again!
Wednesday 29th of January 2020
Now that my twins are toddlers I feel so scared to get the emotional things wrong. Practical things are hard but your points 8 and 10 - those are gut wrenching. I'm so scared of my 'easy' twin resenting her sister and when I give in to the emotional twin I have this voice saying, 'now you're that just give her what she wants mom.' And when people comment that one sister is so cute and charming, because she is, I feel so scared that that is going to happen for the rest of their lives - that one gets noticed and the other one not.
Wednesday 29th of January 2020
Y E S. The risk of emotional baggage gets higher as they get older. I don't even feel as if I can write about it with as much detail as I want to, because I worry that they may read it one day, and even though I don't mention their names, I'm sure they could figure out who I am talking about. It's such a struggle to know what is right. All we can do is continue to do our best! I have been really trying to build up my emotional twin (and I like that phrasing much more than difficult haha) and give her a strong sense of confidence. I'm so glad that you relate to these challenges.. it makes me feel not alone!