the difficulties of raising twin toddlers
There are parts of my life during the newborn twin phase that I literally don’t remember. It’s as if I blacked out from sleep deprivation. What I do remember is all blurred together; pump, feed the babies, change their diapers, put them down for a nap, corral my two-year-old… repeat continuously 24 hours a day. I thought FOR SURE, once they sleep through the night, my life will be so much easier!
And it’s easier in some ways… but in other ways, it’s actually much harder. Here are all of the ways that raising twins becomes more difficult when they reach the toddler years.
Twin Toddlers Sleep Less Than Newborn Twins
My newborn twins took a two-hour nap every 3-hours. Even though they weren’t yet sleeping through the night (read about how we got our twins to sleep through the night <–) and I was exhausted from not sleeping through the night as well, they took naps all day long.
Now that they are toddlers, they only take one nap. While I love having them awake and getting to play and interact with them, it’s a lot of work managing toddler twins… all… day… long.
Independent playtime is definitely a lifesaver for us!
Toddler Twins Can Move
Newborns can’t move. Toddlers can move. Really fast.
We work really hard to teach our children obedience, and that includes stopping when we say stop. However, even the best-behaved toddler isn’t going to listen 100% of the time.
Just a few weeks ago, my husband had all 3 kids out on a walk by himself. Josie and Margo wanted to walk, so he let them out of the stroller. They reached our driveway and instead of coming into the yard like he told them to, they bolted and ran down the road as fast as they could. By the time he caught up to them, they had run down the block and turned the corner, shrieking in laughter the entire way. He scooped them up, one in each arm, and carried them home kicking and screaming.
Here’s a post I wrote on tips to safely take toddler twins out in public alone. My husband reads my blog but he clearly needs to reread this post because he forgot what it’s like to be a twin parent to little ones who love to run.
They Want To Be Independent
“I do it myself!” or “me do it!” are phrases that I hear all day long.
Opening and shutting doors.
Simple tasks take freaking forever because two adorable little twins scream at me if I try to help them. Margo one time actually fought me because she wanted to wear two left shoes and I wouldn’t let her.
A common picture is me walking to our car after dropping Theo off at preschool, holding a kicking and screaming twin under each arm. They refuse to hold my hand while crossing the road and I can’t use the stroller because there are stairs to get into the building. So. I end up with two tantruming toddlers crossing the road. I probably get a million weird look but I don’t even have the capacity to notice people’s reactions because I’m too busy trying to prevent my children from walking in front of a bus.
Toddlers Have Big Feelings
Big feelings often equate to big tantrums, AND twins frequently feed off of each other. This means if you one of your toddler twins is melting down because you won’t let them throw toys out of the window, the other one will likely start crying as well.
There is no logic.
There have been times when my twins are screaming and thrashing around so much that I have to put them in their cribs and walk away. They usually calm down enough so that I can at least talk them through the problem when I come back.
They Have Big, Contrasting Opinions
Toddlers have big opinions. Toddler twins often have contrasting opinions. It can make something that should be simple, such as T.V. time, a huge battle. One twin will be screaming for Paw Patrol while the other one wants to watch Daniel Tiger.
They Can Steal Each Other’s Toys
“No” is a favorite word of my toddler twins, but “mine” is a close second. They will be perfectly content playing together until they both want the same toy. You may be thinking “oh, just buy two of everything!” That sounds like a brilliant idea, but it doesn’t work.
Half the time, they fight over something that we have two of the exact same thing of. They still will fight over the same one.
Toddler Twins Behavior
They fight. All. The. Time.
My girls are actually very sweet girls but my goodness, the fighting. They fight over the most ridiculous things. Like what you ask?
My twin girls have the same fight every time we pull into our driveway. One of them will cheerfully announce “we’re home!” Then the other one will disagree. “No, we’re here.” The other one will then turn on their mean voice (which is actually really stinking cute, but so naughty!) and shout “NO, HOME.” Then they both start screaming “NO, HERE!” and “NO, HOME!” back and forth. They are so loud that they don’t even hear me unless I shout back at them. I usually step out of the van and leave them until they stop screaming.
This is a great resource to handle situations when your toddler twins are fighting.
They Wake Each Other Up
At naptime, Margo usually goes down willingly. Josie, on the other hand, usually gets put into her crib, kicking and screaming. After I leave their room, I usually hear “MARMO. WAKE UP MARMO. MARMOOOOOOO. Marmo, wake up!”
After a few minutes, Margo usually stands up and I hear them singing and playing together from their cribs. It’s really pretty cute, but results in cranky, overtired toddlers!
Toddler twins are certainly a handful and I definitely covered that today! Check back next week because I’ll be posting all of the best things about having toddler twins!
Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram to see all of our twin cuteness!
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