Twin toddlers are super sweet but they are also exponentially more work than just two kids should be. A mom of twins explains why.
“You’ve got your hands full!”
“I have always wanted twins!”
No matter what the cliche, as parents of multiples we have heard it all. I remember meeting moms of multiples in the Target line when my tots were babies. I would wearily look at them and ask when it gets easier. They would laugh. Surely it gets easier, I thought.
Perhaps, but today is not that day. Oh, how I miss those precious 3 am snuggles. Now I’m abruptly woken up at 3 am to potty training or a request for water.
My twins are three now and I LOVE this age. They are curious, nonstop chatterboxes with imaginations that bring a smile to my face. But it is a lot of work. Not just double, but exponentially more work.
They work together.
For one, they are a team and they stick together. This is an amazing quality and I’m so grateful my girls will always have each other, but I am concerned about their uncanny ability to get into shenanigans.
Their preschool teacher told me one day that whenever they start speaking “twin” it always means trouble. They communicate with each other from across the room, smile, and then run to the door and try to escape. Not stressful at all.
They strategically run in different directions.
Let’s talk about taking twin toddlers in public. They have reached an age where they refuse to sit in the cart, stroller, or wagon. Independence is important to them; however, they tend to take this to extremes.
I can recount on multiple occasions when they wanted to go in different directions. Whether one is chasing a dog and the other is headed straight to the bouncy castle, they don’t agree on the same direction. I’ve gotten into better shape by sprinting across parks and elevating my voice to reach the other.
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When one is calm, the other kicks it up a notch.
Without fail, when one twin has a meltdown and finally calms down, the other twin gets her cue to bring on the tears. They feed off of each other’s energy, but in the toddler years, they seem to perfectly orchestrate their tantrums to coincide with one another.
A favorite of mine is when they are at the park. One may cry for a particular swing, and when I finally convince them that the other swing is even better her sister will suddenly lose interest in the slide and demand that she too gets the same swing. Seems logical.
No one can get sick at the same time.
It is the absolute worse when a child gets sick. Whether it is a cold, virus, or hand foot and mouth disease, you feel helpless as a parent when they are down for the count. So when you hear other parents say, “When one is sick just give the other twin their sippy cup,” you think, “That’s ridiculous.” Until you realize there is a method to their madness.
This winter we had a month straight of taking twins to the pediatrician. One week one twin had an ear infection, the next week the other was throwing up, and the following week the first one had a cough, and the last week the second one had allergies.
I give up. The detailed schedule of antibiotics, Tylenol, and vitamins was something out of this world. And they never had exactly what the other one had.
Someone is always peeing on something.
The best part of parenting twin toddlers? Potty training. (Said no one ever.)
Just when one gets it and is wearing training pants, the other decides to pee all over the floor. And when one begins to stay dry at night and you switch them to underwear, they decide the next day to pee all over the bed and the mountain of laundry begins.
Twin toddlers have the sweetest, most adorable moments and I can’t help but soak them all up. Rest assured, while they are indeed a LOT of work, you will get through it. I’ve learned by now that it never gets easier; every season just presents a unique set of challenges. But keep keeping on! You’re doing great and while those little tots may cause you to gray early, it’s absolutely 100% worth it.
Stefani Zimmerman Drake is a twin mom and lover of rescue dogs. As a nonprofit strategist who works in Charleston, South Carolina, Stefani spends her time capturing all the sweet moments of her girls, while dreaming about her next big adventure. You can follow the #babydrakes adventures via Instagram stories.