“Twins” is a hard concept to grasp unless you’ve had twins. The first year is so hard. It’s easy to think that it will get easier as your twins get older. Read all about one MoM’s experience at 4 years in with twins: not easier, but different.
I used to hate when people would tell me, “it won’t get easier, it just gets different”. What does that even mean?
I desperately needed someone to tell me that I would suddenly wake up and feel like I could handle the chaos that was engulfing me during those first few months with twins.
Day in and day out I felt like a walking zombie, drowning in diapers, and couldn’t even muster up the energy to ask for help. Each day was a challenge that I thought would destroy me and I saw no end in sight. I wasn’t going to survive this motherhood thing if it never got easier. Here I am though, almost four years in with twins (I hate that it’s my turn to say this): it’s not easier, just different.
Let me explain…
When I brought my boys home, I was beyond clueless as most first-time parents are. I sat down on the couch with my premature children who wanted nothing more than to still be in my uterus, and I looked at them and said, “Now what?” and I meant it.
The hospital really let me come home with TWO humans and trusted me to keep them alive? My smaller twin cried, almost nonstop, for four months. I had guilt, feeling like I was neglecting the larger twin because he was the easier of the two. Sleep came 30 minutes at a time, in between feedings, pumping, burping, and cooing each baby back to sleep. I felt like I was losing myself in the daily grind of trying to find my footing as “mom”.
Surviving not Thriving
My days were made up of washing bottles, fighting through my c-section pain, changing 20 or more diapers per day, and being attached to my breast pump, trying to avoid having to pay for formula, times two. My husband was proving to be a rockstar dad and I still felt like we could have used another four people to make life work at the time.
I felt like people expected me to be glowing with joy at the fact that I had two, mostly healthy, baby boys but I really just wanted to run away. Looking back, I wish I would have asked for more help but I was so afraid that people would think I couldn’t handle it or that I was already a bad mom for needing a break. This was not postpartum depression, this was new mom of TWO infants and it was hard.
When the four-month mark came, I remember barely being able to stomach taking their monthly picture. I didn’t want to remember that time; pretending I was thriving when I felt like I was barely surviving.
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I still hadn’t figured out their different cries for different discomforts or quick tricks to soothe them because my focuses were on daily survival, and the rest would have to wait. I felt like a failure and couldn’t figure out why I was the one “blessed” with twins because I clearly was not cut out for this.
Here Comes the Sun
Who knows when it all shifted. I can’t tell you the exact day I woke up and knew their cry for being hungry or being wet or just being cranky. When I finally started asking for help, I can recall feeling like I could breathe again. I don’t know when I stopped dreading the day because I finally knew that I could handle anything these kids threw at me (for the most part).
The toddler and preschool years have brought their own challenges as the boys morph into two very different individuals with very different needs and personalities. While they can usually tell me why they are upset, the solutions are not always feasible because no, you can’t have donuts for breakfast, lunch, AND dinner. While they have become fairly decent sleepers overnight, they have given up their naps which means I have had to learn new survival tricks that help me survive 12-14 hours with them at a time versus the 2-4 hour blocks I would have to survive when they were tiny.
The tantrums are brutal, and the attitudes are getting stronger by the day, but they also give the best hugs and kisses. The fighting can sometimes take me back to those early days when I just wanted to run away, but they also belly laugh together and take care of each other.
It Doesn’t get Easier, Just Different
Most people know not to expect glowing reviews about having twin preschoolers because toddlers/preschoolers are the worst. However, there are many moments of magic in the eyes of a four-year-old, which help to make it all feel like motherhood is doable, even if just for one more day! Each age and phase will continue to have their challenges, but the good seems to be getting better.
I wish I could promise that motherhood gets easier the more you get away from the early years, but I can’t. Although I can promise that someday soon you’ll look back and be amazed at how far you have come. Although it isn’t easier, you are definitely stronger and better than you were when you first started out. Because, even at 4 years in with twins, it’s not easier, just different!
Kayla Andrews is a wife and mom to twin boys and three dogs. She loves wine, dessert, and laughing about the chaos of twin life. She spends most of her spare time writing and pretending like she’s going to work out.