Having kids is kind of like being on a rollercoaster, where you are equally excited and terrified. Having twins is kind of like being on that same rollercoaster, but you’re blindfolded and the person in charge of the controls decided to go home early; While you’re still riding. Yeah, that pretty much sums it up.
As I’ve mentioned in past blog posts, parenting is hard work because once you master a stage, they move on to the next one. At this point, you’re left confused, trying to understand this new phase they’re in and feel like you’re back to square one. Well, twins are tricky because there are two personalities from two different people who just happen to be the same age. So finding what works for both children is twice as hard.
The biggest challenge I face with having twins is remembering to give them their own identities. It’s a lot easier for parents to do this, when they have children who are different ages. Distinguishing between my oldest Raine, and one of the twins is easy. The age difference allows the natural separation of tasks, rewards, discipline, and overall expectations of the children. It’s harder to do this when there are twins because since birth, they’ve been seen as a pair..
The ultrasound shows baby A and baby B, together in one picture. When they are babies you do tasks in a row one: change one babies diaper, then the next, feed one baby, then the next. It’s almost like a survival mechanism. Our brains have us doing things as if we’re on an assembly line. Then, they start walking, talking, eating solids. etc. and you continue doing things one after the next, like clock work. They share birthday parties, toys, snacks, and then one day.. The mombie routine stops working. This happened for us around the age of two.
Those terrible two’s as they call them. They weren’t so terrible quite honestly. it was really a lot of fun, but this is when “NO.” became a frequent word in our home, and they stopped doing things just because we wanted them to. This was just the beginning. The next tricky phase was when they turned three, and boy did we have Threenagers. They questioned EVERYTHING, started having attitudes, started disagreeing with the other purely because they could. For example: I used to be able to put on a tv show or movie and they both liked it. At three, they would both pick different shows and wouldn’t agree on anything. This was the beginning of their cry for individualism. Behold: The three year old teenagers.
So, you’re probably wondering… what come’s after a threenager? Yes, I wondered too. Well for us, the twins changed two major things.
- They started fighting. Not just arguing, like full on WWE fighting.
2. They stopped wanting to nap. So mamas be prepared for them to fight you HARD on this one.
What else comes after a threenager? I wish it was as simple as making a list but truly each child is different and I’m slowly realizing there is no preparing for this motherhood thing. There are no magic hacks that make it all easy (sorry probably weren’t expecting that!) We all are walking our individual paths with children who are unlike the one before them or after them.
Now, I’m not a total airhead when it comes to parenting, but my social work/ psychology skills only get me so far with my own kids. It’s like all the courses and real- life experiences just weren’t enough. I had to really look inward for this answer and this is what I came up with.
I needed to stop two things:
- Lumping them into the same category: “The babies” or “The twins” wasn’t cutting in anymore.
2. Fighting their differences instead of embracing them. They are such amazing little humans.
After doing these two things, (pretty recently, I must add) I have really come to know my own children on a much deeper level, and it’s so much easier navigating our way through the day.
Jax is headstrong, but when you get on his level, make eye contact, joke around, and just love on him, he tends to respond better. He’s so silly and loves to dance and sing. He’s very talkative but also picks up on stuff really quick. He has a huge heart.
Rowen is adventurous, brave, will try anything once, loves to help, is relatively quiet, but takes in everything you say, and she’s so smart. She also loves her brothers very much and is always around when they need her.
It was so unfair to just assume because they’re twins, they would always do things together, or always want the same things. Though this journey is still in the beginning stages, I just love seeing what has come after one, two, and three, with twins. Now that they are four, and are no longer threenagers. Now that we’ve entered into yet another unknown territory, I can tell you with certainty what comes after a threenager: more doubt, more tears, more anger, more frustration, a whole lot of love, and tons of grace. As with each stage before these are the only things that are certain, these are the only things we can prepare for.
Whether you’re a mother to triplets, twins, multiple children of different ages, or just one child, never try to fit them into your box. Always let them grow as much as they can, in every way that they can. Even if it makes you uncomfortable, even if you don’t understand, or even if it isn’t easy. Allow them to be whoever they want to be, because believe me, it will be absolutely amazing.
-Gyspy Hearted Mama