It’s an amazing time, but can also be a tough one. Here’s some help parenting toddler twins without losing your mind.
Parenting twins is a tough gig. But, believe it or not (and I understand if not), you will survive twin toddlerhood. Hey—you got them this far, didn’t you?!
As much as my mama-heart wanted to deny it when my boys were toddlers no longer, those blonde-haired surprises running around my house turned into full-fledged little boys. I can’t tell you exactly how we got there, but I can tell you some of what we learned.
Here are my six favorite tips for parenting twin toddlers without losing your mind.
1. Fences, fences everywhere.
And I do mean everywhere. Fences on the playground, fences in the house, fences in the yard. Fences, fences, fences. Because here’s what you don’t want—you don’t want one twin to run one way and one the other, both toward a street, and have to choose which to rescue first. Fences.
2. Find safe places and go there.
Do you have friends who love you even when your kids accidentally (or intentionally) tear down their curtains or puke on their floors? Hang out with those people. A lot. Are there certain parks and playgrounds that feel comfortable to you, where your kids feel safe and you do, too? Visit them often. Having familiar, go-to places helps establish a rhythm to your outings and reduces the drama. Less drama = Happy mama.
3. Don’t be afraid to say no.
When people invite our family to their home, I can’t help but chuckle. You don’t know what you’re asking, I think to myself. Sometimes I say it out loud: “You have met us, right?” Thing is, going to new places with rambunctious toddler twins can be fun! exciting! a great time! But, it can also be miserable. (Raise your hand if you’ve vowed never to take your family out to eat until your children are at least 12. Just me?) Know that it’s OK to decline an invitation if your gut tells you the effort will far outweigh the reward. Some adventures are absolutely worth it. Don’t be afraid to say no to the ones that aren’t.
4. Insist on the simul-nap.
Yes, all kids are different and, no, all kids are not great nappers. But! It is possible to train your twins to respect nap or “rest” time. Stay the course! Make one of those staff T-shirts that says “polite but firm” and put on your serious mom face. Having toddler twins who nap together is the equivalent of winning the mom lottery, every single day.
5. Embrace the mess (even the non-Instagram-worthy ones).
This is your life right now and it’s OK. In fact, it’s more than OK. It’s really kind of amazing. So the dishes will pile up more than you’d like. There will be marker on the walls and the coffee table and maybe the sofa, too. You’ll feel like your life has been eaten by a mountain of laundry, and often that will be true. But it’s true what they say—they’re only little once. Thank God for that, right?! But also, Thank God for that, for these fleeting days where messiness and potty jokes and silly faces are the norm. Force yourself to slow down and look around. Not everyone gets to walk this beautiful road.
6. Remember this (particular) insanity is just for a season.
Sure, life will be insane when you have two preschoolers one day, and two kindergartners, and two middle schoolers. . .but it will be a different kind of crazy. The chaos morphs and that’s a good thing, especially where your sanity is concerned. This phase of chasing two toddlers wherever you go—trying to keep them from climbing the mantel or jumping off furniture or eating the pet food for fun— it is not forever. Snap lots of photos. Laugh as much as possible. And when all else fails, take 3 deep breaths and give 2 unsolicited hugs.
You’ve got this.
Amanda Bible Williams is a writer and work-at-home mom of twin boys and a daughter. She is Chief Content Officer of the devotional community She Reads Truth and shares stories of imperfect motherhood, faith and writing on her blog, Life. Edited.