Tuesday, June 30, 2015

How Having Twins is Easier Than Kids of Different Ages (Really!)

As I've said before, I often get asked how I do it with twins.  It's got to be so hard!  One baby is bad enough, right?  And of course twins are more work than a single baby (though I have been asked before if twins actually are more difficult than one...).  But once you have more than that?  I'm not convinced it's so bad.  Some of the realities of twins sure sound better than having an infant and a toddler...

  1. They are on the same schedule.  (More or less.)  While it did take us a good 9-10 months to get to this point, (and believe me, I was completely envious of everyone with a single baby during that time), they've been on the same schedule for a good six months or so now.  Naps and bedtimes are the same for both, they sleep for about the same amount of time, their meals are the same, etc.  Many moms I know with a toddler and an infant struggle for them to be on somewhat of the same schedule (if they would only nap at the same time!), but that's not so much an issue for us anymore.
  2. Activities accommodate them both.  Not only can they share (ha!) toys, but they attend the same activities.  They are in the same class at "school", the same nursery room at church, the same story time at the library, and when they are a little older they will be able to participate in co-ed activities together (at least until they hit school age and things become more segregated/they find their own interests).  Related to #1 above, I also get to plan our schedule around a single set of nap and mealtimes, instead of accommodating a younger or older child as well.
  3. Built-in playmate.  Sure they're not always going to want to play with each other, and they don't exactly play with each other yet (though they were in rare form the other night, as they actually played together the entire time I was cleaning up from dinner). But they will always have someone their own age readily available to play with.  My brother and I are five years apart, so when we played together I often had to modify or teach him my older kid games, or had to do something on his level.  Having a twin means they should frequently share the same skill level and interests.  Which brings us to...
  4. Shared interests.  They like the same books, TV shows, and toys.  While, yes, it is virtually twice the amount of toys, (two each for birthdays, Christmas, just because the grandparents want to spoil them, etc.), we only have toys and books out right now that are geared towards their age level.  I actually packed up a bunch of infant toys the other day!  And I don't have to worry about them playing with something that is too young (which probably wouldn't hold their interest) or too old for them (i.e. something that is probably a choking hazard).
  5. They develop at the same time.  One doctors appointment covers them both for their well-child visits (though, yes, Tyson always goes tags along to deal with two post-shot crying babies).  They are remarkably on track with one another development-wise, usually doing things within a week or just days of the other.  As parents, we help them work through and learn things simultaneously: they got to figure out rolling over, walking, and now talking together, which is pretty fun to be a part of.
  6. Oh, and let's not forget: one pregnancy, two babies.  I had a relatively easy, uncomplicated pregnancy (especially as far as twin pregnancies go), and I still hated being pregnant (okay, hate is pretty strong here, but strongly disliked just doesn't sound quite convey my contempt enough).  Given that everything went so well, two babies out of one pregnancy and one time going into labor is a win in my book.
Of course, this is all going to go out the window once we add another baby to the mix.  Guess I'll enjoy it for now...

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