I Wasn't Expecting This

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Categories Infants, Mommy Issues, Singletons, Sleep, Toddlers

My son and daughter were born in May of 2007. And as predicted, that first year with twins was exhilarating and brutal. I chronicled sleep-less nights, nursing woes, hip dysplasia x’s 2 and 12-month-long-reflux over hundreds of blog posts.

I cheered on other MoM’s whose little ones were sleeping through the night. I read all the information I could on breastfeeding, pumping and weening. I was delighted in my children, but struggling with regular first-time mom stuff, like how to balance exercise, friendships and my marriage when everything I did was colored by pure exhaustion.

Outings were performed with military precision, complete with an escape route. Nights were long and bled into the days. Laundry was never ending, and I took solace in the fact that my work as a mother was legitimately much harder than that of a mom with only one newborn.

Life was just…so hard.

Months 12-24 were busy, busy, busy. Most of that time was spent trying to keep Faith and Jonathan from prematurely ending their lives. Oh, they tried! Eating crumbling concrete, launching themselves off of high surfaces, careening around on play ground equipment and even a choking incident or two colored my blog posts. Heck, there were even several smothering attempts!

And still, I reassured myself that the amount of stress I was experiencing on a daily basis was the direct result of having 2 same-aged children. I sometimes marveled at my mom-friends with only one child. I never scorned their struggles, I just longed a little bit for the way they seemed to enjoy mothering when I was trying to keep my head above water.

However, and I didn’t see it coming, something amazing has happened. All of those mom friends with one child? Well, they got pregnant and have given birth to their second born. And here is the kicker: my life with 2 two year olds? It is much, much easier and less difficult than having a toddler and a baby! I can hardly believe how much fun I can have with my munchkins with minimal planning, packing and stressing. I honestly have a lot of compassion for my friends who are chasing after a non-napping toddler during the day and are nursing a baby through the night.

I wasn’t expecting it, but having two-same aged children actually seems easier than having two singletons!
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What are your thoughts on this topic? How do you weigh in on the twin vs singleton debate?

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17 thoughts on “I Wasn't Expecting This”

  1. I was the mom running after a newly walking singleton with newborn twins … yikes … it still makes me tired thinking about it. Mine are now 4 and (twins) 3.

    The one thing that has recently come to may attention is that I will have it much easier during the school years then moms with 3 singls. My kids will only be separated by one school year … this means dropping/picking up will almost always be to the same school. My neighbor has four kids in 3 schools and they all need to be at school at the same time … she may have had it much easier when they were babies but I think she has it way, way harder now that they are older. Time will tell….

    For all the other MOM’s who also have a single … hang in there the first 2 years … I think you will really enjoy the hard work when you witness the bond that the three have … and how much fun they have together.

  2. [Shhhhhhh!!!! Don’t say it so loud!]

    :-)

    It’s true. Though 2 is proving to have its share of difficulties, I really am finding that the payoff of having twins is really kicking in. 0-6 months was intensely hard, 6-18 wasn’t much easier. But this part is pretty awesome sometimes.

    I also maintain that, in some ways, this is easier/better than even having just one same-aged singleton, because they don’t rely so much on us for entertainment! I watch singleton moms hover a lot at this age, which is something I feel like I seldom feel the need to do. Except when refereeing fights, of course.
    .-= Goddess in Progress´s last blog ..Safety First =-.

  3. I agree…the baby part was hard, but now it’s pretty easy (most of the time). I’m now going through the baby phase again and it’s rough running after 28 month twin boys and getting up in the night with an 8 month girl. I forgot about not getting out of the house b/c of naps and all the stuff you have to take when you do get out. Oh well. We’ll get there again one day.
    .-= Joanna´s last blog ..How many days… =-.

  4. Yes. Once they pass 2 or 3, it is easier having two kids the same age rather than two young children of different ages.

    However, that does not make up for the previous two to three years of it being harder the other way. And it does not give any singleton mom of two the right to tell me I did it the easy way (which happens all the time).

  5. Ok, so I was crafting my response and then saw Michele’s. Just what she said!! Yes, it’s much easier now (at 2 1/2). No, that doesn’t take away from how freaking hard months 0-12 were.

  6. I think, for me, having two has always been easier, mostly because it forced me to have realistic expectations of what I can and can’t accomplish. I’d definitely say that even infancy was probably easier with two of the same age than two of different ages. I figure that tandem nursing was simpler than trying to explain to a two- or three-year-old why they can’t have mommy’s milk! Also, I cannot fathom being pregnant while having a child to care for by myself.
    .-= Sadia´s last blog ..The potty trainers’ club =-.

  7. Try having a 2 year old and twin babies! That’s my current lot in life. The twins are almost 5 months old now and while they may not sleep non-stop for 12 hours, I really can’t complain on the sleep front so things are starting to get easier. However, I know they will get harder again once they become mobile! Eek! I really envy my friends who have one toddler and one baby!
    .-= Rebecca S.´s last blog ..Wordless Wednesday: Apple Picking =-.

  8. My twins are 2 1/2. A dear friend of mine has a 14 month old. A while before the child turned one, she lamented that she was NOT pregnant with another baby. I gave her a glaring look and told her I thought one little toddler and one very tiny baby seemed like a heck of a job (sense two toddlers is a job, but…different)… and what would waiting a few more months be?? Everyone finds their own best way though! : )
    .-= Andrea Melberg Thompson´s last blog ..The Conclussion of Summer =-.

  9. Well we have a 5 year old and the twins are almost 2. It couldn’t of worked out better! When they were born he was old enough to do many things on his own. Now that they can hold his hand walking into a store if needed, or he can unbuckle one in the back, he’s like mommy’s little helper! I know everyone gives you the mortified look when you tell them twins but I think it is WAY easier at this stage with two the same age. But everyone’s situation is different along with everyone’s perspective. But my biggest plus is just having them on the same schedule for everything. It just takes us twice as long for some tasks.

  10. I can relate – I look a bit wistfully at people with one baby and an older kid, as I try to juggle twin infants and a preschooler.

    After struggling with a colicky singleton there are days I think 2 calm babies are easier than that was. The problem is that I still only have 2 arms, and the twins both need me at once. And so does my 4 year old. Tired tired tired.
    .-= nonlineargirl´s last blog ..Random Quote and Unrelated Photo of the Week =-.

  11. My twins were 26 months old when my third baby was born this last April. Twin two year olds and a newborn have been very difficult, but not anywhere near as difficult as two newborns. Now I finally understand why everyone else looked at me during the first two years of twins and thought I was crazy–now I know how much easier one newborn could be (note: “could be”; not “is”–depends on the baby) and understand why all of my friends just didn’t get why I did things the way I did. I also can now tell how one toddler and one newborn would still be easier than what I’ve got now, but I would never trade my situation for something different!

  12. People always told me that having twins must’ve been sooo hard to handle – 2 babies at once! gasp! – but I often said that I imagined in the long run that was easier than having a toddler and a baby to contend with at the same time. Well….like Amber above….that came back to me later when I got PG when my twins were just 18 months old. As I read through her comment, I fee like she said everything I was going to say. “Just one” is a piece of cake after two. But one WITH 2 toddlers running around – can be very, very tough…and my kids are honestly pretty good kids (baby included).

    I still feel pretty confident and Super Woman-like when I can conquer an outing with all 3 alone while my friends are still facing their fears of getting out with 1 or 2. I’m not going to let 3 lil ones stop us from having fun and getting out. You learn to juggle and manage, no matter what your family composition is…

    And while I had a bit of a panic attack when I realized I’d have 3 so close in age…I am VERY glad now for the reasons that the toughest times are past us and it’ll just keep getting easier from here as well as the fact that I love that they’ll grow up so close together. Both my husband and I grew up in families where us kids were really spread out (i.e. 16 year age span between 4 kids). I hope they’ll always have a close bond.
    .-= Barbara Manatee´s last blog ..Goodbye Summer =-.

  13. I was another one with a toddler and newborn twins, and I was SO JEALOUS of people who had one baby at a time. I was also very jealous of other moms of twins who didn’t have another mobile child.

    But I do think having all four of my children in 4 years is a great advantage. They are able to play together quite a bit, and are interested in the same things. They bicker, but they are close. I spend a lot of time mediating but little time entertaining them.
    .-= Jen´s last blog ..it’s not butt worms =-.

  14. We were unusual. We planned for one baby. We were going to have an only child, and be done with having kids.
    The cool thing is, we get to have one of each. We wouldn’t have had that if our plan had pulled through.
    I can also see that the lure of “just one more,” might have pulled at me. Watching my singleton mommy friends go through baby and toddler simultaneously… I just am thankful that we did it all at once. It’s hard, and painful, but it’s also a blur. The quick band-aid approach.
    We’re homing in on a year (in late October), and I can see the vast difference in the amount of attention and time my two require vs. newborn/toddler. Getting through all that only to start over again? Nope. I wouldn’t take back a minute, not even one, but it’s been hard.
    .-= Janel´s last blog ..video =-.

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