Are your twins easy or a handful? What do you do when you feel overwhelmed by them?
My 3.5 year olds are constant motion. Loud, active, and lately they have been limit testing a lot. I find myself waking up and dreading the day ( I only work 2 days a week and my H works long hours) and its potential chaos. Mostly, I don't like that my patience is shot, I raise my voice a lot, and I don't enjoy them as much as I wish I did. I worry that I am turning a bit into my mom (always stressed, obviously annoyed by her kids, not fun) and I hate it. I envy people with singletons. I feel like I missed out on the chance to be a good mom. That's a bit of an exaggeration, but I wish I could figure out how to have more patience.
I spend my whole day repeating myself 500 times. Telling them to stop XYZ. Trying to get them to do XYZ. Breaking up fights over every little thing. Trying to talk to one while the other is screaming or clawing at me. Trying to do fun activities with them like crafts or baking and its usually a bit of a shit show.
They are good kids who are acting like typical 3.5 year olds, but I am at a loss most days as to how to be a more effective calm parent.
I soooooo know what you mean. I also envy people with singletons and I have many days I feel guilty about. I hate it when I raise my voice and feel terrible when I do it, but damn if they don't push me right over the edge sometimes. You are not alone. 3.5 is a difficult age. I can't give you much advice, just commiseration, because my parenting is certainly nothing anyone should model lol. The best thing that happened to me was full-time preschool. Highly recommend that. Otherwise, the things that help are: allowing way more time to get anything done because I get stressed/irritated every time we're running behind (read: get my lazy ass out of bed earlier), getting out of the house each day (doesn't matter why), letting things go/lowering expectations. Pinterest crafty activities will just never be a thing at our house.
ETA: forgot to add - a weekly routine helps cut down the whining (somewhat). For example, I found out the hard way that I can't give my kids a special treat, like playing on the iPad, during the week because they'll ask for it every day of the week and freak out when I say no. So we have an iPad rule now and while they still whine about it they don't break down in tears anymore because they know it's for XYZ time and that's it. When I cheat on the routine it comes back to bite me in the ass.
Pre-school is a giant help. I've also had to adjust expectations quite a bit and learn to forgive myself.
As easy as it is to be envious of singelton moms (Lord knows I've done it), it's also easy to forget that we only see what they put out there. We have no idea what goes on behind the scenes, and I'd wager that most of them are just as frustrated and feeling overwhelmed.
More than any straight up tips, I can only emphasize that this too shall pass. My twin pops turn 5 this week and it never gets easier. The challenges simply change. You'll be ok, and you are definitely not alone.
Post by UnderProtest on Dec 13, 2015 16:55:06 GMT -5
No real suggestions, just empathy and commiseration. Mine have gotten a bit better since turning 4, but its still tough. I pretty much let preschool do all the crafts and stuff like that. At home, its just survival time. I also can't let mine have the iPad or tv or they spend the next week whining for it. So we just don't have those things as an option.
Post by demandypants on Dec 13, 2015 17:17:55 GMT -5
I had my singleton first and was so happy I worked full time. Cause by Sunday night I was spent. 3.5 sucks. I can only imagine with two there will be no break from it. (My twins are almost a year now). Now I SAH, so I am sure I will be eager for preschool breaks like the PP mentioned. But be gentle on yourself. It is a phase, and a difficult one even for a parent of one child! I promise it will get better
Post by floridakat on Dec 14, 2015 17:23:38 GMT -5
I had such high hopes when they turned four. Everyone said four was better than three. And I guess it was in some ways, but every new age brings new challenges. We're at just over five now, and for the first time I can say with all honesty it finally got easier. There are still times I end up raising my voice to get their attention, and I'm still spent after a full weekend with them, but it's definitely easier.
Post by trafficgirl on Dec 21, 2015 18:49:20 GMT -5
Just seeing this.
They're a handful, but it's better than when they were younger (they just turned 2).
They're also in daycare FT because H and I work, which I think helps them get their energy out.
The weekends can be long though. I don't tend to go out with them a ton because I get so stressed out that one of them will run away or into traffic or something.
Lately they're starting to get into arts and crafts stuff more, so I've been planning more of that type of thing for home. But really, we watch a lot of Daniel Tiger and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Because sometimes I just can't deal.
I am scared for when my twins are 3 because my now 3.5 yo singleton is testing my patience a ton lately. The girls are 21 mos and all 3 are now starting to fight over toys and space and life lol. Its a lot of little people with a lot of energy!
I have found my kids do better when we are out and about. When they don't get enough time to burn off their energy either physically by running around or mentally by stimulation in a new place or something they tend to fight over toys more and are just generally difficult.
In the summer, they spend hours a day outside with my mom (she is our nanny) and it burns off all of that energy. But now that it is getting colder and that isn't an option we make a conscious effort to find them activities that will keep them engaged. On the weekends we usually go out at least one of the days to do a family outing like the aquarium, children's museum, indoor play place, a festival, or even just out to lunch. Getting them out of the house, while it can be challenging, pays off in their behavior when we are at home.
I think this is generally a multi-child versus only child thing though rather than a twins versus singleton. When you have an only child it's so much easier to focus all of your attention on that one child. With multiple children your attention is often divided and you can feel like you are just constantly running interference.
I found that exercise was the best. It was all about using their energy for good :-). Their attention spans were not conducive to crafts or baking. I remember one of our day teachers used to have a coloring/art table with no chairs so kids (mostly boys) could run over, color a bit and run away....then run back. Brilliant.
We took them to a lot of outdoor activities. Museums, walks, zoo, parks. They loved Thomas trains.
I'm finding the older they get, the harder they are to handle. Somedays I seriously need a break, and make sure to get out of the house and away. For the times that I can't escape for a break, Paw Patrol is my saving grace! I can relate to a lot of what you wrote, since I feel that I should be a better mom. In all honesty, anxiety medications helps, a lot.