It’s not. Life is definitely not easier with toddler twins.
Seriously, has there ever been a time when someone thought You know what would make this easier? Having a toddler around. No, 2 toddlers!
Yeah, it doesn’t happen.
But while I would not say life runs more smoothly with my toddler twins running around, it actually has helped me as a parent. I think I have become a stronger parent, and I know I have become a more patient parent, all from being a twin mom.
And as far as parenting goes, doesn’t patience make almost every situation run more smoothly? I’ve learned a lot more that has made our lives work better too.
How Toddler Twins Make Life Easier
Being a twin mom has definitely helped me find parenting hacks for a lot of situations. Even during my twin pregnancy, I had to figure out how to do things differently than when I was pregnant with Ben.
That first year with baby twins was tough, but toddler twins have forced me to grow more than I ever thought they would.
Toddler Twins Force You To Let Independence Happen
I tended to do everything for my singleton. In part yes, it’s because I have perfectionist tendencies and control issues. (I know I’m not alone in this.) But it’s also because I just didn’t always realize he should be doing things for himself.
It’s faster for me to do things, and I would often forget to even to let him try. As a result, I would sometimes discover that there were things he was ‘supposed’ to be able to do and couldn’t, not because he actually couldn’t but because I never even gave him a chance to try!
This just could not happen with twins. The math doesn’t add up: one mommy, two kiddos. Make that two impatient kiddos.
Toddlers want what they want NOW. And when it comes to things like putting on shoes I can only do one at a time. So my girls take it upon themselves to at least try to do things independently while I help one twin at a time. Now I encourage it!
It is so much easier to have them do things on their own instead of my having to do everything twice. I am constantly looking for ways and encouraging my toddler twins to be independent.
(Not every child embraces independence. Learn how to encourage independence in a reluctant child.)
Twins Make You Work On Conflict Resolution
I know there is this idea that twins are ‘born with a built-in best friend.’ Sometimes that is true. They really do love each other and it is the most adorable thing ever to watch them play nicely.
But they are still siblings, and siblings fight. Being twins just means they learn to fight at a younger age. Conflict resolution skills are a must.
With singleton siblings, there is usually some wiggle room with fights. One child might be old enough to understand that the little sibling just doesn’t get it and that older sibling can be more willing to accept a compromise.
A younger sibling might still be in the glorious stage of being easily distracted. Either way, fights can be worked out fairly quickly.
With toddler twins, well, they are both at the same level. Neither is going to be easily distracted nor are they going to be willing to compromise. We have to work it out, so yes, I have explained the word compromise to 2 and 3-year-olds more times than I can count.
But they’re getting better at it. They take turns well (most of the time), and actually cheer each other on while they wait.
I hope that these early conflict resolution skills are building empathy and creating a habit of having a kind heart. As Daniel Tiger says, “Think about how someone else is feeling.”
(Get more help dealing with a twinemies situation: What To Do When Your Toddler Twins Fight)
Toddler Twins Make You Let Go of Unobtainable Perfection
I mentioned earlier that I might be a bit of a perfectionist. And by might be I mean I am. A big one. Well, that is tough to maintain with toddler twins running around.
For example, with Ben, every piece of every toy set was always together and put away properly. It made me happy and I felt like a good mom because the toys were organized.
With Ali and Sammy? I had to let that go. Now part of that is that Ben also enjoys having everything in its proper place and Ali and Sammy just don’t care. (Having sisters have been good for Ben in this regard too.)
We still have organization of course. But instead of every piece of toy food being placed carefully back with the set it came with we just have a bin full of toy food. It’s a little thing, but I had to learn to let go of the perfectionist tendencies.
This holds true for more than just toys. I have had to step back and let my kids do art their own way, instead of the ‘right way’ I think it should be done. I’ve learned to let my busy girls run around a bit instead of insisting they stand right next to me while we pick up Ben from school.
Overall, having twin toddlers has taught me to let my kids be kids. They need to freedom to create and learn on their own. They need to be free to make choices (age appropriate of course). And I need to remember they are kids and actual human beings, not just robots to behave the way I think they should.
Letting go of this perfectionism has helped our whole family. Sure, our house is a little messier sometimes. And I have no idea what some of their art is supposed to be. But the more relaxed I am about it all, the better behaved my kids actually are.
(Learn how to encourage your kids to make good choices by using the Ask and Tell technique.)
Not Easier, But Better
Two toddlers working together are a force, and that force has taught me so much. So I watch my tiny twin tornadoes pull out every toy we own while wearing cowboy hats with their princess dresses, calmer than I ever thought I would be about it.
I take a deep breath and practice patience as two tiny humans try to buckle their car seats all by themselves, letting them learn.
And I let go of the idea that perfection as a parent exists. Because I know I am doing my best every day.
Having toddler twins certainly hasn’t made my life an easier, but it has made it better than I ever knew it could be.
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