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Some stages in life are more hectic than others. We are definitely going through a busy phase with almost 15 month old twins (+ 4 older kids) and I am asked all the time how we manage things. It’s fairly obvious to everyone who sees us these days that we do not have it all together but I can share a bit of what an average day with toddler twins looks like at my house.
Our routines change all the time. One week one twin will be teething, the next week another will be having a growth spurt. It seems like something is always happening to throw us off but this is a glimpse at what one day this week looked like for us:
4:00 a.m. – Wake up to one twin crying. One twin has been great about sleeping through the night from about 6 months on. The other twin . . . she makes me tired. I just weaned my twins so I don’t nurse her back to sleep anymore. Instead I’ll often give her a few minutes to settle herself back to sleep or give her a bottle of water but it takes me forever to fall asleep again afterwards.
7:00 a.m. – The awesome sleeper twin starts to wake up. I get up and shower, taking her into the shower with me. It’s easier for me to shower with her than to try and mess with a separate bath time and she loves being held in the shower or crawling around on the floor playing with bath toys. By then the other twin is usually up so I’ll put a diaper on the first twin, pop her in the crib, then strip down the (probably poopy) second twin and jump back in the shower with her. When I get out the second time I’ll diaper that twin and put both of them in fresh clothes. This ends up taking forever with two of them and I’m constantly having to grab an escaping foot from the second twin while trying to get a diaper on the first.
Twin moms should be octopuses.
At this point I turn on Sesame Street and point the TV in my bedroom towards the cribs. My twins love it and I can usually buy myself a few minutes to get myself dressed and ready while they are watching it (I know, I KNOW, babies shouldn’t watch TV but when there’s two of them I’m ok with a bit of a compromise).
8:00 a.m. – It takes us a while to get downstairs. I pop both twins in a highchair with a bottle while I work on getting breakfast ready for the younger kids and me. We kind of have a self-serve thing going on in my kitchen. My older kids know they are in charge of getting their own breakfast and cleaning up afterwards (or at least making an effort). I eat while trying to clean up whatever kitchen mess we left out the night before. My kids always unload the dishwasher. They have to help around here or nothing would ever get done. The twins devour anything I put in front of them then try and steal food from each other.
8:30 a.m. – By now, the twins are crying and struggling to get out of their high chairs. If I don’t move fast enough one of them is pretty good at getting mostly out on her own so I have to catch her before she twists herself into a weird position. At this point, the floor under them looks like someone finger painted with banana and then dumped a bag of food scraps on top of it. The twins themselves usually have banana shoved in every orifice, which means I have to put them in my kitchen sink and essentially give them a bath all over again.
I set them down with some toys while I wipe down my table, the high chairs, the floor, the wall, anything else they may have gotten food on.
9:00 a.m. – My older kids homeschool and I work at home so we have to hit the ground running in the morning. I’ll put a box of toys in front of the twins while we all get to work then we take turns running after them as they escape to the other room/climb on the kitchen table/pull all the shoes out of my hall closet. They stay pretty busy.
When they get bored with that, I fill up the water table outside and let my twins play with my 3 year old while I work on schoolwork outside with the older kids. One twin apparently thinks that the water table is a paddling pool because she insisted on sitting in it.
When twin A (my smaller twin) bites her sister (the bigger twin) I know we are getting close to nap time. They play nicely until they get tired. Poor Twin B has bite marks all up and down her arm. It’s payback for the early days when she realized she was bigger and could sit on top of her sister. It’s really no wonder why the little one learned to bite.
11:00 a.m. Nap time! I’ll pop both twins in their cribs. They are pretty good about just falling asleep on their own. I learned early on that with two they would just have to learn to fall asleep on their own so there’s no routine, I just put each one in the crib and shut the door. The rest of us have a few hours to clean up the house/work/do school.
2:00 p.m. Time to wake up! They are good sleepers (at least during the day). That’s the one thing that saves me. Waking up also means it’s time for diaper changes again. That’s when I realize I’m running low because we go through a case of diapers almost weekly so I’ll add a trip to the store to my to-do list.
They chill out on the couch for a few minutes enjoying a bottle.
2:30 p.m. Lunch time! I feed the twins late because they are usually sleeping while my older kids eat but that lets me actually sit down and eat my own lunch.
3:00 p.m. All done. Time to wash babies in the sink again and oh, look . . . the high chairs and floor are a disaster again. Put both clean babies down and try and clean the floor while keeping babies from coming back and eating the scraps on the floor.
3:30 p.m. Time to run errands. Today apparently Babies “R” Us is on the list because we need to restock our stash of diapers. It is ridiculous how many diapers we go through. I’ve learned it’s worth it to buy the good diapers. I tried to scrimp in the beginning and we ended up with leaks. We go through enough wardrobe changes in a day already. I did not need to add to that (or my laundry pile!) with diapers that didn’t do their job. I’m a devoted Huggies fan. Their new Little Movers are my favorites because they have Leak Lock for up to 12 hour protection. I wake up enough as it is. I do not want to wake up to change a diaper if I don’t have to. The twins seem to like them too. They are Huggies’ driest feeling diaper ever which is awesome.
5:30 p.m. Back home again. Time to make dinner. I park the twins in the high chairs again to keep them busy while I cook. They usually snack while I cook because it keeps them busy then by the time dinner is ready they want to get out and move around. After dinner we have to do the whole, clean the babies, clean the high chairs, clean the floor thing over again.
7:30 p.m. Time to start getting ready for bed. It’s been so hot at my house lately that the twins usually just sleep in diapers or a shirt. Honestly, that makes bedtime a bit easier so that’s the one perk that comes with this heat wave we are having.
8:00 p.m. Get the twins into their cribs, then it’s time to make sure everyone else gets to bed. My 3 year old is the hard one these days. I usually have to lay down with her. As soon as she’s asleep I make an effort to get more work done but these days I’m so tired that I usually just end up watching TV until I work up enough energy to go to bed myself.
From the day I found out I was having twins I heard how hard the first year would be. Oddly enough, I found the newborn twin stage easier than the toddler twin stage but that may be because I’m right in the thick of it right now.
We take things one day at a time. I know we are going to look back on these days and laugh. Right now, to be totally honest, most days I’m too tired to even enjoy them. I’ll admit, our day to day life is a bit overwhelming if you aren’t used to it. We don’t think too far into the future these days. Right now we are trying our best to enjoy the little moments and get to the end of the day with the same number of kids we started with.
Do you have twins? What is your average day like?
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