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4 Ways to Help Keep Your Sanity While Raising Twin Boys
Disclosure: Some of the links listed in this article are affiliate links, which means if you buy something from my link I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you! I only link products I have used. Please read my Full Disclosure Policy here.
Let’s talk about raising children, particularly twins, and even more particularly staying sane while raising twin boys, scary right?
Sometimes it can be!
My experience with raising twin boys these past (almost three years) has been anything from fun, exhausting, worrisome, interesting, and did I mention exhausting already?
Moms of twins know exactly what I am talking about- raising twins will bring on a whole new world. All of a sudden you have two little humans who are at the same age, milestones (give or take- generally), who need you at the same time and at the same exact moment.
We get asked so many random questions about our twins from strangers in stores, and then we go home and see our twins hug one minute and leg lock each other in the next.
Between all of the excitement and craziness here are some of my takeaways from raising twin boys that will hopefully be helpful to you as you raise your twins.
1. Keep a schedule!
The first tip to help you keep sane while raising twin boys is to keep a schedule. You probably hear this all of the time even if you only have one child, but it seriously has been so true for us. We do not have a written schedule wrote on a chalkboard wall hanging in our house that goes over every hour of our day. I am not that much of a Type A personality! But that is just me, maybe that does work for other families.
Basically this is how our weekdays go:
- Wake the kids up at 7
- Eat breakfast
- Brush teeth
- Put clothes on
- Get coats/hats/shoes on
- Put them in carseats one by one
- Pick up from daycare, then home to get a snack
- Get supper started while they watch some tv or do an activity at the kitchen table
- Eat supper
- Go outside or play inside if weather is bad
- 6:45 is bath time and/or get ready for bed
- The twins are in bed by 7:15
Now why did I just tell you our boring weekday schedule? Because it seems like it could get really repetitive and continual, right? This is true, especially for young children who have a daily routine.
For example, the boys know when it is time for bed, and that doesn’t mean they do not cry sometimes or do not want to go to bed, but they start gathering their blankets, stuffed animals, and get ready for bed once we say, “Ok, lets get ready for bed!”
My partner and I each have our own task to do around bedtime too. For example, he will generally get their pajamas on and brush their teeth while I give baths or pick up toys in the living room. We just dive right in and get to it.
There are times when we have to change our schedule if something comes up, but this is generally how our weekdays goes, and of course weekends are a little more relaxed, except bedtime (we don’t mess around with that one).
2. Know your limits
The second tip is to know your limits. I am not necessarily talking about knowing your limits with your children and discipline, but rather with what you can handle as a mom of twins. It will take some learning to do before you figure out what you can handle and what you would rather not if you do not have to.
For example, we generally do not schedule things and/or go anywhere during their nap time. This includes doctor appointments if at all possible, zoo trips, etc. We like to plan around nap time or plan so when we are done wherever we are they can nap in the car if it is going to be a longer car ride home.
We have left family gatherings early (or arrived a little late). I would rather leave the event early with an almost cranky young child who needs to nap soon, rather than stay with an incredibly cranky, whiny, tantrumy (is that a word?) child. That is not enjoyable speaking from experience! My partner has left with the kids early if I want to stick around and chat with family for longer, and vice versa.
Another example is that I do not ever take the twins grocery shopping with me. The cart space situation with twins is not great either and the big bulky carts with seats are such a pain. It is not enjoyable to me because I take grocery shopping serious. I know what is on my list, and I want to get in and out and leave. For quick trips to the store I do use the awesome *Buggy Bench for short trips to the store. We have used this since they could hold their heads up and we still use it today even as they are almost three! It goes up to 40 lbs so we should be able to use it for a while longer.
You may also have to think twice about going to outings with other people if you do not think you can handle it well taking both kids out (especially if you have other children as well). You may have to cancel plans with a friend in this case. It happens, and I am sure your friend will understand.
If a situation is just going to make your day harder by bringing your twins along with you somewhere, think of other ways you could ease that situation. This may mean you either just do not go, or maybe you could bring a childless friend along with you to help out, or maybe even a grandparent.
3. Remember they are two separate people
The third tip is to remember that they are two separate people. Aww, that sounds so sentimental doesn’t it? You probably hear it in almost every twin article ever written, but it is so true! Apparently strangers have a hard time remembering this as well- we actually get asked similar questions by so many people. Anything from:
“Are their personalities different?” Of course!
“Do they like the same stuff?” Sometimes.
“Which one do you love more?” What, what?!
Anyway, moving on. This is one of the biggest things I have learned since having my twins. They really are so different and yet they are so similar at the same time too. Confusing isn’t it?
In my experience they change so much, ok who doesn’t think that about their kids. It is almost like they switched personalities over time. They are so different now than when they were newborns. Or maybe I got them switched around at one point in time? Oh well….kidding of course.
You may be thinking, well what does this have to do with my sanity? Everything. Peace of mind. I sometimes forget that they are in fact two separate people with their own thoughts, feelings, and even abilities to do things.
Take potty training for example, one of my twins is currently potty trained, but the other one isn’t. Originally I had this big plan to do a three day potty method with them, and BAM just like that. The twin who I thought was so ready for potty training suddenly decided he hated the potty chair. The other one was potty trained in a week or so. I was a little thrown off and started second guessing myself. What did I do wrong? Should I have waited another month? Why isn’t Chandler responding to the awesome potty sticker chart I made him?
Then I realized, duh, because he is two and two year olds basically do what they want. They can throw an hour long fit because you give them a red cup instead of a blue cup. Twins will not always do the same things, like the same things, and I know for sure they aren’t always at the exact same milestones as each other. He just wasn’t ready and Callum was. That was that. We will work on it again in a short while (stay tuned for that blog post!).
4. Put your phone down and get them outside!
The last tip is to put your phone down and get them outside. Sounds bossy, but it’s so true! Playful parenting is something that puts me in the best mood. Walking around the yard, picking up flowers and sticks, going on walks, swinging on swings, going to the park- basically anything that gets us up and moving and what gets us outside is great.
Sitting inside and playing one on one with toys honestly bores the life out of me and it temps me to just sit there and look at my phone, does anyone else feel like this? Winter is really rough since we live in the Midwest. I am already dreading next winter.
Outside play with your twins creates not only great bonding time, but also gives you time to move your body, put down your phone (unless you want to snap some photos), and is a great learning experience for everyone!
This is probably a no brainer, but physical movement is great for stress, even just walking outside, and any mother knows stress is just something that comes with motherhood at least from time to time.
According to this article on adaa.org “exercise and other physical activity produce endorphins—chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers—and also improve the ability to sleep, which in turn reduces stress.”
When you are in a better mood and have less stress this can help you be a better and more present mother. So you get exercise, play with your kids and feel less stress all at the same time. A win-win if you ask me.
So there you have it, those are just some of my tips to help you keep sane while raising twin boys. Of course many of these tips can be used even if you just have multiple children, and not necessarily twins or twin boys.
By keeping a schedule, knowing your limits, remembering (or trying to) that they are two separate people, and getting some fun outside time can help you keep some of your sanity while raising twin boys.
Do you have any other tips if you are a twin mom? Which tip is your favorite on this list?
*Disclosure: Some of the links listed in this article are affiliate links, which means if you buy something from my link I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you! I only link products I have used. Please read my Full Disclosure Policy here.