On countless occasions throughout my first year with twins, I often heard three little words leave the mouths of fellow twin parents; “It gets easier!”, they said; “It will get really fun really soon!” they said…
As I have mentioned lots of times, raising twins in their first six months of life was the most challenging time of all. Things then began to become more ‘manageable’, but never ‘easier’. For me, I was always faced with a challenge…
…yes Natalie, welcome to motherhood!
When the twins arrived I felt like Paddy and I had mentally got our asses kicked. The challenges we faced were relentless, the sleepless nights were relentless, the dirty nappies and feedings were relentless. Double the crying was relentless, and when I was alone with both babies, who do I go to first? When would things give up? Do I call for back up or power through alone?
When you are dealing with two small babies screaming with reflux and two small babies being a sleeping tag team, the words “it gets easier” are a mockery.
WHEN will it become easier?
HOW does it ever get any easier?
I assumed people were lying to me when they said it would become easier. Thankfully, they weren’t!
Recently, the girls have become pros on their feet, and love nothing more than running from room to room amusing themselves, and me! They’re aware of how to please themselves (to a certain degree), and will fetch what toys they want to play with, they’ll fetch the book they want me to read to them while planting themselves on my knee (my favourite thing ever), they’ll fetch their shoes and demand you take them outside for a run around. This makes things easier as they can now physically show me what they want.
After a very long eleven months without sleep, Bonnie and Isla began to sleep from 7pm until 6am. What bliss!!! As time went on and with the influx of constant physical activity from my little munchkins, they will now sleep from 7pm until 8am most mornings, or sometimes a little later. Wow, they love their kip… Just like their mummy!
[I’m aware the previous paragraph is sickening to parents whose children are not good sleepers, and after nearly a full year of very little sleep, I feel as though this is well deserved, and I hope you will soon get your sleep back too.]
Once I began to get my sleep back, I felt like I could tackle anything. Although the meltdowns in supermarkets, soft play areas, or mother and tots’ groups, never get any easier, nor do they become any more manageable.
Once the twins could happily hold their bottles themselves in the morning, it was truly a blessing, I could sit back and enjoy a guilt free coffee and catch up on emails, and the hilarious group chat with my fellow ‘mummy friends’.
As well as giving themselves their bottles, Bonnie and Isla will also feed themselves. Yes, it is an absolute mess, but the dogs (two cheeky beagles) have a blast lapping up their left overs splatted on the floor.
For months I battled with two little rascals pulling each others hair and biting each other constantly. How do I teach them not to do this? At what age do you start to ‘discipline’? I was sick of hearing my own voice saying “Bonnie, don’t hurt your sister…”, “Isla, stop biting Bonnie!”. I don’t want to hear myself moan anymore, and I’m sure as heck neither do the girls.
But recently, and thankfully, Bonnie and Isla have started to interact a lot more together. Yes, they still have their fights, and I know they always will, but it is just lovely to watch the girls chuckling together and giving each other a high five, or giving each other kisses. Yesterday I watched as they sat at their little IKEA table and did puzzles and ‘read’ their little books together.
There can be no argument that twins are hard work. But alas, when there is adequate sleep, time for meals, and being able to watch your happy little ones go from babies to toddlers that resemble wee drunk men while they are stumbling about, life begins to feel a little more ‘normal’ again. Granted, it can’t be claimed for what my life was before my little house wreckers arrived, but of course, I wouldn’t change a thing!