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When does having twins become fun?!

(51 Posts)
RubySlippers77 Thu 29-Jun-17 22:29:02

Everyone I know with older twins says how much fun they are, how it's easier than having separate DCs etc. Mine are 20 months now and still so much flipping hard work!!

I have good days and bad days but today was a bad day, DS1 would not nap despite being absolutely shattered, I ended up screaming at him sad - I was right at the end of my tether, I'd driven him, walked him and driven him again and he still wouldn't nap. He'd been a whiny, whingey, tired little horror for hours and I was SO fed up; just needed half an hour without them both to recover and regain my patience for the rest of the day.

DS1 is about 80% of the hard work and I find myself resenting him, DS2 is much easier - eats better, sleeps better etc - DS1 has started scratching other children so I feel like we can't go to groups now. To be fair he started it in self defence as DS2 was a biter, but DS2 never bit other children, and DS1 scratches now when he feels threatened.

It doesn't help that I have no family nearby and the in laws are a bit too elderly to look after them for long - an afternoon is about the limit - I don't work (we can't afford the childcare) so I very rarely get a break from them. I love them dearly but had a hideous, traumatic birth and OH being an arse for months, and feel like everything would be much easier if we had only one baby.

They were IVF twins and very much wanted which makes me feel even more ungrateful for feeling like this, but I am very, very tired and can't see any light at the end of the tunnel at the moment!

Can anyone give me an idea of when I might actually enjoy a day with them instead of just feeling like I'm surviving through it?!

neversleepagain Fri 30-Jun-17 09:14:04

Having twins has changed our lives dramatically, it is hard work and you're not alone in feeling like this.

It doesn't suddenly become fun, but if you look carefully you will find days/moments that are fun. Every stage is hard but every stage has lovely parts to it that you will look back at and remember fondly eventually

My girls will be 5 soon and for me, age 3 was the most challenging. They are mostly lovely now and we get 8/10 brilliant days with them. We hang out and they're my little buddies. Yesterday we went to the cinema and for lunch and it really was fun, we all had a lovely time.

We won't have any more dc, our experience of newborns and babyhood really has put us off. Like you, we have no help, dh and I have had 4 nights out alone in almost 5 years. It's been hard going. If we'd had one baby at a time I really think our lives would have been different, more managable.

Look for the happy moments op flowers

IWantABlueBanana Fri 30-Jun-17 09:26:22

Mine are coming up to 3. ds is a wee terror, dd a whinge. Causing carnage is their fave game especially at nap/bedtime, but they do make me laugh everyday.

We have two older dd's which i think helped me to keep in mind that no matter how hard it is, that theres nothing else for it but to get on with it iyswim

Have you got a local twins group?

HamNJam Fri 30-Jun-17 09:42:42

Mine are 14 and are very difficult at times - not physically, more emotionally draining.

The early years were hard, no denying it. Relentless is how another twins mum described it to us when I was still pregnant, to try to prepare us, and she was right - there's just very little relief and rest from parenting twins at this age.

It gets better as they grow up and need you less physically. We used several stair gates around our house for their safety, is there any way you can safely separate your boys from each other for 10 minutes to give yourself a rest?

Have you looked into getting some help from organisations like Homestart? Or maybe a local church group might have volunteers who can visit and give you hand? We have a nursery college nearby who sometimes have trainees needing childcare experience, who will come each week for a few months at a time.

And I too would encourage you to find a local twins group, it's very reassuring to whinge share with other parents of multiples grin

allegretto Fri 30-Jun-17 09:47:45

I'd say about 4 or 5. Basically when you can walk along the road without a pushchair and they will walk with you instead of running into traffic! Mine are now 7 and it's only in the last couple of years that we have started to have holidays which are really holidays and not damage limitation exercises!

RubySlippers77 Fri 30-Jun-17 22:14:59

Thank you everyone, it sounds like I have a couple of years to go (at least) before things get easier, better to be prepared now!! It doesn't/ didn't help that OH can be so unhelpful - he doesn't see looking after the DCs as 'work' when I do it, although strangely it is when he does.....! He very rarely spends any time with them just him and them and hence doesn't have much of an understanding of how challenging I find it day to day. Oh yes, and boring, and relentless!

Don't get me wrong, I do love them, but it would make life far more bearable if occasionally I could go out in the evenings and have a meal with friends with no toddlers jumping up on me and whinging. I have been out to one evening event since they were born sad

We don't have a particularly local twins group unfortunately, I've joined the nearest ones on FB, but the twin mums I've met have all been through other groups. I've spoken to TAMBA a couple of times just for a listening ear when DS1 was really getting me down, that was helpful. I took him to soft play today and he pulled the hair of two little girls for no reason - really annoying - I was straight over to tell him off and apologise but I feel like I can't take my eyes off him for a second, and poor DS2 (who doesn't really go near other kids) gets no attention.

Oh and because they don't talk yet, all I have to listen to all day is them shrieking, howling, squealing, whinging etc - grrrrr!!

Thanks again everyone, it was helpful to get some replies flowers

IWantABlueBanana Fri 30-Jun-17 23:21:11

oh ruby i'll be the first to admit I've been told mine are easy. As I said I have two older dd's so the dt's thinking they can rip the piss, eh no, mum knows that game!

Where about are you ruby? Our twin group leader knows bloody everything and anything, shes bound to know someone local!

Honestly I've been out a handful of times for weddings, first one 3 weeks pp blush always coming home to them. Only once in my almost 3 years(oct) have I really lost the rag and fucked off shopping for the day.... bought the kids clothes

RubySlippers77 Mon 03-Jul-17 23:10:51

Whereas people say to me (pityingly) "I don't know how you cope with two" - mainly smug yummy mummies with their one PFB mind!! One actually said to me "Oh I couldn't be doing with twins" - well what would you have done if you'd had them?! hmm

I'm in Herts but not near any of the big twins groups - there used to be one in my area but it closed when mine were a couple of weeks old sad

Oh blimey, I have fantasies about going out for a whole day without them - but OH can't manage on his own and MIL & FIL can't cope for more than a few hours (fair enough, the boys are very lively!) so that treat will have to wait a while.....

TheWashingFairyatemyhamster Tue 04-Jul-17 23:06:40

Mine are 4 now and are much much easier. I think that once they get old enough to a) express themselves in words ( to some extent) and b) be reasoned with (to some minimal limited extent!) then it is less grinding and frustrating. It carries on being hard work, but you feel like you are actually in control of something or can direct stuff a bit.

People who don't have twins don't understand the added layer of 'aargh' they bring to everything. The knowledge that total chaos is only inches away all the time is very wearing, and you are either exhausted from trying to prevent it, or exhausted from dealing with the consequences of not managing to prevent it!

With mine (also two boys) they've taken it in turns to be the 'easy' one. I'm sure yours will also have their ups and downs.

Also, as an IVF mum to a singleton followed by twins, I underestimated the tough journey that had resulted in the birth of my first child, with all the fear that it would never happen, and expecting to feel delighted with every minute. Instead I was utterly overwhelmed and struggled a lot. And I only had one that time!

Hang in there. Will there be tough times? Yes. Will there be fun? Bucket loads. You will be ok.

TheWashingFairyatemyhamster Tue 04-Jul-17 23:10:33

Also forgot to say - with soft play, make sure you teach them to push each other up the levels of the 'big kids' bits early on. Then because there are two of them, and they can help each other out, you get to be the smug mum sitting on the side drinking her (hot!) coffee about 6 months before their contemporaries' parents are even allowed (by the kids) to stop going in with them. Twin mum's have gotta get their breaks where they can.

RubySlippers77 Tue 11-Jul-17 08:36:49

Thank you so much for your encouraging words Fairy. Kept me going through a tough week last week where the boys both had a tummy bug - the washing machine was going non stop to cope with the pukey things! - and then a long weekend away at Peppa Pig World. It was supposed to be fun but 30 degree heat, thousands of screaming toddlers and then me coming down with the same thing does not make for a jolly time.....

I think (hope!) that the boys will be much easier to cope with by 4, as a lot of issues now seem to be caused by their lack of language - DS1 in particular is king of the screaming tizzy sad we still only have the occasional word here or there, but speaking to my friends with twins that seems to be usual, and they do understand a lot more than they can say. Nursery would probably have helped but we just can't afford it, it's cheaper for me to not work and look after them whatever the cost to my sanity

Anyway, they at least seem tired/ chilled out this morning, we're having a quiet time watching TV at the moment - thank heavens for Cbeebies!!

BrightBlueStar Tue 11-Jul-17 08:48:56

Hey! I can't say when twins get easier as mine are only babies still😀 But did you know that you might be able to get help for free from a Homestart volunteer? Someone nice who comes around to your place a morning a week to give you a hand so that you can get some jobs done/have a cup of tea? I know a few twin mums whining have this and they love it!

Also... Your husband needs to get his act together! I know he works whilst you stay at home (am the same at the moment as on maternity leave still) but that's no excuse for him not to pull his weight when he's around!

We also have no family help/childcare for the twins but I still get some (rare admittedly!) moments of peace to myself where I go for a run and a coffee on a Sunday morning, or a night out with friends, whilst my husband is at home with our children. This is ABSOLUTELY necessary. When I don't get ANY time for myself I go fucking nuts!

Good luck!

Alittlepotofrosie Tue 11-Jul-17 09:00:16

If you manage to cope for days on end with no help then sure as hell the childrens father can manage! Arrange some time to yourself and present it as a done deal, he will have to look after the kids while you have some time to yourself. Make it a regular thing. Even if its just a few hours on a saturday once a month. Mine are only babies but if i didn't have dh on hand to take them on his own id have lost my mind.

doglikescheeseontoast Tue 11-Jul-17 09:14:11

Hi Slippers, my twins are 27 now, but I remember the early years and the sheer hard slog very well. I do vividly also remember the time things seemed to ease up a bit - my DH won some tickets to the circus the summer after the boys turned 2, so they would have been about 28 months. They had recently stopped using nappies and that outing was just so EASY without having to lug a double buggy and all the changing paraphernalia required for 2 babies. I'd say by the time they started school at 4 it was no harder having twins than it would have been having 2 born at different times. One thing that helped me stay a bit sane from when the boys were about 12 months was to work Saturdays but obviously I had a DH at home who was happy to be with the boys so I could do that. It helped massively to know that one day a week from 9-5 I had time away from the lovely but very hard work of looking after little twins. It does get fun, though, I promise, and mine have grown up to be so close. All the best.

ScrunchyBook Tue 11-Jul-17 10:01:56

What about not always having to look after both of them? It sounds like your DH is not massively supportive, but could that be because he doesn't feel confident? Very frustrating for you though, and that will build resentment.
Maybe next time he's off work he could have one and you have the other - not exactly alone time, but less hard work.

Barefacedbear Tue 11-Jul-17 14:34:17

Be reassured it's not just you, twins are hard work. Mine are now at school and have recently had no. 3. I don't think I realised how hard young twins are until I had this one. You do just get on with things and cope but don't suffer in silence ask for help! I think I'm quite easy going so came across as dealing with it all in my stride but actually I cried in the bathroom with secret biscuits a lot.
When they can play together without a referee that is a big break through. I think this was when mine were about 3.
The other way to cope is definitely getting a break. Mine was going back to work part time but also very lucky to have my PIL local who'd have them for a couple of hours at weekends now and then.
Can you DH not take them to the park or something even for an hour? If it's a confidence thing splitting up is a great idea. I still always find them much more enjoyable company 1:1. You just have to make sure what you do with each of them is deemed fair otherwise the whole plan backfires, Mine would also sometimes object to being split up too. Like most things with twins easier said than done.

bellabelly Wed 12-Jul-17 01:48:13

I have two sets of twins. With my boys, I'd say that they became fun around age 3/4. With my girls we're still- -waiting more like age 6. Twins are HARD WORK. The only thing that's kept me sane is lots of support from DH and sending them all to nursery from about age 2 (to allow me to work part time and do something thzt wasn't changing nappies.

To try to be postive, I would just add that, although I wouldn't wish twins on my own worst enemy, they do all have an amazing relationship with their twiin - I'll never understand it - they're best friends and worst enemies all rolled into one!

TheWashingFairyatemyhamster Wed 12-Jul-17 22:18:51

Oh Ruby vomiting twins ?!? Noooooo!!!! Just in case this is new information (took me a while to work this one out) - as soon as one of them vomits, double sheet both beds/cots, so waterproof sheet, the normal sheet, then waterproof sheet, then normal sheet. Then put a towel on the floor next to the bed/cot. Stash all other bedding and PJs etc in sets in your room. Then at least if they puke in the middle of the night you can strip the bed easily and it is all made up underneath and you can wash them down and put them back. It's also another thing that gets easier - one of mine can fairly often manage to get out of bed and puke in the loo (let's gloss over the fact that his 7 year old brother still can't).

Peppa Pig world I have no advice for. I'm sure it was a learning never ever to go to feckin Peppa Pig World experience.

My twin who is currently more difficult to cope with is the one who struggles more with language, but also the one who has most energy and wants to 'do' stuff. He gets cabin fever really badly and is much better if we get out and about. When possible I send him out on errands with DH at the weekend. Is there any scope for you to do this? DH is doing more with mine now they're older so maybe things will improve for you too...

RubySlippers77 Sun 16-Jul-17 23:28:14

We moved on from vomiting babies to pooey babies sad DS1 is mostly recovered now but DS2 is still having explosive nappies, need to take him to the GP soon just to check he's not picked up anything nasty..... he seems bright enough apart from that but his poor little bottom is getting very sore despite my best efforts. It's been a loooong week trying to get him to eat and drink plenty whilst coping with lots of poo and a lively DS1 confused

Thank you for the tip Fairy, I'll remember it for next time, there will definitely be a next time!! DS1 sounds similar to your more 'difficult' twin, he's very boisterous and doesn't pick up sounds as easily as DS2 (probably because he doesn't often sit still long enough to listen!). OH finds him tricky to deal with for that reason, you have to watch him like a hawk as otherwise he's off, chuckling to himself - and he's too little to understand not to do that because it worries us half to death.

Everyone who commented on here about me appreciating time without DCs was completely right though; OH took them to his mum's for a couple of hours this afternoon whilst I had lunch with a friend, it was bliss!! I talked to her without having to manage babies who just wanted to run round and throw food everywhere!!! (I think I am slightly too excited about this!)

OH did suggest putting them in nursery a day a week - this was prompted by him spending a few days with them at Peppa Pig World and finally realising how full on they are! - but I don't think we can justify the cost when they'll be going to preschool in November and we'll be paying for that too. However, I will look into putting them in a half day (if nurseries do that?) and into Homestart as well - my health visitor did refer me when they were born but I never heard anything!

We're still quarantined at the moment as I don't want any other DCs to pick up this tummy bug, but it's maybe for the best as I've been really tired too. I find playgroups a bit stressful with DS1 scratching other kids - not all the time but often enough to make me paranoid - hopefully after the summer hols he'll have stopped that.....

Thank you to everyone for the kind words and suggestions. Apologies if I'm not making much sense but it's been a hard week! xx

user1471134011 Sun 16-Jul-17 23:46:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ineedaholidaynow Sun 16-Jul-17 23:59:33

I know nothing about twins, but are you not entitled to any free hours at nursery?

Mrswalliams1 Mon 17-Jul-17 09:08:24

I found when mine got to 2 yrs old I started to really enjoy them. They've now hit 3 and are back to being really challenging in their behaviour. Having twins is amazing but really tough. I put them in nursery a morning a week from 2.5 and have found it so helpful.

RubySlippers77 Tue 18-Jul-17 16:23:49

Ah yes user, we were TTC for quite a while before having twins from our first round of IVF - be careful what you wish for, eh?!

I'll definitely look into the nursery but from my previous searches, the local ones wanted at least 2 days per week - that was a year ago though when I was planning to return to work, things may have changed.

Unfortunately having twins doesn't qualify you for any free hours ineedaholidaynow, you only get what everyone else gets sad we will get our free hours from January 2019.

Found out today that OH is on nights for the next three weeks - 3pm - 3am six days per week - aarrggghhhh! DS1 has been an utter little shit all day and DS2 then threw tantrums because I wasn't paying him enough attention. My friend was telling me that her ex mother in law was driven right to the edge by having twins, her MIL remembered it vividly despite her twin boys being over 50 by that time! I can really sympathise, I'm not enjoying this at all at the moment, feels more like just enduring things rather than actually appreciating being a mum...

TheWashingFairyatemyhamster Tue 18-Jul-17 20:47:52

Oh Ruby it sounds really tough at the moment. What can we do on a practical level to help out? Can we help you to think of some activities that will wear the little buggers out keep them engaged?

Do you have any outdoor space? I always think it is better to do craft and messy stuff outside if the weather is ok as the mess is less stressful.

When they were that age mine liked a tunnel and tent from ikea (used inside and outside) and we played peekaboo with that for ages. They can take turns crawling up the tunnel and saying 'boo' at the end.

I know it is really hard taking them to stuff when they are small and scratchy/hitty/pain in the arsey but if you can get them to some groups with older kids, then you feel a bit less bad if they do scratch another child, and also at some point an older child will just whack them if they're pushing it, which is a learning experience for some little whatsits! I think other parents (particularly those with more than one child, even if not twins) understand that you can't prevent everything, and as long as you are engaging with your kids, reacting to unkind behaviour and dealing with it appropriately people can't really complain. Yes there are some people who look at you as though their little darlings would never dream of such behaviour, but they are not people twin parents need in their lives in the minority and usually parents of PFB singletons. They'll learn!

RubySlippers77 Thu 20-Jul-17 23:06:52

That would be amazing Fairy - just to talk to people on here is great grin

I still haven't been able to take the DCs back to playgroups etc as DS2's tummy still isn't right sad; we're having up to 6 runny nappies per day. I left him with MIL and FIL for a few hours this afternoon and when I got back he had such bad nappy rash that he was sobbing, poor little boy. I'd done really well managing it so far, he was fine when I left him, I can only think that he did another big poo and they didn't realise for a while. Oh the joys of dealing with one sad little boy whilst trying to look after one who is still happy and bouncy.....!

I'll try some more groups when they're better (and I'm feeling braver!) though, thank you for the advice. DS1 did get pushed off a trampoline at one by a bigger boy whose mum didn't even notice, but that was overshadowed by him scratching a little girl across the face, I haven't dared go back since.....

We have a small garden which they like playing in, I actually need to buy some bits from Ikea so will have a look at their children's toys too. I hate going though so am trying to justify their £30 delivery charge to myself!

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