Raising twins is hard. Period. But it doesn’t have to be (just) about survival. You will have a lot of work cut out for you, but by following these 6 tips on raising twins, the load will feel significantly lighter. Also, have a look at specific information on how to raise identical twins.
1. Accept the hardship
Being a twin parent can at times be so tough that you find it difficult to enjoy your twin babies (this also goes for parents of singletons, by the way). You love them, but you feel absolutely gutted. This may create a guilty conscience that can nag at you. These feelings are natural. Constantly assure yourself and your partner of that. Talk to your closest relatives or friends about what you can do and how they can help to lighten the load.
2. Don’t act perfect
Your may feel better when you signal to the world that you are on top of everything and that things are easy for you. However, this is your ego speaking. Try to tone down your ego and ask for help. By asking people for help and being honest about your feelings you’ll signal that you trust and need them. This will usually result in stronger bonds between you and your loved ones. Most times people will help you if you give them the chance.
3. Spend time with each child
When raising twins, spend a little bit of time alone with each child. This is good for the children in order to be and feel like the two individuals they are. However it’s hard to implement when you are outnumbered. Take comfort in the fact that it doesn’t have to be for that long. It really has more to do with you being present. A good time to practice this is when you change them. Strap one twin into a highchair with a toy, and focus completely on the twin you are changing.
4. All emotions are okay
Raising twins will evoke feelings of joy and happiness, but also feelings of anger and frustration (very few hours of sleep and two active twin toddlers or children will get you there). Negative emotions are not bad emotions. It won’t harm your children to see you upset or frustrated, sometimes it’s actually good for them to learn that there are boundaries to what grown-up’s can master or will tolerate.
5. Do stuff you like to do
Find something to do with the children that YOU enjoy to do. If taking the children to the park is stressful, find something else to do. For some it’s not going out at all. Staying at home and inviting other people with children to come over and play might be better for you (but don’t make a huge fuss about cleaning or being a good host). Maybe you prefer to invite a family member or a friend who can babysit for a few hours while you sleep or go out.
6. Earplugs will save you
The sound of children’s cry is very stressful. Nature designed it that way to ensure that we react when our little ones want our attention. With two babies crying – and maybe even crying a lot – it can be very taxing. You should always react when your babies cry out for you, but it’s okay to react while wearing ear plugs. As long as you only use them while you’re not sleeping, you’ll still be able to hear and comfort your children. The sound just won’t make you go insane.