I keep hearing it gets easier... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 28 Old 08-13-2008, 01:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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You know the scene - you're in the grocery store, pushing the cart while trying to keep one twin from torturing the other, all with that glazed look upon your face from sleep deprivation....
and here comes a parent of twins who are now much older and they say to you, 'Don't worry, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. It gets easier.'
or you run into another parent of twins who have a THIRD younger (after twins) child and you say, 'HOW? Were you temporarily insane?!' and they tell you no, around age 2 or so it gets easier.

My girls just turned 1. It is slightly easier, I guess. They aren't walking yet...will that make it easier or harder? When is this grand "easy street" coming? I have been assuming it's when they start to play with eachother, but I'm just looking for input from other twins parents.

Does it REALLY get easier? If so, when?

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#2 of 28 Old 08-13-2008, 02:34 PM
 
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It DOES get easier!

For us it first got easier when we could leave them alone together for 2 minutes without someone getting hurt (bitten, hair pulled, toys thrown, etc). This happened a bit before age 2.

The next turning point for us was between 3 and 4. At 4, we took our boys on an 11-day vacation, starting with a 36-hour train ride. We drove all over western Washington and Victoria, BC; we went to museums and a baseball game and a zoo; we weren't nearly as tied to regular naps and meals as we were a year earlier. It was actually a fun trip!

My boys are almost 14, and start high school next week. I know that's WAY too far away for you to think about, but it seems like yesterday that I was in your shoes! Hang in there, I know you can do this - and before you know it, you'll realize that you can do something you couldn't do before, or that they're following directions, or not beating on each other, and you might even get 8 hours of sleep!

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#3 of 28 Old 08-13-2008, 09:27 PM
 
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Mine just turned one and I thought it was easier. To me it is so far... way less crying and demanding. Much more fun. They do have their moments of squawking over the same toy and one chomping on the other but for the most part it isn't too bad. I'm more worried about when both can walk. At the moment I have one walker and one climber... the climber is a little bit scary to me!

I've changed a lot as a parent since having twins though too. I just assume it's going to be crazy, stressful, etc. and am pleasantly surprised and happy when it's not. I've had to change perspective a lot.

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#4 of 28 Old 08-13-2008, 09:41 PM
 
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It's easier and it's harder all rolled into one. Personally, I prefer the more mobile stage - I found that it did make things easier like nursing (positioning was so much easier by then) and playtime, etc. The older they get the more they interact with each other and their older siblings. Their ability to communicate is only improving and with that I feel things get easier. However, I am living through the terror of 2 in the terrible twos and boy have they had their share of terrible lately (as in "destructive"). But overall, I'll take it and I do look forward to next year where I firmly believe that it will only get easier.

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#5 of 28 Old 08-13-2008, 11:41 PM
 
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Honestly, for me we are just hitting an easier phase at nearly 3-1/2. I mean, it's certainly been easier than babies for a while, or maybe a more accurate statement is a different kind of hard. I have one who is a bit of a handful and one who is less apt to tear apart the house, though more likely to scream and cry at the drop of a hat and bite her sister.

When they were 1-ish, I felt the same way you do. I marveled that anyone would have more than one child on purpose. When they were 18 months we moved and I gave away every single baby thing. I was *so* sure we were done. Little by little, things got a bit easier. They were more flexible in their sleeping, slept better, able to walk in and out of the park without a stroller, things like that.

When they just turned 2, I got pregnant. Not quite on purpose, but not really an accident. I was ambivalent the whole pregnancy wondering what I'd gotten myself into since my twins were so much work already. But it's been great having the baby.

A twin mama I met last summer told me it got easier for her when her twins turned 3 & got very into pretend play & played together. That's kicked in for us in the last few weeks where they are doing pretend play together, rather than more side-by-side or occasionally together. They can play for 2 hours now without fighting and they're actually having fun. It's been nice. And, really, if I just had the two of them, I might be getting a bit antsy.

Like Mama Rabbit said, I've gotten a bit zen, too, and accepting things as they are has helped me

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#6 of 28 Old 08-14-2008, 12:11 AM
 
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So far I'm wishing for the days of tiny babes again! Looking back, the first year was way better for me than year 2 is going right now. I'm still hoping for that "better" stage that I keep hearing about at 4. So I guess what I'm saying is enjoy every moment!
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#7 of 28 Old 08-14-2008, 12:44 PM
 
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it got easier, well a little easier, when mine hit about 14 months old. Then it got harder again about 17 months old. BUT we have had alot of changes (moved 3 times, my Mom died in May, we moved from TN to Texas having to stay in an extended hotel till we got our house, etc) so im pretty sure that has ALOT to do with it getting so much harder again.

BUT, they are fun They play together and "read" together and chat and really are a team. I wouldnt trade em for the world!

But i still dont know how anyone could handle having more children after twins at this age LOL!!! I have a very good fiend with 19 month old twins, having ANOTHER set of twins in a few months!!! 4 kids under 2! SHe is a very brave woman
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#8 of 28 Old 08-14-2008, 03:54 PM
 
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It gets easier. Mine are going on six and I'd say it got a bit easier around age 2.5 or so.

I had my daughter when my twins were 21 months and they adapted so well to her (I think because they already had one another?). It was pretty easy then but got dramatically easier around 2.5 y/o.
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#9 of 28 Old 08-14-2008, 04:05 PM
 
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I think it's all over the map as far as when it's easier and then harder again....I remember being so disillusioned when--after hearing "it gets easier" for several of the early months--I started hearing, "oh, it gets easier and then it gets harder again when they start moving." Thanks!

In our case, it got a little easier from 13-22 months or so, they were walking and moving well and safer, were still interested in a fairly defined sphere and were just so joyful about learning they hardly had time to get out of sorts. Then it started to get more difficult--particularly as they started to interact more and get in each others space more and distract each other's focus with each other's good ideas and lack of social skills. (I think I would have had kids who played happily for long stretches if they were singletons, but they were always gleefully or miserably getting into each other's ideas and space, all of which required my attention and involvement.) Not to mention the complete lack of frustration tolerance so there was a lot of the time when one or another was squawking or screeching or crying or unable to cope in some way....I had a hard time maintaining my own composure when everyone was making unpleasant noises all day long.

We've been gradually heading into an easier spot, from about 2.5 through till now and just building on easier and easier and more fun for all of us each week. Improved communication, really understanding the value of using their words with each other and with me, pretend, pretend, pretend enables them to get along famously through their play, and just general increased frustration tolerance makes it easier for them and for me--not having to listen to screeching and whining when things get rough but just more words and a little more intensity, which I can deal with!!

Preschool a few days a week is around the corner and they are so ready to meet more kids and learn even more ways of playing and pretending.

It does get better, and worse, and better, and it all gets more depth and fun to it along the way, too.

Good luck!!

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#10 of 28 Old 08-14-2008, 04:35 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Twopeaedpod View Post
You know the scene - you're in the grocery store, pushing the cart while trying to keep one twin from torturing the other, all with that glazed look upon your face from sleep deprivation....
and here comes a parent of twins who are now much older and they say to you, 'Don't worry, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. It gets easier.'
or you run into another parent of twins who have a THIRD younger (after twins) child and you say, 'HOW? Were you temporarily insane?!' and they tell you no, around age 2 or so it gets easier.

My girls just turned 1. It is slightly easier, I guess. They aren't walking yet...will that make it easier or harder? When is this grand "easy street" coming? I have been assuming it's when they start to play with eachother, but I'm just looking for input from other twins parents.

Does it REALLY get easier? If so, when?
FIVE.

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#11 of 28 Old 08-14-2008, 07:04 PM
 
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I can't tell you when it gets easier... haven't gotten that far yet. My girls are 2 now. But I will say that at age 1 was when it started to get really tough! I feel like we are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel now but I'm almost afraid to say that....

Heather, Army wife & Mama to M (10), J (9), L & S (my HBAC babies are 7!), N & R (5), and A (born 11/30/12 UBA2C)
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#12 of 28 Old 08-14-2008, 07:18 PM
 
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I can't tell you when it gets easier... haven't gotten that far yet. My girls are 2 now. But I will say that at age 1 was when it started to get really tough! I feel like we are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel now but I'm almost afraid to say that....
That isn't encouraging!

Do you think nursing at this age adds to how hard it is? I keep having people tell me that if I wasn't nursing it would be easier. :
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#13 of 28 Old 08-14-2008, 07:23 PM
 
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That isn't encouraging!

Do you think nursing at this age adds to how hard it is? I keep having people tell me that if I wasn't nursing it would be easier. :
I don't think so! I think that if I weren't still nursing (mine are 28 months) it would add a whole new level of difficulty! At least I can quickly soothe them whenever needed by nursing.

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#14 of 28 Old 08-14-2008, 08:34 PM
 
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mine are 21 months and i do think that first year is intense.
there are different challenges in the next year... so maybe not "easier" but just different and because it is different it seems manageable because it is "new"??? something like that.

and nursing is the only thing getting me through this. we fully "nurse the blues away" around here!
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#15 of 28 Old 08-14-2008, 10:13 PM
 
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That isn't encouraging!

Do you think nursing at this age adds to how hard it is? I keep having people tell me that if I wasn't nursing it would be easier. :
No nursing is not the issue. Tell people to go have twins then come back and tell you what the problem is.
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#16 of 28 Old 08-15-2008, 12:28 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks to everyone who has replied so far. I would like to hear more moms' opinions on this.
It seems the general idea is that once they start playing together (like pretend and such) that things get easier. Some report walking making things harder while others report walking making things easier. I guess that depends on the childrens' temperment. My twins are frustrated and cry a lot b/c they can't get where they want to get and can't follow me around the house at the speed they wish. So, perhaps things will get easier if they are less frustrated? Whining is the worst sound on the planet to me, so the less whining, the better. I don't care if I have to chase babies for hours and hours, just as long as they are laughing and not whining! LOL
Since many opinions are all over the place with ages, I wonder if it is based more on gender/temperment/energy level/etc. of the twins?

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#17 of 28 Old 08-15-2008, 12:56 AM
 
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My boys are 27 months. For me, things started getting much easier when they got good enough at talking that I could understand what it was they are whining for!!! I'd say over the last month or two, we've been able to have rudimentary "conversations", which is not only fun but helps me know what to do. If they want something, they can tell me what it is...if they are hurt, they can tell me which body part...if they are tired/hungry/poopy, I don't have to guess anymore, I just ask them!

A lot of things are still "hard" -- taking them to public places without another adult, cleaning up after them, having to constantly supervise so they don't hurt each other, etc. But nothing like the first two years. The period between when they learned to walk and now was probably the hardest -- seemed like the high level of anxiety was constant and, like you, I wondered if it would EVER change. But it has, little by little. And today they played in the backyard for a couple of hours without falling or hurting themselves or each other!

A wise friend once told me this regarding raising kids: whatever it is you are struggling with, just when you think you "can't take it anymore", it will stop. And immediately be replaced with something else just as challenging. I think she was right!

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#18 of 28 Old 08-15-2008, 08:56 PM
 
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Mine just turned one and I thought it was easier. To me it is so far... way less crying and demanding. Much more fun. They do have their moments of squawking over the same toy and one chomping on the other but for the most part it isn't too bad. I'm more worried about when both can walk. At the moment I have one walker and one climber... the climber is a little bit scary to me!

I've changed a lot as a parent since having twins though too. I just assume it's going to be crazy, stressful, etc. and am pleasantly surprised and happy when it's not. I've had to change perspective a lot.
This. Exactly. I plan for the worst and rarely get it, so I figure lift is good. And my boys are great about romping on the floor while I do things around the house, and sure, I get interrupted to separate them or distract them with shiny objects, but it's sooooo much easier than when they were teeny and squishy and needing to nurse every 30 minutes.
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#19 of 28 Old 08-16-2008, 12:43 AM
 
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I really think it depends on the kids. Mine are fraternal boys--and I'd vote that this is the "hardest" kind of twins to have (though I'm sure others might disagree!). My twins also both happen to be totally intense kids whose ways of being often end up clashing with each other. They are currently 5.5, and I'd say that the first year was the easiest of all the years we've experienced so far. But babies are easy for me in general (I sleep well through night nursing and was never sleep deprived in the first year). And I think so far year 6 is easier than year 5 was, so maybe things are easing up with time after all.

And it is GREAT when they play together.

Also, I found 18 months to be the absolute WORST. It definitely seemed to be a peak of difficulty for me (and life did get easier as we neared the second birthday).

Oh, and we started trying for #3 when our twins were 2.5, if that means anything. I think things were feeling pretty manageable at that point.

Hang in there, mama!

Lex

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#20 of 28 Old 08-19-2008, 02:53 PM
 
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Yep, it depends on your kids. My twins are runner and climbers and not into sleeping and at 10 months, life got REALLY HARD. Finally, at 3, life is starting to get a bit easier, sometimes. They are listening better and not so impulsive that I can take them to the park without someone running for the street and another one running to the big dog!

However, I still often find myself yelling at kids across the field and wishing I had stayed home!

But we are expecting #4 in a few months. (I would have spent my pg crying if I had gotten pg when the twins were 2!)

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#21 of 28 Old 08-20-2008, 01:04 AM
 
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Yes it gets easier, but more specifically it just gets different!!! I felt like it got easier after they started crawling... but better after walking and even better after they got sure on their feet. Then they start to play together, but that also causes fights... there's always a challenge. I think it does depend on you kids but it also depends on YOU! It gets easier when you say it is easier. You can focus on the hard or you can focus on the easy which ever one gets more attention the more you will see. Does that make sense?

When my boys where 13 months or so, all my MoM friends said "oh the next phase is so hard... I almost lost it... hard, hard, hard!" But I wasn't going to have any of that!! No ma'am! I started looking for the good, the easy, the fun... and that's exactly what I got. Sure we have hard times, but MY attitude about it is different, I accept things and give my boys space to BE.

Look for the easy and it will come! :

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#22 of 28 Old 08-24-2008, 11:27 PM
 
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I can generally judge how "easy" I think my twins are by how much I feel ready to have another baby!

That said, I think months 8-12 were relatively easy and then they became easy again when they were 20 months. I've loved, LOVED months 20-23 (mine are 23 months now). They are so much fun and can communicate enough that they're not that frustrated with me or each other.

I think hardest times for me so far were months 0-6 and then around 18 months.
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#23 of 28 Old 08-25-2008, 05:03 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hhhhmmm....this is all so helpful and wonderful!
But, I do see a pattern - 18 months seems to be a common "rough spot". What is it about 18 months that was frustrating for each of you (if it was, that is)?
Just trying to prepare just in-case, as my girls will be there this winter! Thanks again!

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#24 of 28 Old 08-25-2008, 02:29 PM
 
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For me, life got easier when my boys turned 3yo. They are now 5.5yo. I also have a 3yo and a 10m.

18m-3yo was tough with my boys:
1. They were mobile (and typically ran in opposite directions)
2. They were slightly verbal (enough to get hysterical about something and yet not be able to explain it and go berserk)
3. They were my first kids (so I didn't know what the heck I was doing)
4. I was pregnant/had a newborn (they weren't thrilled)

I would agree with the assessment that it gets DIFFERENT every few months. There is something nice about cuddly little non-mobile baby twins. And then it's amazing to watch them crawl and learn to explore their world, and walk. And speak. The 18m-3yo phase was difficult. But since 3yo, it's been pretty good.

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#25 of 28 Old 08-25-2008, 02:45 PM
 
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I can generally judge how "easy" I think my twins are by how much I feel ready to have another baby!
I LOVE this definition. Just totally cracks me up! My girls must be incredibly difficult because I'm REALLY not ready to have another baby. :
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#26 of 28 Old 08-26-2008, 12:23 AM
 
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No nursing is not the issue. Tell people to go have twins then come back and tell you what the problem is.
I love that idea!

I think things got easier between around 18 months and 2 years. They were mobile, but still agreeable, so I could get them to walk places pretty easily. And they still let me carry them in and out of the car, etc. They were talking a decent amount, but the whining and fighting hadn't really started. Now at 2.5 there's a lot of that, plus they want to "do it myself!" a lot of the time, which means it can take us 30 minutes to get out the door and down the (13) front steps and into their carseats, because if I pick them up they scream as if being flayed.

So yeah, 18-24 months was easier for sure. They were even sleeping halfway decently. Of course, though, I didn't realize until now how good I had it back then.

Betsy, mama to beautiful, strong MZ twins Lillian and Kate, born 11 weeks early on January 10, 2006.
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#27 of 28 Old 08-27-2008, 01:44 PM
 
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Personally, I don't think that it gets any easier. I think we just get used to how hard it is. Mine are 1, walking and saying words, and getting into everything. We had to take all of the books off the shelves 'cause one climbs up and drops the books down to his brother who "reads" them and lands up tearing the pages. They start daycare on Monday. Sigh.

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#28 of 28 Old 08-27-2008, 01:54 PM
 
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Shuli, we're heading that way. They're starting to try to talk, one's walking and one's almost there. But the destruction!!!! The two of them together is worse than two singletons together!

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