It is 12 pm and I have just got back from a toddler playgroup. Shattered and in pain. (Both physical and mental, although I am not sure which one is worse).
Peculiarly, this state has given me a fresh inspiration for a new post and share with you at least a vague idea of what a twin mum usually has to go through every single day.
Understandably, I cannot include every single thing every twin mum has to face each day, because this post would be neverending plus every mum’s routine and days differ by all means.
But what I can describe is how it looks in our case.
So here we go.
Attending a playgroup
Let’s start with the playgroups.
Playgroups are great and I cannot be thankful enough for having the option to join them. Playgroups give us, mothers, the opportunity to socialise, to chat, maybe meet new friends. And they give our children… well, pretty much the same, really.
Every time we get to one of these groups, I always hope to have at least a 10-minute cup of coffee while chatting to another mum and watching our children play together… Ha! Frankly, if I ever get a chance to exchange at least 4 lines with someone without an interruption, I call it a success.
Well, I know it is insane to do the same thing all over again and expect different results, but sometimes we sort of have to keep our hopes on some level, just for the sanity.
Now, how it actually looks at one of the playgroups is me being determinedly pulled by one little one like a ragdoll towards wherever he wants me to be. Or even better, two little ones pulling me in different directions! And trust me, it is a challenge to be able to decide in less than a second who you comfort first. (which, on the other hand, builds up a brilliant skill for me to make decisions under pressure).
I enjoy playing with my boys a lot, but unfortunately, a proper, enjoyable play time does not last for too long. Almost every play eventually turns into a fight. These fights are usually short but the screaming that accompanies them is exceptionally intensive.
Oh, and I also cannot forget to mention their great passion to make a climbing frame of me. They especially enjoy this when a mum next to me just asks me some question. And honestly, when I try and chat to a mum while the boys scream and jump on my knees, for an overlooker it must look like a fight with two sharks while screaming something uncertain through two kids heads.
It is questions I struggle to pay 100% attention to the most as with two boys I need to be constantly alert and frankly, I am not the greatest at this kind of multitasking. I am sure it happened more than once that I had answered a completely different question than I was asked.
In a car
Now, let’s move on to journeys in the car.
We don’t even have to go as far as the actual journey as getting into a car alone is another interesting experience itself. Well, the first success is to get both boys into a car safely which is usually preceded by some kind of chase. The next and hardest step is to strap them in their car seats. Well, sometimes they cooperate, but more likely I end up holding with my whole strength in place the one who resists working with me. I am not even joking when I say I need to use my full strength because when the boys use all the muscles in their bodies to follow their determination not to cooperate, my hands suddenly feel like two powerless tools.
By the time they are both strapped and ready to go, I am all sweaty and panting like I had just run a marathon.
A journey itself is no picnic either most of the times. Especially when they scream for no specific reason and there is nothing that would make them be quiet. Or when one of them bullies the other, ideally when driving on a motorway.
The other day, I simply lost it and ended up screaming and crying during the journey. I can endure 10-minutes long drive with two loud toddlers screaming from the top of their lungs, but if they are on a mission during a one-hour long journey (or longer), that is way too much for an average human to handle.
However, I am sad to say that I ended up shouting things I felt so sorry and guilty about afterward. I spent the whole evening apologising, however, the boys did not seem to be bothered at all and clearly forgot about the whole incident within 10 minutes after it had happened. If only it was that easy for me too….
The process of changing a nappy requires a lot of physical strength to get through. It is unbelievable how something as simple as changing a nappy can resemble of an exorcism ritual.
The same applies to changing clothes.
I’ve learned over time that planning activities for a specific time is rather optimistic as it is simply impossible to estimate how long it will take for us to get ready to leave the home.
Nap time is time thanks to which I am able to keep my sanity. If the boys didn’t nap, I am not sure I could get through the day. Nap times are times for me to reboot the brain and get some strength for the second part of the day. Is the time I never plan anything as all I want and need to do is to switch off.
Playing at home
Most of the times, I try and get with the boys out of the house, but sometimes we just stay at home. For a mum of twins, it is literally impossible to go to a lot of places, anyway. Swimming, shopping, and often even visit a friend is not an option when you look after twins on your own.
There are moments when I really enjoy this time at home and we have a lot of precious fun, but there are moments when I am fit for mental asylum after only an hour.
When at home, I usually end up with a lot of bruises due to their passion to climb and jump on me and with some level of a headache. It is just their lungs are able to produce an exceptionally loud sound at this stage which I believe they are keen to explore as much as they can.
The minute I get up and go in the kitchen, for instance, I subsonically expect a scream to follow. It is either the boys fighting over a toy, or one of them doing something unpleasant to the other one, or it is one of them unhappy that I had left the room. One way or another, the minute I shift off, in 90% of cases it is followed by a loud scream and some incident to solve.
Oh, and what I ‘love’ the most is when there are two different incidents needed to be solved at the same time. For instance, one child in pain needing my immediate attention, while the other one drawing with a crayon on the wall. Or both boys loudly demanding two diametrically different things at the same time. These are truly the highlights of the day. And trust me, there is always more than one of them. Sometimes even before we have our breakfast.
Evening time a.k.a when Daddy gets home
Unfortunately, Yaw does not get home from work until relatively late on weekdays so I have to get through most days with only two pairs of hands. However, him getting home is one of the most amazing experiences of the day. Not to mention I can finally exhale a bit, the way boys react to his arrival is beyond words.
These moments always move me back to the old times when I was picturing having family and kids jumping up and down when Daddy gets home from work.
Sometimes I still cannot believe it is not an imagination anymore. It is real, it is my life and I always remind myself how lucky I am for having two amazing, healthy boys and a loving husband.
Yes, having twins is hard work. And by the end of most days, all I want to do is to lie down and look at a ceiling in silence. But sometimes it feels that the harder it is, the greater the benefits are later.
However bad the day, when we all join in a family hug, everything negative fades away like an elusive smoke and the only thing I feel is exceptional happiness.
At this stage of motherhood, I am confident to say that no matter what happens, the love for my children overweighs everything that life may throw my way.
And I know nothing will ever change it.