Nothing can prepare you for your first child, and with the second nothing can prepare you for the family dynamic. My husband and I wanted to wait a few years after our first son was born before we had a second child, because I had heard how much harder it is adding a second child to the family. My son was 2 ½ when we found out I was pregnant with TWINS! Holy crap was my first thought. We were going from a family of 3 to 5. WHAT? Here are a few things that changed drastically when we went from a family of 3 to a family of 5.
Finding time to connect while you have two needy, hungry, crying babies and one wild toddler who constantly wants your attention is TOUGH. It’s hard to explain so I’ll give you a little run down of a normal night in our home.
- 5pm – I get home from work and pick up my twins at my neighbor’s
- 5:45pm – My husband gets home after he’s picked up Turner from pre-school. We hug and say “Hello, how was your day?”
- 6-8pm – Cook dinner, feed babies, change babies, feed Turner, play with Turner outside, run an errand if we need to. Alex and I rarely get to eat together, because it always works out that I’m feeding a baby. There has been ONE time that we have ALL sat down at the dinner table and ate. You better believe I took a photo of that moment.
- 8-10pm – Give baths and spend the next hour and a half trying to get Turner to go to sleep, while the other person takes care of babies. Whoever is putting Turner to bed usually falls asleep in his bed, so that’s about it for their night. Alex and I usually say goodnight in passing which is sad but reality.
I’ve honestly found that the time we get to talk the most is in the morning when we’re getting ready for work, or anytime we’re in the car together driving somewhere. Yes, we consider a 2 hour road trip with the whole family a date sometimes. We can’t afford to go on a date night every week, or every month BUT thankfully we see our family a lot and they are more than willing to watch the kids while we go out. We’ve also found that day dates are our best chance at getting a real date. For my husband’s birthday this year, we both took off of work and headed to downtown Austin for the day.
Man to Man defense to Zone defense
I feel like I’m constantly on edge, and am never 100% relaxed…what parent is? There is not much time for anything (sleep, eating in peace, hobbies, etc.) when you are constantly holding or helping a child. There is no such thing as a relaxing weekend when you have 3 tiny ones at home, it’s fun and full of laughter and smiles, but not relaxing. An interesting thing I noticed up front that worked well for my husband and I was splitting up the kiddos. Meaning, I would run errands or go to the park, and only take 1 twin and my toddler. Or my husband would take my toddler to the movies while I stayed home with the babies. Going somewhere ALL 5 of us is hard work and simply too stressful most of the time. Watching all 3 kids at once by yourself is also hard, so splitting the kids up works perfectly for us.
In moments where I want to pull my hair out because I’m so stressed or sleep deprived, I remind myself that this is only a phase. Heck….the toddler stage is likely to be even harder, but maybe then I’ll sleep. Year by year, these babies will grow, and one day they will be teenagers and I will remember how hard it was going from 1 to 3 children, but I’ll also remember how much my heart grew during that time.
If I can give advice to someone that is about to experience this transition, I would say #1.) Ask for help (family, friends, and neighbors) #2.) If possible try to spend at least 15-30 min by yourself everyday (hot shower, exercise, chatting w/a friend on the phone) #3.) Try your hardest to connect with your spouse, whether that’s a date night every once in a while or simply texting through the day #4.) Join a multiples group on Facebook. Groups like these are amazing resources, especially when you’re up at 3am in the morning and have a question. These moms are more than willing to help in any way, because they know how hard it is. #5.) When you feel like you can’t do it and time is never-ending…get on your phone and look at baby photos of your oldest child. Doesn’t that seem like yesterday? Yep…time will fly.
You can read more about my parenting journey here!