Author: Stacey Spanos
“I am just so tired…” is the constant statement pumping through my veins. I try and try not to be, but I just am. This is who I am now – a mum of four, two of the four being the twins who unapologetically entered our lives like the bundles of perfection but little whirlwinds that they are.
My days are what I would describe as bittersweet. I enjoy the little moments, the cuddles and the laughter. But on the flip side, I have never been so exhausted in my life.
A day in my life with two singletons and twins
I’m routinely woken up by a smack on the face by a twin whose smile makes the blow worthwhile. I then roll myself out of bed after having been up most of the night with one of the twins or both. One by one I scoop up a baby out of her cot and place her on the living room floor and go back and do the same with the other baby.
I make the other two bigger kids chocolate milk and wash up and get ready for the day. What proceeds after this is a screaming match with Miss Primary School to get dressed and eat breakfast, and a war with Mr Kindergarten about why he needs to dress himself. The twins are screaming for breakfast to which I comply, and so they happily feed themselves cereal of which most ends up on the floor – thus, another thing to add to my morning routine!
I practically shove all four kids in the car and oh are there fights, tears even over who sits in the middle seat and who’s in the boot seat of our bus of a car. “Deep breaths” I tell myself as I grip the steering wheel tightly.
Doing school and kindy drop off for two singletons and younger twins
Thankfully (and oh am I grateful for this!) the school drop off is a drive by. I park in front of the school gate and Miss Primary School merely has to walk inside as I wave and blow her many kisses. I live next to the kindergarten, so we drive back home, I lift out the double pram, strap in the screaming twinnies who are already bored and over it at this point, and we walk to kindergarten. Sometimes there are tears from Mr Kindergarten and sometimes we play Eye Spy. We arrive at kindergarten, I wipe away his tears and we say our goodbyes…. I make my way back home with the twins.
When we get home, the house is always a bomb site. Thus, I tidy. I have no choice but to tidy. The twins play in the gated off living room whilst watching The Wiggles and they sometimes dance along and sometimes might even learn a few new moves and gestures. “I definitely haven’t taught them that”, I think to myself. “I haven’t really taught them anything lately, have I?” Thus, I keep tidying.
Attending activities with young twins is so different when I took my singletons to activities.
I sometimes brave an activity such as a toddler library session, so I give the twins a bottle, strap them in their car seats (again) and we make our way. We arrive and I take out the pram, strap them in (again) at which the screaming is much more intolerable at this point.
The library session begins and the twins are grisly. “You would never have kept the older two strapped in the pram!” my conscience protests. And so I unstrap them and place the twins on the floor. A kindergarten group is attending this session, as well as parents with singleton toddlers. One of my twins goes right, the other left, grabbing at children to get their attention. The scolding looks of parents on me. Parents who think that I can’t control my kids no doubt. It wasn’t like this when I had one toddler. I promise I had it all under control. I wish I could explain this to them. But I don’t.
I proceed to tell one twin “no” to which she spreads herself on the floor and screams – and oh does she protest! Twinkle Twinkle is drowned out by her tantrum and meanwhile my other twinnie has wandered off in another direction. I scoop up Miss Tantrum and somehow although she’s bending backwards, I strap her in (parent and child eyes burning right through me now). My face is on fire.
I run over to Miss Runaway, scoop her up also and do the same with her. I leave. At the car I once again strap the girls unwillingly into their seats, I throw the too heavy pram into the boot and I sit in my seat, hands on the steering wheel tightly, but this time I cry. I feel defeated. Correction, I actually feel deflated.
Having twins after singletons: The guilt
I arrive home and unstrap the twins and take them inside. I make them lunch, they have a play while I fold laundry, they then have a catnap. When they wake it’s time for school pick up. I bring snacks and I strap them into their car seats (again). I park the car, take out the pram and for the seventh time of the day, I strap them into their seats. We walk into the school, I smile and chat to other mums who definitely don’t realise how much I enjoy the adult conversation, and I embrace my daughter who comes running so eagerly to me. This brings me so much joy.
At the car, I strap in the twins (eighth time), I strap in Miss Primary School who is grumpy now because I forgot to bring her snacks, and we make our way to kindergarten. I unload the pram, I strap in the twins (ninth) and we proceed to pick up Mr Kindergarten who comes running with cuddles also. Two happiest moments of my day. I buckle up all four kids (protests about who’s in what seat again) and the twins are strapped in for the tenth time of the day to make our way home.
Our afternoons routine: Having twins after singletons
At home there is yelling about undressing out of uniform, which snacks are healthy and acceptable before dinner, and pointless fights between all four children. This doesn’t stop no matter what I do or say. I make dinner and chat to the kids about their day, all the while the twins play in the living room or cry for me. Thus, one gets put on my hip, the other to play on the floor with kitchen utensils – “you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do!” I try to convince myself.
I practically throw plates of food at the bigger two and I strap the twins into their high chairs. No one really likes dinner and they definitely tell me this, but they eat and then I bath them: Screaming, puddles of water on the floor, exhaustion….
I am just so tired.
The night is far from done however I sit for a moment while pouring water on the twins’ hair as they gaze at me with undeniable love and I can’t help but feel that I’m letting them down. Are they simply along for the ride while I parent the older two? Jumping from car seat, to pram seat, to bath seat, and finally to bed.
“I am just so tired….”
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