Bye bye day nap, hello sanity

We are finally getting to a point where we can say that yes, it DOES get easier.

Our girls recently started resisting their day naps, and initially I thought it was a complete disaster and I fought back, trying to force them to nap. I was dreading not having that little break in the day – I thought it was going to be the end of my sanity for sure. But honestly, our lives have suddenly turned around as we’ve said good bye to the day nap.

mombie-mom-zombiesOne thing we’ve always been strict on since the twins were born is routine, routine, routine. If it wasn’t for this I think I may have lost my sanity a long time ago. But isn’t it funny how we get so stuck on doing something and it’s terrifying to change it – we’re so scared to rock the boat or mess with a good thing – as they say, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. But this hasn’t been the case with our girls’ sleeping. It has been broken for a long time. Every day and night it’s been a struggle – from getting them down to nap in the afternoons to getting them to bed at night, and then getting them to sleep through the night. The day nap hasn’t been that bad – they’re usually so exhausted when they get back from school that they happily fall asleep, but then they don’t want to wake up. If they hadn’t already woken up by 3pm then I would wake them up, but this alone could take half an hour as AG really doesn’t like to wake up and they would both be so grumpy if woken from a nap. But if I didn’t wake them by 3pm then the evening would be chaos and it would take forever to get them to sleep, which would leave both IP and I extremely grumpy. But lately they were resisting their day nap, and I lost the energy to try fight it, rather leaving them in their room for a bit of quiet time.

I was so terrified to drop the day nap. I’d been dreading it for months, when that moment came that I didn’t have that little break in the day – my lunch break where I could just sit and have some quiet time or catch up on what I needed to do around the house. So when they started giving me hassles to sleep in the day, I started getting very grumpy.

BUT….

I can safely say that all my fears were for nothing – I’ve decided to embrace it, and just go with the flow – something that for those who know me, especially IP, is a huge challenge.

The girls are now in bed and fast asleep by 7pm and are finally starting to sleep through the whole night. IP and I are finally getting to have some quality time together in the evenings and a full nights sleep. There is enough time in the night to sit down and catch up on our lives, have a quiet meal together, watch a movie or read a book, and just be. We no longer fall into bed in a bad mood and fast asleep the minute the girls are finally asleep, which was often only happening at 9pm. We’ve even been able to get a baby sitter and enjoy a couple of date nights, which has been wonderful!

I’ve been forced to make a more concerted effort to do activities with the girls during the day to fill that gap when they were usually sleeping, and thankfully it’s been a bit cooler so we can get out to the park and meet up with friends, and then there is always the twins’ most favourite thing to do, and that’s go swim at granny and grampa’s house. Otherwise, we read books, do puzzles and art and they love cooking me dinner in their pretend kitchen or shopping with all their toy groceries – they also love real grocery shopping with me sometimes, so if we feel like getting out, we’ll often head to the shops for a little outing. They even play so nicely together without me – happily getting along in their room, which has allowed me to still enjoy that quiet cup of tea.

I’ve really been enjoying our quality time together, and despite all my fears for the moment we’d drop the day nap, I can honestly say it’s been the biggest blessing ever. It’s essential that they still at least have some rest in the day when they get back from school, so I usually make them some tea and they’ll chill on the couch with their tea for a little bit, or relax on their bed or play quietly in their room – that unwinding time after a busy morning at play school is so important, and then gives them that boost they need to get through the rest of the afternoon.

All I can say to other parents in a similar situation is don’t be afraid to make changes, to alter the routine, to do something new, step out of that comfort zone – you may just be really surprised at the amazing results!

Two toddlers, one mommy – how do I split myself in half?

It’s been a tough few weeks in our house as both our girls are going through a rather clingy phase where they both just want mommy, and they both just want mommy all the time, at the same time.

I’m sure many other twin moms will understand how this goes – it’s something we’ve had to deal with right from the beginning – having two little babies at the same time and trying to balance our time and attention for both of them. I think this is one of the most challenging aspects of being a parent of multiples, and I’ve especially felt it over the last few weeks with my two toddlers.

It all started when we were on holiday in Australia last month, and I think they were feeling rather insecure being in a strange environment with lots of strange people, and naturally they clung to their mommy. But ever since we’ve been back it seems to have gotten worse and they’ve become more demanding in their quest for my attention. The girls moved from their cots into single beds a couple of weeks ago, and I think this has also been a major contributing factor at the moment.

It’s been very trying for both IP and I, as it’s exhausting for me to be in such demand all the time and it’s difficult for him not to be able to help in any meaningful way because they don’t want him, especially in the middle of the night. They’ll happily spend time with daddy and play with him during the day, but when it comes to bed time and waking in the night, they just want mommy. This has been when all hell breaks loose because they’ve been waking each other up in the night, and then they both want me to lie on their bed with them. So I am constantly going from one bed to the next to try comfort them, and they will both scream if I am sitting on the other’s bed, and if I pick one up and sit with her on the other’s bed then they both get even more upset and scream at each other.

It’s heart-breaking not being able to adequately see to both my children’s needs at the same time when they seem to be feeling so insecure and just really want their mommy.  The situation is exacerbated by my absolute exhaustion and dwindling patience, and there have been a few times when I’ve felt like I was going to lose the plot completely.

It’s emotionally and physically exhausting, and we really are hoping things will settle again soon.

Have any other multiple moms experienced this? Would love to hear some insights!