As my twin daughters are five-years-old, but not yet in kindergarten (birthdays were too close to the cut-off date), I consider myself an expert at the preschool stage. (Wink, wink … hardly!) They have been to preschool for three years now, the first year they were in a 2-day program; the second year they were in a 3-day program; and this year they’ve been in a 5-day program. Which brings me to my favorite advice for twins in the preschool stage:
1 – Consider enrolling your twins in a Mom’s Day Out program or preschool. Even if you’re planning to homeschool later on, I think preschool could be a “sanity saver” for you as a twin mama. It is quite exhausting to chase preschoolers around and to try to keep their days planned and active. The emotional toll on me was steep, and so knowing the twins were going to a few mornings of preschool allowed me built-in time to breathe, step back, and be more engaged with them the other several hours of each day.
2 – Let them wear what they want (princess dress to see Santa, costumes to Home Depot, mismatched clothes to school, sparkly red Dorothy shoes everyday) because they are only little once. [And might I add – and it’s not worth the feat of resistance it’ll take to oppose them every.single.time.] – Rebecca B., mom to a 9-year-old son and 4-year-old fraternal twin daughters
3. Embrace the messiness that comes with creativity. If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile, you have witnessed my journey to nurture my own creativity and to allow the creativity of my kids. I don’t like to clean up messes, and art is usually messy (to some degree). So do what you need to do to be able to lean into the creative activities they (and you) will love. Creativity for us meant that I have looked for non-paint activities for them to do and/or we did the artistic project outside. It also meant that I banished glitter after an experience where glitter ended up everywhere in our house, even in our coffee. Enough said.
4. Odd/Even Days. First born gets odd days. Second born gets even days. You go first on everything whether that is a flu shot, a bath, getting to choose the TV show/movie or even getting to sit in the front seat. The 31st, when it occurs, is mom’s day. She gets to decide who goes first and no one gets to argue. This is so the first born doesn’t get the 31st AND the 1st as their day. [I observed Heather doing this early on with her twins, and I’ve done this ever since my twins were about 2-years-old. It makes things so easy, and caregivers can also follow suit.] – Heather B., mom to 10-year-old identical twin daughters
5. Give yourself lots of grace. Having two babies at once means experience the first-child anxiety of doing everything right AND the second-child worry about how to care for and love on two children at once. It’s a lot on you physically and emotionally, and a lot on your marriage too. Give grace to your husband too — I’m not quick to do that, and I regret some judgmental remarks that have given David, my husband, pause about his parenting skills. I have to remind myself, none of us get it right all the time! – Stacy L., mom of 2-year-old identical twin daughters
This is a beautiful, hopeful note to end on, and so we will conclude there.
If you’re also a #mama2twins, add your two cents to the comments. (And note that only positive and encouraging/helpful comments will be approved – no adding to the all-too-common online “mom wars.” We are all warriors doing hard things and so let’s support each other in every way we can.)
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