It’s Friday! Is anyone else looking forward to the weekend as much as I am? I love my kids to death, but both girls were home with me and the baby yesterday, and will be again today. I don’t know about anyone else’s family, but having two girls is like having emotions on high gear for at least 16 hours of the day. One minute they’re at each other’s throats, and the next minute they’re reading books together. Having the Husband around really helps to keep my patience levels in check.
It’s strange, because before we ever had kids, I always saw our family as having two boys and a girl – not the reverse. This whole raising a boy thing is actually foreign to me. Which is why I was so glad to meet Nina; mom to a 6-year-old boy and twin 2-year-old boys. That’s right, three boys, including twins. That’s a lot of testosterone in one household.
It’s because of Nina’s unique perspective as a mom to three boys, and a mom of twins that I was so excited to hear her answers to my questions about having three kids. Nina is one busy mama with her three kids, a full-time job, and as the author of the blog Sleeping Should Be Easy. She is also the author of the books Parenting with Purpose and Letters and Numbers.
Was it difficult for you to transition from a family of three directly to a family of five?
Yes! Bringing home one baby was difficult enough, now we had to learn how to handle two. I was especially worried about my eldest, who for the longest time had both his parents to now sharing them with two babies.
Were you frightened at all by the prospect of having three children?
Yes again 🙂 I didn’t want three kids haha! When we decided to add to the family, I thought two kids would be awesome. We wanted our eldest to have a sibling, but were surprised to find out we were expecting two. I wasn’t happy when I first heard the news, as I was scared about how my body would carry twins, to how would we afford them, to would we be able to care for two at the same time (plus a three-year-old!).
What did you do to prepare your older child for twin siblings?
We read a lot of books about welcoming a new baby. We also didn’t focus on how special he is that he has twin brothers—he’s special on his own, twin brothers or not. We explained that babies cry to communicate, that they wake up a lot, and that we need to ‘play’ with them in a special way while they’re still young and fragile.
Did your oldest child act out after your twins were born?
He sure did! The first two weeks after we brought the babies home were actually more difficult because of his defiance, not caring for the babies. We had to learn to be patient, and to take a step back before getting angry. It helped to remember that this is really tough for him too.
How long did it take for your family to adjust to the change?
We adjusted after a few months. It helped that this was my second pregnancy, so we knew that the sleep deprivation and madness would eventually end.
Is there any advice you’d like to give to parents who are outnumbered by their children?
I heard a funny comparison that parenting one to two kids is like playing basketball man-to-man. Once you add three or more, you switch to zone defense 🙂 Parents need to be creative with monitoring their kids since we’re now outnumbered. It also helps to have the older one assume a responsible role. Not that he’s equal to his parents or has that kind of authority, but he can be the ‘teacher’ they can turn to who will help them.
What would you do if you found out you were having multiples?
What would keep you from having more than 2 kids?
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