I’ve gotten to virtually meet many amazing moms in online support groups and as a blogger, and I know some personally; women who are warriors and conquer every day despite personal struggles. Badass twinmoms or moms of multiples who are constantly doing a juggling act and still find a way to laugh and help others. The one thing that binds us all together is our constant struggle to do the best we can. Yet we judge ourselves harshly or we focus on the negative.
Well I want to celebrate the good stuff, the parenting moments that make us feel Badass. I want to celebrate all the twin and multiples moms out there who are kicking ass every single day despite their feelings of doubt. I think we can all learn from each other. Wouldn’t it be great if we encouraged each other and celebrated the Badass in all of us?
To that end I will feature one Badass twin or multiples mama every week. She will share her Badass moment(s), what her schedule is like, offer advice and tips around sleep, tantrums and whatever else she has figured out. If you would love to be a part of this Badass movement and share your story, please sign up below.
Featured this week is Lisa from Phoenix Arizona
We met virtually through my online Mom of Multiples Group. She has an awesome sense of humor and has bantered with me in the past when I’ve shared some TMI moments with the group. Turns out she’s also pretty Badass. Once you read her story, you will agree with me.
1. Introduce yourself:
Hi, my name is Lisa. I have four kids: two girls age 7 and age 5, and twin fraternal boys Rhys and Conlan, age 3 years. I am a stay at home mom (I pet sit dogs in my home).
2. Can you share some of your Badass parenting moments?
The first time I felt like a Badass twinmom was when I figured out how to tandem breastfeed my twins without any help. Meaning no one handed me a twin, I just used couch pillows to help me out.
The most recent one that sticks out in my mind is a hike. We as a family went to a lake in northern Arizona. While my husband fished on the lake in a kayak, I decided to take the kids on a hike around the lake. It looked pretty small, I figured that we could do it. As we headed out, most people we ran into would say “Wow your brave” or “are those twins?” I would just smile and say “I have to try things or we would never do anything. And yes, they are.”
As the trail progressed, I started to realize that it was not as short as I thought it was. The girls were completely good but the boys kept wanting to be picked up.
I ended up carrying one on my shoulders and one on my hip, off and on. I definitely felt strong. The whole trail around the lake was 6 1/2 miles.
Also, it was not a smooth trail, no way to use a stroller. The best part was the kids were super exhausted so they took a great nap.
3. Can you share what your typical day is like?
My typical day starts by waking up my oldest to get her almost ready for school at 6:50 am (my second daughter usually wakes up at the same time and lays on the couch). Once my oldest is dressed and starting to eat breakfast, I get the twins up between 7am and 7:15am. I bring one twin to go potty, bring him back into their room (they share one); then I take the second twin to the bathroom and bring him back to their room. I have them pick out their own clothes and I help them get dressed. However they do tend to try and do it themselves.
Then they go to the pantry and pick out what they want for breakfast. After they are settled at the table to eat, I finish with my oldest, teeth and hair brushed. I have about 20 minutes to hang out with the twins or my daughters, it’s kind of open. Honestly, it’s harder to get my 5 year old motivated to get ready for the day than the twins. Then we all say goodbye to my 7 year old and my husband drives her to school.
Depending on the day (we go to swim lessons on Tuesdays and Fridays), my twins have open playtime. This is around 8 am. Sometimes they will play while I run on the treadmill (they love it). After I’m done I let them walk on it for a couple of minutes at a very very very slow speed.
On Tuesdays when we go to swim class, it’s also grocery store day. I used to bring them all along when they were little. I’ve discovered a store that has a free kid zone they can go in while I shop since they are older now. Sad note, the store is getting rid of it. That will be a sad day.
They eat lunch at 11 am and nap from 12pm to 2:05pm. Then I give them a snack and we leave the house at 2:20pm to pick up my daughter from school. When we get home they play while I help with homework. I feel that I should say that I do read them books and teach them numbers as we play. I believe when they are young they can learn while playing, no need to set a specific time to “teach.” For example, we do ABCs and shape puzzles that also have colors on them, and I read them a lot of books.
We eat dinner around 6pm to 6:30pm. I cut off their liquids at 7pm. At that time, the kids put their pjs on. At 7:15pm, the twins brush their teeth and go potty. Then at 7:30pm the twins go to bed. I read them a book in their room , sing them a song each individually (“You are my sunshine” verse). Then hugs and kisses and l leave. They both sleep in single beds.
4. What’s some advice you would share with new twinmoms to survive the newborn stage?
I was not very good at the scheduled feeding and naps when they were really little. I wish I would have been on somewhat of a schedule.
I breastfed exclusively, and I did not always feed them at the same time (it was most of the time). Meaning, if one was sleeping I did not wake the other one up. I wish I did. It was nice however to have that one on one time.
Also if you can join a multiples group, do it. And take any help that is offered no matter how small.
5. At what age did your twins start sleeping through the night? How did you sleep train them? What worked for you?
Gosh, it was past the age of 1, I think it was partly to do with the table food. I also used the cry it out method. My older twin Rhys has always been the better sleeper. Transitioning them from cribs to single beds was actually pretty easy for me. They were 2 and I took them to pick out their own sheets and pillows.
6. How do you deal with temper tantrums?
It depends on the situation. If it involves physical fighting like biting, hitting, pushing, and kicking then it’s immediate timeout. I do timeout times based on their age and it doesn’t start until the crying stops. So the boys get 3 minutes timeout. Then they have to apologize for whatever they did. I make them say “I’m sorry mom for hitting you” or whatever it is. If we are in public, I try to redirect. I point out something to try and get their attention. This also works if the tantrum is something small. I will say I’m always open to new ideas and change it if something that I normally do isn’t working for the situation.
7. What have you started teaching your twins, when did you start, how did you do it and how long did it take?
My boys are potty trained. It took a span of 4 months. I know people do a 3 day training that has worked really well for them. I am a little more lazy, hehe. Anyways, I trained them at different times. Not because I wanted to, but because I knew he wasn’t ready at all; and by not ready, I mean he would scream bloody murder if I even just sat him on the toilet. Based on my past experience potty training my girls, I learned that one of the worst things you can do is force it.
So my first one was Conlan, he was only just over 2. They say that there is a readiness window for kids that makes it super easy. By chance, I found his window. One day after a diaper change before bed, I was letting him run around sans diaper (risky I know). On a whim, I got the toilet and said “Conlan go potty.” He did right away and he was super happy to do it. He was easy after that, and pretty fast. He did have accidents here and there for about a month.
Now Rhys, I didn’t worry about him for awhile. Then one day we were in a store and I saw a Paw Patrol (who he loves) potty. We bought that and started the process. Every 15 minutes sitting him down on the toilet. It didn’t work for a long time. Then one morning he was dry and I quickly sat him on it, and he went! I cheered and he freaked out. I noticed a trend with him. Every morning he was dry so I would sit him on the potty not making a big deal about it. It slowly transitioned to the rest of the day. This took a couple of weeks.
I did not use pull ups. I found that they were too much like diapers, I realized this with my oldest. They make training underwear you can buy. It’s basically just thicker underwear. I have had some interesting accidents. The biggest one that sticks out in my mind happened while waiting in the car to pick up my daughter from school. Conlan says he’s gotta poop in a panicky voice. Since the school was not open yet to pick the kids up, Conlan ended up pooping right there and then. I had to change him in the back of our SUV. There was poop everywhere, all over his shoes, his legs, his pants, it was a mess. I’m glad I had extra pants and underwear!
Thank you again Lisa for sharing your story!
I hope you’ve enjoyed learning about Badass Twin Mom Lisa. This mama is one kickass lady!
On a side note, Lisa mentioned her twins didn’t start sleeping through the night until they were one. It’s different for everyone but twins can sleep through the night sooner, mine started at 4 months old. Need sleep training tips? Discover the 7 secrets to sleeping twins, Click here to receive the free guide.