I used to google this question when things got rough my twin boys—where “rough” was defined as symphonic wailing, obstreperous non-eating, and/or virus-induced non-sleeping.
In hindsight, this might also be labeled “normal,” but in the early chaotic months with our twins, I sometimes felt downtrodden and desperate.
I really wanted to know, when does this get easier? I wasn’t looking for a spiritual answer, or the suggestion that mothering multiples would always be a challenge. I wanted a precise age, preferably in months and days, that I could mark it onto my calendar.
So, here is my own numerical answer:
Every six months, my twins got easier, and/or I got less stressed. Age two feels like a miracle, with twins that are both ambulatory and verbal.
Of course, it would be nice to have a mathematical formulation for each stage when twin parenting reaches a plateau, so here’s my best effort at that calculation.
Let’s say zero is your first day home from the hospital, and ten a fantasy world in which your life has been grafted onto a landed estate and you have a butler/cook/nanny/valet/ladies maid.
1. Add one point for every three months of survival.
2. Add two points for when and if you sleep train.
3. Subtract one point for every pet or other children under five years of age.
4. Add two points if you aren’t obsessive about nutrition, yours or theirs.
5. Subtract one point whenever you are sick, and two points for sick twins.
6. Add three points for a helpful partner, four points for professional help.
7. Subtract two points for hormonal issues.
8. Add two points if you already like stretchy clothes made of poo-resistant fabric.
9. Subtract one point if you enjoy having a clean house.
10. Add three points if you can laugh, marvel at chaos, and give yourself a huge break.
Give yourself a bunch of points if you actually added up those numbers in the quiz above, because I have not. It’s a rough estimate game. I do stand behind my original construction: every six months twins get easier, with a big break at age two.