Thank goodness for mom support groups. I was in the MOMS Club for many years until all three were in school, and I'm still active now with my Mothers of Multiples Club. It's not just for the baby years, you know. It turns out you need support, a pat on the back, and all out HELP even as the kids get older. I find that anytime I talk to other moms with kids the same age, I appreciate hearing that we're all going through something similar. And I love talking to moms of kids older than mine, so I can see what's coming (and how we might handle it). So in this year of Captain America vs. Ironman and Batman vs. Superman, I give you Tweens vs. Toddlers.
A common theme in my moms of multiples club is “Not better, just different.” It helps us all keep perspective through the years. So when I look at our FB group full of questions about potty training and breastfeeding struggles, I breathe a sigh of relief that I’m past all that. And I'm so thankful! But it turns out we have our own struggles at ages 10, 10 & 12:
Better: No more toddler tantrums due to lack of communication! I remember once the foot-stamping started with one of my girls, we were in for a full 45-minute episode until she exhausted herself.
Different: Um, not really. We have mood swings, stomping up the stairs, door slamming, tears over nothing, all because I “just don’t understand.” Let’s not even peer into the future when I have three teenagers at once (hold me).
Better: No more wiping a child’s behind!
Different: You don’t have to be in the bathroom at all (yay!), but you have no idea what’s going on in there, so you have to trust an embarrassed tween to tell you what’s up. The result? Sometimes bad constipation or other unmentionables.
Better: No more baths! No more sitting there waiting forever, getting splashed, and crying over hair rinsing.
Different: Turns out tweens can be as stubborn as toddlers about not cleaning themselves! They think they do not need to shower every day, despite this thing called “BO.” Or, they get in the shower but forget to wash their hair (this has happened many times among the three children).
Better: No more “Why? Why? Why?” times three toddlers. That was exhausting.
Different: Um, some pretty tough topics, like how some of our neighbors have Confederate flags up, why some teens choose suicide (one occurred at my son's school just a few weeks ago), and the impending puberty times twins. So it's not exhausting, but it is challenging.
Better: They feed themselves now, rather than putting in in their hair or throwing it on the floor!
Different: Apparently finicky-ness runs in tweens as well as toddlers. Someone hates a food that they liked yesterday. I couldn't keep track then, and I can't keep track now. I'm just sticking with my one-meal-and-everyone-eats-it method.
Better: No more Barney. No more Dora. No more Fresh Beat Band (I never liked those guys).
Different: So many teachable moments about popular music, “why can't I see that movie?” and trying to balance pop culture with appropriateness.
So how is it at your house–have you made it to the Tweens vs. Toddlers stage? Tell us:
What are your Better/Different experiences now that you have older kids?