Happiness Is

http://happyashleigh.blogspot.com/

Blogging about the chaos of raising toddling twins, and our journey in searching for information and treatment of our daughter's (twin A) Nystagmus, a rare visual impairment.

Ashleigh is a winner of Top 25 Moms of Multiples - 2012

How do you split your time so that all your children get enough attention?

This is actually something that my husband and I talked about the other night.

Our daughter, Makayla, is very demanding of attention. Also, because of her trouble with seeing (she has ocular albinism with nystagmus), she sometimes needs more attention and help from us. Our son, Austin, is very independent. We realize that we have to make a focused effort to take the time with Austin, and make sure he's getting all the snuggles, kisses, play and reading time he needs and wants.

One thing I learned in our twin playgroup, from the moms who had single children before having twins, is how important alone one on one time is with each child. We have decided to make sure that they each get that time with both of us, even if it's just a trip to the store! I've found that they actually behave very differently when they are alone with one of us and have our complete and undivided attention.

Do have any tips for handling sibling rivalry?

I was an only child, so I've told my husband, one of four children, that he is responsible for handling all the sibling rivalry issues!

Lucky for him, we haven't had too much rivalry. They will occasionally have a meltdown over a toy they both want, but normally only when they are tired. In these situations distraction is key.

Since the very beginning my strategy for happy babies has been, "change it up." Do something for as long as it works, and as soon and someone is upset or having a meltdown, start something new. In the beginning it was move from the swing to the jumper, to a nap and so on. Now it's play, sing, snack, outside play go for a walk/drive. If they are fighting over a toy or book, and it's not time for a nap, then we'll sign some songs with hand motions, or get a snack or juice. Or, when all else fails, get out of the house.

Moms of multiples are often experts at multitasking. Have you discovered a shortcut or trick that all moms could use?

I'm not sure it qualifies as a short cut or trick, but I have learned the value of a minute. Before kids, I used to put things off for later, because I only had a few minutes, and how much can you really get done in a few short minutes anyway? But, when the twins came home from the hospital I realized very quickly, that for the foreseeable future, all I was ever going to have was a minute here and a minute there.

I learned that I can shower in two minutes. I can unload and reload the dishwasher in the one minute it takes to heat of the kids dinner. I put away laundry in the four minutes it take the twins to down their morning milk. And, I can vacuum the floor in the five minutes after the kids wake from their nap, but before I get them up.