It is the eve of my twins’ fifth birthday. As I look back and try to reflect on the past five years, thinking I’ve been a mother for five years now, it is truly shocking. It seems like time has gone slow, yet so fast. The saying really is true: The days are long, but the years are short.
You blink and it is another birthday.
Especially the last year. My girls grew up so much from ages four to five. I was 25 and married when my twins were born. Now I am a single mom to four precious babies. Looking back, I would definitely have given myself some advice.
To the Moms of Newborns
At the time, I was thinking: This is so hard, I cannot wait for them to grow up. But for me, the newborn phase is the easiest it will ever be.
Yes, the lack of sleep is HARD, but remember to soak up all the times they fall asleep on you, cuddle with you, smell that precious newborn smell (yes, it exists). You will miss these times.
In hindsight, it goes SO fast. Make sure you stop and just take five minutes to cuddle your baby. I was also SO particular about their schedule. If we veered from the schedule for a day, I would get extreme anxiety. However, with babies number three and 4 they are much more go with the flow. It shows in their personalities now.
To the Moms of One Year Olds
At the beginning of this year, a baby still seems like a baby to me. But sometimes kiddos are walking and saying “mama” and “dada.” It’s a fun age because you can start to do more activities without veering too far from nap time. Around 16 months is one of my favorite ages and milestones. It’s when they are playing, snacking, usually walking, and saying a couple of words. They have not quite learned to throw a major tantrum yet and they still will let you rock them to sleep. It’s a sweet age and definitely memorable because they are developing and hitting milestones so quickly.
To the Moms of Two Year Olds
I wish I could give helpful advice, honestly. My twins were great at two (but did not talk; they had a speech delay). Two, for us, was slightly better than three. I had a third baby at this time, so we started to do even more activities, like the zoo, museums, and go out to dinner and lunch. I’m thankful my girls have always been great at restaurants. We started taking them out very young, so they learned what to do and what not to do.
To the Moms of Three Year Olds
If your three old is like mine, this age is TOUGH. There’s the realization he or she has a voice and can respond to you. In my case, even though my twins could not talk at the time, but they were definitely letting me know their opinions. Having three kids under the age of four was not easy, and the girls were always wanting to be in the forefront.
This was the year for us that I enrolled them in a miniature preschool. With their birthdays in late June, they were late bloomers and not quite ready to go full time. This worked out well and really started to perpetuate growth. I started them in gymnastics this year, too, and all of these introductions to activities helped as well.
To the Mom of Four Year Olds
This was the year we really hit a turning point. The girls were really involved in preschool and we started more activities. I saw the most amount of growth for my twins this year. Towards the end of year four they were able to tell me what they wanted, how they liked things, and things they didn’t like. I think being involved in activities and school played a key role. This was a big year for personal change, for both my children and myself. We had to grow up together, and I think having the twins by my side, and at least old enough to grasp a little bit of the situation, helped them become more mature.