Twinning Attitude!

Join Fran Pitre and friends for uplifting, supportive, healthy conversation and information on topics important to all moms (and all women) today!

Stress and Motherhood: this mom’s perspective February 20, 2011

Filed under: Let's talk about ...,Tips and Ideas — twinningattitude @ 5:09 pm

Motherhood and stress go hand in hand as far as I’m concerned. I’m sure most of us would agree that living our lives as parents among our other identities tends to stretch us a bit thin.

I’ve not posted a new Twinning Attitude! topic lately because I’ve been experiencing an abundance of stress-triggering situations and ongoing demands that have been overwhelming me. But knowing I’ve got to persevere for the benefit of myself and my family, I need to find that “winning attitude” myself and hold on to it … and live it!

I’ve decided (as I often do when I’m feeling overwhelmed and need some sort of stress-releasing solution) to sort things out by writing it all down. So, here I will share:

1) those “stressors” in my life;

2) my reactions and means of coping (some of which that are not so good);

3) and finally, make and enact a plan to cope in more healthy, positive ways.


STRESSORS:

1) Finances have always been and will always be high on the list of stressors. Regardless if we’re in a prosperous or time of financial struggle, the focus and importance placed on family budgeting, planning, finding creative solutions, etc., is an enormous source of stress, worry and energy-depletion;

2) Children and their well-being is an all-encompassing, 24-7 stressor on me. As a mom, I hit the floor running each day jumping right into the role of caregiver, meal-preparer, grocery-shopper, laundry-doer, home-cleaner, van-driver, problem-solver, toddler-rocker, story-reader, bath-giver, nose and bottom-wiper, and the list goes on as so many of us know. I fortunately have a very hands-on, willing husband who is the perfect Daddy to our children. He parents his children as all Dads should, and his assistance is very needed and appreciated by me! But, he is also a very busy architect and project manager at the office where he works. He is under a lot of pressure and puts in very long hours, and business often takes him out of town for days or weeks at a time. Often, he comes home exhausted, and my reaction is to try to make our home the inviting, warm, loving retreat it should be for a husband and father who works so hard for his family. Is it that wonderful place of peace and solace each evening when he arrives home? Nope, try as I may. An argument between our teens or tweens will invariably pierce what was until only a second ago, a gentle bubble of quiet and peace, while the pasta begins to over-boil on the stove top, and the phone rings while one of the toddlers takes a toy out of the other toddler’s hand who then begins to SCREAM. (–sigh–)

3) When the kids get sick or hurt, I become terribly stressed-out and emotionally drained. Thank God we’ve not any injuries so far beyond a broken finger, sprained ankles, assorted head bumps, cuts or bruises. And as far as illness are concerned, I’m not talking about coughs or colds, but the big stuff, like those violent stomach flu bugs, or those high fevers associated with flu or strep. When one or more come down with these illnesses, which may happen when my husband is in or out of town, I go into a survival operational mode, determined to do anything and everything needed to get him, her or them well.  By the grace of God, we get through these episodes, and when all finally settles down, I usually end up with whatever illness I was nursing my kids with, or I collapse out of exhaustion from lack of sleep for several nights in a row.

4) Meeting my family’s needs while trying to please everyone (which I understand is often impossible) is very stressful, and is an unending, daily challenge. Twin 3-year-old boys are a complete handful. They are potty trained, and know when and what to do … when they WANT to. Dealing with this type of stubborn behavior is enough some days. Then when I factor in my 11-yr-old daughter’s very busy soccer schedule, my 11-yr-old son’s baseball schedule, my teenage daughter’s dance classes, and her twin’s assorted club and school activities, I become stretched in many different directions. Helping to assist with school projects, homework, test prep, problems and such can also take up so much time and energy. Two student drivers to ride with for practice while they have their learner’s permits is the definition of stress alone!

5) Having 2 teenage girls.

6) Did I mention the need for me to work and bring in a supplemental income? I am presently actively promoting my book, “TWINS x 3”, provide creative design services for a local real estate business and my daughters’ high school development office, and own/operate my home show direct sales jewelry business.

It all sounds like too much. Some days it works well, and some days I want to pull out my hair.

 

 

WAYS OF COPING IN THE “NOT-SO-BEST WAYS”

After I delivered my 3rd set of twins at the age of 44, after 3 months on pregnancy bed rest, I think my body decided to go on strike.  I just didn’t bounce back into shape as I had (with some help of diet and exercise) with my earlier two twin pregnancies and deliveries. I retained so much pregnancy weight and pain in my hips and neck from the months on bed rest that I seemed to struggle more to complete my important daily tasks. Although I was determined to shed the unwanted weight, I worked out, dieted, and tried different ideas for almost 2 years with only little success. I found some success with a metabolic-approach, but because the program itself was so expensive, I couldn’t sustain it. I kept off the weight I’d lost (over 20  lbs.) for several months, but when additional financial challenges hit, as well as the holidays (eek), I (unbeknownst to myself), began to slowly put much of the weight I’d so hard-fought lost, back on. (–second sigh–)

I admit it. When I’m stressed, unhappy, (or even happy), worried, in the middle of conflict with my husband or my kids (usually the teenagers), or overwhelmed by anything in anyway, I tend to retreat (when my husband is home to care for our lil guys) to my home office or my bedroom and shut the door where I can find quiet, peace, have a complete uninterrupted thought, and find some distraction in a book or from a television program. Sleep offers a wonderful escape, too. But another form of self-soothing is finding that bowl of left-over pasta to heat up, or a bowl of cereal, or toasted bagel at 4 in the afternoon when I’m not even hungry. I’ll prepare dinners for my family which will include the comforts of carbs such as rice, pasta or potatoes. I’ve been known to go back for seconds. Oh, and lets not forget that candy bar grabbed at the check-out counter and added to my groceries because “I deserve it”, because it’s been “a tough day”! I eat these sometimes on the way home from the store or once I’m in my room or office and can enjoy them by myself.

I also believe that I’ve been in a bit of a depression initiated by the overwhelming business of life. Some days I stay on top of every task and duty, and enjoy walking the boys up to our neighborhood park to play while exploring the world of tall trees, pine cones and doodle bugs. Then there are  other days I feel like I don’t care if the dishes pile up, or the laundry isn’t folded and put away, or the toilets aren’t scrubbed, … as long as everyone is clean, fed and gets to and from school/practices. Just do the basics. I know I should exercise because I’d feel so much better both physically and emotionally, but I don’t feel like exerting the energy. I just don’t want to get out of bed some days at all. I don’t want to, but I do.

I don’t want to feel this way. I don’t want to eat my feelings. I don’t want to fill in the cracks of my heart with a spread of peanut butter on my cherry pie, like Paul Blart. I don’t want to continue wearing the same clothes day after day while looking at 3/4 of my unfitable wardrobe. I don’t want to look at joggers, walkers and bikers and just wish I’d feel like doing that. I want to look forward to this summer being able to wear my favorite shorts, tops, skirts and swimsuits.

 

 

NEW PLAN

Okay, I’m done.

I’m done with loving my scale one day and hating it the next. I’m done making excuses and wanting to curl up under a blanket to feel better. I’m done wishing things were different sometimes, and am now determined to count my blessings, shake my own shoulders and see this through.

Two and 1/2 weeks ago, I started a new weight loss plan and I’ve lost 10 pounds! Another 3, and I’ll be back to where I was before I started to regain. But I’m not stopping there. I’m going to continue until I am really happy with myself. Will I get there by eating differently alone? No. Yoga and power-walking will not only help this program along, but as we all know, will release stress and increase healthy blood flow and brain function. My brain could really use some healthy functioning. I’m making efforts to have girl friend get-togethers … so dinner or a movie out every couple of weeks or so. And having a date with my husband 2-4 times a month is a top priority.

Will changing from a negative, self-soothing attitude to a healthy, positive attitude with an active plan underway take out all the stressors in my life? Of course not, but I hope that as I continue to make better choices in the way I handle what life hands me each day, I’ll find more peace and ability to cope which can teach my kids how to cope with life’s challenges in healthy, positive, productive ways.

 

 

For some advice that I found helpful, please visit: http://stress.about.com/od/stressmanagementtools/a/joy_motherhood.htm

How do you cope with the stress in your life? Give me your feedback and some suggestions for other Twinning Attitude! visitors … your comments may be just what someone out there needs to hear!  🙂

 

Does Santa visit your home? November 29, 2010

Filed under: Let's talk about ...,Tips and Ideas — twinningattitude @ 10:18 am

In our home, Santa Claus (aka Saint Nicholas) visits each year on Christmas Eve delivering gifts and treats to the children in our home as a passed-down tradition. St. Nicholas’ ancient practice of secretly filling the stockings of his town’s poor children is the basis for this Christmas tradition. We remember that Nicholas carried out this practice with the Christian belief of giving anonymously, so as not to take credit for generous deeds.

Each year, our children write a letter to St. Nick describing how “good and giving they’ve been this past year”, and include a list of two desired gifts. They place this letter in their stockings on the night of December 6th (the Feast of St. Nicholas), seeing the next morning that their lists were taken during the night. As parents, we love this practice, because after that point, there can be no wish-list revisions! 🙂

Our childrens’ Catholic elementary/middle school provides us with a list of children in need our local area each year, and along with each child is a list of items that he or she would like that Christmas. In many cases, the gifts asked for on this list are the only gifts that these children will receive that year. So, we choose one child from the list and place his or her wishes in an extra stocking. We then pick out one or two of the listed items, wrap, and then have our kids deliver the gift(s) to their school on behalf of St. Nick! They get to be his “helpers”, and have an opportunity to experience the important blessing of giving!

Many families believe that continuing the tradition of Santa Claus is “lying to their children”. Many Christians believe that Santa Claus is a pagan, secular, commercial figure who distracts from the focus of Jesus’ birth as the basis for this holiday celebration. I can understand this position, but we believe that St. Nick (a very devout Catholic Christian in his day) loved our Lord very much, and celebrated His birth by continuing the tradition of giving as did the wise men (the three kings or Maji) when they brought precious gifts to the new born King.

As our children grow up and realize that an actual man in a red suit does NOT come down our chimney to deliver gifts, we share with them that, because they now have learned the secret behind Santa Claus, they may now as “big kids” help continue our tradition for their younger siblings, so that they, too, can experience the joy, anticipation, wonder and excitement of the spirit of St. Nick, along with anticipation and celebration of the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ!

One day, Santa will no longer come to our home, and we’ll look back, never regretting the joy and excitement that this tradition brought to our children and to us!

Please share your thoughts!

 

All moms are “working moms”! October 20, 2010

Filed under: Let's talk about ...,Tips and Ideas — twinningattitude @ 12:02 pm

 

Ask any mom, and she’ll tell you that being one is the hardest job she’s ever had! Now, add on top of that 24/7 responsibility the task of working outside the home (full- or part-time), working an outside job from her home office, or running a business from her home office, … and you’ll see one busy woman!!

Some moms reenter the workforce due to the basic need for sustaining income, while others choose to go back to work simply because they want to. Regardless of the reason that working moms work, it’s very difficult to balance home responsibilites, children, work, and actually finding time in there to take care of herself.

Before I had my third set of twins, I’d been working for several years at a few different ways to earn additional income from home for our family of six. If you’ve read TWINS x 3, you know the different hats I wore before I became pregnant with Sean and Benjamin. When I wrote and published my book, I’d planned that any and all income received from this venture would, of course, be reinvested in our family and/or placed into savings for my childrens’ futures. A few months ago, out the absolute need for additional income, I contacted the publisher in South Georgia whom I worked with for two years providing advertising and editorial magazine design for his various county Chamber of Commerce publications. Deciding (or reconfirming, rather) that the amount of work and the quality of what I was providing simply wasn’t fairly compensated for, I decided to re-sign with the direct sales jewelry company that I’d been an independent distributor for also in the past. Premier Designs High Fashion Jewelry (http://www.premierdesigns.com) is a solid, reputable, 25-year-old company whose business philosophy is based on the Biblical principles of honesty, integrity and service. Becoming a jewelry sales consultant has given me the flexibility to work outside my home presenting and conducting home shows in customers’ homes on evenings and on weekends while allowing me to be home with my toddlers and be able to transport my older children to and from school and other activities.

But factoring in a new, growing business from my home has real challenges. For one, I haven’t sat down to post a new blog topic in weeks until now!  In addition to preparing for and conducting my hostesses’ home shows, I attend monthly support and training meetings. I also spend many hours each week: building a customer base; scheduling and planning home shows; recruiting, supporting and training new jewelers;  closing (placing orders for) each home show online as well as ordering/maintaining  business supplies; all while creating new ways to grow my business to support and serve my customers. While doing this, there are diapers to change, groceries to shop for, beds to change, laundry to fold, messes to clean up and kids’ arguments to break up!

Although I have a few rules that I’ve followed for years when it came to managing my time and keeping my sanity as a working mom, such as:

~ take advantage of toddler nap time to get lots of work done (OR take that much-needed nap yourself);

~ plan meals ahead of time so meal prep can be quick and easy;

~ accept or enlist help from your older children/teens … teaching them that they’re assistance is valued and that everyone pitches in for the common good of all;

~ make use of after-kids’-bed-time evenings and weekends to catch up with work, but also be strict about leaving and shutting the office door at a set time to concentrate on my kids, husband or for me to get out and visit with a friend for dinner;

…  I’ve also found some additional tips from two websites. Check them out for yourselves!

http://www.buzzle.com/articles/work-at-home-moms-best-time-management-tips.html

and,

http://workingmoms.about.com/od/worklifebalance/a/Selfcare.htm

 

Please post your comments and suggestions about how you manage the balance between working and family! Your ideas will be much appreciated, very valued, and will help other Twinning Attitude visitors, including me!!

 

YIKES! Big-Boy Beds! October 1, 2010

Filed under: Let's talk about ...,Tips and Ideas — twinningattitude @ 11:00 am

As my baby boys approach their third birthday, yes, the time has definitely come to graduate these little guys from their safe, comfy yet restrictive cribs to the adventurous world of “being loose” in big kid beds. I placed crib tents upon their cribs back when they were around 14-months because they began to demonstrate their frightening abilities to lift one leg over the side not knowing what would result could be a terrible fall. At one point, Benjamin nearly fell directly on his head, and would have if not for the cat-like reflexes of his mom catching him. Of course, it took this mom several minutes to recover from the use of her cat-like reflexes and sudden rush of adrenalin.

For the last couple of months, there’s been evidence of the attempts of a prison break from their tented cribs. Ben’s tent began to show his efforts of his trying to escape, as if he’d stashed a spoon from the prison cafeteria up his sleeve … I detected little holes in the white netting here and there that became bigger and bigger. Sean decided to pull at a corner seam along the inside of his crib tent and was able to push those wet diapers out and onto the floor that he so often would shed, only to then wet his crib sheets!

So here we are. We’ve taken down the twin cribs for the third and LAST time, and set up the twin bunk beds that double as individual single beds against two opposite walls, each having its own bed rail. We’d bought these beds when I was pregnant with my second set of twins so that my eldest twins (4-year-olds at the time) would no longer have to share a full size bed together (which they graduated to from their cribs), and would finally have their own big girl beds.

As most of us who’ve been through this transition have experienced, the BIGGEST CHALLENGE now lay with KEEPING THEM IN BED once nap or bed time arrived. It was so bad with our first set, that we, out of desperation, would take “bed-time drives” around our neighborhood. This drive would begin after jammies were on and teeth were brushed so that the girls would fall asleep in the car after about 10-15 minutes, after which we would lift them out of their car seats and lay them down in their shared bed. We gated their bedroom into the hall so that if they awoke and we didn’t hear them, they couldn’t leave their room and get into any trouble/danger in the rest of the house while we slept.

REFUSING to resorting to this method with my second set, I simply told them to stay in bed. When they got out to play some more, I’d go right in and threaten them with “toy taking”, “no playground the next day”, or something to that effect. The family room was just off the kids’ rooms hallway, so I could hear every sound and could quickly zoom in there. Eventually they would settle down. Sigh. Yes, their room was gated as well.

This time around, well, the kids rooms are upstairs. My biggest challenge is that when I believe they’re settled and quiet, I leave to return downstairs, only to hear the “pitter-patter” above me! I make many runs up the stairs, and find that they’d heard me coming (no matter how quietly I believe I’m prancing) and quickly jump back into their beds, slyly now resembling the little angels I’d left only minutes before. Yesterday, I realized that Sean had reached up and TURNED OFF the baby monitor because the monitor I keep in the kitchen suspiciously began to emanate that static-y sound of when the main unit is OFF! Rascal!

At night, I’ve developed a fantastic system called: The Patrol. One of the two 11-yr-olds (usually Brandon, whose room is just across from Ben and Sean’s) will be recruited to patrol and report the status of the toddlers who should be in bed. Bruce and I can resume our evening duties of laundry folding, bill-paying or simply TV-watching while Brandon gives us a regular report from the top of the stairs every few minutes. If one or both toddlers are “being naughty”, he’ll startle them with a quick, “GET BACK IN BED!” order … following which they quickly scamper back into their beds! It’s an AWESOME arrangement!

What stories do you have about that wonderful transition from crib to bed? What challenges have you had? What suggestions to you have for the rest of us? We’d LOVE your input …

 

Maintaining controlled chaos! September 7, 2010

Filed under: Let's talk about ...,Tips and Ideas — twinningattitude @ 8:37 pm

With a large family, there are many aspects of “keeping it together” that need to be maintained on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. While I no longer insist that the entire house is in complete order as I once did before I had children, it is important to me to keep on top of the daily tasks and finances in order to keep our home and lives running as smoothly and as organized as possible! I’ve been asked on occasion if it’s possible to maintain an organized home with lots of kids. Honestly, some days don’t run as smoothly as I’d like, but for the most part, we all pitch in so that we all benefit from our team efforts.

Here’s how we manage to keep our heads on straight:

Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the kitchen ...

1– Stay on top of daily chores: Keeping on top of the never-ending laundry, the ongoing kitchen work with meal prep and clean up, keeping the pantry and refrigerator stocked with the meals for the week ingredients as well as basic staples, paying the bills and keeping up with the checkbook register simply are musts. But do I do it all on my own? Of course not!

2– Delegate: In our home, our four older kids each have a list of jobs to do around the house that are clearly posted in the kitchen for all to read and refer to. Our older girls are required to take turns with dinner dishes and folding two large loads of laundry per day in addition to their homework. The middle set of twins are expected to keep their rooms in order as well as the upstairs loft which they all share to play games, computer work, homework and TV-watching.

3– Divide up tasks over several days: I try not to feel like it all has to be done everyday. I’ll spread the work out over a few days. For example, I’m content that the bathrooms get thorough cleanings (Mondays), vacuuming (Wednesdays), and dusting (Thursdays), which all get done once a week. The kitchen floor may not get completely mopped each day, but it requires sweeping and spot-washing several times a day.

Kiss-kiss everyone ... have a good day!

4– Communicate/Post Schedules: As for the children’s after-school activities, as schedules seem to constantly change, we communicate daily as to who needs to be where and when. A large, erasable calendar has been recently posted for all to see showing Brandon’s baseball schedule, Erin’s dance and soccer schedule, and the two older girls’ dance team, drama club, social activities and other school club meeting dates. My 8-seater van shuttles everyone all over the place, but I also have a carpool arrangement with another family. Right now, I have four kids in three different schools, and it’s a real challenge making sure that everyone gets to and from their activities daily.

5– Be money-conscious: Since adjusting from two to one income, our family has really had to tighten our finances, which is no easy thing to do. We’ve consolidated some credit cards and are sticking to a very tight budget. Our motto is: if we don’t have the cash for it, we don’t buy it. I plan out the dinners for a week and stick to those ingredients so that I’m not tempted to buy lots of extras. I take advantage of sales, coupons and have gone to second-hand stores for kids clothing, etc. I believe that living this way is teaching our children to appreciate what we have and to respect the costs of daily life.

5– Take care of yourself: When the busy day full of home care and shuttling is over, find an outlet to relax. I actually exercise in the evenings, followed by a hot shower or relaxing bath. Some evenings I run out to meet a friend for coffee and dessert or a movie. I also love to go to movies all by myself, allowing myself to get immersed in a good love story or comedy. After having the chance to take a break, I’m a much happier wife and mom!  🙂

You know, people say to me all the time, “Fran, I don’t know how you do it!” And often I’ll answer, “Some days I do, and some days I don’t!” And that’s the truth … some days go as smoothly as a well-oiled machine, and other days seem to be fraught with a hundred little fires that need to be put out one by one, just like most families experience daily!

I think the best advice is to delegate and accept help, take care of yourself, and above all, don’t try to do it all on your own!

 

Be an advocate for your child! August 29, 2010

Filed under: Let's talk about ...,Tips and Ideas — twinningattitude @ 11:34 pm

There’s no question that we as parents love our children. However, with such fast-paced lives today, it’s become all too common for parents to expect “the village” to assist in the raising their children. In other words, many depend on their child’s teachers, coaches, daycare workers, camp leaders, and so on, to do much if not most of the teaching and guiding. These other authorities in the child’s life, although valuable, do not have the emotional connection nor his very best interests at heart as would his own parent.

In order to truly be assured that our children’s experiences in school, camp, sports teams, and in everyday life outside our homes are as positive as possible, it is vital that we as parents do our best to be their advocates.With twins, it’s important to address each child’s interests separately because, fraternal and identical twins alike, will choose different activities to pursue. If a set of twins is in the same class or on the same team, make sure that their teachers, team captains or coaches not treat them as a pair, but see them for their individual strengths, weaknesses and talents that can be beneficial to the class or team.

With school now back in session (or to begin shortly), I try to follow a few rules of thumb when it comes to advocating for my children, as I’ve done for the previous 10 years. I find that these tips have proven, and wanted to pass them on to you:

1.  Involve yourself in your kids’ activities:

•  Attend parent/teacher conferences (both generally-held and individual) and demonstrate your sincere interest in and complete commitment to your child’s success while you spend one-on-one time with your child’s teacher.

•  Connect positively with teachers by showing respect for them, so they may in turn, show respect for you and your child.

•  Meet your child’s sports team coaches and establish a rapport with them. Allow them to see you at the sporting events such as the ball games and track meets. When they see your commitment and your consistent presence, they will see your child in a positive light, as well.

2.  If a negative issue arises, be the first to initiate a solution, and approach it maturely.

•  Show your child’s teacher that you understand that your child may have done wrong, and that you’ll take steps to make sure that it doesn’t happen again, whatever the problem may be.

•  If your child was misunderstood, wrongly accused, or in the “wrong place at the wrong time”, it is important that you get the complete and honest story from your child, then initiate a meeting with the authoritative party to get to the heart of the problem. Present yourself with dignity, maturity and without confrontation. There’s a reason why the old adage still holds true today that “you can lure a lot more flies with honey than with vinegar”.

3. It is very important that your child knows that you believe in her, support her, and will always “have her back”.

•  Whether the outcome of a difficult situation results in favor or in opposition of your child, let her know that you will never abandon her, that you believe and believe in her, and are proud of the way that she handled a difficult experience, regardless if she was or was not at fault to begin with.

For some valuable questions to ask at your child’s next parent-teacher conference, please visit:

http://school.familyeducation.com/parents-and-school/parent-teacher-conferences/38586.html

… And please stay tuned for an upcoming post on Becoming an Advocate for your Learning Disabled Child.

 

Potty training twins … oh the joy of it! August 21, 2010

Filed under: Let's talk about ...,Tips and Ideas — twinningattitude @ 2:02 pm

Don’t we wish potty training was as CUTE as it looks?

So, my twin boys are 34 months old, and I’ll be the first to admit that, being so busy and distracted with a slew of other pressing issues going on in our family, I’ve probably not been as diligent, committed and focused on potty training as I should be. About a week ago, that all changed when, with my four older kids back in school, I’d made the commitment to concentrate and devote the next few days (and probably weeks, but hopefully not months) to getting the job done!

As the mom of three sets of multiples, I’m often approached with statements like, “You’ve already successfully potty trained two sets of twins, and are now on your third … you must be a PRO … so, what’s the trick to potty training multiples?”

My first response is to say that each of my sets of twins have consisted of children who are very different from each other. Referring to them and perceiving them always as a “set”, or a collective of two little people who should be expected to behave and fit into the same mold as the other, is an incorrect assumption. We as moms of twins know already, even identical twins are complete individuals. With that said, I recall my first set of twins (my girl/girl set) having one (Lauren) being completely ready and compliant by 22 months. She showed the readiness signs of expressing her dislike of wet/soiled diapers, demonstrating an understanding of using the potty, and having dry diapers for longer periods. She also was very verbal at that point and could express her desires and understand instructions quite well. Her twin Kathryn, however, was simply not into it at all, and regardless of her sister’s accomplishments, rewards, and “big girl pretty panties”, just wasn’t interested until she hit 2 and 1/2, at which point, she was ready and basically went from diapers to training pants to cotton panties in the course of a week! I believe that ultimately, Kathryn witnessing Lauren’s successes and rewards did play a part in her decision to “get with the program”, so I do believe that a level of peer pressure is a plus! The gap of time that existed between each child’s completion of the process allowed me to focus and concentrate on one child at a time, which was a plus for me. It also allowed for some one-on-one bonding between myself and each of my daughters, one at a time.

My second set of twins are a boy and a girl. Erin would often imitate her older sisters … a REAL PLUS there! By the time she was between 22 and 24 months, she was very into pretty big girl panties like her sisters wore. Encouraging her to sit on the training potty, understanding and enjoying Elmo’s “I Can Go Potty” book, and rewarding her after her successful visits was almost too easy. She, like her big sisters, showed the emotional and physical readiness signs of graduating from diapers to panties, and by the time she was 26-28 months, she was done. Training pants were used at night, but those didn’t last too long with her either, as she would wake up dry and ready to visit the potty upon getting up. Of course, there were often some middle-of-the-night visits, too. Now, Erin’s twin Brandon’s potty training process was a completely different story all together! Although we encouraged him to sit on his own potty, and rewarded him with his successes along the way, he simply decided that the thrill was gone after a few weeks, and decided to regress almost completely after he’d demonstrated his readiness and we’d thought he was just about trained. Ultimately, Brandon was 3 and 1/2 before we could consider him finally potty trained. He was NOT HAPPY as he watched his poo-poo flush away, so we told him that it was probably a fun thing, like going down a water slide! At that point, he decided to say with each flush: “Bye-bye poo-poo, have a good ride!”

Forcing, bribing, coercing, threatening, punishing … of course, were completely ineffective, so we learned and concluded that no matter how many children you have, and regardless of the fact that as a parent, you basically handle situations in the same manner each child, the INDIVIDUAL child is going to be ready, willing and able only WHEN he or she is ready, willing and able.

Benjamin and Sean have been demonstrating the readiness signs for quite some time, and although they’re well-acquainted with their own Mr. Potty, seem to understand and enjoy Elmo’s potty book, have actually both been successful at wee-wee-ing in their potties so far, are simply not consistent, probably because Mommy hasn’t been consistent enough.

My goal is now to have my “very ready, but disinterested” toddler sons potty trained soon. I’ll let you know how it’s going in the next couple of weeks. Hopefully, but then, I’ll be reporting that we’ve rounded the bend and are on our way to total completion!

Stay tuned, and in the meantime, please visit these very helpful websites that I’ve turned to (which I didn’t have access to fingertips 13 and 9 years ago!)

My friend, Pam Fierro writes for About.com, as an expert on twins. Here is her advice on potty training twins, which I intend to utilize! http://multiples.about.com/od/pottytraining/tp/pottytrainingtwins.htm

Two other great site for tips: http://www.pottytrainingconcepts.com/A-Potty-Training-Techniques.html

and Mayo Clinic’s source: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/potty-training/CC00060

The BEST reward of all!

Good luck and God Bless!


I wish all of you the best of success you endeavor to potty train your multiples!