Managing Twin Rivalry and Balancing Extracurriculars

by Courtney El-Ghoul

Oh, #twinproblems… Haha, I swear. Each day with these girls is such a blessing, but man, they always keep me on my toes. I talked with you guys in a previous post about the “twin jealousy” and how bad it was getting. We have since taken steps to improve our parenting styles to adapt to this issue, and some days are great, but we still have a long road ahead. This brings me to the latest obstacle on this roller coaster that is twin parenting! They are so different when it comes to their athletics/pastimes. How on earth are we supposed to manage potentially conflicting schedules and commitments? Up until recently, it has been okay to have them in the same activities. Okay, in the sense that it has been super easy for me and neither was really upset about missing out on anything. But, if I am being honest they’ve each been in activities that they might not really be LOVING because the other one loves it.

 Lately, though, it is so obvious how different they are. They have been dancing since they were two, and currently they are both in hip hop and ballet class! Ava has for sure shown less interest this year, but I was really hoping maybe she was just having a bad day, or that it was in my head. Well, I am for sure so WRONG! 

Little girl in ballet class wearing a tutu and a bow
She is over it, haha

Little girl playing with red ball at the park.

For example. Normally, if one of the girls is sick I wouldn’t have anyone to watch the other, so we just skip the extracurriculars all together.  But recently when Ava got sick, it just so happened that Khalil was around to stay home with her…. so I took Nahla to dance alone. That’s when I realized we needed to figure out how we were going to manage their increasingly different interests. Not only to make whoever is less interested happy (Ava in this case)… but also to let the more interested twin thrive (Nahla, for this example). Oh my gosh. Seeing Nahla on her own, was like a totally different experience. She is so into it, and really good! When the two of them are in class  together, Ava is so disinterested and probably asks to go to the bathroom, for a tissue, or water what feels like 50 billion times in the span of an hour!!! Then, of course, Nahla does the same thing right after. So, in the end, Nahla is missing out on something she could really enjoy, Ava is stuck doing something that just doesn’t vibe with her, and the teacher gets beyond annoyed (I can tell). It’s heartbreaking. 

Little girl in pink dress with large purple bow in her hair.
Twin sisters playing at park with a water bottle.

 On the flip side… Ava is straight up like… on her way to being a pro soccer player. Watching them is kind of hilarious because Ava is out here just crushing it… and you look off to the side and Nahla is literally picking flowers, off in her own world. Luckily, in this case, Nahla doesn’t seem to dim Ava’s shine here… and she likes to pick flowers so… no harm? haha, However… The piano is a different story. Nahla is starting to show some real interest in Piano and could be pretty good at it. Ava, on the other hand, is not so into it. But, she is so jealous when I sit down to practice with Nahla. So, Nahla doesn’t end up practicing as much as she should and when she does – Ava’s jealousy is really palpable in the house. 

Point being, we have made a TON of progress on the jealousy front… but this is a new struggle that we can’t deny any longer. Just because they are the same age and twins I can’t expect them to like the same things. I gotta figure out how to make it work. Maybe it means a mommy helper… who can drive!!! Or, maybe only doing one activity per child so I can make the schedule work?

Fashionable twin toddlers playing outside with big bows in their hair and bomber jackets on.
Little girl wearing Elsa dress standing next to gold Christmas tree.
always in her princess dress and shoes:)

 Wouldn’t life be so much easier if they just liked the same stuff!?!? … I kid, I kid…  I am actually super happy and proud that they are so different. It really is pretty cool that two humans who have literally been together their whole life are really so unalike! Even as their mom, I am amazed every day how unique each of their personalities is.

What about the other twin parents out there? Has this been an issue, How do you deal with it?



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