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I Thought Raising One Kid Was Hard — Until I Had Twins

flickr / Donnie Ray Jones

The following was syndicated from Quora for The Fatherly Forum, a community of parents and influencers with insights about work, family, and life. If you’d like to join the Forum, drop us a line at

Is raising an only child more stressful than when you have multiple kids?

I have 3 kids, a 7-year-old and twin 5-year-olds.

The 2 years that we had a single child were a cakewalk compared to the 5 since. That said, there are advantages to both, and raising a single 2-year-old is nothing like raising a single 7-year-old.

Speaking to the difficulties having multiple children:

  • You can no longer pay attention to one child and one child only. This is a problem, especially since children need attention. At first you have to give that one child even more attention when the new one(s) come home.
  • All children are different. I’m not talking about “beautiful little snowflakes” I’m talking: This one screams at the slightest sign of resistance to his plot. This one won’t stop talking and takes it personally if you don’t pay attention to every word. This one is violent and will take you out at the knees if you drop your guard.


Each kid needs their own thing and it’s up to you to balance all of this.

Raising a single 2-year-old is nothing like raising a single 7-year-old.

Going along with above, they’re not all going to want to do the same thing. Even if they do, they’re not going to end up together when they do it. Our kids all dance and play soccer. They have different practice and game times for everything. It’s a nightmare trying to organize our daily lives to be able to have an adult everywhere and often one kid refuses to participate so you have to drag them kicking and screaming.

little girl screaming

Daycare and preschool are freaking expensive. Even with group discounts you still end up paying well out of your benefits and in our case it didn’t make financial sense for my wife to work anymore.

Even when they were babies, it was tougher managing feeding and diaper changes with 3 kids.

Overall, my experience is that stress and difficulty with more than one kids is an exponential curve rather than linear.

Ignoring all the difficulties with multiples, I’m sure it’s possible to overdo it and live vicariously off of one kid. People stress themselves to extremes over the silliest things all the time. I’d say just by nature, more kids is more difficult, even when you do realize that babies aren’t faberge eggs and don’t need to be constantly coddled.

Bart Loews writes about parenting, programming, and fitness. Read more from Quora below: