Friday, June 24, 2011

The twin mum guilts

The twin mum guilts are something that every mum of multiples will understand.

I remember when I was pregnant with the boys, I was so worried that I wouldn't have enough love for two babies. That I wouldn't have enough capacity for snuggles with two babies. That I wouldn't be able to equally share my time between two babies.

The instant they were born, those anxieties faded away. Mothers have a remarkable ability to create maternal love from nowhere. It roars to life like nothing I've ever experienced. Since the second I first laid eyes on them, I have had more capacity to love than I ever knew was possible.

It's only been on the very rare occasion that one has been super needy or ill that that little doubt about not sharing my love equally has popped its head up. But I'm extremely pragmatic most of the time. Even if there is a day when one baby needs more attention than the other, I know it will even out in the end. They'll go through phases. Life is swings and roundabouts.

But recently, I have had some serious bouts of twin mum guilt. I was driving home from the shops the other day - a sparkly gorgeous perfect winter day - and saw lots of very chic mamas out and about pushing their (single) babies. Designer prams. Swishy shiny ponytails. Designer gym gear. Designer sunnies.

I drove past a playground, and there they all were again. Pushing their (single) babies on the swings, catching them at the bottom of the slide, chasing them through the fields.

And it hit me like a bulldozer. I can't do this with my boys. I used to be able to - back when they were lighter and didn't move as much. But it's just not possible anymore. Firstly, I live in an old inner city suburb that is very hilly. I literally cannot push twins and the twin pram up and down them. Not without doing myself significant harm, at least.

Secondly, I can't take them to the park on my own. It's two against one. It seems that at the exact same time one tries to play frogger with the traffic, the other thinks it's an awesome idea to superman off the top of the jungle gym.

And I know - I could drive somewhere flatter to walk. I could ask someone to come to the park with me. But all of that takes so much coordination. Well in advance. And I do. But on those days when we just want to get out on a whim - that's when it stings. And that's when I feel the most guilt.

But my pragmatic side says at least they always have a playmate - even if it is at home; that it won't be long until they understand not to run onto the road or jump off the slide; and we're lucky we have a lovely big back garden that we have just filled with lots of lovely toys and play equipment.

And then I look at photos like these ones and I am pretty sure everything is going to be ok.

On a semi-related note - they totally love each other. They've started giving each other a kiss and a cuddle goodnight. It is the most heart-warming beautiful thing I have ever had the privilege of witnessing. My babies are divine.


  1. Oh no, i really disagree. With twins you just have to keep trying & experimenting, to see what your boundaries are. Forget trying to keep up with anyone with a fancy pram, sunglasses etc, it's all material, you get twice the kisses, cuddles & love from twins. I never felt worried about how i'd love two babies at once, but i already had one, i knew that when you have more children, you keep finding more love, you don't share it.
    So i say, go for it - i taught my twins to swim on my own, pushed them on swings on my own, they soon learn about taking turns & sharing, better than a single child. Stay strong, you can do it. Just keep trying. My husband went overseas for 9 months, when my twins were 9 months old, trust me, i had a toddler & twins running in opposite directions at the super market on my own, but if i didn't do it, we wouldn't have food to eat. We got the job down & all stayed very fit!! Love Posie

  2. Thanks for the vote of confidence :) I've always been good at getting out and about with the boys on my own so I am hoping this is just a short short phase! Need to get that upper arm strength happening!! Jenx

  3. I understand what you mean because I have two of the most active twin toddlers ever. I simply cannot do a lot of things that parents of singletons can do - well, I actually work and my husband is the SAHD. Either way, if there's one of us - we get what you're saying!

    I figure it is normal and it won't last forever. Once they get a bit older they will be better at following instructions and we will be able to do things like frolic in the park with just a single adult with them.

    I saw a show about a couple with sextuplets and they went to the park and had to take an adult per child. That didn't make me feel so bad :P (also, the husband looked quite broken down! haha, shouldnt laugh, but it made me feel better).

    I'm positive you're doing a marvellous job!

  4. I think every parent experiences guilt over something, not matter how many kids they have. Some might look at your boys and how much they love each other and feel guilty for only having one child!


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