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.