Monday, June 16, 2014

Twin Mom Guilt

When you're pregnant with twins, you spend your days dreaming about the smiles, cuddles, and all of the "firsts" you will experience with your babies.  If you have friends with kids, you remember getting the phone call when their baby smiled for the first time.  When they rolled over.  When they crawled.  You also heard about the tantrums, but as long as you could focus on all of the exciting aspects, the tantrums and sleepless nights didn't seem so bad.

And then you had two babies at the same time.  You didn't sleep for 328 days straight because someone always needed you.  Your attention, your arms, your breasts, your time.  When you finally had a chance to breathe, you looked at the calendar and realized their first birthday was quickly approaching and you needed to jump on Pinterest so you could plan the perfect party.

Being a mom of twins is HARD and I don't think there is a soul out there who would disagree with that statement.  But what you don't - you can't - realize until they're here is how busy your life will be and how fast it goes by.

One of the biggest struggles twin moms face is the guilt of not being able to really celebrate each and every milestone.  You do the best you can, but as you're celebrating Baby A's first steps, you're having a hard time clapping because Baby B is sitting in your lap.  And if Baby B is not in your lap, you look at him/her and wonder when it will be his/her turn.  Then you remind yourself (for the 800th time) that you can't compare your twins and you should just focus on this moment.

But the moment is now over.

You scramble to write it down in the baby book (or if you're like me, make notes in your phone) and then you cry because time is going way too fast and you cannot wrap your head around it all.  While your friends can easily remember weights/heights/firsts, you say things like, "Jude weighed 19 pounds at six months.  Or was it nine months?  Or was that Sloane?  He was taller than her.  Wait, no she was taller than him.  She was definitely taller than him.  Wait...." That is a direct quote from two nights ago when Michael and I were having dinner with another couple.  I felt silly.  I should know these things.

We're told to put our twins on the same schedule from the very beginning (and I wholeheartedly agree), but it allows so little one-on-one time with each baby.  From the moment they are born, they eat together, sleep together, play together, and the second you pick one up to snuggle, the other needs a new diaper. Eventually, you start to question how well you even know their distinct personalities. 

Unfortunately, this post does not give the solution to end the twin mom guilt.  I'm not sure there is an answer.  What I can tell you is you're not alone.  You don't remember the exact day both babies rolled over?  Neither do I.  You feel guilty you didn't give Baby A enough attention today because Baby B was especially clingy?  Same here.  You feel defeated because you spent 140% of your energy on your babies and even though there is absolutely nothing left for you to give, you still felt like you could've/should've given more?  I feel that way every single day.

As mothers, we put so much pressure on ourselves to be super mom.  And because we have twins, everyone tells us we are.  But instead of thinking, "You know what, I am super mom," we blurt out everything we did wrong that day. 

Most of us are struggling with the same feelings.  The guilt will always be there, but take a deep breath (take two - one for each twin) and realize there is only one of you.  You will never feel like you enjoyed a milestone enough.  Or bonded with both twins enough. Or that YOU are enough.  But that is the beauty of twins - you are not the only one providing love because they have each other.   They smiled, hugged, and laughed with one another while you were fretting over not spending enough time with each.

My only advice is this: Be present.  Enjoy the small moments, push through the tough moments, and celebrate the big moments. Make sure your babies know they are loved through each of these moments.  Write the important dates down and then give yourself grace to forget them.

And when someone asks you something you don't remember, tell them something you do recall.  I can assure you whatever you say is far more important than a number on the scale or a date on the calendar.

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  1. LOVE this!! My thoughts exactly!

  2. This was an answer to prayer! Thank you so much!!! My husband and I enjoyed it! Something that helps us is on Saturdays we have an individual date with each girl and then swap the next week so we have that one on one time :) thanks again and know that you're doing a great job!

  3. Mer, you are Super Mom. Super Mom being defined as a mom who loves, hugs, feeds, cleans, cuddles, snuggles, laughs, cries, thinks, desires, disappoints, remembers, forgets, and prays enough so that your precious children will rise up and call you blessed! Your cup runneth over (twice as fast as mom's of singles!). Love and hugs.

  4. I can relate 100%. If I would have read this post before having twins I wouldn't have understood this at all. I've always felt like I didn't get to "enjoy" them as babies because it was constant feeding, changing, sleeping (ha!), and then repeat. I never felt like I had that extra time like all my friends with single babies. I don't know that it will ever go away. I try to make sure everything is equal-- toys, food, etc... you can only do so much.. and then birthdays come, I just never want them to feel like they get cheated and it's my own guilt kicking in when I have all these thoughts!

  5. I can completely relate to this post - and add in a 4 year daughter along with 13 month old twins and your head will spin because you never feel like you spend enough time with any one of them. There are not enough hours in the day to give as many kisses as I want to.

  6. "that is the beauty of twins - you are not the only one providing love because they have each other" BEST thing I've read, ever!! Hopefully it will stick in my head when my two little ones arrive in August!! Thanks so much for sharing :')

  7. I really needed to read this today (even if it's a year and a half later...). But thank you!!! I appreciate your words. Often times we don't feel like we are enough. Although we wouldn't have been chosen to be twin mamas if we couldn't do it. Right? Thanks again.