Wednesday, September 21, 2011

a response to "Double trouble or twice blessed? "

I was reading Melbourne's Child which had a feature on Homophobia in Schools and I was looking for the article on their website and I couldn't find it.  Instead I stumbled across this article which was about raising twins.  Now I realise it's only this woman's opinion and I actually found myself mostly disagreeing with it... 


As a mum of three-year-old twins (almost), I'm often asked, "How do you cope with two?" My honest answer is neither straightforward nor simple, and I all but have a mild panic attack, gasping for breath, the minute I meet a prospective mother who believes that having two at once is the perfect instant family.


I get asked the same question a lot as well - how do you do it?  How do you cope?  My answer is different - I don't know any different.  All of my experiences are wrapped around having twins.  Yes it's hard, but I also suspect having one child is hard.


But I guess the bit that really surprised me in the article was this:
Those early days before that were filled with scrubbing bottles, changing a dozen nappies a day, waking one baby to feed when the other one cried out in the night and getting our babies in a routine as early as possible. It sounds harsh but it was about survival and functioning. I never read for hours a day to my inquisitive wide-eyed babies, nor did I rock them to sleep or spend hours gazing into their eyes humming lullabies. I just didn't have the time and yes, I feel guilty about this too.


Now I have twins - they're almost two years old.  I've spent hours reading to them, I've scrubbed bottles, I've changed more nappies than I ever care to remember.  I've rocked them to sleep, and I still occasionally do.  I don't feel guilty that I didn't have much time to spend doing the things that parents of singletons do... but that's because I made the decision that my children came first.  The house could (and still every now and then does) look like an absolute bombzone but I was going to get down on the ground and interact with my children, I was going to play with them, read to them, wrestle with them.


The one bit I will agree with and I think any parent with twins will tell you this - ROUTINE IS KEY! Get them into a routine as soon as possible and stick to it.  Babies respond surprisingly well to order and it does help keep you sane...


Some of my happiest moments have been when one of the girls has fallen asleep in my arms.  Or there's the other bit which is the absolute delight on my day - getting tandem cuddles on the couch watching TV - to my mind life doesn't get much better than that.  And I get double the cuddles :)


I think that's maybe the difference.  I wasn't afraid to let other things slide.  Hell I shower at night because it gives me more time to spend with the girls and I try to do everything that I didn't do during the day while they are down for their nap.  


Twins really are a blessing.  This I think becomes more apparent as they get older.  They are more socialised, more confident in social situations and they have each other!


I was very lucky that Larry was around for the first 6 months so we didn't have as many dramas in the first 6 months or so. But it was still hard... now it's no so much hard - it's just a different set of challenges.


It hasn't all be rosy.  I have broken down and lost the plot.  I have been in absolute tears due to the frustration and the anxiety.  But I am also blessed with two incredibly amazing children.  They are happy and healthy - I think that's all anyone can ever ask for.


As a random stranger at the supermarket said me to a while ago - double the trouble, three times the fun.  And you know what - he was right.  I wouldn't change having twins for anything.  I love my children, I love my family and I think it's just right as it is :)


Link to the article here -> http://www.webchild.com.au/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3852:double-trouble-or-twice-blessed&catid=19:stories&Itemid=185