You’ll have probably worked out … maybe the hard way… that despite the huge bond of the Twin Mum, we are all doing it differently.
Naively I assumed that we were all doing it the same. Maybe it was a first child/ren thing…maybe it was the lack of sleep, but I just sort of assumed we were all in the same boat and would all being doing the same dance to stop it rocking!
Not so! After months of watching a poor Mum on one of the FB groups I am part of pour her heart out day after day: “So tired” “we all cry. All day and all night” “one sleeps all the day and the other all night” “cant see straight, hallucinating”. “i don’t think I can cope anymore”…. you get the gist… OMG this poor women… I literally had to get in touch.
Now I am not a big fan of pushing parenting advice on anyone – until drunk and then I am as good at parenting advice as I am at dancing! Anyway to cut along story short – I private messaged to offer her my sympathy and the details of our routine, its comparative success (?)and ask if any part of it might help her, and how I would do it differently if I could do it again. Honestly I thought it was helpful. Her reply?
“thank you so much for taking the time and noticing quite how tough this is all being for me. Very kind. However while I see it works for some people, I don’t like the idea of routines for children and would much rather they found their own way…. more chatty stuff…bla bla”
I was literally gobsmacked. What? You too don’t slavishly adhere to the omnipotent routine? You don’t have a bed time… (with mini omnipotent routine). You don’t try and give your baby as much possible at the 2 o clock feed in order to get through to the 6 o clock feed without the breakdown of society as we know it?
OMG am I doing this wrong?
The self doubt lurked for days – Am I raising children to be so regimented in their days they wont be flexible enough to deal with life, the big bad world, all the change they will encounter in their lives?
I still worry about it… Although il fess up now: I like my gin and tonic at 7.30 and a full nights sleep. I cant see a full 12 hrs being bad for anyone and this is the reward I reap for leaving lunches early, conducting long bloody boring afternoon walks in the freezing fresh air, never being able to to to the 1.30pm Tumble Tots session despite the fact thats where my best friends toddler goes… etc etc…
The point is this – this woman was doing it differently to me. So differently in fact that instead of pfffting her and muttering something about ‘rod…own…back’ she made me see myself through her eyes!
She must have been appalled at the way I did it. It must have offended her on a deep level. My children in her eyes must have been sad and repressed. But what struck me more is we were both doing our best – usually at the expense of some of our sanity and happiness!
Literally every decision you make as a parent, Twin or not, is the one you feel is best. Organic food, cross the the road style, how many vests to put on, stair-gates or no stair-gates, naughty step or no, baby led weaning vs puree, twin cots, separate cots, dress the same don’t dress the same ….its a bloody minefield!
So you know what, left, right or somewhere in the middle, we are not all doing it the same but we are all doing our best. Lets try and see that when we look at the mental shit “other people do”!