THANKS to the awesome Young Mummy for our latest guest post all about the trials and tribulations of having twins. Her post has made me smile -- I' definitely became a chilled out mum as soon as was humanly possible after having my girls. There just weren't enough hours in the day to be anything else!
MY mum commented the other day that I’m more like a second-time mum, rather than the first-time mum I really am, writes Young Mummy.
She doesn’t mean I’m some kind of parenting genius, just that I’m quite laid-back as a mother. And she puts this down to having twins.
I know that if I allow myself to fret over every little thing, I’d very quickly get overwhelmed and have a meltdown. Parenting multiples is a balancing act and any added stress can quickly become a tipping point.
I’ve had to force myself to chill out. I quickly realised I can’t do everything. I’ve found the hardest part of having twins is when they’re both crying and I struggle to console them simultaneously. But I think that this has helped them learn to calm themselves – now they don’t always need to be held to know that I’m there offering comfort.
So I’m not as quick as some friends to swoop down and scoop them up when they have a grumble and I think Miss E and Mr A are more confident and independent as a result.
I don’t obsess over milestones. There is no proof more irrefutable that babies reach the milestones in their own time than having two babies doing everything at different times. It’s a constant reminder that every baby is their own unique person.
Like many twin mums, I found routine to be my saviour. Once Miss E and Mr A were old enough, we gently guided them into a routine of daytime naps and calm bedtimes, and I’m sure that it’s a direct result of this that they are good sleepers.
I follow their lead and if I notice any eye-rubbing or yawns, it’s time for a nap. Dealing with one over-tired baby is a pain, dealing with two is painful.
I can’t have my eyes on both of them all of the time, so there will be knocks and scrapes. I have to be confident that I have created a safe place for them to play, where they can’t do any serious harm to themselves.
I hope I’m not blasé, but I don’t make a fuss.
And finally, I accept the fact that my babies are not going to be perfectly turned out in spotless outfits at all times.
Neither of them like getting dressed (or undressed), so there’s no point in getting them (and me) upset if what they’re wearing has a bit of lunch or a grass-stain on it.
Having twins has made me a better person. Less controlling, less anxious, less worried about how others see me.
I’ve almost made it through the first year, and I am so proud of myself and the two lively little people who have been my daily companions.
My message to new mums of multiples is to relax and enjoy it. The first months will be tough, no question, but you’ve got so much fun and joy ahead of you.
This week, You've Got Your Hands Full is welcoming writers sharing their experiences on various aspects of being a multiple mum to mark Twins, Triplets & More week.
There will be a carnival on Friday July 2 all about the pains and pleasures of having twins or more. (Please send your entries to lindajonespassionatemedia[at]googlemail.com by 7pm Thursday July 1 to be included. And please do download the code for a Got Your Hands Full badge which you can see to the left...)
The aim of all of this is in part to help publicise Tamba's new free initiative called Get Ready for Multiples which offers far-reaching help for new parents.