Post # 1
Not sure if this is a ‘twins’ issue or if it’s just a ‘more than one kid’ issue.
I’ve really been struggling lately with feeling guilty for not being able to give undivided attention to each of my twins for longer than a few minutes at a time. I’m so jealous of friends who get to spend all day pouring their heart and soul into one little baby! Every time I try to intentionally spend one-on-one time with one of my twins, I end up just feeling like a terrible mother for leaving the other one just laying there looking at us like I’ve abandoned her (they don’t want to play with toys if there’s human interaction going on in the room). I’ve read all these things that talk about the importance of lots of one-on-one with books, songs, etc, so I feel like I’m ruining my babies’ chances of normal, happy development by having to give ‘group time’ or just leave them while I tend to their twin during activities that would normally be very individually interactive like feedings, play time, story time, etc. I know it’s good and healthy for them to have a bit of alone time, but they don’t get individually held/played with/talked to nearly as much as a regular singleton would. I’ve got friends who are glad to come over and help out, but it’s not the same as mommy time.
At Christmas, my mom kept holding the one that would be left on the playmat whilst I was with the other one and pointedly commenting on how babies need to be held. She even asked if I was trying to train them to not need to be held by leaving them on the floor! I mean, for crying out loud, I’ve only got two arms. 🙁 I would love to have more individual time with them, but it just doesn’t feel possible.
Does anyone have bright ideas for getting really good quality time with each individual twin without the guilt of leaving the other one just sitting there watching the fun? I feel like my kids are going to be under-stimulated and love-starved by virtue of being twins… DH and I each take one when he gets home so that they both have someone to focus on just them at bath time and bedtime, but during the day it’s just me.
Post # 3
@UK Bride: First of all, you sound like a wonderful mother. You are so concerned about your babies and it seems like you really care.
Second, your mother’s comment was awful. I would love to see her carry around 2 babies all day!
Finally, even if you can’t hold your babies all day, they will still grow up to be happy and well-adjusted!
Post # 4
First off, I would like to tap your mother on the nose for making you feel bad. You can’t hold both twins at once! (Unless you’re relaxing in bed and they don’t need anything. And when do twins not need anything? Never!)
Second, your twins are going to be fine and wonderful and delightful. You’re making sure all of their needs are met and playing with them when you can. Once they’re a little older and can feed themselves and aren’t eating every two hours, you’ll have a LOT more time to play with them!
Don’t worry! I had a LOT of twins come through my room as a preschool teacher, and none of them were suffering from a lack of attention!
Post # 5
How old are they again?
Can you try varying their schedules a bit? If they are not napping/eating at exactly the same times then you have a little bit of built in alone time with each. I know one mother of twins who puts one down for a nap at 10 and the other at 10:30. But they sleep in separate rooms so they do not wake each other.
Also, there is NOTHING wrong with group activities! Get yourself two good seats and read to them or show them toys. Once they can sit up supported, things will be much easier!
I would also suggest something like a 3-5 minute rotation for 30 min each day. Hold twin 1 while twin 2 does tummy time, then switch. Then do swinging, then bouncy seat, then maybe tummy time again. (so they do an “alone” activity for 3-5 min while you hold the other, then switch basically) After this do a group activity.
Do your best, you are a great mom! Don’t feel down 🙂
Post # 6
@UK Bride: I don’t have kids (yet alone twins!), but I wanted to pipe in to say that you sound like an amazing mommy. Seriously, those girls are going to grow up in a house so full of love, it would be impossible for them to feel like they are lacking!
As crazy as your life is right now, please make sure you are taking care of yourself too! A happy mama makes for even happier babies.
Post # 7
Reply wasn’t working for me, sorry!
Just wanted to say that I’ve watched my friends have kids and totally dote on the first one, (obviously). TWO adults to pay attention to one baby, lucky little one! Then the second kid comes along and the first is in for a rude awakening! I think this is very normal and happens to most parents, I’m not judging them or saying it’s a bad thing- it’s just kind of how it goes. Anyways, I think your twins will understand sharing and playing independently earlier and better than singletons or first born siblings. They will know they are loved dearly but also understand that the world does not revolve around just them and their individual needs. Also, babies and children learn a lot from watching others interact, so one twin watching while you attend to the other isn’t necessarily negative. Anyways, it sounds like you are doing a great job and are a very caring, attentive mom! Keep it up.
Post # 8
@UK Bride: It sounds like you’re doing a great job!
I would rotate my girls. The example someone gave earlier of 3-5 minutes with one baby then the same with the other. I’d turn the other baby so that she wasn’t facing us. If I felt really bad then the other baby could be entertained by a kid show for 3-5 minutes.
I took turns which baby was held in my lap while eating and which one I held the bottle for while in the car seat. Later I’d put them both in the car seats and hold both bottles at the same time. I’d make eye contact with each one, rub their cheeks and do those same things you’d do while holding them during a feeding.
As your girls get older, their personalities will develop which will help lead you. I had one baby (E) who loved to be held and didn’t play with toys much. The other was toy whiz. By default, E got held more, but it was what she needed. V and E turn 7 this month and E is still this way. She loves to snuggle and would rather watch tv, read books, listen to music or color pictures instead of play with toys.