The reality of having twins – being individuals

twins - individuals

Parenting twins really can be a hard task, because not only are you teaching your children but you also need to educate your family, friends and even strangers along the way. I don’t know what it is but people seem to think that just because they are twins that they aren’t individuals. The biggest mistake you can ever make is not to treat a twin as an individual!

My twins are both boys, which is actually quite wonderful, but just because they are both boys does not in any way mean that they both like the same things. And this is true for identical twins as well. Twins do not always like the same things! Identical twins are not identical in every single way, they will have their own likes and dislikes and I’m sure their own little quirks too.

Yes twins do tend to have a lot in common. I’m not going to get into the nature vs. nurture debate, but honestly they were in the womb together, were born together and are brought up together in the same environment so yes they do have a lot in common and will develop some of the same interests.

Both my boys like cars, trucks and megabloks. They both enjoy reading but one will sit and read a book a lot more often than the other. They both love outside and our dogs but one will constantly ask to go outside, the other won’t care. One will sit and watch the world go by, while the other is too busy tearing around the world like a maniac. They are twins, they do like some of the same things but they are still very much individuals.

Which honestly can be hard to manage. You want to have quiet time with one and the other will want in on it, which can then cause a meltdown for either one or both twins. They will want different things but both at the same time. It’s difficult but you learn to do it all. You teach taking turns and hopefully patience (I’m not sure we have learned patience yet) and as they get older they will hopefully have a better grasp of it all. They need to know that they are individuals, and as a parent of twins I need to encourage them to be individuals. If they don’t want to play the same sports or musical instruments or whatever, you know what that’s fine (it’ll be much more work but if they were all born as singletons you wouldn’t force them to do what their older sibling did so why should twins?).

You can read more on my reality of twins series here!

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Not what I expected

So my sons cast finally came off on Monday and for 2hrs we were happy, I was dreaming about how life would go back to normal and I’d have my beautiful happy, laughing, adorable boy back. Those dreams were quickly shattered when we were told that he would have to were a full brace for 3 weeks. The brace is worse than the cast was!! With the cast on, at least he could use his good leg and he was happily motoring around the house (albeit slowly). The brace we have been given completely disables movement of both legs. And the worst part is, I don’t know why. Because the brace was fitted by someone other than the doctor who said he would be going into a brace they weren’t able to tell us anything and we haven’t been able to get in touch with the doctor since.

We quickly discovered the brace would not fit in our pram, the car seat, or his high chair.  The only times he is suppose to have it off is for a bath.  So our options are to stay home and do nothing for the next few weeks or do what we have been doing and only having the brace on at home.  It’s not the best solution I’m sure but at the moment it is the best I can do.  The world does not stop because we have been thrown another curve ball, and both boys will go stir crazy if we sit at home for 3 more weeks.

So my plans to get back into blogging and meal planning and cooking and sewing and everything else (including trying for a baby) have yet again gone on hold.  And as much as I was annoyed for a day, that’s ok, I was entitled to my annoyance and frustration but I’ve done the adult thing and decided what’s really important.  My boys will always come first and making sure my little one is safe and his leg doesn’t get re-broken is definitely my first priority.

Perspective

I haven’t been writing like I normally do, simply because I have not had the time, energy or really know what to write.  Monday was a horrible day for me, and I honestly just wanted to crawl into bed and cry.  I questioned my life decisions and felt that I was a bad mum.  I’m sure we’ve all had that kind of day.  Thankfully Tuesday, yesterday, was a wonderful family day.  It was a simple day with my husband and gorgeous twin boys just out and about.  It reminded me of just how happy I am, how much I love them all (even when they drive me crazy) and how lucky I am.

Life is all about perspectives.  Some people view my life as hard and at times awful, and lately I’ve been listening to it a bit too much and buying into what they have been saying.  Yes having twin toddlers can be extremely challenging, but its also so rewarding!  Watching them play, hearing them laugh and being there when they discover something new is wonderful!!!  Not having a stable income and living on a budget is also hard, but it’s not impossible.  We still manage to go out and have a coffee and I still get to treat the boys to a trip to the local play centre or a new toy.  We may not be able to afford fancy dinners and expensive holidays but we do manage.

Being a stay at home mum is a choice I made.  I became a mum because I wanted to spend time with my children and help them learn and grow.  I choose to stay home most nights, put my kids to bed and then relax on the couch.  I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything.  I know parents who have had their kids and been out drinking again with their friends within the week.  That’s a choice they make, but that is not me.  My kids are my responsibility and I take that very seriously.  I take time out when I need it, which isn’t very often and the boys have no problem with being looked after by family.  I’m not the person I used to be, I’ve grown up.  I may not fit in like I used to but I’m ok with that.

Yesterday reminded me that I’m ok with where I am at and that I need to drown out the voices of others, because their perspective of my life is not my perspective.

sunset

My perspective is pretty beautiful

Parenting

I’ve been doing a bit of reading the last few day (online, despite my stack of books waiting to be read) and I never cease to be amazed by how different everyone’s opinion is and how when someone doesn’t agree it can turn into an argument over nothing.

As you would know we are going through our own rough period and some days it is extremely difficult.  I am positive everyone has gone through these stages or will do in the future.  It’s not easy and it does sometimes leave you questioning your decisions, looking back on your past and wondering what if.  I love my little family and I honestly can say I wouldn’t trade it for the world but that doesn’t mean its perfect.  It’s hard, damn hard.

I’ve lost my temper a few times over the last week and honestly felt like I was going to snap.  Unfortunately I’ve yelled at my kids and although I do feel bad when they cry, when they are doing something dangerous it’s necessary.  Not everyone sees it that way though and I have seen far too many people getting into arguments over the way you ‘should’ parent.  What I do in the privacy of my own home is not for anyone else to judge (unless it is abuse in which case the police should be involved) and to be honest I’m a bit tired of hearing that ‘my child never listens to me’ nonsense.  Yep my kids frequently ignore me, it doesn’t mean I’m just going to give up because eventually it’s going to sink in and they will learn.  And when they are touching power cords or anything else that could potentially hurt them they will definitely get yelled at.  My boys are smart enough to know that there are things they are not allowed to touch, although we are still going through the curious toddler stage they are well aware that some things are off limits.  And of course they are going to test those limits again, they want to make sure the same rules still apply.  Every few weeks one of the boys will toddle off to a power cord, get down low and look at it, reach his little hand out and look at me.  He is checking to see if I’m watching, which I usually am, and to see how I will react.  They know that they will get a warning call out of their name and a stern ‘NO’ to remind them that they should not touch.  If they choose to ignore me, which does occasionally happen, then they get yelled at.  And usually tears ensue, then we cuddle and make up, explain that its dangerous and move on.   Until the next time.

There is no right way to parent, we all do it in our own way and we learn from our mistakes.  For most of us parenting is the biggest learning curve in the shortest space of time and we have to learn to adapt.  Sometimes I just wish people would keep this in mind before telling everyone else they are doing it wrong.

Mummy guilt

I have never felt so bad in my life, the accident one of my little ones had on the weekend, has actually resulted in a broken bone.  I realise the term accident means that no one is at fault, but I feel very much to blame.  I spent most of the day at the hospital with him and he now has a cast that goes from his ankle all the way up his leg and around his stomach.  He will be like this, pretty much unable to move, for 4 weeks.

He has accepted it all better than I have, aside from the fact that he’s frustrated that he can’t crawl at lightening speed after his brother.  So there have been a few tears (from me), a lot of screaming (from him) and even more hugging.  I am trying to come up with activities for him to do and ways to keep him entertained that he can do sitting on my lap or in his little chair.  It’s really difficult!!  He just wants to move.

And what makes it worse is that I of course have twins, so the other child is still running around the house and causing utter chaos, but I can’t be in two places at once, so he is getting away with a lot and it’s only been a day.  I have no idea how I am going to manage them both on my own, but thanks to our limited funds I don’t have a choice.  Hubby can’t afford to take anytime off work while we adjust.

I’ve managed to cancel all our plans for this week, so that there’s no added pressure to be anywhere and honestly to save myself some embarrassment about having to explain over and over why my son has a broken leg.  I feel bad enough without anyone else judging me.

So I may be quiet for the next few weeks as my usual routine will be going out the window and I’ll only be able to cook, clean and do other general household stuff when the boys are in bed.  No multitasking, which will be a change for me.

Awwwwww

So that may not have napped today and they may have been a bit of a handful but one of my boys fell asleep in my arms tonight and it was the sweetest moment!  He is not one to fall asleep in my arms and transferring him from the car to inside or the pram never works, he always wakes up and that’s it for him.  But tonight, after a few stories we had a little cuddle in the rocking chair and he snuggled in so I thought I’d just keep rocking and enjoy the moment and a few minutes later he was fast asleep.  After having a bit more cuddles with my sleeping boy I transferred him to his cot without a fuss.

Then it was on to the munchkin who was still running around his room laughing and playing, and we did our special kisses more than a few times, a few cuddles and then it was lights out.  Less than a minute of complaining from him, and I’d say within 20mins he too was asleep.

I feel so much better about life as a whole after my special time with the boys, so I just had to share!  Sometimes the smallest things make the biggest difference.

tots

18 months old

18 months!

My babies are 18 months old today!  Where did the time go??

I love them more and more every day but I must say at the moment they are driving me mad!  They are into absolutely everything, one of them is constantly telling me no, and they either both complete ignore me when I tell them off or take it really, really badly resulting in tears.  And the last two days they have refused a day time nap.  This is surely just the start of things to come as they have well and truly hit toddler hood and have realised not only are they little individuals but just how much power they have.

I’m honestly not sure whether to be proud of them or be mad at them!!!  They are growing so fast that I feel a little as if I’m not ready.  I do miss those days of when they were babies, but now we have our own little things that I could never have done with them as babies.  We have created silly little games and special bed time kisses that make my heart so full.

 

I can not imagine my life without them, and despite all the stress of the last month, all the ups and downs, all the disappointments, all the anger and tears, they have been my one constant.  They don’t care that I’m not perfect, they just love me because I’m their mum and I make them feel special and safe.

So despite the fact they have refused a nap today, made an absolute mess, had a few minor meltdowns and been very cheeky, I am very happy that we have hit the 18 month milestone and that I got some extra time in for playing and relaxing with them.  Life may always be changing but my love for them will only grow stronger.

18 months