I often wonder how I coped looking after two babies at once. Although E is an easy baby, I can’t imagine having two of her to chase after.
There are so many differences this time around, both good and bad.
If E is grumpy in the evening I can hold her in my arms while I cook dinner – this is something I couldn’t do with my boys. They were left to cry more often because I couldn’t always be there for both of them.
If E cries while we’re out with the buggy, I can take her out and carry her –I never did this with the boys because I knew if I picked one up I couldn’t push the heavy double buggy one handed plus I knew the other would get jealous and demand to be picked up too.
I still take E to rhyme time at the library each week. By the time my boys were her age we’d had to stop going. It became impossible to keep them both near me on the floor – they would speed crawl under the chairs in opposite directions. One would head to the nearest shelf to pull off the books and the other would motor towards the open double doors that led out to the street.
I can take E swimming. This is something the boys rarely had chance to do because carrying two babies and two swim seats to the pool was too tricky and stressful.
So many things are easier this time around and I think a huge part of it is down to how chilled out I am now, which in turn has made E into a chilled out baby. But there is one thing that is so much harder than I ever expected. It’s something that all singleton parents face but as a twin parent I’d never experienced before now … letting your child go through a new experience on their own.
I started sending my boys to a childminder for a few hours a week when they turned 14 months and I didn’t think anything of it. I looked forward to the break from them where I could work and drink hot coffee for a change. Last month, I started sending E to a childminder for a few hours a week. She goes with the boys for one session which is completely fine as I know they’re all together, but one session she goes alone while the boys are at preschool. The first time I had to leave her there was heartbreaking. I had tears in my eyes all the way home.
Twins always have one another. I’ve never worried about leaving them places because even though they play separately most of the time, they can find the other for comfort if they need it. Singletons have nobody – they have to stand alone straight away. Of course, they have no idea what’s going on, but for me as a mum I’m finding letting go of her so much harder.
Your second (or in my case third) child feels so much smaller and more vulnerable than your first. I feel the need to protect her more than I did with my boys, and it’s not because she’s a girl. I think I feel a bit sorry that she hasn’t got a twin brother or sister of her own to keep her company. I’m sure as she gets older her brothers will look out for her, but I hope she isn’t jealous of their relationship and that she realises she is special because she’s a singleton just like they’re special for being twins.
I can see all of the amazing benefits of how much easier things are for me this time round, yet pushing my singe buggy around gives me a pang of sadness that my boys are growing up and I’m out of the twin baby/toddler phase. So anyone out there with twin babies, take note: although it is tough right now, at some stage in the future you might look back and sort of miss this crazy period of your life. Enjoy every second of it. xx