I always recommend to new moms of twins that they seek out other MOT’s to spend time with—there is really no better source of information, support and advice than the fellow MOT for the new twin mom—-the one problem with this is sometimes it is easy to compare yourself to them. When you spend time with moms of one baby, it is easy to say to yourself that she can seem so relaxed, prepare home-made delicious snacks or get to the gym three times a week because she only has one baby to manage. WIth MOT’s, that handy excuse falls by the wayside. I often see other moms of twins, whether it’s out for walks or off on playdates or just walking through my neighborhood (the stalking of fellow twin moms have already been discussed here!). Sometimes I leave these encounters thinking….wow, she looks well put-together. When did she find time for a manicure? She just told me she blow-dries her hair every morning—when? (Not, of course, that I managed to do this pre-kids, but that’s not the point. Is it?) Her kids didn’t make a peep the entire time we were together–how did she do that? And the biggie—How does she handle two babies so much better than I do?
My husband, in his infinite wisedom (see, Honey, you’re right sometimes!), after listening to me talk about this, reminded me that we all have our “public faces”, which is usually what we share with random moms, even MOT’s on the street (or stalking us through the neighborhood), out on playdates or for moms nights out. We’re out, so we don’t tend to get as frustrated with our kids. Our kids aren’t as clingy or whiney, because they are out in the world and having so much fun, watching stuff and playing with other babies. We may even have thrown some make-up on or a clean shirt since we were going out in the world. Maybe the baby girls even got a pretty hairbow. (Danny keeps stealing Abigail’s and trying to put it in his hair.)
I was hanging out with several MOT’s recently, watching a set of peaceful 6 month old babies and commented that I didn’t remember my babies ever being as chill or relaxed (read: quiet) as the set of babies I was watching. Another mom laughed at me, and said that mine were often like that when we went out and I just didn’t remember. I just had the memory of Danny screaming his head off for the last 20 minutes of our walk, every week for about a month. But the rest of the times, when my kids were quiet and charmed by the world around them—apparently that, I don’t remember. Ah, the selective memory. I guess my kids and I have our “public faces” as well, that look a whole lot prettier than it sometimes does at home.
I think it is easy to look at others and think they are handling this whole “double parenting” thing way better than you are. And yet, if I talk to other moms, really talk, I hear them talking about the same struggles I do, about the horror of nap strikes and crabby days and ear infections times two. I would say that one of the nicest things we can do for other MOT’s is to take off our “public faces” once in a while, whether it’s writing about one baby envy here, or talking to friends about sleep issues or just that fussy, needy baby who is driving us NUTS. This is the anti-J.Lo image (if you haven’t seen the People article about her taking care of her twins, don’t. She makes it sound like it is peaches and roses and cute little bunnies all the time—which perhaps it is with two full-time nannies). This is one of the best ways that MOT’s can be supportive to each other…acknowledge how hard it can be, at times….then, you can have fun watching your quiet (for the moment) babies all play together or enjoy a nice walk together, knowing that there really aren’t any super twin moms out there, just regular ones who get stressed out sometimes.