I think by far the most challenging part of being a Mom of Multiples is balancing the needs of each child with the other(s).
Sure there are the physical and logistical challenges of getting everyone eating and sleeping, and generally managing our days, but what really frustrates me is the mental and emotional challenges of who/what to cut out when times or situations don’t allow for everyone to get what they need/want.
Before the twins, Toddler got undivided attention, from at least one parent, all the time. Now she’s lucky if she gets some attention from one of her parents some times. This has been a tougher transition for me than for her, but there are times she feels neglected and becomes extra needy (especially bedtime, when she knows she will be alone).
She is also coming to an age where socialization is important for her development. I no longer have the time to take her many places where she can get that interaction. I need to start her in some sort of structured class soon, but I feel really badly because her napping schedule that has been in place for at least 1.5 years will get screwed up. I’m also afraid of the illnesses she will inevitably be bringing home to the babies. I currently have her enrolled in a Mommy and Me class twice a week, but we will have to go with twins in tow.
Which brings me to the babies. They are unrelenting in their need for food, diapers, and stimulation. It’s a never-ending 3-4 hr cycle individually for each baby, on a good day. Lately, they’ve been going through a growth spurt, and actually reverse cycling as well– this upheaval when I thought we were nicely settled in our nighttime sleep (I must have jinxed myself by posting!). I’ve been tracking their sleep and feeds to see if any sort of pattern will emerge, but so far after nearly a month, all I see is that everything is still all over the place. I want to be able to work in outings that don’t interrupt their napping, but at this point with no specific naptime, that issue is pretty moot. Nevertheless, I know if I take everyone out to the park (which Toddler and I need), the babies will not sleep the way they do when we’re at home, and whether that’s a good or bad thing, I’m sure it is not helping them get on a routine.
The babies also don’t get bathed daily, only twice or three times a week, but I remember Toddler got a leisurely daily bath starting the day her belly button stump fell off. I feel I’m shortchanging the twins by not bathing them daily, but it’s easily a 30 minute ordeal with both babies getting a bath, a frantic one in which I’m trying to beat the clock before they become overtired or Toddler gets herself into something she isn’t supposed to. And choosing to give them a bath is always at the expense of doing something else.
I am lucky that they are infants and will never remember this time in their lives. I can screw up the schedule for one day and it’s usually reset for the next. They are unconditionally loving and forgiving, which makes me feel even worse.
We are also lucky to have kids who don’t constantly have to be held. They can all fare pretty well alone with some toys to occupy them. But there are times when all three need my attention at once. And that definitely makes for some craziness around here. I wish I could split myself 3 ways, but realistically maybe I should just hope to somehow sync everyone up so that their times don’t conflict (babies nap during Toddler’s bedtime routine), or work all three kids into the same routine (babies do their bedtime ritual with Toddler).
When is it the babies’ turn to get uninterrupted sleep? When is it Toddlers’ turn to go out and get some fresh air? With only one of me and 24 hours in a day, how does everybody get what they want/need?
lunchldyd is mom to an almost 3 yr old daughter and 4 month old b/g twins, struggling to find balance.