The Milestone Competition

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Categories Identical, Infants, Other people, Singletons7 Comments

It is interesting to me how much of a competition mothering has become. Sure, conversations about our children appear to be nice and friendly on the surface, but underneath it is there. Lurking. Our natural competitive nature secretly keeping track of whose child did what first. And by how much. And who is doing it better.

In an ideal world, all babies would hit their milestones at the same time thereby eliminating this Mommy Milestone Competition. With my older daughter, I found myself getting caught up in the game. I would (subtely) brag when she accomplished something before one of her “peers”. I would wonder what I could do better as a mother when someone else’s baby accomplished something first.

But since my sons arrived, I no longer have the drive to compete with other Mommies. Part of the reason is that I am very content watching the competition in my own house. Currently we are waiting for Brady’s first tooth to break through and we expect he will crawl across the room any day. While Aaron doesn’t appear to be near-ready with either of those things, he sits unsupported and holds his own bottle. Brady isn’t interested much in either of those things. The race to be “first” is an ongoing event between the brothers and as I am the Mommy of both – I always come out a winner!

But, it’s also something more than that. My sons share the exact same DNA, are raised in the same home, and are in the same room with the same teachers at daycare. Yet, even THEY do not hit their milestones at the exact same time. With these differences, do I consider one to be “ahead” or “behind” in any particular area. Do I think that I’ve parented one of them better than the other? No, absolutely not. They are simply different.

So, if they – the identical twins with the exact same nature and nurture influences – are different from each other, what possible benefit can come of me comparing them to other children? Especially if those children were born a) full-term; b) a singleton; or c) first in their family. My sons have taught me that every single child – and their family situation – is truly unique. And that often makes comparisons a bit unfair.

This time around, there is no more dwelling on who is “ahead” and who is “behind”. There are only warm, well wishes and proud feelings when something is accomplished. Very liberating and much more enjoyable!

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How American Gladiators ended a friendship

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Categories Famous Twins, Multiples in the News, Other people7 Comments

While on bed rest for over three months, I picked up a nasty habit – gorging myself on television. The internet, terbutaline, and my husband Jon were my constant companions but TiVo was my best friend. TiVo gave me something to look forward to besides doctor’s visits and ultrasounds. TiVo was always there for me to help me find a way to laugh or cry. I thought things would change when the boys came along, but then Jon and I watched countless hours of TV while feeding babies. When the boys finally started sleeping through the night, we were so exhausted the only thing we could do was veg in front of the TV.

Being a child of the 80s and a newly confirmed couch potato, you can imagine my delight when I heard American Gladiators (AG) was coming back. I ALWAYS wanted to be on AG, but this time around, I’m a twin mom with a full-time job and a husband who travels for work. I have a million reasons why I’m not back in shape yet, and about a bazillion reasons why being on AG is out of my reach.

I’m going to assume you did not watch the season finale. Monica, A TWIN MOM, won the whole shebang. She is going to be a Gladiator next season. During the season finale, she said, “This is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I have twins.” Did you notice how she qualified her statement? She tried to think of the only thing harder than AG and it was TWINS. Maybe it’s because I’m in the trenches of twin toddlerhood (or one might say terrible twos times two), but if a twin mom says something is harder than having twins, that something has to be insanely hard.

Seeing a twin mom win AG opened my eyes. Having young twins, I often think, “I can’t do XYZ because  ______.” Instead of thinking about what I can’t do, Monica has made me think about what I CAN do. She made me realize if I can be a mom to twin toddlers, there’s very little I can’t do if I set my mind to it. I already do so much – being a twin mom takes patience, dedication, energy, physical stamina, creativity, and perseverance – that I’m ready to see what else I can accomplish.

I have no more excuses for being a couch potato. TiVo was my best friend when I needed him, but it’s time to for us to part ways. After so much time giving to my boys, I need to reclaim some of that time to focus on gaining some of me back. I may not end up on American Gladiators, but at least I won’t be sitting around watching other twin moms accomplishing their dreams.

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