I want you to see me

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Categories Identical, Mommy Issues, Parenting Twins

A few weeks ago, I had a dream about my daughter. Recently, she has been an unhappy little girl, always clingy and whiny. We’re trying to find out why. We suspect that she may have allergies. But since I don’t have any definite answers, I thought this dream conversation would be a good time to ask. Her response, which was well beyond her current language skills, was “I want you to see me.” I can tell you that, even in a dream, that statement hits all my mommy-guilt buttons.

I am certain that my children (singleton or multiple) are well cared for, treated with love and respect, and valued for who they are. But, there is always a nagging voice that makes me wonder how our efforts to treat them like unique individuals are perceived in their preschool minds and hearts. Do they feel a tension between wanting to be special and wanting what their siblings have? Do they try to differentiate themselves from each other? Are my little one’s clingy and whiny behaviours really an attempt to get attention? Could she physically manifest her need for attention because she has no other way to express her needs? While continuing to figure out if our daughter has allergies that might explain her mood, I am also focusing on making sure everyone gets one-on-one time with mommy or daddy whenever possible. Fortunately, we have a new nanny, so I have some flexibility to do errands and take time out with just one child. That’s all I can do. Caring for three small children, plus working full-time, doesn’t leave much time for worrying about questions that have no answers. Which, I think, is in many ways, one of the blessings of having multiples. We are so busy doing what we need to do, that we can’t worry about we could or should do differently.

How do you deal with mommy guilt about raising multiples? How do you talk about your children about what they feel about being multiples and what they need as multiples?

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9 thoughts on “I want you to see me”

  1. I had 3 kids very close together. Twins + 1, only 25 months apart. I also work full time and I have plenty of days where I feel I barely had time to give each child 1 minute of my attention. I often wish I had more free time to spend with each kid, individually but I often feel guilty how unbalanced my attention seems to be towards each kid, based on who’s needier. My daughter and my youngest are both “mommy’s kids” – they always want me over Daddy and both can be pretty demanding. My twin-son is more laid back and ok with being with Daddy more but I hate that some mornings, I’ll drop them off at school and realize I hadn’t even given him a hug yet that day b/c my attention kept getting pulled by the other 2.

    I’ve thankfully had some 1-on-1 time with him lately so that has been nice but my goal this summer is to get at least one day alone with each kid!
    Barbara Manatee recently posted Too Smart for their own goodMy Profile

  2. I really agree with your statement that, “Caring for three small children, plus working full-time, doesn’t leave much time for worrying about questions that have no answers.” I am in the same situation and this is what I do – when I’m not working I’m very much kid-focused. I’m in my sweatpants on the playroom floor doing puzzles instead of housework. I’ve made choices about what to let go of, and its quite a bit, at least while the kids are so little. Mine are ages 9, 4 and 4 (all boys). We get outside, we get dirty, and my mom makeover will just need to wait another few years.

  3. My son has been clingy and whiny since his twin brothers were born almost a year ago – they are 27 months apart. He is smart and knows that clinging and whining get to me – in both the sense that it annoys me but also draws me into his plane of existence. But he will take what he can get, and it is his best method of controlling his world. I am a stay at home mom, have a wonderful nanny to help with the kids and around the house, but still, anything less than 100% of my time is not enough for him. I am one of nine children, and one thing that I take to heart is that he at least he feels like he has a chance at monopolizing my time – as a child I don’t think I even attempted to be the epicenter of my mom’s world – it would have been a ridiculous endeavor.

  4. I should add that we recently moved our (now) 3 year old’s bedtime forward by an hour. I realized that since the twins were born his bedtime had got pushed later and later completely inadvertantly. The extra sleep has been a big help for everyone involved. He is better rested the next day and thus less whiny, and I get more of a rest to start building up the patience needed for the next day.
    Eileen recently posted Otis Sings The Itsy Bitsy SpiderMy Profile

  5. I’ve just stumbled onto this blog and wow! this is what I need – to be able to chat to other moms about twinning! I live in a small town in South Africa where no one I know closely has twins.
    Mine are nearly 3 1/2 (girls) And boy has it been a ride for me. Patience – or the lack thereof – is probably my biggest challenge. But ofcourse, as we all know, it is a bitter sweet experience. And all of a sudden I want another! I can’t shake the desire. But “why?” I ask myself? And I think the answer is this: I feel I never got to really experience the baby phase – it is a blur of no sleep, nappies, bottles and routine. Now I want another that I can manage to breastfeed and generally be less frantic and enjoy it. My question is, am I fooling myself? Will having two 4 year olds and a newborn be even more of a hell ride than newborn twins? Or will it be a walk in the park after dealing with twins?
    Anyone been in this situation that can throw some light onto it?

  6. Melissa, I haven’t been in your shoes (yet) but I am planning on waiting until my twins are in school to think about having another one. For you, that would only mean waiting one more year ( assuming kids there start school at 5?) Something to think about for sure.
    Stephanie recently posted Schedule- UnsynchronizedMy Profile

  7. I am the mother of identical 5 year old twin girls. I feel like I am obsessed with making sure they are recognized individually. I rarely dress them alike and next year they will even be in different classrooms for kindergarten. They seem to have such a competition going with each other that I think it will be good. Kylie is very sensitive about people confusing her. She often comments about not putting her hair a certain way or putting a certain outfit on because people will get them mixed up. She is also the shyer of the two.

    I actually just recently tried to figure out how I could spend time with them separately and it’s just plain difficult. There are not enough hours in the day. I am committed to trying it though. Just this past weekend, I only took Kylie to the store with me while Kennedi went to the bank with dad. More importantly, I just want to make sure that they both know how much they are loved.
    Elise recently posted They Deux Tickle My Funny Bone!My Profile

  8. I have found that it is nearly impossible to keep up with all of my children. As a SAHM of a 3 yr old and 1 yr old twins, at 5pm every day, post nap, they ALL want me NOW. And unfortunately, God did not give me extra arms when He gave me extra babies. I can maybe carry both babies, or a 3 yr old and a baby but someone is always tagging along, feeling disappointed that Mommy cant do it all. I had to release myself from the guilt of not having super powers and being able to do what I can in the best way I can.

  9. I’m a SAHM and have hardly done anything for myself until more recently because I was obsessed with making sure that the children were well taken care of, and a part of that had to do with them being treated as individuals. But then I wonder if that is what they really want in some cases. I’ve eased up on it all….just letting go and realising that we will all figure things out as we go. My control of the situation had to ease up.
    You seem to have a lot on your plate and to be doing a good job with it all nonetheless.
    Natasha recently posted Listen to themMy Profile

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