Author: Veronica Jack
In the past I’ve written about my experience of mothering twins, but I think with the perspective of time, my understanding keeps evolving.
I’m learning that the first 18 months were the hardest. The slow paced cuddles, and moments to connect through eyes, body and mind were hard to find. The bonding, the getting to know each other, the all encompassing sense of ‘wholeness’ with my new baby was stolen from me.
The daily battle of being split between two
A twin mum’s daily battle is being split between thoughts and feelings of two. Split between needs and the constant back and forth of two cries, two nappies to change and two hungry babies. It felt unnatural. I felt restless and incapable of being fully present- how could I when thoughts of the other baby lingered?
I used to fret through the night when one woke- trying to squeeze in some shut eye between two waking babies felt impossible. I’d wonder what was wrong with me and why I couldn’t “just enjoy it” and “soak it all in”, like they told me to. Like I told myself. I’m realising there wasn’t anything wrong with me. It wasn’t a reflection of me as a mum.
Carving out moments of one-on-one time with twins
As my twin boys get older, and their independence grows, I’m finding myself making up for lost time. Cuddles with one while the other plays for a moment here and there, one-on-one time without the other begging for my attention seems to be more frequent, and random night wakings genuinely feel like moments to cherish- without concern the other might wake at any minute.
Last night I stared down at one of my precious boys who’d woken through the night. How liberated I felt. I focused on the gentle caress of his hands, the soft in and out of his breath as it brushed over my face and the grip of his little hands holding onto me. He longed to be with me and I felt the same. I felt light, free and present, in awe of my perfect creation. My mind focussed only on him- all the feels I longed for in his first years of life.
I will never forget the heartbreak of longing to be wholly present with one baby- to bond without the lingering thoughts of another. Maybe my struggle has taught me to truly cherish every moment. I’ll try to hold onto this lesson for the rest of my life- a lesson only a twin mum can ever understand.
A twin mum’s daily battle
The sound of your cry, is how I am woken, it’s still early morning, eyes struggle to open. I throw on a gown, no time to get dressed, and dream of a shower, but time’s hard pressed. Twin A seems content, so I move first to you, when I open your door, Twin A cries too.
No time for connection, I place you on the floor, to collect Twin A, who’s needing me more. I push through the guilt, for dismissing your needs, while you tug on my gown, and continue to plead. We scramble to the kitchen, Twin A now at my feet, I fall into the couch, where the three of us can meet.
Now it would be ideal, for you each to take one knee, but with two strong-willed toddlers, there’s no such thing as ‘we’. You push and shove each other, you each want all of me, but reasoning is useless, impossibility you can’t see. The back and forth repeats, for the remainder of the day, from meal times to naps, and nappy changes to play. This is what it feels like, to be spread beyond your means, a twin mum’s daily battle, to meet two toddlers in need.
Mum to twin boys
Motherhood – •living •loving •falling •learning •growing