While multiples share a womb, once they are out, sharing mummy (or daddy or Grandma or Uncle John etc) can become a precursor for sibling rivalry, aka jealousy. This is the downside to multiples – there are more of them than there are of you!
However, you do need to try to put yourself in their place. Imagine how you would feel if you were sitting there having a lovely cuddle or talk with your partner and someone else came along, broke it up and started cuddling and talking to them. When you think about it that way, it’s easy to see why they can get upset and understand why you may have multiples or twins that fight over sharing mummy and daddy
Multiples or Twins that fight over sharing Mummy or Daddy
- Body parts – Body parts often become prime real estate with multiples and all too often the common refrain is “my arm!”, “my leg!”, or “my hand!” or “that’s my knee, don’t sit on my knee!”. Laps can be a deal breaker for some multiples. Even before they can walk it is quite common for one to crawl on to your lap and try to push the other one off.
- The whole person – “My mummy!” “No, my mummy!” or “You can’t hug my daddy,” followed by the, ‘It’s my daddy, not yours,’ argument.
- Nappy changing – Believe it or not this is one of the things that multiples may fight over; whose nappy will get changed first! Ironically for the
parentsthe argument is generally who doesn’thave to change the nappy!
- Who gets picked up first – One parent shared; “when I pick up one of them I have to pick up both, and at 12 and 15kg my legs and arms certainly get a workout”.
- Lying in bed with them – you may find that if you have twins
you haveto lie in the middle. If you have triplets or more, then one parent told Twinfo she would sit in a chair to read a book, just to stop the arguments. Another twin mum shared that “It’s so bad they won’t let me sleep with both of them… One always gets kicked out of my bed by the other! Even when I sleep between them!
How can you minimise sibling rivalry resulting from sharing a parent between multiples?
One on one time
The best way to do this is to ensure your multiples get lots of
Dedicated “sides” (this only works if you have twins though!)
This often naturally occurs for the mother if she is breastfeeding as has “allocated a side” to each rwin. However, some parents choose to implement this as a way of minimising conflict. This can lead to territorial wars over your body though; “my knee” or “my arm”. Dedicated sides can be used when reading books, when lying next to each other, holding hands and even pram and car seats.
Of course, this can also cause problems though for some reason your children need to swap sides for something. Personally, I didn’t use this tact as I thought that the potential need for flexibility was more important, but for many
Finding out why they are upset
No need to explain this one, every parent knows this. The number of “blue birds” that have been in my garden is quite outstanding!!!! 😉
This is the hard line we personally chose to take. There are many things that multiples may fight over, not just Mummy or Daddy. Obviously taking turns sometimes doesn’t always work, and to be honest one of the perks of being a multiple birth parent is the group cuddles! Yes, sometimes there are tears, but
I never like ending a post on a bad note, but I do have to be honest. I did get comments from parents who have 10, 13 and 14 year old multiples, and apparently it still happens! Rather than being multiples or twins that fight over physically sharing Mummy or Daddy they needle each other by saying comments like “Mum loves me the best” or “I’m the favourite, not you”.
Passionate about all things multiple, Naomi is the founder of Twinfo.
Naomi is a Parenting Blogger and a Brand Ambassador, but most important of all she is a twin mother who understands.