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Met my first Twin Mom today, need support

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
I hope this doesn't sound awful of me to comment on others parenting, but this has really bothered me all day. This morning I went to meet another twin mom at her house to look at some stuff she wanted to sell. She had 2 playpens set up in front of the TV and said that the kids had just woke up from their nap and were in good moods (so no, it wasn't nap time). She kept them in their playpens litteraly the entire time I was there. I think they pretty much stay in there all day long, in seprate "pens". I asked her a few of the questions I had been wondering about and basically she parents just 100% opposite as I do. I am not going to condem anyone's parenting, but after talking to her I am very worried/anxious/bothered by spreading myself between 2 babies (hers were almost 1). I have never left my kids in a playpen more than just a minute or two, same for other baby contraptions. We just don't do those. I also don't leave them in a room w a TV for a playmate. Am I going to turn into one of those kind of moms? My DH says no, but I am honestly worried about it! : What if I just can't do it? I would have been in the floor playing w/ my kids on a blanket with toys, will I still be able to do this? I also let my kids follow me around all day, I never kept them cooped up in one place and I encouraged interaction between them as much as their ages would allow. I don't know, just someone tell me what it's going to be like and that I can still get the same mothering bond with 2 as I have with my singletons. I guess I am just really afraid I will not have the same bond w/ them b/c there are two of them to bond with at one time. I consider myself really close w/ my girls and enjoy playing with them and watching them play everyday. I cannot imagine not having that same bond w/ my new boys.
post #2 of 27
I defenitely used more baby gadgets with the twins that I would have needed with just a singleton. Bouncy seats and swings were a regular part of our life for about 6 months. We even used an exersaucer for a few months. But, we still have been able to co-sleep 100% of the time since birth (they are 20 months now), exclusively breastfeed, absolutely no TV, no CIO, etc. Twins are soooooooooooooooo much work and yes you will have to rely on more gadgets but there is no reason why you will need to leave them unattended in playpens in front of the TV for hours on end.

Oh, and my twins have never had a special twin bond at all, especially not a bond that replaced mama. Twins are just like singletons, they only want mama and their twin sibling is no substitute. I don't remember if it took me longer to bond with them-maybe a little since I was just in survival mode for so long. But we have a wonderful bond now, sometimes it feels stronger than the bond I had with my ds at this age.
post #3 of 27
You will have the same bond. God gave you two arms for a reason....so you can hug two at the same time. My twins are 17 months old and I have never had them in a playpen.....if I needed something done I have put them in their exersaucers but never more than 1/2 hr. You can sit on the floor and play with them on a blanket and the great part is when start sitting up and crawling, they entertain each other if you need something to do......Having twins is a blast....don't worry.......as soon as they are born you will know that you can love them just as much.
post #4 of 27
I used a swing, but I've never used an exer-saucer, never used playpens, never used a tv. I do think you end up very flexible as a twin mom. For example, I rarely baby wear, rarely co-sleep and use a stroller, but I can count on one hand the number of times I've had to put them in a crib and walk away for 5 minutes to regain my sanity (today being one of those days. Oy.) You can be a hands on mom to twins.

I don't think I'm that "out there" and I'm certainly no martyr so, no, you don't have to turn into a "plop the kids in the playpen in front of the tv" kind of mom just because they are twins. You'll do what you are comfortable with and you'll be bonded. Trust me - some days I'm like "please let mama up so she can go to the bathroom" they are so bonded. Then we go to the playground and they could care less about me. Sigh.

Join the Yahoo list (up in the resources sticky) to hear how lots of AP multiple moms do it.
post #5 of 27
I think it's a fair assumption that your mama would have been doing the same thing with her singleton. Poor babies.

You will make some concessions, but not the ones that matter the most to you. In our house, we simply compesated by having Daddy step up bigtime. He's always been up with the rest of us, so when the times come they really need a lot of attention, one is very happy with Daddy. Then I just make sure the next day that I switch it around. And when we're alone? Well, for example, they always take their naps together. But somehow they seem to know when it's just me and they space out who needs to go down first-usually 10 minutes apart. When DH is home, we usually put them down at the same time. So I imagine my always being there for them has helped them adapt to everyone's needs.

I don't use playpens either, although they adore their exersaucer. My MIL is actually cracking me up as she keeps asking month after month, don't you have them trained to that thing yet? Hahaha. I'd love to say, No. I'm a better mother than you were.
post #6 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by gemelos View Post
Twins are soooooooooooooooo much work and yes you will have to rely on more gadgets but there is no reason why you will need to leave them unattended in playpens in front of the TV for hours on end.

Oh, and my twins have never had a special twin bond at all, especially not a bond that replaced mama. Twins are just like singletons, they only want mama and their twin sibling is no substitute. I don't remember if it took me longer to bond with them-maybe a little since I was just in survival mode for so long. But we have a wonderful bond now, sometimes it feels stronger than the bond I had with my ds at this age.

yeah that!! you won't turn into that because you don't want to. s:
post #7 of 27
I have never used a playpen. I had swings because my girls liked them & I would use them as babysitters occasionally when my girls were tiny so that I could brush my teeth and get dressed if we were leaving the house, but not for more than 10 minutes here and there. We had bouncy seats, but I used those to read to the girls or as a place for them to sit up and play before they could sit up themselves. We had one exersaucer. My girls never really liked it, so it didn't get much use. We don't use TV at all.

I do think a lot of twin Moms use these things, though, but maybe singletone Moms do, too. On my MOTC list serve, there are countless questions about which play yard is best, or people trying to sell theirs. I was told 2 exersaucers were a must. The email list serve is depressing at times -- someone just posted that she wanted to get her 3 week olds on an every 4 hour nursing schedule. :

You will bond with two babies. It will be different, probably, than with a singleton, but you will have a strong bond. I'll differ with a PP in that I think my girls also have a strong bond with each other. It doesn't replace their bond with me, but their relationship is very important to them.

Being a mother of twins will probably look different than being a mother to a singleton and it's hard and there are parts of it that suck, like when you have to leave one crying for a minute because you're changing a poopy diaper, but IMO the joys more than make up for it.

I have a hunch you will not end up like that Mom.
post #8 of 27
My twin girls were #3 and #4 for me as well. I have never used a playpen but when they were younger I did find an exer-saucer helpful and they liked it so I never felt bad. I also used a backpack inside sometimes if both girls wanted to be held and I still wanted at least one hand free to do something. You'll be amazed at how creative you can be and still keep everyone happy. I guarantee you'll fall hopelessly in love with your boys. You could even save your post because some day you'll look back at it and realize everything turned out great!
post #9 of 27
Although I did use a swing and a bouncy, I never used playpens. I was always down on the floor with them, hanging out. And my twins had fairly different personalities from the start -- one was a little more easygoing and one was a little, uh, LESS easygoing. Although it's been 4.5y now and I don't recall which was which at that time! You'll bond. Mine didn't notice each other til they were about 9 months, and they didn't really start playing together til then either, so I felt able to bond with them as individuals.

Although you may have to use a few more "contraptions" than you have in the past, I don't think it will compromise the integrity of your parenting.
post #10 of 27
We had one swing that I would use for one baby while I was tending to another (diapering usually) and when they got older they loved exersaucers. I found two at a garage sale and I would use them in the kitchen while I did dishes and cleaned up. That way the boys could interact with eachother and me at the same time and I could actually eat and get something done! We didn't use TV at first (but now I find PBS is a nice distraction for a couple minutes when I have to go to the bathroom) and never used playpens or play yards. Good luck mama! You'll be amazed at what you can do with two!
post #11 of 27
Our twins were our first kids. I went into parenting determined to be a by-the-books Mothering/AP/Sears goddess, and to not have any of the big, bulky plastic toys and gizmos around.



Twin parenting is great, because it really ends up being easier to be AP... part of being AP is that it's about doing what comes naturally, what is best for you and the kids, and listening to your inner voice/gut/whatever. It's not about following the "rules" of mothering, MDC, or Dr. Sears. If twin parenting does anything, it makes you follow your inner voice and do what's best for you and the babies. You're under such demand, you can't HELP but think instinctually!

As a twin mom you adapt, and you probably *do* end up using a few gizmos (we used a swing and an exersaucer, not cribs or playpens). Because you have the right goals in mind, you won't ever use them to excess. Having the gizmos doesn't turn you into a conventional parent... and if you use the gizmos in an AP way, it'll all be fine.

post #12 of 27
My twins are 18 months old now. When they are awake, we are on the floor playing! I still do laundry and things that like but both of them are in the bathroom with me, pulling the clothes out of the dryer. I do have a playpen that is used while I am cleaning up after a meal and while I cook dinner. During dinner, I do turn on their favorite DVD or movie (Blue's clues or Winnie the Pooh) and let them watch that while dinner cooks. Other then that, we spend most of the time on the floor playing.

When they were little, I did use my swings alot. They were wonderful and helped me survive most days. They didnt spend alot of time in them, usually while I was trying to feed and rock the other one to sleep it would occupy the other while she was waiting. Even when they were little, we were still on the floor, in our bopsies playing.

They were my first so I dont know any different but they were hard, but I survived the first year and now, they are a piece of cake!
post #13 of 27
Personally, I don't think it is realistic to think that early on you are going to have the same experience as you did with singletons. With two babies and one you there are going to be times that one upset baby has to wait for your attention for example. That was terribly, terribly hard for me so I wish I had been prepared for that. I watch my friends with singletons and it really isn't the same as with two newborn or small babies. But that doesn't mean you won't be bonded. You will.
I think it is better not to in your mind make use of things like exersaucers, swings, bouncy seats, and the like be signs of bad parenting or neglect. It is how they are used by the person. A good, attached parent is a good, attached parent. If a bouncy makes a child happy who would otherwise be crying while you changed his twin's diaper I think a bouncy seat is an AP choice for example.
post #14 of 27
i had a playpen for the boys but they went in it together. there is no need to seperate them. i also used jolly jumpers. those are the only gadgets i had.
you will find that you may have to put them down or have one wait more then you may like, but that is a far cry from not engaging with them at all.
i bet you will do fine
post #15 of 27
Having twins has made me a more flexible parent than I probably would've been otherwise. I think it's a good thing, though every day there are situations that challenge me in trying to care for both babes in the way I would ideally like to do. It's an exercise in compromise, but not one that ever means you have to give up your loving, AP approach.

I did have a similar experience meeting other twin moms while I was pregnant. I was horrified by the schedules and attitude that so many gadgets were absolutely necessary. Good luck to you--your boys will be lucky to have you for their mama!
post #16 of 27
Thread Starter 
Thanks Mamas! I wanted to say that I am not against the use of items like swings, bouncy seats, playpens, it's just that it seemed she didn't even want to interact or play with them, just wanted them to sit in their respective pens and watch TV. It was just really wierd, like she wasn't connected with them and it bothered me. It still does! There were nic-nacks sitting out on low tables, no baby toys in the floor, aside from the few baby holders it didn't look like kids lived there at all. My house is normally toys and stuff everywhere! Blanket on the floor for tummy time (when mine were babies), boppy pillow wherever, ect. It looks like babies live there, KWIM? I guess I will just have to do my best and know that's all I can do! I am going to get a swing or maybe 2 and a couple of bouncer seats b/c I think my girls will enjoy playing with them, talking and singing to them when they are little
post #17 of 27
See, it sounds to me like that just might be the MOTHER, ya know? Like, even if she had a singleton, sounds like she just wasn't into being a mommy. If you're into being a mommy, and playing with your kids, you'll be fine. You may have more need for gadgets as a mom of mults, but it won't change the kind of mommy you are.
post #18 of 27
I feel like I am as attached to my twins as to my singleton. I used baby gadgets/holders when they were convenient and managed to keep everyone happiest. We play on the floor a lot. I also wanted to point out, though, that I tend to clear away the toys when someone I don't know comes to our home. Also, being a SAHM can leave some yearning for adult conversation and it *may* be that the mama you met was doing something odd for her (leaving babes in playpens) in order to be more attentive to you and/or enjoy an adult conversation for a change. Just a thought. You will be the mama you want to be. But surely there will be tough days with 2 new babes. Best of luck--enjoy.
post #19 of 27
We didn't use playpens...but I did fence off the living room to make it our safe place to play together. It was way easier to baby proof one room really well. Yes, the TV was in the room, but it was in a cabinet with the doors closed. I could listen to the news with the doors shut.
post #20 of 27
Ya know, it is harder with two not to use *some* gadgets. But that doesn't mean at all that you'll parent like that woman. I certainly haven't. You'll find your groove - figure out what works and what doesn't - and you'll make the situation work for *your* parenting style. You can totally do this your way, with the occassional compromise. It's not all playpens or nothing. Sometimes you use just a little extra help (like a swing to soothe one while you get the other to sleep). FWIW, I've never once used playpens with my twins.
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