Attachment Parenting Twins - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 02-16-2010, 10:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello all,

I have just joined this site hoping to talk to some others about my experiences and learn from theirs. I am feeling very frustrated these days over my inability to completely attachment parent my twins. They are 10months old. I breastfeed one baby and pump for the other (due to some major complications at birth and after a lot of effort with lactation consultant, it was the best route). I don't know what is going on with me these days but I am starting to feel such sadness in my inability to nurse one of my babies. It seems that my other baby can settle so much quicker because I nurse them. And the one I don't nurse, last night, choose to go to my husband over me...which totally made me feel inadequate and regretful. I think, "i could have tried harder". Then the one that I do breastfeed keeps me up all night feeding, and I'm SO exhausted from the day and the effort put out that I get frustrated and then feel extra bad about it ALL. I babywear as much as possible but it sometimes isn't feasible with our set up as if I am wearing one and the other needs to nurse, it is a constant changing and fiddling and so much fuss. I have worn them both many times, when they are both fussy with illness, etc....but they are getting so heavy!

Nap time is frustrating as they just won't fall asleep without being in the car or in a stroller or in my arms so if I want a break at all without holding a baby or if the other is so fussy that I can't put one down first, well...I drive or stroll around my house or neighbourhood. Is that even normal? It feels crazy some days but other days when I'm not self-critical it just works. We bed share and it is great but it too is difficult many nights, with my husband and I switching sides. We have learned hand signals so we don't have to talk in the bed. So crazy!

Sometimes I wonder if mine and many others ideals of attachment parenting are just too much. As soon as you put something "different" in the mix...parent who HAS to go back to work, single mom/dad, twins, comes up short in different areas. I'm tired of feeling like I'm not doing "enough". I know it comes from inside...I suppose I had a lifelong idea of how I would raise my kids and then with twins, many of you know, you have to reevaluate it all.

Basically, I want to be there for my babies and not let them cry and feel alone, isolated, nervous, etc. This means that I don't put them in their crib during naps and shut the door. When someone says to me...what time do you put the babies down...I always wonder what "down" means?

Anyway, I'm so tired this is becoming a I alone here?
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#2 of 8 Old 02-16-2010, 11:28 PM
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Very much not alone!

I supplement with formula for various reasons, and I feel similar regrets. Nights are hard, and I ended up night-weaning at 15 months for my sanity. More regrets there. Never managed to babywear, like you I found too much fiddling and switching to nurse.

But, I need to focus on the beautiful, healthy, happy boys I have and the wonderful relationship I have with them and focus less on the "checklist" of AP things I think I should be doing.

Joanna - wife to Mike, mamachicken to Cub(8/98), Kitten (4/07), Dew-man, and Woe-boy(twins, 10/08)
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#3 of 8 Old 02-17-2010, 12:02 AM
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I'm sorry but I have to LOL at your post (not the bfing only one though ((hugs)) ). As crazy as you sound with the hand signals in bed and strolling around your hood, I have to laugh because I am right there with you. Sometimes in the evenings, dh and I message each other on the computers because we don't want to talk and wake a baby...we are thisclose to each other Each time I put a baby to sleep, I start counting because I put each baby to sleep multiple times for each's so exhausting.

I have had to really adjust my thoughts on AP. DS was soooo attached and I loved parenting him. It's so different with 2. They cry, sometimes for a long time where I forget that they are crying right next to me, because I have to make lunch for ds or I have to pump to keep up my stash for the one day I work. I feel guilty when they are laying peacefully on the floor doing nothing because ds never did that, not once. I have adopted the don't move the baby until she cries rule or nothing would ever get done. I rely on baby holding devices much more now.

I get the "I'm not doing enough" part but have had to move on and do what I can. I think it's awesome that your 10 month old would want ot be with daddy, he can AP him as well. We always say there is one for each of us. I would go crazy if it were all me. I can understand your saddness of not being able to nurse the one but you are doing amazing to nurse one and pump for the other, I have no idea how you do are amazing.

Try not to be so hard on yourself, you are doing a great job. Wouldn't it be nice to find a wonderful IRL group of AP MoMs??? Just keep on keeping on and do the best you can.

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#4 of 8 Old 02-17-2010, 12:49 AM
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I was just talking with some other twin moms about AP parenting and what it means to us or what we want it to mean. Here are some thoughts we had that might help you to feel better:
- AP is a toolbox. It is not a set of life rules. Take what you need, use what works for you, your babes, and your family. Adjust pieces as they need to be adjusted for your use. Things that don't work or standards you feel you aren't living up to? Chuck them aside! There's no need to dwell on a star in the distance if it isn't going to be real in your galaxy, KWIM?
- Don't judge yourself harshly. Don't judge others harshly. We are all doing the best that we can in our respective situations. Give yourself a pat on the back for everything that you DO do. Let go of the things you can't do.
- Take care of yourself. Sometimes we are so caught up in APing our kids that we find ourselves with no reserves, no self-care, and no one-on-one time with our partners. Make some time for yourself.

It sounds like you are a wonderful, caring mother. I hope you can give yourself all of the credit you deserve. In less than a year, things will get easier with your babies!

Mama to twin girls Adele and Nadia, born 5/2008
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#5 of 8 Old 02-17-2010, 04:34 AM
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Bless your heart! I can feel your exhaustion through your message! I agree with the post previous to this one -- AP is an attitude, a way of life, a decision to view and practice in a certain way, but not a set of rules that must be adhered to. You are doing your best and you are doing an amazing job! Having twins is a whole new ball game compared to having one baby at a time. I sense that the way you are feeling has a lot to do with how tired you are. You keep asking if your current life is crazy or normal -- yes! It's life with twins! It won't always be like this.... Our girls are three now and its not so intensive. You obviously thoroughly love your babies and you are doing your best. Hang in there, pray, try not to be so hard on yourself.
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#6 of 8 Old 02-17-2010, 11:13 AM
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It's so hard when you're living through it!

Yes, I remember putting the twins in the stroller and walking with my then two year old around the block until her little legs tuckered out and needed to be carried in the sling. I remember being "stuck" pushing that stroller every day to get some peace and quiet. When the cold weather came, I was at Target almost every day walking laps since their aisles are so wide (nice for a double stroller) and it gave my older dd stuff to look at while the babies slept. I was like Norm entering the bar on Cheers when I went in there.

AP with twins is not about doing everything like you would do with a singleton. Heck, even with two singletons, AP would mean different things with each of those babies. To me, a big part of AP is honoring what each little one needs, along with mama's needs.

You don't have to be perfect. No one is perfect. I used bouncy seats and those little portable swings (oh, how those little swings I could carry outside with me were wonderful ). AP with infant twins means defining those aspects of AP that are non-negotiable for you and focusing on them. Which is sounds like you have done when you mention that you won't put them in their cribs at nap to cry.

And I know this is easier said than done when you're living it. But really, just block out those people who ask you what time you put them down, how long they sleep, etc. etc. It doesn't impact them, so they don't get an opinion about it.

Hang in there! You sound like a wonderfully loving AP mom to me! You're doing it! Even if it doesn't match how I did it or the other posters or the posters to're doing AP with twins!

"We think we're gliding down the highway when in fact we're slip sliding away." Paul Simon
DD-7 & B-G twins, 5
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#7 of 8 Old 02-17-2010, 02:43 PM
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I'm so right there with you. Everything you said (except the hand husband is in the spare room because the twins and I take up the whole bed) I could say myself. I feel guilty/dumb/inept because I'm not doing as good a job with the twins as I did for my first child. I feel like I should (somehow) have them both in a sling or something, and never let them cry. But that's obviously impossible.

I keep telling myself (during moments of clarity): do not let the perfect be the enemy of the good. (easier said than done...)

Karen, mama to one toddler (9/07) and twin babies (10/09)
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#8 of 8 Old 02-17-2010, 04:40 PM
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it sounds like you are doing an amazing, amazing job. i think we all can understand where you're coming from, as parenting twins is just a different animal entirely!

even though i don't co-sleep, or do many things to the AP "book", i consider myself to fit in best with AP-style mamas because my main thing it to respect my kids as people with valid wants and needs. i try to apply the golden rule when dealing with them. would i want to cry in bed alone until i passed out? not really. etc etc.....

take what you need and leave the rest!
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