Having a hard time taking just 1 twin - Mothering Forums
Parenting Multiples > Having a hard time taking just 1 twin
gotmilkmama's Avatar gotmilkmama 07:32 PM 07-19-2005
My girls will be 13 mos on July 21st. Really since they were born I have had the hardest time taking just one of them, holding just one of them, nursing just one of them, etc. I have tremendous guilt feelings about it! And then I feel guilty about not being able to separate them! Like I am not treating them enough as individuals.

For example I need to go somewhere tonight. Dh is staying home. So we each get time with the kids and split the work either one of us takes my 2 yo ds and the other takes the girls. I asked dh who he'd rather me take tonight and he said why don't you take 1 of the girls!!!! I told him I just can't do that. I can't take just 1! He agreed that it felt weird to him too. I mean man would I love to take just one of them with me on my outting! What a peaceful outting and relaxing time that would be! Almost too easy! But who do I pick? And whoever I pick will get nursed more cause she'll be with me while the other will have to wait till I get home. And one will have car riding time while the other will have play time with daddy. Will that throw them off for sleeping tonight? They always go to bed together after having the same amount of playing time or going for evening walk or whatever it is we do that night. So I also feel like I'd be knocking one off their system. Not that we have a set system or schedule but whatever they do during the day/night either both do or neither do.

Is that bad? I do recognize them as 2 unique individuals. They are identical - MZ - but have distinct differences. Differences that I make a point of telling others so they see them as each their own person too. So why can't I take just one of them?

Tigerchild's Avatar Tigerchild 02:50 AM 07-20-2005
Why are you so afraid of giving each child one on one time?

Are you *sure* that you don't honor the "twin unit" over the individual child?

How will you respond when an individual child cries to you for one-on-one time, will you still make her wait for her sister to be included?

How did you get over your guilt at not including DS in everything that you do with the girls?

I think you probably need to stop thinking about it, and just do it. It will seem weird at first, but I think it's good for you and the kids. At least, that's the impression I get from talking with adult twins. And hey, if the children get upset, then you can wait awhile before trying again, or wait until they ask.

But personally, I think you are being emotionally stymied by the "twin package" even if you think of them as individuals.

I dunno, I guess my view is colored by the fact that I cherish alone time with each of my three, I am equally protective of it with each child. Personal preference, but the kids are very protective with their alone time with mama (and daddy) now too, and we have very few jealousy/rivalry issues in our house.

My kids are still young yet, so I'm not claiming a causal relationship there yet, though.
jaye's Avatar jaye 03:05 AM 07-20-2005
I agree with Tigerchild that you should just try it more and see how it goes. If you start to feel guilty just think about how that next time it will be the other one's special time. And you deserve a peaceful relaxing outing!

I have a 5yr old ds and 23 mos b/g twins, and as much as I love spending time with my 3 kids together, I really look forward to the the individual time.

I also think it would be nice for your son to have just one of the girls around to play with.

But I do understand about not wanting to mess up their sleep schedules - when my twins are on the same schedule, I try to avoid accidental naps in the car!
Shiloh's Avatar Shiloh 03:09 AM 07-20-2005
I think this is normal in any house with two small kids.
My first child there was an 8 year span between her and the first son, and the ds1 got one on one time as the dd was in school. Now that I have two little ones at home they do get treated 'as unit'. There are few pictures of my ds2 without the other kids, I would love to have more time alone with just him, but with a busy home, three kids not even my dh gets much alone time with me!

I think they don't really notice now about one on one time. My mom's friend had triplets, she got three days of nursery school when they were older to have one day a week with each one. That way they all had one day of mum but the other kid did the 'same' thing.
sweetpeas's Avatar sweetpeas 12:40 PM 07-20-2005
I loved taking just one when they were babies. It gave both dh & I a chance to have one on one time w/ a baby & IMO the special time w/ Daddy makes up for any lack of nursing. Now that mine are older they usually choose to stay together (so they'll either both choose to go shopping with me, in which case I usually drag dh along as well LOL, or they'll both choose to stay home w/ Daddy), which is fine too, but it's their choice.
Thursday Girl's Avatar Thursday Girl 01:49 PM 07-20-2005
hi I like coming to this board sometimes b/c i am a twin and i think it would be really cool to have twins.

as an adult twin i say "please do this for them"

it might be weird but they and you deserve this.

I grew up without a clear notion of being a seperate entity. from my parents to evryone we ever met.

my parents actually referred to us as "the twins" not that you do this , but just saying it sucked. i would say we got called the twins more then our own names. (they also refered to us and my older sister as "the girls" she was only 18 months older. so it was Matt. Amy, and the girls, or Matt, Amy, meghan, and the twins.)

I was never away from my twin for more then 12 hours until i was 13 years old. When I went into 9th grade we actually lived in diffrent cities and it was sort of cool to just be "Courtney" I didn't even tell most people I had a twin.

(which created a few funny stories later on as we look just alike)

anyways i digress take them alone. one on one time is important for every child

and sorry for rambling (we're big talkers in my family)

gotmilkmama's Avatar gotmilkmama 03:19 PM 07-20-2005
Thanks all for the responses! I think if my Josie and Lena were our only children then we would do alot more time when mommy takes one and daddy takes one. But it just seems we always split it with ds going with one of us and Josie and Lena going with the other. But most times it's all three doing the same thing. Like all 3 eat at same time. All 3 do this or that at same time. So they do get alot of grouping as of unit of 3. It's just essential for me to do this with 3 small ones. Like Shiloh said - not even my dh gets alone time with me.

When my girls were younger and up all night every night we would do alot of daddy take one dd and mommy take one dd. And I did have a challenge when the girls arrived with not able to give ds all my time and dividing my time btwn him and the girls. But now he gets his special time and the girls get their special time so I should be able to give EACH girl their special time. Don't get me wrong...it's not like the never get one on one time. I love the times when I'm rocking each one individually, etc.

I will take all your advice and just get over it. The next time I go out I will take just one! And the next time it will be the other dd turn. And I like what the pp said about it being good for ds to have one on one time with each dd.

And thanks Courtney for your twin perspective. This means alot!
Tigerchild's Avatar Tigerchild 02:52 AM 07-21-2005
Oh yeah, I totally spaced the whole sibling dynamic too. Don't get me wrong, most of the time our kiddos play surprisingly nicely with each other, with occasional understandable squabbles. But DH has told me that when I have Tom or Dylan with me (he mostly stays at home, I do all external errand stuff) Fiona seems to really enjoy playing with just one brother at a time. It's then that she "reads" one of her special books we keep out of toddler reach to whoever's left behind, wants them to play in her room with one of her board games as a "special treat", and involves him directly in her latest make-believe scenario.

When I've taken Fiona and one of the guys out, and left the other for some special one on one Daddy time, she also seems to enjoy that as much as one on one time--wanting to hold her brother's hand, ect.

I don't pay as much attention to sib interaction as I should (It's hard for me to relate, being an only), so that advantage just never crossed my mind! But it's true, at least in our case!

And GMM, I really think it will not be as weird for as long as you might expect. I have a feeling that pretty soon you will look forward to one on one work/errand companionship!
3kidsunder2's Avatar 3kidsunder2 01:49 AM 07-28-2005
I have to add that I cherish the time that I have only one !

I love to send one of our twins out on errands with DH - lets them have one-on-one time with him and give me that much more attention with the others. If things are really good, one is taking a nap leaving me and one awake kid to interact with.

I did have the luxury of having the twins first and enjoyed taking one with me and leaving the other with DH. It felt REALLY WIERD to me, but nice in a way, too.