Sunday, February 19, 2012

Twin Mom Guilt

Lately I have been thinking a lot about whether we should try for another baby or not.

In some ways I feel we have a great, perfect little family. Two parents, two kids. Two boys that have a close bond. If we have a third, would he or she feel left out? (We really don't want to have 4.)

But then, there is this feeling like I missed out on something. I love my twin boys. I love that I had twins (it really is fun to have two the same age). I feel like I have these two 18 month old boys, and I am getting this double does of "toddler" (which actually has been awesome.. honestly all ages over 6-9 months have been great). But while I am getting double toddler-hood, I feel like I was robbed of the boys' baby-hood. And honestly when I really focus on that, it makes me so, so sad.

My boys were very high-needs babies. If they were not sleeping or nursing, they were crying. All I wanted was to curl up with them and nurse all day, but that was just not possible. (Yes we tandem nursed 12 hours a day, but it wasn't very "cuddly". We all survived their colicky infant stage, but we did not thrive. I did not feel like I enjoyed it like I wanted. In a way I feel like I failed them because I could (almost) never give them my complete attention. I have twin mom guilt. I think it's different than having 2 two years apart. I know there is jealousy and other issues that come up between singleton siblings. But the issues are different, some probably harder, but definitely different. Newborns require constant care. Toddlers are capable of playing on there own for some periods of time. They can walk, communicate some needs, feed themselves.

I think what I am trying to say, is.. even though I had planned on only having two kids when I married Alan, I feel like I never had a "normal" baby experience. I mourn that loss when I think of never actually experiencing a singleton. And I almost feel like I have to prove to myself that I can be a better mom. I know none of these are actually good reasons to have another child. Do any twin moms feel like they didn't get to experience their twins' baby-hood the way they wanted?


Shelly Cunningham said... Don't think about it, just do it. My "twinfant" experience was about as good as it gets (we had an awesome schedule, the boys were pretty easy) and still I wasn't able to just sit back & enjoy them the way I had imagined.
With Wyatt (our singleton who came three years after the twins, to the month) I have been able to breastfeed, hold him all I want, and see which parts are just "parenting" and which parts are "twin parenting"...
I will warn you that your experience with twins may get worse before it gets better- my boys were okay through age two, but three has been KILLING me.
Another note- I find that the third baby has been good for them. They love him so much, and they get the opportunity to see what a regular sibling relationship is like, apart from their twinship. Those are my two cents!

Ashley Shorter said...

I totally know what you mean. I have twin girls who are 6 months. I find myself often being very envious of parents of singletons. I know that I would never truly get to experience what it would be like to have just one since I would have two older children if I did try again but I do think about how nice it would be to just attend to one baby. I think almost every experience would be easier. I think I could be a more effective mom, I think I might actually be sucessful at breastfeeding and doing all the things that don't come with twin pregnancies. Anyway...I think you should. I want to as well when the girls are older, I just have convince the hubs! Ha! Good luck- I'm sure you will make the best decision for your family!

Krystal said...

Shelly -- Thanks for sharing your experience! I keep thinking they would enjoy a sibling, but when I hold a baby they get incredibly jealous, so I'm glad your boys enojoy Wyatt. Also I have heard a lot about the 3's. Keep on blogging so I can look back when my boys get that age!!

Ashley -- I have a lot of the same thoughts. And yeah, I would have to convince the hubs too. ;)

The Guddats said...

I am right there with you in regards to mourning the inability to have a one on one relationship with the boys when they were newborns. We are planning for more babies in the future but ultimately God is in control of that. I have been thinking a lot about how intense being a first time parent times two is. I am looking forward some day to having the opportunity of having a singleton. I agree with your other commenter that having a sibling relationship beyond their twindom could be really good. I think it will be good for my little guys to watch out for another sibling and help them be less inclusive.

the mom daze said...

Hey there... I can relate. The girls are 6-months now. I've given them everything I could and yet I have to wonder whether they've gotten enough...crazy! I also am curious about the singleton mom experience and would like to have some one-on-one... one day.

Sheila G. said...

I just came across your blog and I've thoroughly enjoyed reading about your boys. I have twin girls who are 14 months old. I really felt like I related to this post. We only wanted 2 children but now I wonder what it would be like if we just had another, single, baby. I feel like our family might be complete with the 4 of us, but at the same time, I'm curious about mothering one!