Parenting twins is nothing like parenting singles. You try and explain to friends and family and they give all the right noises and nod their heads and say “of course”, “yes I understand” but their eyes always glaze over. They will always be cuddling one child at a time when visiting and so they will never have a time when they are left to deal with both and really understand my point of view.
There are certain things I have never done as a parent – which is rock my child to put them to sleep and I have never held a child constantly in my arms or on my lap all day whilst they slept on me. Why? Because there are 2 babies. I have had to do things differently so that I can make things easier during the days when I am on my own.
For comfort and sleeping problems, the girls have come to know the pat and rub method – which is something I can do with one hand in each cot if they are both needing me. Rocking them now would just agitate them. It is on rare occasions and usually from complete exhaustion do I get one falling asleep on me but its usually when Mr G and I are together somewhere so there is another pair of hands to assist with the other baby. Although, I am pleased that they are happy to sleep in their cots and are not reliant on Mr G and I, I do wish sometimes that they would want a little cuddle and a nap on me!
I also secretly love it when one of the girls wakes up from their naps before the other. It means I can spend some quality one-on-one time with them.
The most common comment I get from people is about waking the girls up for a feed. Yes, I do. Blasphemy isn’t it? With singles you can feed on demand, you can work the day around them, you can follow their lead – which is what most parents know and understand. But not with twins. You have set feeding times, you feed them at the same time, you have to fit in a certain amount of feeds before bedtime to know that they will sleep through the night comfortably and have had the recommended amount of milk.
If people just stopped and put themselves in my shoes for just a minute they would understand the challenges faced with multiples. In my opinion, the routine has not only helped me but helped the girls and I have 2 very happy and content little babies who have consistently put on weight considering they were premature. We got our evenings back from when they were 10 weeks old and they have slept through the night since they were 15 weeks old. I don’t want to sound boastful but hey, I must be doing something right!