Tuesday, 19 July 2016

What the twins have taught me about motherhood...

Honestly, I thought I was doing pretty at that mothering lark with the older two. We generally got to places in time, they were pretty much always clothed appropriately (depending on your definition of appropriate as Archie does have a penchant for my 90's collection of handbags and various accessories) and we've only had a smattering of visits to A and E over the past few years.

However, the twins have really opened my eyes to a few things I wish I'd known with the first two - especially with Harry when he was a little dot.

1. Accept help. Do you know what? If someone offers help, just say yes. It doesn't matter if really you *could* manage yourself - and it especially doesn't matter if you are doing it because you think you *should* manage yourself. Most people are more than happy to hold your baby, watch your toddler while you change a nappy or push the buggy around for a bit. Since I've had the twins I've even - shock horror - ASKED for help. And what is amazing is that instead of threatening my new friendships with people I've only known for a maximum  of a couple of years it has definitely done the opposite and cemented them.

2. No two babies are the same. To be honest I'm not sure I could ever have not compared my babies to others. I try really hard not too, but - especially with your first born when you are likely to be around a lot of other babies a similar age - it is very difficult to avoid. From the first smile to the first roll over; the first tooth, the first tastes - and of course the biggies - the first crawl and first steps. Harry was 14 months before he walked which seemed late at the time although it really really wasn't! The twins are 15 months and Jasper is doing a few steps but Dulcie is way off. At night Dulcie has slept through for a long time - Jasper not so much. Dulcie had the first teeth, Jasper is  much bigger - I could go on all day listing their differences. It comes down to the fact that they are just such different little people. And you know what? Yes a bedtime routine is nice but do I think it will make a non sleeper sleep through? No I don't! Will a jumperoo strengthen Dulcie's legs enough to walk? Um no - not right now! Go with your baby, chill out and enjoy them for their own little quirks. And don't worry!

3. Boredom can be good. Anyone who knows me will agree I'm a bit of a busy person. I'm an over planner - my kids' days can be planned down to the last minute. But you know, since the twins arrived the older ones have had to learn that I can't just be there all the time! If the babies ever happen to sleep at the same time (rare!) I do make sure I get some quality Lego or board game time with them - and the same at the weekend when Daddy is around but otherwise they have had to learn that you can make your own fun. I'm sure it has brought them closer together and has also made them more independent.

4. Freedom can be even better! The boys have learned that with a bit less attention from Mummy comes a whole lot more freedom. I'm feeding the twins on the sofa so yes you can climb up on the side and get your own drink. Yes, you can go up the steps and wait in the park whilst I walk around the long way to the big gate with the double buggy. Yes, you can go to the toilet yourself at swimming lessons. Yes, they sometimes get into mischief and do things they shouldn't but 9 times out of 10 it's a success. The boys adore these extra little responsibilities and I feel really proud of them as they get older. 

Sometimes you have to remember that in parenting you are playing the long game of preparing them for adulthood in their own individual way. But it's not a one way street. The twins might have learned a lot in the last 15 months but they also taught me much more than I thought they would.