Finding Enough Love To Spread Amongst All Your Children

cozyThat time in the morning when my twins wake up and just before they want breakfast, is one of my favorite parts of the day. They’re all cuddly and my mind is still muddled, so sitting on the couch snuggling is the perfect way to start the day.

This morning was no different. I was ready for work, waiting for our nanny to arrive, when I heard my little boy singing to himself in his room. I went in there, answered all his questions (Dada? Nanny? Up? Passy? Football? Bee?) and took him to the couch to cuddle. A few minutes later, his twin sister woke up wanting to cuddle with me and four of her favorite hard, plastic baby dolls and her blanket. Juggling a toddler, the toys and the blanket, I settled us all down on the couch.

It didn’t take too long before I just had to kiss their hair, nuzzle into their soft necks and squeeze them close to me. If I could have fit into their footie pajamas with them, I would have done that. It also didn’t take long for me to think, I just kissed him, so I need to kiss her. I can’t rest my cheek on her head too long; I have to give him equal time. And so began the internal struggle I have with myself every day.

Do I give enough attention to my twins as individuals? Do I show each one the abundance of affection I have for them equally? I don’t think there’s any way to answer those questions. Truly.

I love my kids and they know it. Some days, one will need more attention than the other—if they’re sick, ornery or it’s one of those days. My husband and I try to spend one-on-one time with each kid every day. Just mom and son, dad and daughter and vice versa. But sometimes, it’s just about surviving and getting everyone to bed in one piece, including myself.

People ask me if I give each one time. Of course I do. But sometimes, that time is all of us sitting together reading books or playing stickers. Parenting multiples isn’t the same as parenting a singleton. It’s a different kind of hard. (Note: I didn’t say twins are harder, just different.) From day one my attention has been divided between them. Mom guilt is the worst and it comes on strong when you don’t think you give enough attention to your children.

But you know what? It all evens out in the end for us. There’s no timecard. It’s not a competition. It really is accepting you were the best parent you could be that day and your kids went to bed knowing and feeling loved. And accomplishing all that in time to watch Downton Abby is the frosting on the cake.

—Rebecca Calappi, Publications Coordinator at Beaumont Health System and adoptive parent of multiples

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