As a mom to two sets of twins, I’ve read just about every twin-related book, discussion forum, pin and meme that’s out there. But somewhere in between “double the trouble” and “twice the blessings,” someone forgot to indulge twin moms in the most daunting fact of them all. BEING A TWIN MOM BRINGS A FUCK-LOAD OF GUILT.
(This is coming from a mom who drops the f-bomb sparingly, so please understand the magnitude of my declaration.)
From the moment Twin B is pulled out, pushed out (or the second one may very well just walk out at that point), you are instantly outnumbered. It’s 2-1. All the time. For the rest of your life.
With our first set of twins, their newborn days brought with it a territory I hoped our family would never cross: the NICU. Suddenly my recent, pregnancy-related complaints seemed so minuscule as I looked down at my two babies, sedated and wearing more wires than clothes.
To make matters worse, the Neonatal Unit they resided in was not equipped for twins to reside within the same room. In fact, my babies couldn’t even see each other until their discharge date. So every two to three hours, my husband and I swapped NICU rooms, ensuring that each twin received equal attention from the both of us. But somewhere in midst of the feedings, pumping sessions, wire-replacements, butt-changes, diaper weighs and bottle logs, I felt like I never spent enough quality time with either of my newborns.
Luckily, my second set of twins only entered the NICU for roughly twelve hours. But for so many other twin preemies, it is often far longer. And even though I did everything within my power to keep myself pregnant to term, somehow I was left to feel guilty when my plans didn’t mesh with reality.
Unfortunately, the guilt didn’t subside once my little ones busted out of the NICU. Because after the delight of two newborn grins, will always come the madness of two, newborn squalls.
During the early days, I never struggled with holding my twins at the same time. But ready or not, they grow while we blink. And after some time, the only physically-able option I was left with was carrying them by one by one. Which showed me just how shared I truly was and will always be.
Truthfully, I’d love to take each and every one of my kids out and about to do all-of-the-things, but bringing the four of them into this world has taken an unexpected toll on my body. For that, I feel…. you guessed it… guilty as a mother.
I want a life full of adventure almost as badly as my three-year-old’s, but we must wait for daddy to get home. And even then, just say a prayer that the double stroller squeezes through the doors of wherever we’re going.
Tomorrow, my oldest set of twins will leave me for their first day of preschool. And I’m already wondering, which one will I hug first when they get home? It’s not a swallow-me-whole, all-consuming type of guilt when I choose one before the other (after all, that’s just the way it goes), but it does weigh heavy on my twin mommy heart.
You’d think twin mom’s could dodge a guilt-ridden bullet on the rare occasion that we catch a break from Tweedledum and Tweedledee, but I’m convinced we will always feel some type of underlying, residual guilt until our death beds.
In my alone time, I often wonder if I feed to Gracie’s creative side enough. And I hope Bubba doesn’t feel left out because he’s the only boy. And as for the littles, I pray they feel snuggled enough and somehow know, that I am one person spread among many.
I hope my twins never feel half as needed, wanted, cherished or loved in life, for that could never be the case in my eyes. But because my children are granted to me in twos, there will always be days where I (a mere one) will feel the guilt of not enough’s from yesterday.
However, I am doing the best that I freaking can. So on that note, I’m going to wash away all of that twin mom guilt with a tall glass of wine and remind myself, I’m not only raising twins, but best friends for life. And really, who could allow themselves to linger in guilt about that?