Monday, March 17, 2008

Parenting Theories

I certainly wouldn't say that Charlotte and Gavin are difficult children. But I also wouldn't say they are particularly easy, either. I only have my nephews for comparison, but I think Charlotte and Gavin have their good days and their bad. Nighttime and naptimes continue to be struggles, despite using the cry-it-out method, schedules, then no schedules, etc... They still have trouble amusing themselves on their own, too, so sometimes they can get pretty cranky. Inconsistent sleep habits might have something to do with the crankiness. But they eat well, and they seem generally happy, and they sleep well enough, mostly.

I spoke to some other mothers at my Twin Club meeting tonight. One has 3-month old twins, and the other 13-month olds. They made parenting twins sound like the simplest thing ever. "I swear, they were sleeping through the night since they came home. Sometimes I'm still laying in bed at 10am thinking, shouldn't they be up by now?" said the mother of the 3-month olds. The other mother agreed that sometimes she has to wake her children up in the morning because they sleep so late. And then, of course, the children are just lovely for the remainder of the day. Are they serious? Do children like that exist?

I have a few theories on this:
1. They're lying. Lately I've been thinking that there are mothers out there who make everything out to be easier than it actually is. I'm not sure why they feel they have to do this. Do they think people will think less of them if they admit that parenting is hard? I'm sure this has something to do with societal views of women and mothers, but it makes my head hurt just to think about it, so I'm going to leave the theorizing to someone else.

2. My twins are really more difficult than I thought. Maybe everyone else's babies are average, and mine are crankier and more sleep-deprived than most.

3. Perhaps my twins are just as difficult/easy as theirs, but these other women can simply deal with it better than I can. I am very very Type-A, so when my kids are rubbing their eyes and tired, then they should be sleeping, dammit. And when they are not doing what I think they should be doing, I get all flustered. Maybe these other ladies are more flexible, and can roll with an unscheduled day better than I.

I have a feeling the answer lies somewhere between Theory 1 and 3. They may be glossing over things a little, but may also be a bit more laidback. It doesn't matter--I still wanted to wring their necks.


  1. Oh my goodness. I have SO MUCH to say about this. I may have to blog about it today.
    And I am right there with you. We can wring necks together.

  2. Nothing but lies, Am. Really, even with just one baby (who luckily got her dad's sleep-well genes), it has been rough. Slowly we are coming into the light. Winter up here is hard enough without a newborn looking at me for all the answers all day long. Those beeyotchs just make themselves feel better by saying everything is great, it is often just a front.

    Your babes will get into a routine on their own time, keep trying but don't be too hard on yourself. I too am type-a and am struggling with letting my day just roll as it wants to. As long as the babes are feed, clean (as clean as they can be!) and warm, then you are all set. No one is perfect and most days if you shower, then it was a success! Enjoy this time, as chaotic as it is.

    You are their world and I am certain you give the world to them.

  3. Amy, I wish I had more inspiring words for you. {{HUGS}} are the best things I can think of. Although, I was thinking if their babies are that wonderful during the day too, they must be on something.
    Wringing necks also sounds like fun. ;)

  4. my name is betty and i'm a frustrated, type A mother of twins. it's hard. i don't have a single frame of reference but two babies is hard, damnit. even on super good happy shiny days...still hard! p.s. my kids have never ever slept until 10 am. never.

  5. Right there with you Amy!!!....I've been mentally wringing necks since Owen was six months and cruising...8 months and walking...and everyone else's life was sooooo sublime. At first I blamed it on me, then Owen, then the other mothers, and even on the idea that it was a boys vs. girls thing. (Stopped hanging out with moms of girls for awhile and it made me feel better.) When Owen is at his craziest, and he's only ONE, I just grimmace and bear it...while mentally wringing any necks of the moms who say they want MORE kids now. If they're not ravaged with how HARD motherhood is...they ARE on another planet than I. ~Amy T.

  6. Mine are 21 months and have never, ever, ever slept until 10am. Ever. In fact, despite some success with CIO, mine still often wake up once in the night. Oy.

    And mine are still not great at amusing themselves. They want me to play, too. Which is OK for the most part, but sometimes I need to get things done.

    And they still cry for no reason sometimes, and are cranky sometimes, more often than I feel like other kids are at this age . . .

    I say all this not to scare you, but to say that I'M WITH YOU. It's hard. And I'm really Type A, too, so I get frustrated when things don't go as planned, when the kids won't sleep when they are obviously tired, etc. It's HARD. And at least for me, on some days, it's hard to feel good that I'm doing the best that I can.

    You are not alone! Wish I had more to offer.


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