Guest Author - Julixa Newman
Spending one on one time with your children is a privilege that parents of multiples must learn to master. Through my experience with other twin parents, it seems that many of these families spend their days and weeks essentially "teaming up" on the twins-using teamwork to get through the seemingly endless list of chores that comes with being in charge of two at a time. It's true. Whether they're infants, toddlers or school age, having twins means a larger diaper bag, an extra set of clothes to wash or pick out for tomorrow, and also an extra lunch to pack. Of course, we all know that twins NEVER eat the same thing to make things easier. (Why can't they BOTH like salami and apple juice?) Does the lady at the deli counter think I order ľ lb of meat at a time because I think itís funny?
Quality time with a child will open the door to honest and revolutionary conversations, and it allows multiple parents to see their children as individuals instead of parts of a set. Even though they have the same birthday and were roommates for 7-9 months before you even met them, that doesn't take away from the fact that they are each different in their own way. Spending one on one time does not have to last all day. It can be something as short as 15 minutes if that is all your schedule allows. The main focus is for your child to have your undivided attention. Here are some examples of opportunities that you can use to have that special time.
Although multiple parents try to schedule everything from their feedings to their naps, one will surely fall asleep before the other. While their siblings are sleeping, you can sit with them and ask them about their day, or even discuss what happened in your life that day. Have babies that will not understand what you're saying? Pick up that baby and give him or her 10 minutes of cuddling time. Not only will it do the baby some good, it will certainly boost your spirits after a long day.
Divide and conquer! Have you partner take one twin out while you take the other. It can be as short as a visit to the new yogurt place or as long as a shopping date. Walking around the mall and asking your child what they like will certainly help you bond. It will also give you the opportunity to more deeply explore the interests of that particular child. You may even hear something they just didnít want to share around someone else their own age!
Do you have parents and/or in-laws close by? Suggest sleepovers just for one or the other. This will lighten the load for both households, give them one on one time with you, and give them the run of the house by themselves for a change. If theyíre small, they may get time with that toy that is always hoarded by their sibling. If they are bigger, they may suggest everyone visit a new restaurant they are interested in, but never get to try because their brother or sister doesnít like that type of cuisine. The situations for one on one time are all around if you really think about it. Plus, if you make it easier on the parents throughout the year, you can save up the favors for when you REALLY need a vacation alone!