- July 15, 2016
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Two to Kiss, Two to Love: Mom Guilt
A few years ago, a few of us were sitting on our lunch break, chatting away, when my boss started telling us that only a very, very small percentage of people were able to truly multitask. As he was explaining this, my co-worker, who was texting, chimed in and said that she could multitask and his story wasn’t true.
He said, “Okay, then what did I just say?”
“You said…” she stopped and looked up at him.
She couldn’t tell him. As he basked in his glory, she was in awe. How could this be true?
I went on to tell him that I thought I could multitask though. He stopped me, and said, “YOU can.” Haha. He had witnessed me talking back and forth with him, while completing my work at the same time. Truly, I am a multitasker. Because of this, I have a hard time focusing on one thing, when I could be getting at least 45 more things done. Before kids, I got a lot of things done in a day, and quickly. And now with kids, how does my multitasking personality play out?
Let me tell you something: mom guilt is a real thing. A lot of things I talk about can be related to motherhood in general, especially mom guilt. But what about when you have twins? Do you have twice the guilt? I think you kind of do.
I’ve had to learn that my kids cannot be a part of a multitasking life. My kids actually deserve my full attention for a good part of the day. But do they always get it? Nope. Does that make me feel like a bad mom? Heck yes! But should it? NOOOOOOOO!
I’m constantly worried I’m not dedicating enough time to my children: Am I working too much? Am I talking on my phone too much? Am I ignoring them while I’m on my phone? Am I sidetracked with something else and not answering their requests in a timely manner? Am I creating bad habits for them to repeat everything 1000 times before I pay attention? Am I missing out on their lives? Are they scarred from not getting enough attention from their mom. And where there are two kids the exact same age, who require the same amount of attention and supervision, I’m asking myself this even more, and worrying twice as much.
So how do you stop feeling like you’re not doing enough for them?
Basically, stop beating yourself up. There are two of them, and maybe they have some siblings you’re also taking care of. If you start feeling like you aren’t doing enough for them, evaluate the situation.
First ask yourself, “Am I really not doing enough?” Are you glued to your phone ALL day long? Are you doing your own thing and putting your kids in front of the TV ALL day?
If the answers are yes, then maybe it really is time to see where you can cut back on things that are taking away from your kids.
But if your answer is no, stop being so hard on yourself mama!
And how do you do that?
A daily time for full engagement
Start by adding in little things to your daily routine that you know make your kids smile; do a craft with them, color with them, play a family game, take out their favorite toys and imagine with them, etc. Taking even a small amount of your time each day to do something that makes you get down on their level, that engages with them, and that puts a smile on their faces, will help you see that hey, you’re doing all right.
Put the electronics away!
How many times do we hear this? And why? Because it’s true! We battle so much with this today in our world. Heck, there are devices now that you can talk to and tell them to do things for you AND THEY DO. You don’t even have to do things yourself anymore! But don’t let devices raise your children. Pay more attention to how much time you spend on any electronic devices in front of them.
Just in general, I try to use my phone less often if I’m out with friends or on a date with my hubs. And the same goes for my kids. If you have to get some stuff done on the computer, or make some calls on the phone, set the twins up with something that they can do by themselves. Pull out a few toys, and go to another room. As long as they are in a safe place, there’s nothing wrong with a little quiet time where they can use their imaginations. My girls love to go in the playroom and create and play together. I also like to take a call, or work on the computer, in another room so they feel like they have some “me” time and I feel like I’m getting stuff done without interruption. Usually one of my twins will come upstairs when she’s done playing and start requesting things. That’s when I know my time is up, and i need to go back to paying attention.
Be there—be in the moment
There is something to be said about being in the moment, being present. Put the phone away, turn off the tv, forget the responsibilities you have to get done that second, and be. in. the. moment. Look around you. Watch those beautiful twins learn. Watch them create, play, stumble and get up again. Soak in their laughs. Pay attention to the way they move; the way they talk. Realize what a miracle they are. The more time I take to just BE there, the more I appreciate how good my life is with them in it.
When I put my girls to bed, the thought crosses my mind: would I have any regrets today if my child didn’t wake up in the morning? When I write that out, it sounds crazy morbid. BUT, I know too many kids who have suddenly died. So each night, I evaluate how I’m feeling about their little lives. Would I feel like a bad mom? Would I carry around a bunch of mom guilt? I assume the answer will be no for you. And that’s how you really know, that no matter what is going on, no matter what was done all day, that you’re doing the best you can do; that you’re being the best mom you can be.
And that’s all that matters to those little angels—that their mom is being their mom; that they are being taken care of. They love you, and I know you love them. Don’t let the mom guilt take over. When you’re doing your best, there’s no reason to bask in the mom guilt. You got this mama!
*The “Two to Kiss, Two to Love” series is a helpful series for all you twin mamas out there! If you have a twin related question, comment below, and I’ll answer it for you!*
Jackie is a fun-loving, spunky triathlete who loves taking care of her three daughters: two-year-old twins, Colette and Delilah, and four-year-old, Bree. She enjoys exercise, the outdoors, organizing, cleaning, photography, shooting, jeeping, and having tons of fun!