I was beginning to think i was getting the hang of this twin parenting thing…and was then handed a lovely dose of reality again!
As Tara began to get sick at the beginning of the week i grew uneasy…it was coming…..the fear, the uncertainty, the complete impossibility that i would be able to stretch myself to meet everyones' needs with sick twins in the house.
I know these feelings aren't just experienced by twin parents….many have more children than me that in all probability get sick at around the same time…..but for 15 years i was the parent of an only child. I hurt when she hurt but i could devote all my time to her….switch into nurturing mother role (which i actually love)…spend time cuddled up on the lounge or in her room at night. Helping her through illness and tears with lots of cuddles and ‘mummy time'. As it should be.
But then i had twins and the thought of the next illness to sweep the household is never far from my mind…..2 little girls who feel awful and want their Mummy's undivided attention…yet there is only one of me. I feel such guilt…and a little cheated that i can't just focus on nurturing…instead i must focus on ‘just getting through'.
This week i sat i on the lounge with one after just cleaning up yet another ‘episode' and the other came over for a cuddle and attention as the virus also began to take a firm hold of her. There was fighting and tantrums as they each vied for my undivided attention and the Mummy care that always makes things just a little bit better.
As i rocked one back to sleep after only a 30 minute nap….i let myself embrace the moment of nurturing once again as she snored and snuggled….i was doing my job…..and then the other woke vomiting in her cot.
I cannot explain in words the heartache i feel in those moments……i need to keep one asleep and nurtured….but i need to help the other….who comes first….what do i do? Why can't i just have one?…Immediately followed by a wave of guilt and sadness so strong that i question my role as Mum all over again. Then Miss Teen arrives home and needs to download after a stressful day of exams….i have nothing left within me….how do i do this? How do i met the needs of all 3 when all 3 need me now?
In my moments of rational clarity (usually at daybreak…never after unfortunately…) i do understand that there are no answers to those questions…..i just need to do the best that i can and hope that it is enough for them all to feel loved and nurtured in their own individual way.
This parenting gig is a tough one…each time i think i have mastered a hurdle another rises to challenge me. I know i am not alone….it is what parents do and how we learn and grow. But sometimes….just sometimes….i wish i had the answers and a foolproof plan to split myself 3 ways and give undivided attention to all…especially when sickness descends upon the household!
As we reach Sunday night i think the vomiting virus has left the building…and after a few medicinal red wines and a nice little outpouring of emotion in this space of mine…..i think i am ready for a hopefully peaceful nights sleep….the first in what seems like a year….ahhh is there anything sweeter for a tired Mummy?
How do you handle sickness and dividing your attention between your children when they need you all at once? I'd love to hear your thoughts!
Now…just have to make sure i don't get sick….we all know there is no time for that…and no sick days when you are a Mum!