Tuesday, March 13, 2012


What do you do when you have twins who are BOTH experiencing separation anxiety?  

  1. Google "separation anxiety with twins" only to find out that the information out there on the web provides comfort that lasts for about ...24 hours.
  2. Lay out the situation and all of your stress to family members and receive the same response of "it's a phase, they'll grow out of it."
  3. Sit back, watch your twins crawl/run around the house and PRAY that they take a nap so you can finally use the bathroom...for the first time today (and probably the last).   OR...
Separation anxiety is quite a force of nature that parents of twins have to deal with.  I can't figure out still what's more stressful, the twin pregnancy or the fact that I'll never be able to walk out the room without two babies screaming and crying as they chase after me.  
And the worse part is that no one can relate or sympathize with you unless they went or are going through the same thing.  

Having delivered at 35 weeks and going through the NICU experience, I never would have thought that I'd end up here.  I mean, I knew that my boys would pull through and that they would be normal, active toddlers, but I never imagined how much work they would be!  
People always told me when they were babies that after 3 months, it gets so much easier.  In reality, it feels like I can hardly catch my breath from the moment I wake up till 13 hours later when they finally go to sleep.  

So, to all the mothers out there who have a kid (or several kids) whom blessed them with separation anxiety, I AM HERE FOR YOU!!!  

We all love our children so much.  We really do.  But it is a hard and difficult rollercoaster when you have two babies clinging to your body like velcro!  Although I do love when Max (the more attached twin) wakes up crying at night and gives a sigh of relief once he sees me in bed and crawls on top of me and falls back asleep.  I don't think I could ever get sick of the feeling when my little boy falls asleep on top of me.  

I have heard that that you should be sure to say "bye-bye" to your little ones when you leave.  As tempting as it seems, you shouldn't take the easy way out and slip through the back door while they're napping or playing in the other room.  Otherwise they will become accustomed to you leaving them behind if you leave their sight for just a few minutes.  Or worse, they will just stick to you all the time for fear that you will leave them (which has happened to me).  

But all we can do is just hope and pray that it is just a phase.  Of course there are situations where it can become a serious problem once they hit school.  People will always tell you to just let them cry it out because they won't remember it when they get older.  Or some people might say that it's because you are giving them too much attention and Oh my goodness you're SPOILING them!  

Don't listen to them! 

Whether or not that is true, it doesn't matter. What does matter is that these are YOUR babies.  You're the mama, and only Mama (OR Daddy!) knows what is best for her/his babies.  There is no right or wrong way.  It is something that I learned when my boys were born, but I still need to keep reminding myself that everyday after I talk to people.  Sometimes I think that the hardest part about motherhood (or fatherhood) is listening to your heart, following your instinct, and GOING WITH IT.  

It's so easy to break down and let others try to put you back together the way they think is right.  But in the end, you have to do what you feel is best for you and your kids.  It feels like yesterday that I gave birth and here I am 1 1/2 years later, facing new and more difficult challenges that I never thought I'd encounter.  I love my children, and I love having them run to me for protection or love or reassurance.  If time flew by this fast, I can't imagine how fast the toddler years will fly by.  Think of separation anxiety as a blessing, not as a curse.  

There's a saying that goes "there is no greater love than a mother's love." Perhaps we should finetune it to say, "there is no greater love than twins' love to their mother."

Max usually climbs on top of me in the middle of his sleep and falls back to sleep.  Since I wasn't laying down next to him, he quickly jumped on top of Leo and both slept like angels.  

1 comment:

  1. My oldest had separation anxiety. We lived 3 different places his first year (my husband is AD Navy). I think all the moving just made him feel like, "What will stay the same? I hope Momma does!!" He was always at my feet, always wanting up, always finding me. He didn't want to play with his toys unless I was in the room... It was really hard. I felt like I couldn't ever, ever, ever have a moment to myself. It is really hard to "relax" for 10 minutes in the bathtub when you know you are breaking a precious little heart as you do so. My twins are 14-months old and have started being clingy, going through a bit of a "Momma phase." For instance, today we had a playdate and they wanted to sit in my lap the WHOLE time instead of playing with their friends. I was immediately thrown back to those constricting feelings and said a prayer that they wouldn't go through the same thing. I heard that we were spoiling our oldest and that we "allowed" him to behave that way. I really felt like people needed to walk in my shoes before they made those judgements. Moving by myself across the country was really hard and sometimes I just had to do what I needed to in order to get through the day. The separation anxiety is really difficult. My twins go through phases, mostly during growth spurts or teething, where they ONLY want momma and they follow me crying. My oldest did have full-blown separation anxiety and my heart goes out to you. It is hard! I dealt with it by finding a good friend with a good ear and a kitchen stocked with chocolate. :) I went over to her house as often as I could, mostly to get out and away from just being followed room to room by a sad baby. When my twins are fussy, melting down, or generally unhappy, I still load us all up to go walk somewhere, get some fresh air and give us all a chance to clear our minds and "re-start." One of the most important things I learned during that phase with my son (it really is a phase, but that NEVER helped me and still doesn't when we hit a hard phase-- phase or not, it is REALLY hard to deal with) was the importance of starting each day new, leaving the frustrations of the day before totally behind you. It can be hard to leave behind built-up frustration, especially when the fussing and crying starts each day at the same time over the same things. But carrying it inside, even if never expressed, will leave you exhausted.


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All who would win joy, must share it; happiness was born a twin. -Lord Byron