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    Two of Everything: The Compromises of Parenting

Thursday, 7 June 2012

The Compromises of Parenting

Today in the supermarket I bought an 'In the Night Garden' magazine for my pair.  Never did I think I would buy such a thing, my children were never going to watch a single frame of a tv programme, never mind have related 'reading' material.  Before I had children, I had an idealistic, rose-tinted view of what it would be like, but I have discovered over the last 18 months that the reality is very different, and I have had to learn to compromise.

It took a little while for me to get pregnant and over this time I formulated lots of ideas about how I wanted to do things with my children.  I wanted to breastfeed them for as long as I could, and definitely for the first 6  months, but it didn't work out and I ended up bottle feeding them instead.  I wanted to do baby-led weaning but by 6 months (because they were only 4 1/2 months adjusted), they weren't sitting up enough for it to be safe, so we started with purees.  I wanted to use reuseable nappies and I managed for 16 months (many said I was bonkers for doing it this long), but once they were walking they started to follow me into the downstairs loo when I went to deal with the nappies.  It's not great trying to sluice poo down the loo with two toddlers trying to 'help'.  

I felt very strongly about them not watching television, but it was a bit of a lifesaver in the early days.  Two screaming babies and one pair of arms does not a happy house make, and being able to pop them in their bouncers in front of Iggle Piggle and Upsy Daisy kept me sane on many occasions.  I started to use it every day, only for about 20 minutes, but I timed it for when they seemed to get a bit grizzly and a bit later it meant I could do nappy changes without them rolling off somewhere.  Here they are enjoying their Night Garden fix at 7 months (with one finally sitting up!):

They still watch something every day, after they've had their lunch while I change their nappies ready for their nap.  I can only do one at a time and if I let them play while I did them it isn't very good wind down for sleep time, so they sit in their high chairs and watch on my laptop.  And I am discovering they are learning lots of things from it.  They try to say the names of the characters, they pretend to blow on a trumpet like Makka Pakka, dance and blow kisses like Upsy Daisy, and they copy the Pinky Ponk's flatulent emissions...  They have also learnt to anticipate what is coming next; for example there is a certain tune which indicates that all the characters are going to dance under the gazebo, which they love, and get excited as soon as they hear it.

I sometimes worry that I'm not providing them with enough things to help them learn (this is my teacher guilt coming through...) but it's really hard with twins, and I'm not sure it's possible to provide a full schedule of stimulating activities at home.  It's not doing them any harm though, they're developing really well and doing all the things they should be.  I think I'm doing ok.

There is no such thing as a 'perfect' parent, we all just muddle through doing our best.  In their workshop on parenting multiples, TAMBA talk about 'good enough' parenting, and sometimes I need to remember that what I am doing, and how I am doing it, is just that.  Good enough.


At 8 June 2012 at 22:01 , Blogger Bex said...

I can't imagine how much harder parenting twins is, and it sounds like it is actually really educational for them if they are learning new skills. We can only do what is right for us, and try our best.


At 8 June 2012 at 22:42 , Blogger Two of Everything said...

True - and they're definitely picking things up from it. I think it's partly about picking the right programmes and talking to them about what's happening - seems to have worked here!

At 9 June 2012 at 22:45 , Blogger The Mini Mes and Me said...

As long as they are happy, healthy and progressing well that's all that matters. A bit of tv will be fine - sounds like you are doing a great job x

At 9 June 2012 at 22:54 , Blogger Two of Everything said...

Thank you :) x


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