The lonliness of being a twin mum. By Claire Wallace.

The lonliness of being a twin mum. By Claire Wallace.

Claire Wallace is an Aussie mum of 5 based in our amazing capital, Canberra. She has three boys and one year old twin girls.  This post on her blog 'Life on Wallace' took me back down memory lane to when my girls were babies. Im sure those who have already lived it or are living it now will relate to most of this frank and honest article. For those of you about to embark on twin mum life, there are a few hard truths but nothing you all won't get through. Thanks Claire ♡

Motherhood. It can be a lonely gig for any mother. The loneliness of being a twin mum has caught me by surprise. I’m surrounded by the people I love the most, yet I’m lonely. There can be days on end when the only adult I speak to is my husband. In 7 years of parenting I’ve never felt this isolated.

Perhaps that isolation comes from life with two babies. There are things that are manageable with one baby but a struggle with two. Like taking the older boys to the theatre or movies. I can’t balance and keep quite two squirming babies on my lap for the length of a show. Swimming lessons with one baby are straightforward, but I can’t work out the logistics of one parent and two babies in the pool. I’ve flown with one baby. One adult flying with baby twins isn’t possible. Each baby needs an adult lap. Sure, each of these things isn’t a huge drama. But they compound to make me feel hemmed in to my house.

Once the twins and I went out for brunch. It started well. Both were asleep in the pram. Then one woke. So I feed her. While feeding her, the other woke. I finished feeding one, put her in the pram and tried to feed the other. The first twin started screaming in the pram. I fished her out and held her while the other fed. Neither would happily go back in the pram. Eating a meal one handed is pretty standard for parents. But I was alone and holding two babies. I did my best to shovel in a few mouthfuls of food. It was too hard. I left my barely touched meal and went home. Biting back the tears. Feeling frustrated that my plan for a quite brunch hadn’t worked. In the days of one baby that situation would’ve been simple. Feed baby, hold baby, eat. Go home full.

Double trouble

Strangers tell me that twins are ‘double trouble’. The thing is, there’s some truth in it. With two babies there’s an increased risk of things going wrong. Leaving the house is hard with one baby. With two, some days it feels impossible. Your chance of a nappy explosion or screaming baby in the car or supermarket double. Tandem breastfeeding is a juggle. Even though I’ve mastered the art, I’m not comfortable getting both my boobs out in public. Browsing the shops with a double pram isn’t a simple task, often the pram doesn’t fit between the racks. I’ve also discovered that the doors to many parents rooms aren’t wide enough for the pram. I literally have to dismantle the pram to get inside. All these things leave me wondering if leaving the house is worth the bother.

A twin tribe?

Part of my feelings of loneliness is a lack of a twin ‘tribe’. I’ve got amazing mum friends. I know they try to comprehend life with twins. But you really only understand the juggle of burping one baby while breastfeeding the other when you’ve done it. Or feel the depth of mum guilt associated with ‘choosing’ which baby’s needs to meet first. Before having twins I couldn’t imagine the marathon involved with getting two babies to sleep at the same time. And the maddening frustration of getting one to sleep just as the other wakes.

I love and adore my girls. And being the mum of twins may be the best thing that’s ever happened to me. But that doesn’t change that it’s hard work. The new challenges twins present have thrown my ‘can do’ attitude. I’m learning to accept that somethings as a mum of young twins just aren’t achievable. There are parts of life, as a twin mum, that I have to sit out. I’m sure it won’t be forever but for now it’s left me feeling lonely. The loneliness of being a twin mum was not something I anticipated.

Have you ever felt a sense of loneliness or isolation as a mother?

To read some more of Claire's pieces head over to her website http://lifeonwallace.com/

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Comments

Renee - September 24, 2018

Thank you claire for giving this brutally honest truth on being a twin mum! I too find it very difficult to do simple things due to it just plain being too difficult :( might not sound hard to go down and get milk and bread but oh how it is! Especially when one or all 3 of our kids are sick or fussy. Reading this has definitely made me feel 100 times better as it does feel like you are in it alone which we most certainly arent 😊 need to definitely start a twin tribe for all of us at different stages of twin mumming to share stories and give help and advice when needed!!!
Thank you again claire keep up the great work xxoo

SUsan Doyle - September 24, 2018

Claire, I know exactly how you feel. The trick is until they get older allway’s try and bring a friend with you. Trying to manage two small babies and eat is a nightmare. As they get older it will get easier. My twins are 36yrs old now and have babies of their own. This time(when they are very small) will pass quickly. Twins are great fun as they grow up. I wish you the best of luck at this THE hardest time it will pass quickly.💖💖

Skye - September 24, 2018

Thank you, thank you, thank you for putting this into words. You are exactly right. I love my girls. They have completed our family. They bring another level of joy than single babies. But it’s so hard and lonely and difficult for others to understand. I’ve found my local multiple association which is great for support but it’s still hard. Will be continuing to read your posts.

Abigail - September 24, 2018

As a single mum with twins of boy and girl who are about turn two in a couple days. Reading this has hit close to home for myself. No one quite gets what it’s like and I don’t go to the supermarket with them or shopping. Some people judge me for that but at the end of the day, no one with a single child or multiple children but of different ages quite understand what every day and nights are like with twins.. so I allow myself to go to the shops on my own because it’s simply the only time I now get to myself.

Terri McMillan - September 24, 2018

Thankyou Claire. My daughter just sent me your article after a very challening kinder picnic with her 5 year old and 1 year old twin girls. Needless to say she left early after 2 little girls were teary with teething pains and the wet ground left them cold. Every day I learn of the many extra things she has to do because she has twins. I am in awe of her ability to sacrifice herself for them. Like you it is often easier for her to stay home as getting out the door is difficult. And although we are all there ready to support her and her wonderful husband it is really a lone journey. She really appreciated the recognition your blog gave her but like you, she wouldn’t change a thing.! And of course we are all so grateful for these datling little girls. Xx

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