It suddenly entered my head today that I may be a bad parent, well no, that's not quite right, I just feel that I'm not doing enough to stimulate them or encourage their development. I won't deny that we let them watch television quite a bit, but it is Baby TV and it's full of colours, shapes, song, numbers etc etc. I read to them up to twice a day and try and play little games with them, but I soon run out of steam or ideas and end up switching on the TV again.
I didn't think I'd feel the pressure to ensure that my children would be early starters or little genius', but I can't help but compare them to other babies their age, and I also actually compare the both of them together. Beau is so much more active and is now crawling, where as Olivia refuses to budge off her backside and. However Olivia seems to be the one who is more in tune with her emotions and the world around her, Beau is
completely oblivious to anything.
Many people have the notion that twins are practically duplicates and are one and the same, but from our experience it couldn't be more different. They are the complete opposites of each other. Beau is a big sleeper, he can fall asleep at the click of your fingers unlike Olivia who fights sleep to the last breath. She likes books and being read to, but he wonders off after the first page. In social situations Beau is more outgoing and Olivia just sits and looks moody. She is just so much more intense. I just have visions of her dressing in black and telling me she hates everyone including me by the time she gets to 15!!
Having two kids has been an eye opener into a child's development in that mile stones come at different times and not necessarily in the same order, so it's hard not to worry when one of the kids does something but then the other show not sign of following suit and I have to draw myself back from the brink of become and maniacal mother.
I think I have to stop looking at those books and websites that tell me where my children should be at for their age - it's pretty much a compare and contrast situation, where you mentally tick a box in your head hoping that all those boxes are ticked and then you spend the next few days frantically treat your child like a toy robot, trying to fine tune them to add on a new skill, like clapping hands or saying mama /dada, only to have them look back at you as though you have lost the plot (which we probably have)
Some days, I just go with the flow and relish the joys of motherhood, other days I can despair of the fact that I did exactly the same as the day before and the day before that. Routine is good for the kids, it works, but it often feels like groundhog day without the comedic value of Bill Murray!!
I hope I don't seem ungrateful, I'm not, I know how lucky I am to be blessed with two beautiful children who make me very very happy. It's not them that is the issue, it's more the pressure that is put upon us to follow guidelines, routines and structures to ensure that our children flourish and become model children.
Being a parent really is like being in maze, you think you've found the way and things look promising but then you hit a wall and you have to turn around and find another way to go. And all this time you're trying to figure out how to do right by your children, you are trying to hold on to the person that you were before and trying to adapt to all the changes that you have had to make, which can some times make being a parent a little harder.
However, every morning my children beam with excitement when they see me, they like to nuzzle my neck and give me kisses and they cry for me when they want some company. Now, when they stop doing that, that's when I should really worry!!