Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Absence Makes The Heart Grow Fonder

No matter how much they love one another, too much time
together makes them sick of each other!
As a mother of twins, one of the things I spend a good deal of time focusing on is how much alone time each of our children is getting. This isn't something only parents of twins deal with, although in a number of ways it's more intense when you have twins. 

When I had a full time nanny, it was pretty easy to split the kids up and get one on one time with them. But these days my help is sporadic and I have started working a lot more than I used to, so the kids have been spending day after day together without a break. It's beginning to wear on them.

No matter how much you love someone, you need time apart to remember how wonderful it is when you are together! I've had a lot of guilt over how much I have been working lately and the fact that my kids are taking out some of their frustration on each other isn't helping matters. This weekend I had some time to think about all of this and begin to make some changes.

Our children shared a womb. Then they shared a crib for 5 months. They shared meals, their bedroom, their toys (for the most part). They share a classroom, play dates, and birthdays. They often have to share the attention of mommy or daddy. Of course, we do our best to make everything as individualized and special for each of them as we can. And, until lately, my husband and I have been great at giving them time alone with each of us. But when our preschool director pointed out that she had noticed how sick of each other our kids are getting, I realized I had been slacking. 

My daughter's side of the room. I can
only imagine the clutter when she's a teenager.
My sitter situation doesn't look like it's changing any time soon and since my husband's heart attack last year I have been trying to give him more down time  on weekends, so even doing one on one time then has been challenging. But, I realized this weekend that we have one idea at our disposal that might make a huge difference for our kids: it might be time to give them each their own room.

Now, this is not as easy as it sounds. I am a little sad at the idea of them no longer sharing a room. Intellectually I know that it will be good for them (and as they are brother and sister, it would inevitably happen at some point) But emotionally it is harder than I thought. I love the way they talk to each other at night, flashlights in hand. I love standing outside their door listening to them play "camp", with one sleeping under the bed in the "bottom bunk" and the other sleeping above. I love the room itself, only put together a year and a half ago...soft green, orange and white. Giving them each their own room means losing our playroom/guest room. Where do all those toys go now? Where do my parents stay when they visit? There's even a part of me that hangs on to that fantasy that sharing a room makes their bond tighter. But, does it?

Did you know that if you Google "rainbow unicorn"
there are more than 1.5 million images?
Every time I had asked my children previously if they wanted their own room they emphatically said "no"! This weekend I broached the subject again and was met with enthusiastic yeses. So, I guess I need to move forward. My daughter wants a gold room with rainbow unicorns and princesses. Yikes. My son is all over the place with themes: pirates, dinosaurs, volcanos exploding lava. Coupled with his favorite color, orange, I'm not picturing the most relaxing of rooms. 

They're growing up and becoming more and more the unique individuals they are meant to be. I know it's what I want, and yet now that it's happening, it's harder than I expected for me to let go. 

Thanks for reading!
-Gina
The Twin Coach

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