I so wish this wasn’t true. But, for every photo taken with their beautifully smiling faces, there are at least 10 moments of tears and tantrums that went uncaptured. I often hear from friends and family – “they’re so happy!” “all they do is smile!” People don’t believe me that my twins cry – A LOT I’ve tried to get some candid shots, but I just don’t know why anyone would want pictures of my two screaming children in their photostreams.
Since the moment Baby A arrived, she’s been LOUD. Baby B had to be gently coaxed by the nurses to take her first breath, though she’s not far behind her sister in the decibel department. None of us could believe that two, teeny tiny, 5 pound babies could scream that way! I had visions of sweet, cuddly newborns circling in my head during my pregnancy – only to find that my babies shunned cuddling in favor of crying, sleeping in favor of waking, and contentment in favor of drama. We struggled with feeding issues and fussiness that I’m sure was some type of colic. We even bought them special baby hammocks to help soothe them at night. (They worked magic – for a little while at least!) Thankfully, they’ve turned into great sleepers at night – it’s the daytime crying that takes it’s toll. My twins have been incessantly drooling and teething every moment of every day since they were three months old. And no, the amber necklaces did NOT work. Sigh.
My twins cry for me. When they’re being watched by others, they are perfect angels 99% of the time. When they were cast in a movie, people always remarked about their good-natured dispositions. I could quickly hand them off to their stage-mommy, and they’d smile at her happily until the scene was over. They are the babies that wave to passersby in Target, smile enthusiastically, and say “hi.” When they’re home with me, they go crazy. In the newborn stage, that just meant lots of crying for them while I tearfully breastfed on the couch and watched Hallmark movie marathons. As toddlers, it’s tantrums, jealousy, and misery – often for no reason. They are the kind of kids that “scary cry,” and I sometimes have to remind them to breathe!
I wrote in to a multiples group on Facebook to see if anyone else experienced this. The verdict? Most moms do. Apparently, it’s a thing. One mom suggested that I am their safe haven. I am the person they have come to rely on again and again, therefore, they let loose around me. They are unafraid to show their true feelings to me, both good and bad. They also probably feel that there isn’t room enough for two in their “safe haven.” This definitely makes sense to me. It’s like the kids who are terrible at home, but lovely at school for their teachers, but toddler-style. Their little brains can’t handle controlling their emotions all the time. Learning to maintain behavioral restraint is just too complex. Something or someone has got to give – and it’s usually got to be mommy.
I don’t really have any advice. I consider myself “in the trenches” of the crying mornings and tearful afternoons, with no solution in sight. What does ease my mind, is knowing that this might not last forever, (or maybe we’ll take at least take a brief hiatus until the teen years!) I just try my best to please them both within my limits of sanity. I’m learning that these tiny humans are individuals. They are not just a copy & paste of one another. One is more sensitive, while the other is more sassy. One is more clingy, the other is more independent. One steals toys, the other steals food. They’ve been forced to share everything since day one of conception – I can’t expect them to share emotions and needs too.
The beauty of the situation is this: getting to know their true personalities will help me tailor my approach to each child differently as time goes on. It’s not going to be easy, but multitasking is the name of the game in Motherhood. Just know, that if your baby or babies are criers, and you think there is no one else who understands…. you are not alone!
I’m here to talk, if you can manage to hear yourself think over the resounding tantrums.