My Struggle Separating Twins

by farrah on December 11, 2013 · 8 comments

I’ve pretty much slacked my way through this whole twin parent thing for the past three years. Sure things haven’t been easy, but they’ve been fun and crazy and all of those good and bad things when you’re dealing with twins. I haven’t had any of the ‘trials’ as of yet when it comes to individuality or separation issues with them and today we had our very first. I don’t know what I was supposed to do- but I’m pretty sure I failed miserably in my first attempt at separating twins in general.

My Fraternal Twin BoysC and L at school last spring

As I’ve whined, the boys are all sick to some degree with a cold and my husband has been in Vietnam on business since Sunday afternoon. The mood in the house isn’t exactly the most happy-go-lucky at the moment, but I wouldn’t say that it’s bad either. But still- this cold is hovering over us, making the nights difficult and the days miserable. I feel for them- I do! So I raid the medicine stash and keep them on whatever berry flavored relief I have. C was sick first, so he’s pretty much out of the woods except for the runny nose. B stayed home on Monday but is back to full-blown 4-year-old crazy and school even though his nights are the roughest. My Linc is the latest victim and in the misery stage of gross cough and runny nose with fever. He is currently having the hardest time.

On Wednesdays (today) B goes until noon and the twins recently started going from 9-11:30. I knew that L couldn’t go today as he had a fever at 4am and is a coughing mess. But there is nothing wrong with C. I packed all of our stuff and intended on dropping B at school and then walking next door to drop off C. At least I was going to try. I’ve never taken just one of them to school before- so this was an experiment.

I remembered that last year C became sick while at school- and when my husband picked him up early, Linc insisted on staying. So in the back of my mind this was going to be just like that. I figured we’d all proceed like normal until it was time to leave and Linc and I would make our way out. Well, you know that didn’t happen. The teacher gave me the ‘You know your children best’ speech- alluding to the fact that I should just leave him, and I knew that I could: hysterical- but wouldn’t that be cruel? Why would I do that to him? All he wanted to do was come home with us. He didn’t want to stay by myself- and why should I force him when things are already a little unbalanced at home for the moment?

We left together- I didn’t make him stay. But now I sit here wondering what am I doing to them- and how is this going to influence my behavior and theirs in the future. I don’t want them to be unable to function as individuals outside of the home. There are going to be sporting events, friend invites and birthday parties I’m sure that are going to involve one and not the other. I daresay that as a twin mom I just want to stick my fingers in my ears and say  ‘lalalala’ I don’t hear you. I don’t want to deal with this part of it. The messy part. The emotional part. The hard part.

Any advice? 

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ann December 11, 2013 at 9:00 am

I think you did what’s best for this situation. I don’t, and you don’t, know how you would’ve handled it if there were different things going on – but, when you’re in survival mode you do what you can.

I don’t have twins, but I probably would’ve done the same thing in your shoes. Next time, you could try talking to them about it and preparing them for it in the morning. Or do things with one, while the H takes the other two kids out, and switch it out so they get used to being apart. I’m sure the next time one is sick and the other isn’t, they’ll still not want to be separated, but you can evaluate it then and see if the hysterics are worth it or not.

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2 farrah December 13, 2013 at 8:26 am

We made it to another day, so I guess the best thing to do it try again 🙂

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3 Mrs. Chasing the Donkey December 11, 2013 at 7:23 pm

Ohh babe, this is tricky. I do not really have much advice as I do not have twins BUT when Vlad was (and does) struggle with the separation thing. I just go with it, and be nurturing and do no push it, as I figure he has his whole life ahead to be without me. So I wonder if you can apply the same rule here – go with it and let them decide when they are ready to be apart? HUGS.

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4 farrah December 13, 2013 at 8:27 am

Thanks MCTD! I lean on the fact that they have always had each other- that has made it pretty easy for me to not have to deal with any kinds of issues with this before. Sort of cheating 🙂

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5 Julia December 11, 2013 at 10:49 pm

I think you did what you felt was best at the time. There will be a time and place to separate them but it didn’t have to be today. As moms it’s always hard to judge when we need to push them to do something and when we need to not push.

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6 farrah December 13, 2013 at 8:28 am

So true. And it didn’t have to be that day, looking back I’m glad that I didn’t.

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7 Ilja DeYoung December 12, 2013 at 9:41 am

You say ‘things are a bit unbalanced at home at the moment’. In situations like that any child has an extra need for comfort, care, feeling loved. So I think you did a wise thing not to push it this time.
Next time you see a situation like this coming up tell the twins in advance, so they know what to expect. Don’t make it into something big, be matter of fact abotu it (if they decide to make it big that it is different from when you make it into an issue).
And just follow your insticts on this. You do know your kids best.

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8 farrah December 13, 2013 at 8:29 am

Yeah, now that dad is home from his trip we feel back on track. It helps. We’re still a little under the weather, but that’s just temporary I know 🙂 Here’s hoping next time we do a little better!

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