Mums of singletons making me feel bad(30 Posts)
I'm feeling bruised and vulnerable after a couple of comments from mums of singletons. I feel like they just don't get what it's like for me with my DTs.
My DTs are 20 months and they are brilliant, obviously. We go to a weekly music class and every week my two toddlers spend part of the class exploring the far corners of the room, hiding their tambourines under chairs, standing right in front of the teacher etc, etc. The teacher is fine with this and says it's to be expected at this age. Nevertheless I leave the class every week feeling as if I've failed.
The other children mostly sit quietly in their mums' laps throughout the class. One of the mums is someone from my NCT group and she commented one week that she would rather have her DS the way he is, sitting quietly, than 'like your two'.
I'm starting to dread the music lesson, even though the DCs enjoy it and are getting a lot out of it. I guess I feel judged and worry that my DTs are out of control and I should be managing them better. They honestly are not out of control, they just like to explore. I manage them fine most of the time, but making them both sit still for 45 minutes is beyond me!
It's not the only comment from this particular mum. I once told her that I found it hard work to get me and the DTs out and into town for 9.30 in the morning. She very sincerely asked me if I needed to get out of bed earlier. She honestly meant to be helpful, but she just doesn't get it. She has admitted previously that she is prone to saying things which sound unintentionally bitchy, but still.
There have been a few other singleton mums who've said things which I thought were a bit off. A different NCT mum said breastfeeding her DS was so tough that she would rather have breastfed twins as it would be easier. I'm sure she had a really hard time, but why does she have to compare it to my experience? Whatever I did has no impact on her and her baby.
Music class mum is also always asking questions about what words other children can say and how they sleep and whether other mums are doing date nights with their partners. I often feel a bit icky after these conversations, like I've been used somehow.
I guess I am just feeling a bit vulnerable and picking up some kind of competitiveness or something from mums of singletons. With toddler DTs, no family help and a DH who works long hours I am honestly just grateful to enjoy part of each day and survive all of it. I do not have the energy to be competitive. And comments like these just make me feel isolated.
I actually feel better for having written all this down. And any words of encouragement from other mums of multiples will be gratefully received. X
Oh, and also I'm wondering what I can say in response?
Oh god, competitive parenting. Music class mum and NCT mum are being dicks. This is a quick post - it's getting towards grot o'clock so the DTs aren't letting me onto my phone...
You are doing amazing - please do not let these people (who are only in your life because you happened to have babies near the same time, so it's not like you chose them as you would friends) bring you down.
I have a resting bitch face, and that combined with "mmmm, oh right" in a bored way would be my response whenever they start that crap. Or just don't reply, I've found silence to be quite effective when my FIL is getting on my nerves.
Is there a twins and multiples club near you? I loved meeting up with other twins mums when my two were little. They just 'get it', without you having to explain. And a group of slightly wild toddler multiples can actually be fun!
I have twins - the first 2 years I can barely remember, it was a fucking nightmare. Those women are twats, and how on earth can it be easier to feed 2 infants instead of one. Be kind to yourself and don't give those women head space. I remember that feeling of each day being one of survival, so I do feel for you.
Teen twins here. I remember the awful toddler stage with other parents either looking down on us because we weren't signing / singing / yoga-ing, whatever current toddler class was in vogue then. Or those singleton parents feeling crap cause they thought I was lording it over them because I'd manage to get out of the house in tact with two twitchy toddlers.
Competitive parenting - no one wins.
Some singleton parents inevitably feel like they've "lost" already, cause you've magically produced two babies at once - so they won't hesitate to try and put you down at any or every opportunity.
Some are just thoughtless and don't see beyond the fug of their own parenting, how hard it is to look after two wriggling toddlers at once.
If you want to be cutting to music mum, just lay it on thick about how you're coping magnificently with two toddlers at once. If you want to give her the benefit of doubt and be kind, just say something along the lines of "oh they'll all get there in the end" (wrt language skills, sleeping through, fine art talent etc).
Good luck with it all It will get physically easier and better in the next few years. Ignore those silly people if you can.
I'm amazed at this.
There are always some competitive parents, who are happy to point out what they are getting right, and give you to understand what you're getting wrong. Move away from them.
I was always slightly overawed by parents of twins- how on earth do they manage to get out of the house, and get everything done? I was struggling enough with DC1, I thought the twins parents I met must have superpowers!
Music class: some DC sit on laps, some do their own thing, some are fixated on one instrument, and if another child has it, wait by standing 6in away with an unblinking stare--DC1 looking at you-- . So long as no problems caused for others, and person running class is ok with it, so what? Some parents get a DC who does just what they think DC ought to. And pat themselves on the back. But, DC are individuals, and have different personalities. Those who get the the non- conformers as 2nd DC get a bit of a shock!
Again, if you're getting twins fed and to a group, you're doing great.
She sounds like a Dick
Your doing great. Ignore or use it as an excuse to wind her up I would and for you.
My singleton (same age as your DTs) would be all over the place in any class requiring any degree of sitting still. This week, he managed to open the door out of the community centre while we were all clearing up after playgroup, and had to be retrieved by one of the other mums. Last week, he wriggled out of my grip and nearly went headfirst into the swimming pool before our lesson - the teacher only just caught him. We did active baby yoga for a while, and it was a rare class that didn't involve him mugging another child for their beaker, leaping on the teacher, or fiddling with the volume control on the stereo during the 'relaxation'
fat chance bit. You get my drift... and there's only one of him! If this woman's DS sits quietly it's not due to her superior parenting, or because he's a single child, it's just that her DS is a sitting still sort of child. Others are not. Mine is still only when asleep, and not always then
You are doing a great job, and those other mums are being twats. There's a mum of twins who comes to a couple of our groups, and I think she's a bloody hero, I really do.
I'm a twin - we were very "high energy" as kids - mum struggled hugely. Now we're both very successful in our fields. Ignore those women - they don't matter. Your twins sound cool!
The Singleton thing is a red herring these are just horrid competitive people. There are some in every playgroup/class. Just laugh, and say luckily you like the children you got.
You will find your people. Hang in there. There are lots of normal happy mums too. One of my DTs has ASD. Some people were total shits to us. He didn’t understand what was being said for much longer than other children and had the audacity to be very musical....imagine how that went down
Yes the thing is people like this make idiotic comments to parents of singletons too, they can't help themselves. My best friend experienced it at her 'mummy' group and had to just ignore the particular person and never meet up with her again for coffee/soft play etc. Bit harder at a class but just ignore
My mind boggles at the comment on BF, there certainly are some strange people in the world
I have had two singletons and am expecting twins. I anticipate it is going to be much more difficult with twins because it is double the load. Ignore those women, they have no idea what they're talking about.
I feel so annoyed on your behalf! How insensitive! I think people find motherhood hard, see twins and realize they have it easier... then feel the need to be weirdly defensive, which manifests in these absurd comments!
I had someone tell me that her DS was harder than my twins, as they were girls. Speechless
My DT used to run amok in the library, emptying the shelves. I was never as organized as you, so never made it to a music class, but I assure you they'd have been the same
Ignore, ignore, ignore... don't worry about clever comebacks either, just agree with them with a sweet smile (and avoid them and move on to better people!)
I had 2dc then dts. I had twin Mums endlessly telling me that it was easier for me because I already knew how to look after a baby.. Cos the 4 year old and the two year old obviously looked after themselves eh?
As o said some people are just shits.
I struggle to be out of the house for half nine and I have only one child! He also stoats off at his leisure at groups and has a paddy at being asked to sit for longer than he wants. Some mums just can’t help being competitive. They probably do it to mums of one too.
I know not the same but I had three under three, and before my second born was three months old I was pregnant again. I feel your pain, but honestly you'll get so tough you won't give a crap what these people say to you. My three are always dangling from the tele when everyone else is baby is knitting their Christmas stocking.
Thank you all so very much. You have made me feel sooooooo much better.
Ham'n'Jam I am really, really tempted to say something cutting but I am trying very hard to rise above.
I think it's absolutely correct what you are all saying that this is about competitive parents. And no, there are no winners in that game. I think Kala has it spot on here 'people find motherhood hard, see twins and...then feel the need to be weirdly defensive'.
I'm sure the whole twins thing does bring out a defensive streak in some insecure parents. I've never knocked any of the mums or ever said they must have it easy (even when I've felt envious of them for having one baby to focus on). So it feels extra unfair to have the hard work of two and then to be on the receiving end of these comments.
And this is so true: 'Some parents get a DC who does just what they think DC ought to. And pat themselves on the back.' This is exactly it with music class woman. I'd probably be the same in her shoes! But having twins quickly shows you that children are who they are and it's best to be humble about the impact (if any) of your parenting.
We do go to twins meet ups user and the mums there are amazing and they do totally get it and I'm always cheered by being around them.
Spudlet your DS sounds excellent. 'Stoats off' what a brilliant phrase Autumn , love it and I'm going to steal it.
Kala at the comment about your two girls being easier than one boy. My DD is definitely more than twice the work of DS, easily.
Thank you Softly, I actually do think my two are pretty cool.
Peace and love to all mums, double to mums of twins.
My sister in law had a VERY easy first baby. As a toddler he was placid and biddable, you could just plonk him down with some toys on the floor and he would sit in the same spot for ages and play quietly. She says she was smug and (internally) judgemental as fuck towards other parents who she thought simply couldn't control theirs. Her second (much later) was strong willed and very, very active and she finally got that the first being 'good' had nothing whatsoever to do with her parenting! At least she has the good grace to laugh/be ashamed at her initial judginess now!
Sounds like you're doing a fab job at bringing up a happy, lovely, lively pair. Don't take any notice of the few who might judge out of ignorance or insecurity. Bet most people are quietly in awe!
Hmmm, I do not wish a very spirited and loud child on music class mum for her next baby, Mcakes, not at all. Definitely, definitely not.
They have no bloody idea!! Easier to feed 2 than 1?!!! Yes, because it's so much easier bouncing a bouncy chair with your foot & singing to try to stop Twin 1 screaming with hunger whilst you feed Twin 2 (never got the hang of tandem feeding!)?????
It's absolutely right that its probably a combination of competitive parenting, jealousy, slight inferiority complex seeing a mum manage 2 toddlers so just being a bitch!
There is definitely something about having your first child that has the potential to turn you into a right dick. I think it is the combination of total pride in having managed to create a whole new human combined with the realisation that you don’t really know what to do.
somewhat irrational pride + insecurity + sleep deprivation + having to socialise with new people solely on the basis that you procreated at the same time. It’s a strange equation! By and large twin mums are not paragons of virtue on this front, we just have less time to express our dickishness.
My singleton never ever sat still, and he was followed by twin brothers, one of whom managed to move even more. I had a friend who honestly is a lovely person and never usually competitive. She and I had our oldest kids within months of each other. Her son was/is a lovely smiley placid boy who would sit for ages and play with a toy or point at a book. He would fall asleep by himself in his cot for naps, and at night. She very often stared at my son and remarked ‘I’ve never seen a child like it. Doesn’t he ever stop?’ when my DS whirled around climbing everything, pulling books out and investigating. It made me feel awful, particularly since he didn’t sleep for more than 20 minutes day or night.
We are still friends. Her second child was a non-sleeping, stubborn, defiant screamer. She actually apologised to me after her DC2 and admitted she hadn’t understood that it was nothing I’d done that made DS1 a complete livewire.
However, I know she’s only just managed to bite her tongue and not say that her DC1 was harder work than my twins. Even dear friends would get my very best death stare for that!
As others have said, there’s no point engaging in this ‘Mompetition’. If I were you I would be tempted to just reply positively with something like ‘I know, it is so lovely that they feel confident in their environment and want to explore. They really get so much out of being here.’ Which is not only true, but has that slight edge of ‘look at your clingy singleton that just sits there’ but isn’t at all dickish really. You might want to suggest that being a twin adds to the confidence. You might not.
Just wanted to add Jumperooh that it sounds like you are doing a great job and are by no means alone!! I took my two to a Halloween party this week. They are 2 now and spent the time either running around or fighting over whose turn it was to sit on my lap.....
A friend with a DD 4 years older than her twins told me that she wasn't surprised her DD was way ahead of the twins at equivalent ages. She spent hours reading, singing etc with her DD when she was tiny, but just didn't have the time with twins. DD was at school by then but she said with two it is impossible, they either won't concentrate together, won't sit and not squabble, one wants to do something the other doesn't, etc etc..... I'm sure you know the sort of thing (I do!). And that's without housework, cooking, shopping and everything else we're supposed to be getting on with
If your twins are happy and the teacher is fine with them then keep going to your class and don't let anyone put you off. They are toddlers after all, it's more unusual for them to sit still for that long than run around for a bit!
I've found my place
I've just posted a thread about this kind of thing. I have 2 year old twins that are very hard go spirited and strong minded. I'm sick of feeling judged all the time by friends who have 1 baby.
I can't do soft play at the moment as I just can't supervise them both properly and I don't feel like they're ready to go around there alone.
We stick to walks in the pushchair, playing out the garden and arts and crafts whilst dh is at work but I do feel that we're all missing out and that I should be able to do these things.
Walking without the pushchair is a disaster because one or the other always messes about or wants carrying.
They are so much fun though and even if our days are crazy I love it...most of the time
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