Most times I feel like the luckiest person on earth because of the wonderful ‘package deal’ I got when I had the twins. However one of the downsides of having two children of the same age is that I have to struggle to find time with each of them alone. That’s one reason I look forward to the summers when I come home. Other than both sets of grandparents, our hometown is bursting with uncles, aunts and cousins. What’s better, the kids have different ‘favourites’ and most of them are just a short walk away. That’s as good as it can possibly get. It’s such a luxury to pack off one the twins to their favourite aunts/cousin’s place without a twinge of apprehension or guilt while I spend time Quality time with the other.
It is also a wonderful time to test the waters on letting them try out their independence. Last year, while all the cousins were having a sleepover, H pretended he ‘just wasn’t sleepy’ since he’d rather die than accept that he couldn’t sleep without ‘mama’. He lounged in the living room till we persuaded him to come sleep with me. This year, he has been going for the sleepover for the past two days without as much as a 'May I'. That's a huge step forward for this clingy son of mine. And I cannot begin to say how happy/relieved I am.
N is the independent one and doesn’t seem to need anyone which is even more reason to keep the conversation flowing and the connection strong. When we’re alone she and I read together or we pick up a craft to do.
When N is away, H and I ave fun watching something inane like Pokemon. It’s TV but we’re on holiday and the regular mum-rules stand suspended for the month.
I often make the mistake of clubbing the kids together as one unit even though they are as different as chalk and cheese and never forget to assert their individualities. Alone time is important to reinforce the fact that they aren’t two halves of a whole but are complete people in themselves. Here are more reasons why Quality alone time is important:
- To begin with it’s fun and very relaxing to have just one child to myself rather than struggling to balance their very diverse tastes.
- It’s great for the kids to have things completely their way for a change rather than being pushed to compromise - whether it is choosing what show to watch or what game to play or which side they get to sleep on.
- It gives me a chance of focusing complete attention to each child by turn and to understand, enjoy and be totally blown away at how very different they are.
- It encourages them to think of themselves as separate individuals, to express their likes and dislikes without being influenced by the other.
- It reassures them that they are individually loved and cherished for their special qualities.
- Secure in that love they stop seeing each other as adversaries fighting for attention, taking the edge away from the dreaded sibling rivalry.
I’m off then to make the most of the holidays and perhaps we will be trying out even more sleepovers and day-visits.
Linking to ABC Wednesday for the letter Q with thanks to Mrs Nesbitt for coming up with the wonderful concept of bringing together people from across the world.
Labels: Alone time with twins, bringing up twins, Parenting, quality time