“You show the twins more attention than me” when my 8 year old said this to me my heart broke. It was the words I never wanted to hear him say. I swore my entire pregnancy that I would show all of my children the same amount of attention for this very reason. I even got offended when people would say “Now you know you’ll have to give Ayden extra love since the twins are coming” like who do you think I am? I am his mother. He is my first born. How could I forget to love him? There’s no way the twins will get more attention. It truly didn’t dawn on me that our lives were about to take a major turn. I never realized how much of my time would be limited when splitting it between three.
See, growing up I was the baby of the house. I didn’t have any younger siblings and I only had one older brother which means I didn’t have to share or worry about the attention. However I do remember how my brother would say I got more stuff than him. My brother took care of me though, like leaving his class early when I first started school to make sure I didn’t miss the bus care of me. When I became pregnant with Ayden at 17 I knew that things were no longer about me. I knew that my limits were cut short because I had to provide for a child now. I didn’t have a choice but give my all to him because he didn’t ask to be here and I was his mother. My entire life revolved around Ayden. Everything I did was always for him. I lost jobs, friends, money, self providing for my son.
When we found out we were having a baby it wasn’t a surprise to us, however we didn’t really put thought into how it would make Ayden feel. He had mentioned before about wanting a brother or sister but not too often. When we told him he was overly excited he had to tell the world, it wasn’t until we found out it was twins when his attitude towards being a big brother changed. Everyone was reminding him how things were going to change and how he would have to grow up. I was constantly nagging him to do things I never made him do like clean his room, pick up after himself, get on a routine schedule. When people would ask him if he was ready to be a big brother he would say no. He would sometimes say mean things about his brothers but deep down he had a soft spot for them. When I would be hurting he would always make sure I’m okay. If I had to call the school to tell him something or if had to be a car rider his first response would be “Is my mama okay?” He worried about me a lot during my pregnancy. I loved that. He knew I needed him just as much as he needed me.
After I gave birth to the twins it was a real eye opener for all of us. Looking back, we truly were in denial the whole nine months. We didn’t realize how much time and attention both babies would need. Our whole lives revolve around these babies since the day they were born. It’s not an easy job and whenever we have free time all we want to do is just rest. Before we would go to the park, go out to dinner or brunch, watch movies, and just overall spend time together. Lately it hasn’t been like that and just as much as he misses it I miss it too. I miss the days when it was just us. When I only had to get him and myself ready. I miss being on time to every event and now getting places an hour late is on time for us. When we could actually sit down as family and eat dinner with no interruptions.
I had to explain to him that we have to learn to adjust to our new lives and we were blessed to spend 8 good years together but now we have to share our love. I had to remind him that before it was just me & him for 4 years then God sent us daddy. We had to adjust to it being three of us instead of two and how hard it was for him but 4 years later he can’t see his life without his step father. Now that the twins are here we have to adjust again and it won’t be easy but we will get through it together. I also explained to him that the twins can’t do anything for themselves so that’s why the require so much attention. When he was their age he required a lot of attention too but only differences it was one of him and two of them. We spent a whole weekend together and I really just let him open to about his feelings. We bonded in that moment which was something we both needed from each other. Some days he acts out but it’s only because he is still adjusting but I will continue to be hard on him because at the end of the day you can’t make excuses for your actions.
Parenting is not always easy breezy. I have truly learned that these past few weeks. Your children will say things that will hurt you but know they don’t truly mean it. We also have to remember that each one of our children are individuals who require different ways of love. They need one on one time with you alone to feel loved and wanted. Remind them that everyone is equal and your love for them is the same as their siblings. Build a bond with them. Allow them to be able to talk to you when needed. Life always seems to get in the way but don’t get so caught up with the everyday life that you forget the importance and value of family and love.