Multiples

Cynical about Singletons?

After the craziness of the past 6 weeks, I have unfortunately reached a place where I can't listen to my friends with infant singletons complain. I just keep thinking how "easy" this would be with one. When people who've never had twins act like they know what we're going through, it just makes me angry. Anyone else feel this way?

I can't imagine how you trip and quad moms do it at all. Bless you.

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Re: Cynical about Singletons?

  • It depends to me on how they act, if they were saying they know what we are going through I couldn't really take it, but I have friends who have singletons who say they can't imagine how hard it must be with two and that's fine.I do seem to mostly have friends with more than one kid, but that may also be just that I didn't go to the mommy and baby classes where the FTM hang out.I also try to remember that if we had only one baby I'm sure we would find that hard as well, it's just what you know.I did interact with my MoM friends most when the babies were small.
  • When the boys were babies, it was frustrating at times to get comments like that, especially when I was feeling especially overwhelmed or frazzled. And it's certainly easier (all other things being equal) to take care of one infant rather than two. Even if you have one colicky singleton versus two easygoing twins, the logistics are certainly easier with one, even just being able to pop an inconsolable baby in a carrier and get things done rather than trying to soothe one and tend to another. There are things you can do differently with one. I tried to handle comments like that politely but sometimes (depending on who it was) I'd (again, politely) give them a glimpse of my world, too.

    ETA: I had two close local friends who had their first babies (both singletons) right around the same time my boys were born. Listening to them vent about the challenges didn't bother me (and like pp, they would both say "I don't know how you do it with two" so they were acknowledging that we had different challenges); it was people who acted all-knowing about twins when they didn't have multiples that got to me. I also had some wistfulness about the ways they were able to do things with their singletons that I couldn't do with my twins. Our FTM experiences were just very different. Of course, one of them is now juggling an about-to-turn 4y/o with an about-to-turn-2y/o and the other is still TTC a second and longing for her son to have a sibling. Everything has its pros and cons, for sure.

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  • I am right there with you. My MIL always talks about how she knows what I am going through because my SIL was colicky- I am thinking one colicky baby does not equal two non-colicky babies, no matter how fussy. It's still one feeding, one burping, one changing of the diaper at a time- not to mention, you don't have to try and juggle entertainment!
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  • I try my best not to be cynical or judgmental when it comes to how rough someone feels their parenting experiences are if I can help it - I never know exactly what an individual family might have to truly deal with or how difficult their child(ren) might be for them. I haven't had my twins yet - I've had two singletons. I feel that I've really had some very awesome opportunities as a parent and in my pregnancies to really avoid some of the more stressful things other mothers have had to go through and I try not to take it for granted (tho I do vent when I hit my own marks of frustration, I never want that venting to belittle what someone else has gone through). 

    That said, I can completely understand being annoyed at people who are obviously whining just because they are oblivious of how good they have it, tho. I have the same frustration with people who act like they've got it rough having to pay taxes at a higher rate or "soaring medical premiums" when they bring home 150K+ per year while DH and I work our asses off and manage to support our family on a fraction of that (while also paying taxes and medical premiums). So I'm sure I'd become very annoyed with other mothers who act like having to do normal mother work is some kind of curse upon them. 
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  • I know I felt that way when the boys were teeny tiny too (we downright envied the twin moms) but over time you will realize in some ways, having multiples is easier than having singletons. I wrote a blog post about it a few years ago. :)
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  • I have found myself thinking that from time to time but I try to catch myself and let it go.  I remember having "just" 1 baby and it was still freaking hard. 
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  • I never really thought of it like that until I read your blog, but it's true. I never really noticed it but if I'm not using the excuse that we have twins to justify doing or not doing something, someone else is using it for me. I was telling a friend the other day how our house is a pit right now with the holidays passing and I haven' t even begun to think about putting any of this crap away and she just said, honey you have twins no one expects your house to be spotless.  

    ETA This was intended to quote pea- Kay. Oops 

    OP I do get what you're saying. I have a lot of friends on Facebook who are new mothers of singletons and I get so tired of reading constant status updates about how they're so tired, their baby is fussy, their up at 3am and haven't gone to sleep yet (not to mention it irritates me when people complain publicly on FB anyway, I think it's tacky like their begging for sympathy.)While I'm reading their post I'm thinking you have no idea. Even though the rational side of me knows I don't know their whole situation. All that said I love having twins, I'd never want it any other way even on our worse days. I have some serious admiration for MoMs of higher order multiples though 

    I will say what's aggregated me most though since the twins were born, aside from the stupid remarks from strangers, is that I feel like my experiences with pregnancy, delivery, and parenting are chucked out the window by everyone having singletons because my experience is different. For instance one of my girlfriends had a baby 2weeks after I had mine, and another one of our friends is due with hers in January. When our expecting friends is asking questions about pregnancy or labor and delivery I sometimes feel like what I have to say doesn't matter. And I may just be reading to much into things which I tend to do, but I want so badly to say that if I can carry two babies to term and deliver them then bottom line is you can too. I'm very protective over my experience I guess.

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  • Yep. Don't even talk to me about how hard your one is or how tired you are. I don't want to hear it.
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  • No, not really. I have two sets of multiples (twins, then triplets) and four singletons. I know just from my own experience that 'hard' is relative. Some of my easiest babies were one of the multiples, and one of my hardest was a singleton. My triplets are easier than my twins so the 'envying twins' thing doesnt hold true for me either. Its all been relative to a million other factors. 

     I absolutely get cynical about numbers of children though and people complaining about it.  

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  • I think it is unfair to say that all singletons are easier than twins and that moms of singletons have it so much easier.  Every baby and every parent is different.  If you don't believe me, I can introduce you to my friend who just spent 2 weeks at Sick Kids with her singleton.  Sometimes "just one fussy baby" can be pretty f-ing rough.

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  • DD was a very EASY baby.  She STTN at one month old and stayed that way until she started teething.  Twin care (especially by yourself) is one of the hardest things I have done.  They are a month old now and they wake up maybe twice a night which is good! but one of those times they stay up for about 3 hrs.  

    I really try to give people the benefit of the doubt.  I mean for some people having a baby is a complete life change.  They are used to partying and going out whenever they want too etc.. and now its stay at home and baby duty. When they start saying " oh I know how you feel when I talk about taking care of my boys through the night I just roll my eyes and nod.. lol. 

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  • I know I felt that way with all 3 of my special needs singletons. I think sometimes I felt jealous of those singletons without special needs especially the degree we have dealt with. I can only hope and pray that my twins will not be as big of a challenge!
  • Sometimes this bugged me but since it usually came from FTMs, I just chalked it up to being a first time parent & that is hard no matter what usually. Honestly, the people who bragged (mults or not) about how their kids STTN since 6 weeks old no problem & had no sleep issues ever bugged me way more because we have always struggled w/ sleep/bedtime with our kids.

    But in relation to peakays blog- my first thought when I read your post was how recently a friend who has a 4 yr old & 2 yr old said to me recently, how do you get anything done with them constantly on  you wanting you to play with them or do things with them? And I was like, uh... well, they're not constantly on me b/c they play together all the time.... (not to say they dont ask me to participate sometimes and don't fight all the time & don't ask me to do/get things but I really think it is way easier than having 2 at different ages once they get old enough to play independently!).  One day the benefits of multiples will come through..unfortunately it is not in the first year though :(

  • image pea-kay:
    I know I felt that way when the boys were teeny tiny too (we downright envied the twin moms) but over time you will realize in some ways, having multiples is easier than having singletons. I wrote a blog post about it a few years ago. :)

    I agree with the bolded part.  My sister had a baby 5 months before me.  She and her H live with my parents and so many times in those first few months after I had the girls she would be complaining about how hard it was to have a baby and I felt like my head was going to explode.  Here she was with ONE baby and not only her and her H there every day, but our parents and brother too and she was complaining?  All I could think (but never said) was "you have NO idea!!!".  Yes, it was selfish and immature for me to think that way but I was full of hormones, sleep deprived, and completely overwhelmed.  At that time I wasn't thinking about the fact that going from no babies to 1 baby is still a huge adjustment and a big life change for people because all I could think about was how much easier my life would be if we had them one at a time.

    Now, even though my babies are still young, I already think it's easier for us.  My girls play together all of the time and sometimes ignore H and I to play with each other when we try to play with them.  Meanwhile my nephew needs pretty constant entertainment.  I can leave them in their play area while I put away laundry or clean up the kitchen and they'll entertain each other; my sister can't do that. Independent play has been a big topic on my BMB lately and it seems like my girls are much better at it then most of the babies and I'm sure it's because they have a playmate to spend that time with.  Once they started STTN (which for us was 9.5 months) I think it became much easier to have two and really not that much more difficult then having one.

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  • I can neither confirm or deny that I mentally b***** slapped a few people for their dumb comments but in the end I know just as much about having a singelton as they do multiples so I try to smile a nod. Everyone has their own experience. Other then the colicky stage my girls are pretty chill so I don't think it's too bad but a super hard singelton baby might be a lot of work.

    The only time I was super angry was when a good friend visted me in the NICU and said I will never know how hard it is to have just one baby. IN THE NICU!!!! I couldn't believe that was the time she chose to complain about her now 8 year old super independent child of whom she get 4/7 days because she's divorced. I think people think because there are 2 of them they can entertain themselves. Boy wouldn't that have come in handy when they were both screaming bloody murder for their bottles and I am by myself.... Ella feed Hailey I'm going to take a shower. Righhhhttt

  • image krismott25:

    I can neither confirm or deny that I mentally b***** slapped a few people for their dumb comments but in the end I know just as much about having a singelton as they do multiples so I try to smile a nod. Everyone has their own experience. Other then the colicky stage my girls are pretty chill so I don't think it's too bad but a super hard singelton baby might be a lot of work.

    Very well said. When one of my friend's insensitivity to the difficulty of twins was bugging me, I remembered that she's also trying to conceive while dealing with a rowdy and lonely 19 month old. Just like she can't possibly understand my situation, hers is difficult in different ways. And my boys are kind of ridiculously good about sleep, too, so in that respect we are very lucky.

    Thanks for chilling me out, ladies. The prospect of going back to work while my husband stays at home alone with the boys is freaking me out and I just think about how much easier it would be if we had one. But I agree with peakay that there are plenty of positives and things that are easier about having twins as well. Thanks for the reality check, ladies. When they're both screaming and you're all alone with them, it's difficult to stay positive.

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    Lost our first little peanut on 1/17/2012 at 9 weeks and 5 days. We miss you little blessing, but we know you were too perfect for this world.
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  • image groovygrl:

     Honestly, the people who bragged (mults or not) about how their kids STTN since 6 weeks old no problem & had no sleep issues ever bugged me way more because we have always struggled w/ sleep/bedtime with our kids. 

    Ugh. That's me. I'm sorry. See, I really have no reason to complain at all. Sorry, ladies.

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    Lost our first little peanut on 1/17/2012 at 9 weeks and 5 days. We miss you little blessing, but we know you were too perfect for this world.
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  • I try to keep in mind that there is no way to really understand something unless you have experienced it. I had a very hard time imagining the reality of multiples even when I was pregnant with my girls.

    In some ways I feel like it has been a bit easier for me because I already had the experience of having a singleton. The little things that stressed me out the first time around aren't a big deal this time.

    And yes, I agree that there are benefits to having multiples; my girls play together so nicely (for now!) and I'm so happy that they have each other. It's a beautiful gift. I do, however, still thing about the difficulties sometimes. There are certain places I choose not to take my kids by myself (out to lunch, for example) that I would be able to do easily if I only had one baby. I think those types of things are difficult for others to understand sometimes. 

    J - 9/6/09 L and A - 1/17/12
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