When I first found out I was pregnant with twins, my biggest fear was regarding my other three children. I was sure that bringing two new children into our home was going to affect them. I feared they would feel cheated and abandoned. I thought they would resent the babies and their parents.
I expressed some of these thoughts to my doctor. She told me that my three children don’t need my undivided attention as much as I think they do, and she assured me that those three were bonded and would bond even more after the babies were born. She told me that my children have their own little tribe, and within that tribe they can love and lean on each other when I am busy with the new babies or throughout any experience in their lives. I found this advice comforting, and many of my worries subsided.
Now with the twins nearing two weeks old, I can see that my children are a tribe of their own, and I find such joy and relief in watching them strengthen their bonds and friendships within that tribe.
One day I watched them come up with game after game as they played together. Their laughter and happiness almost eliminated my fears of them not getting enough attention from me.
Of course I still have worries that I’ll miss some of their growing up in my busy schedule with two infants. Finding one-on-one time will be tricky, my lap and arms will often be too full for another child, and the bedtime routine will most likely change for a while.
Things will be different, but not necessarily worse. I’m beginning to see that as my role in their lives changes, so will theirs with each other. Perhaps by taking a step back, I’m inviting them to interact more freely and spontaneously with each other. And as I watch them play together, I am reassured that although they most certainly do need me, they also have each other to fill in some of the gaps.
QUESTION: Have you seen your children form a tribe of their own? How can you encourage them to bond more with each other?
CHALLENGE: Give your children a chance to play together without stepping in. As you watch them, take time to appreciate how they interact and bond with each other.
Image provided by Sarah Packham.