By: Shannon Wakeland
What does a mom do when there are two toddlers to entertain?
Oh boy! That's a tough one. In a perfect world they would sleep all night long, amuse themselves while you took that long awaited shower and on those early mornings, they would find their own breakfast without pulling you from your warm and comfortable bed. But, it's not a perfect world and you have to figure something out before you pull every last hair out of your head. Not only do we worry about entertaining our children, but we also worry about keeping the house nice and straight. And, no matter how much we might hate to admit it, most of us moms do care about how clean and neat our house is. We fear of our neighbor or a family member dropping by and so we are constantly busying ourselves by picking up lost toys and scattered crayons, even though the mess will reappear shortly thereafter. Come on moms, enjoy these precious moments and forget what the house looks like!
The kids don't care!
All they want is more time with you. They want to play. So, what do you do?
Find a place in your house that is totally set up for the children. Baby-proof whatever you have to and then create a special place for your toddlers. Setting up such a place may give your twins more entertainment and give you more time to do what you want to do (even if it is emptying out the dishwasher). Make it their very own playroom. Find toys that they may experiment with. Use an old box or chest for dress-up clothes. Gather up some old shoes and pillows and dig out old Halloween costumes and put them in here. Have a separate area for books, blocks and soft toys. For girls, gather those dolls and doll clothes up and place them in a box. Trucks, Lego's and action figures are always good ideas for our tireless little boys. Play their favorite music while they are entertaining themselves. This tends to keep them occupied and out of your hair for a bit. Get an old table and spice it up with bright colors and place coloring books and crayons nearby.
Try to keep it simple. Sometimes if the children have freedom in one part of the house, it may be easier to enforce safety in other parts.
Raising children is definitely not an easy task and parenting twins is an even more difficult job. Explore your choices before you get to the point where you totally just want to give up. Do you have friends or relatives who are willing to give you a break maybe once a week? What about a playgroup or a mother's morning out program? Many churches and small schools offer this. Don't panic or suddenly feel guilty for wanting to leave your children for a few hours. You are doing a tough job and every once in a while, you need some time for you. You deserve this. Schedule time aside for you. Watch your favorite soap opera, take a power nap, or even give yourself a manicure. Having a set time and knowing that you have that time can sometimes make the rough moments seem easier.
Who said parenting was an easy job? Time for yourself may make a tremendous difference on your outlook of parenting. Scheduling the time not only assists in making sure it will happen, but the thought of upcoming time alone can support you when things get hard. Letting go of your children for a short time is just one more step in becoming a parent. It gives not only you time, but them as well. Children need to grow up; to learn how to play on their own, especially twins. They have to learn to be their own person, to discover their unique traits and to find their own individuality. Most importantly, children and parents need to learn that time is a precious gift and it should be cherished.
Shannon Wakeland, author of several print and online publications, resides in Charleston, SC with her husband and seven year-old son.