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                                    Welcome to Guest Tuesday– my fortnightly feature


Yes, yes, I am here. Did you miss me? Just been really busy with my other blog, of course, where I have committed to write daily. Phew!

Today, I am very happy to welcome one of the best Mom bloggers out there. Hey, even her blog is Obsessive Mom! Tulika Singh and I connected last year, over a post I had written regarding Math flash cards. With some people, you just know. You click so instantly that it is no coincidence that Destiny brought you together. Tulika and I are exactly like that. She and I exchange incredibly long chat messages, where she completes my thoughts and I pull her leg over various things, blog-wise and otherwise. Her genuine nature comes through in her writing and her super-cool factor permeates her blog posts.

It is my honour and privilege to host Tulika here. Thank you for this post, Tulika.

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Author Bio:

I am a journalist by profession and worked with The Hindustan Times and then the Times of India. When the twins came along I gave up long nights of editing copy to night-shifts of a very different kind. I became a full time, hands on, stay at home mum. At about the same time I started blogging at obsessivemom.blogspot.com. The twins took up all my mindspace. The blog gave me a place to put it all down and spared my friends endless hours of baby talk.

Having them has been a wonderful, enlightening journey of self-discovery. I always was an avid reader. I found I was also a bit of a crafter, a very enthusiastic photographer and a barely passable cook. 

I am now, a freelance writer and a copy editor and blogger. I divide my time between my two passions – writing and, yeah you guessed it, the twins.



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Sibling rivalry


When I had twins I assumed they would share a very special relationship – intuitive, warm and loving. Twins were supposed to do that, right?

I am still recovering from the shock of how wrong I was. Other than those few moments they were at it all day – scrambling, pulling, pushing, arguing. All day. 

I have been trying, trying really hard over the last few years to get them to get along.

I daren’t say it’s in the past; yet, I might add, (with crossed fingers and toes) that things are better, just about a minuscule, but better definitely.

Here are some things we tried

I set time aside specifically for them to play with each other. Not on the computer, not watching TV. Just play. They take turns skating (her choice) and wrestling (his). I didn’t even know that they had worked out a ‘turn by turn’ system of deciding what they would play. Sometimes they get together and put up a puppet show or take up a craft.

At night in bed after dinner when the kids are at their most garrulous I ask them to talk about one thing they like about each other. Initially they were a bit reluctant to talk about each other but now we have such fun. They come up with things like, ‘She makes me laugh’ or ‘He picks me up each time he hugs me’.

Or I ask them to do one ‘special’ thing for each other during the day. So when I open the door on some days I find N carrying both their bags or H scurrying around looking for her slippers.


Sometimes I get them to act like twins. Well they are twins but they rarely act like they are. So ,some days they dress up in similar clothes, eat the same things, play the same games, even try to talk together. I have to admit, it gets on my nerves after a point but they are having so much fun doing it that my irritation melts away.



And here are some things for me too… 


No comparisons:

That’s the most obvious one yet the toughest one to follow. However ,I am persevering. Instead of saying, “N finish your food, see how long back H finished.” I learnt to stop at “N finish your food” or “N finish your food so we can all read a story”. What was even tougher was checking the Husband and anyone else who did the comparisons. Like a rude overbearing person, I often jump right in when I sense a comparison coming up.

No pitching one against the other: 

When they were younger we had rules like “Who ever finishes their food is first” rather than “Whoever finishes their food first is first”. I avoid setting them up against each other. I let them race the clock, instead of the hour glass.

Let them settle their own differences but be vigilant
This is another tough one, more so because I’m a stay at home mom and almost always around. It’s tempting to jump into their fights and sort them out. But I have learnt to let them sort their fights till I get a complaint before offering the mandatory advice or censure.



Be fair:

This is an easy one. But the thing is you have to appear fair too. If I am ‘favouring’ a child I give reasons. For instance if I say, “No ice-cream for you” I do add, “because you are wheezing.” Of course I am still labeled unfair but the kids understand somewhere deep down that I’m right.

Alone time with the each of the kids:

That’s another very hard one if you have kids the same age. If they are the same sex as well , gosh! It would be harder. I make sure mine are in separate sections and have put them in separate after- school classes. They love that time with me. I’ve had N settling down in my lap (yeah, even at 8 years) with a satisfied sigh as we get set to read together and say, “Only girls at home, Mama. It’s nice na, Ma?”

If you have more than one kid, not necessarily twins, and have an idea or two that worked for you, do share it please.

Comments

comments

Categories: Guest Post

Carol Graham · August 19, 2014 at 4:10 am

You sound like an incredibly wise mom. I applaud you and your parenting. I love what you said about not comparing, etc. I have always maintained that position with my children, as difficult as it is NOT to do sometimes.

Beloo Mehra · August 19, 2014 at 5:44 am

Tulika, this was a wonderful read. The tip about not comparing is an excellent one, even in non-parenting contexts.

Vidya Sury · August 19, 2014 at 6:14 am

I like how you are tackling yours, Tulika. And you know i am a fan of your writing and your blog. 🙂 I enjoyed this post. You've got the biggest hurdle – refraining from comparisons – covered – and that in itself makes you a supermom! Enjoy your twins! 😀 The closeness is there, latent; it will manifest when you least expect it and when you most need it!

Thanks Shailaja! Great choice for guest! 🙂

Uma · August 19, 2014 at 6:25 am

This was a great read, Tulika. Congratulations on being able to refrain from comparing the two. Seriously, that's the bane of all sibling rivalry.

Sreeja Praveen · August 19, 2014 at 6:58 am

As I was reading this, the one thing that struck me was that they ARE close, though it is intangible, and that it will manifest when time comes. And Lo ! Vidya says that in her comment. This is one inspiring post, Tulika 🙂 ( I can't say I won't have twins in future, can I 😛 ) Thanks for this very valuable post, O.Mom 🙂

Shailaja, whattay choice for the Guest ! Lovely. Appreciate your thoughtfulness.

Corinne Rodrigues · August 19, 2014 at 11:01 am

Such a joy to see Tulika here, Shailaja! Loved the pictures and of course the sharing, Tulika. Great advice for other Moms!

tulika singh · August 19, 2014 at 2:09 pm

Thanks Carol. Oh yes it's tough not to compare specially when the difference is right there staring in your face!

tulika singh · August 19, 2014 at 2:10 pm

Sure is Beloo. Thanks for reading.

tulika singh · August 19, 2014 at 2:11 pm

As always I live your comment Vidya. As for the latent closeness.. I hope to God you are right. Don't go by the pictures, they are rare ones.

tulika singh · August 19, 2014 at 2:16 pm

Thanks Uma. It's still a struggle, believe me.

tulika singh · August 19, 2014 at 2:23 pm

Aww that's so sweet Sreeja. You've no clue how I need to push them to be together. I so hope you are right.

tulika singh · August 19, 2014 at 2:27 pm

Feels good to be here. Thanks Corinne.

Inderpreet Kaur Uppal · August 19, 2014 at 7:10 pm

Such sane advice, and you two great moms have done a great service for beginners like me – who is going crazy with just one.
Great post
Lovely pictures, reminded me of the fun times I shared with my brother.
Good stratergies, will be applying them

tulika singh · August 20, 2014 at 1:59 am

Glad we reminded you of your brother. Siblings can be such fun. If only the fights didn't happen!!

Soumya · August 20, 2014 at 6:12 am

Kids should never be compared to one another. Or anybody else for that matter. Lovely article Tulika and thank you Shailaja for hosting her 🙂

Bhavya · August 20, 2014 at 12:54 pm

I hope I can be a wise mom like you. You seem to be doing an incredibly awesome job at being a supermom. Glad to see you here Tulika, and Shailaja, thanks for hosting her on your space.

Bhavya

Nabanita · August 21, 2014 at 7:08 am

So much wisdom in your post…Lessons that all mothers, even the to-be mothers need to keep in mind…

Random Thoughts Naba – Sailing through with Sheer Willpower…

Bikram · August 22, 2014 at 10:30 am

Now I know what to do if I have twins 🙂 good advice here for all moms actually not just moms i would say both parents

Bikram's

Rekha Dhyani · August 22, 2014 at 11:38 am

That's a post full of wisdom from a truly Obsessive Mom. Lovely Tulika! I was nodding at every point. My girls are 8 and 5 and yet I find it so difficult managing them, Sometimes they fail, but most of the times, I fail as a mother. I promise myself not to yell for an entire day and the very next moment I find myself yelling at the top of my voice. Lots of sensible points here. Sharing it for the sake of other moms or moms-to-be. 🙂

tulika singh · August 22, 2014 at 12:21 pm

Thanks Soumya. Yeah comparison is terrible whether it is favourable or unfavourable.

tulika singh · August 22, 2014 at 12:22 pm

Aw Bhavya, thanks.

tulika singh · August 22, 2014 at 12:23 pm

😀 guess all moms have valuable experiences to share Naba.

tulika singh · August 22, 2014 at 12:24 pm

Absolutely Bikram. Dads are in such a minority around here we end up ignoring them. Not nice!

tulika singh · August 22, 2014 at 12:26 pm

As long as you are doing your best you're not failing Rekha. None of us can be as good as we would like to be but that we're still trying all the time, over and over, is good enough.

Shilpa Garg · August 22, 2014 at 3:15 pm

Wow! Managing twins is not an easy thing. But you are doing it so well, with so much of thought. You are indeed a supermom. And you are doing simply GREAT! ♥
Good to see you here at Shailaja's space 🙂

proactiveindian.com · August 24, 2014 at 5:20 am

Great! I do hope your execution is almost as good as your planning!
Did you plan all this before they were born, or did you have to 'plan on your feet'?

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