Guest post: Fear of leaving the house with twins

Gina Osher, aka The Twin Coach, shares this lesson about confidence for new moms.

Many women are overwhelmed by parenthood; mothers of multiples are sometimes even more so. After our twins were born, I found myself so afraid to fail at any aspect of motherhood that I simply chose to run from it.  I avoided the fear of not knowing what the heck I was doing with our two infants by hiring a pair of doulas. For almost 4 weeks I had constant companionship and help from these two women. On the surface I seemed secure and confident in many areas, but I was terribly afraid to be left alone with our children. I couldn’t figure out how, for the life of me, I was going to do something as complicated as tandem breastfeed without help or, God forbid, leave the house with both children on my own!

Once again, I dodged that bullet by hiring a nanny before our doulas’ last day of work. Being still quite unsure of my own skills as a mother, I ended up hiring someone who took advantage of that.  Within a very short time she was taking the babies out without me for long periods of time, saying that I needed rest, which I did, but this also left me feeling totally disconnected from being a mother to my own babies. My fear of not being a good enough mom had me paralyzed. After a few months of this, we found out our nanny had been lying to us about many things and we fired her abruptly. Not only did we not have a nanny to take her place, but we were so gun-shy after the betrayal that I couldn’t see myself being able to trust another stranger with our children.

So now, here I was, alone with two 7-month old babies, no real experience being alone with them and no option but to sink or swim. I had never been out of the house with the two of them on my own and I knew I had to figure out how to do it and fast. Sometimes it requires having your back up against the wall to push yourself to do the things you’re afraid of.

I tackled my biggest challenge – taking both babies outside, unassisted – and started out small. Each little accomplishment felt like a celebratory moment: “I got both kids out of our second-story duplex with all of their gear and buckled into the car”! “I figured out that you can push two of those Step 2 push buggies side by side really easily”! “I took the kids grocery shopping on my own”! The more I did, the more confident I got. Even better than that, the more confident I got the more connected I became, both to my children and to my natural instincts as a mother. I began to understand my children’s moods and gestures; I was able to respond and give them what they needed. To my amazement, I watched our children thrive and change within days of being alone with me. All of my fears had actually boiled down to one: the thought that I wasn’t up to this job as mom of twins. But once I was forced to confront that fear, I saw that not only was I a great mom, but I was actually exactly the mother our son and daughter needed.

Gina and her family

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The following two tabs change content below. co-founder Whitney lives with her husband, son, and daughter in the San Francisco Bay Area where she writes about parenting, crafts, and activities that moms can do with babies in tow. She and Heather also publish, a site for East Bay parents and are the authors of The Rookie Mom's Handbook and Stuff Every Mom Should Know.